The Dispatcher (2016) John Scalzi
Alright. For the record I like reading John Scalzi. I particularly like the Old Man’s War series. The Dispatcher is a bit different. Imagine a world where any death caused intentional does not stick. People come back. So if someone is about to die from natural causes you could hire someone to intentionally kill them and they will come back at a point where something different could be tried. This is where our hero Tony Valdez comes in. He is just this sort of person who intentionally kills someone to avoid their dying from natural causes. Who hires such a person? Well, hospitals, of course, for one. If you are a surgeon who is about to lose someone on the table Tony can pull out his “gun” and off the person before they die a natural death and same the hospital the explanation. Another candidate might be a couple of college boys who decide to play at being medieval knights for real with swords and ball and hammers. Once they have chopped off a few limbs the dispatcher can kill them and they will reappear in one piece. You can still kill someone if you are patient – it is a little gruesome but ingenious. You will need to read it to see how.
In this novella he must figure out why his friend and dispatcher has gone missing and why his last client did not come back as planned. It is an interesting premise that brings up a lot of questions – some of which Scalzi tackles. Seems like an easy set up for a B-level Sci fi movie or short run series. Wouldn’t surprise me. It is sort of like Looper in a way but with a different premise.