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Skills of the Assassin: Understanding the Tactics of the Professional Killer Paperback – December 9, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R.J. Godlewski (GOD LESS KEY) is an independent counterterrorism consultant, the director of the private International Nuclear Emergency Response Team [INERT], and the author of several novels, commentaries, and professional articles. He is the author and architect of the Web-based Independent Counterterrorist training program. He is currently a graduate student at American Military University completing his M.A. in Military Studies, Asymmetrical Warfare concentration, and graduate certificate in Security Management. Mr. Godlewski holds a B.A. in Intelligence Studies, Terrorism Studies concentration with a minor degree in Area Studies – Middle East with honors from American Military University. He further holds an undergraduate certificate in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and is a veteran of both the United States Navy and Navy Reserve. His most recent article is “Financial Counterintelligence: Fractioning the Lifeblood of Asymmetrical Warfare” American Intelligence Journal 29 no. 2 (2011): 24-33.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480240001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480240001
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

R.J. Godlewski (GOD LESS KEY) is the manager of Tactical Extractions, LLC, a threat resolution services company, and presently serves as the president of Roadsailor Security Corporation. He is a graduate of American Military University, holding an M.A. in Military Studies, Asymmetrical Warfare concentration and a B.A. in Intelligence Studies, Terrorism Studies concentration (with minor degree in Area Studies -- Middle East), both earned with academic honors. He further holds graduate and undergraduate certificates in Security Management and Explosive Ordnance Disposal, respectively. Mr. Godlewski is a veteran of both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserve. He remains devoted to protecting the dignity and integrity of innocent human life, wherever and whenever it may be placed in jeopardy and by whatever means may be necessary.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this one. I think it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It seemed to me less a professional or academically-sound read than more akin to something that used to be a popular genre of literature with readers of Soldier of Fortune magazine back in the 70s and 80s. It doesn't seem particularly well researched, serious, nor does it actually address what defines an assassin. One reviewer referenced the "Hitman" book that cause a bit of a controversy several decades ago. The term "assassin" is a sexy one, to be sure, but this book is not really a soundly reasoned discussion on that - it is more of a general approach to the old "hitman" idea, updated for this more modern era. I didn't feel it added really much to anything, other than something a survivalist might have on his bookshelf alongside "Five Finger Death Strikes" and other such tomes. There is a growing body of academic and professional literature on two concepts that this book could have focused on, but failed to do so. The first are the hired hitmen used by Russian mafias, Mexican cartels, etc (these are not assassins, just hired thugs). The second are true "assassins" - the people who are either hired or otherwise motivated to conduct the killings of political figures - this second category being the only valid academic/professional application of this term. This book, unfortunately, does not really expand the knowledge base of either concept, but rather focuses on the general 70s-80s "hitman" idea, and cannot really be taken too seriously. I suppose of you are just looking for a fun kind of read to kill some time (pardon the pun) and if you think this activity is "fun" reading, then I guess it might be worth looking into.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Collins on December 28, 2013
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I gave this book two stars, because I turned the final page with only slightly more knowledge about the subject of professional killers or assassins than what I started with. The information Mr. Godlewski provides readers could be deduced by most discerning, analytical minds. In the end, it's likely not worth the money to purchase and ship this book to your door.

Mr. Godlewski states up front that this is not a "How to" book on becoming an assassin but is best read by military and law enforcement personnel with a mind to understand their quarry, professional killers. While this is a noble goal, the author paints only the broadest of strokes over the subject and fails to provide the necessary tools, knowledge, or even investigative tips or ideas in pursuing such a person, nor does he provide any case-studies that may shed light on pursuit. His conclusion fails to tie together or even expand upon earlier information. Instead he tends to move off on tangents about society at large from abortions to video games and television.

So what might one learn from reading Skills of the Assassin? In simplistic terms, assassins need to disguise themselves amongst the population at large; must have a cover that affords travel; must be even better at laundering money; must be meticulous planners; must be extremely security-aware; and a few interesting excerpts from the Al-Qaeda manual. Nothing Earth-shattering.

The author could have expounded upon some of his graphics on human development or money laundering that would have made for interesting insights into the mind of an assassin. Analogous Counter Terrorism investigations that follow money trails could have been used to point investigators or other professionals to this rich investigative area.
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This book is an easy read - easy to follow codified version of many training progams and life experiences with insightful details related to the mind set of an assassin. This should be a "Must-read" for anyone beginning intelligence training, education or work in the Military or U.S. Intelligence Community.

There are many useful references in this book and there's something in here for everyone, (Novice or pro). I strongly recommend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ignatius Malibu on June 17, 2014
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The book is written to show the premis that you have to think like your enemy if you want to beat him. Its not a bad read but the subject matter has been covered in other texts and while entertaining and sometimes informative, its not the last word on the topic. I'm kind of surprised to see it after the uproar from the book "Hitman" some years ago. If you have a few bucks and want to add it to your library its not too bad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TOM K. on July 25, 2014
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I'm not sure how to take the subject matter, but it does have some interesting parts. it's a quick read,and paced well.
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