James Bond author pens Hitman novel

It feels like we've been waiting forever for the next Hitman game from Square Enix, but now the publisher has revealed their plans to keep us happy in the meantime. A book.

Hitman: Damnation

(It's the only stance he knows)

Hitman: Damnation, written by Raymond Benson, is happily set just after Hitman: Blood Money and just before Hitman: Absolution, due out by the end of the year.

The book - as you might expect - tells the story of Agent 47 as he faces his "toughest assignment yet". A number of high-level American political characters have been taken out, and the blame's being pointed squarely at 47's shiny bald head. Nothing's as it seems, however, as everybody's favourite assassin notices elements of the mission simply don't add up. Readers are promptly catapulted into a web of intrigue, double-crosses and (you guessed it) a rising body-count.

Before you write this one off as "just another video game tie-in" (too late?), take a moment to look at the author bio. Raymond Benson might not be a household name at this stage, but surely you're familiar with James Bond, yes? His adventures between 1997 and 2003 came from Benson's pen, following on from series creator John Gardner.

Benson has also written two of the Splinter Cell novelisations under a pseudonym, the book version of both Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, and the surprisingly-not-terrible novel of THQ's Homefront, written with John Milius. Before getting stuck into video games, he put together a biography on folk-rock group Jethro Tull. He's a man of many talents - including game development from the mid-80s to early 90s.

The second novel in the franchise, Hitman: Damnation is due out in the North American summer (so around the middle of the year), giving you plenty of time to finish reading before Hitman: Absolution hits shelves "later in 2012".

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