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The Assassin: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031299446X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312994464
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Coonts's exciting third thriller to star reformed burglar turned CIA operative Tommy Carmellini (after The Traitor) raises a timely issue—the lack of well-to-do Americans on combat duty in the war against terrorism. When an Iraqi bomb kills Huntington Winchester's only child, a Harvard med student who joined the navy out of patriotism, the grieving father decides he and his privileged friends aren't doing enough to defend civilization against the jihadist threat. Winchester gets tacit approval from one of those friends, the unnamed U.S. president, for him and some other well-to-do types to finance their own private war. When al-Qaeda mastermind Abu Qasim discovers the identities of those in Winchester's group and targets them, Carmellini and his CIA boss, Adm. Jake Grafton, determine to set a trap that involves Qasim's possible daughter. Though the constant switching between various points-of-view distracts at times, the action moves swiftly to its Hollywood ending. Author tour. (Aug.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

CIA agents Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton return in this follow-up to The Traitor (2006). A ruthless terrorist, Abu Qasim, escaped their clutches in the earlier adventure, and now they are desperate to capture him. When a Russian dies of radiation poisoning, it’s clear that Qasim may be in possession of a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Carmellini finds himself falling in love with a woman he has been assigned to protect, even though she may be working with the terrorist. Coonts has never been known for graceful prose, and this time that flaw is particularly evident in a series of similarly worded death scenes. In addition, the narrative never really catches fire, plodding along to its obvious conclusion. Still, Coonts’ fans are legion, and they are sure to be forgiving. --Jeff Ayers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Stephen Coonts is the author of 14 New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was the classic flying tale, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER.
Born in 1946, Stephen Paul Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a coal-mining town of 6,000 population on the western slope of the Appalachian mountains. He majored in political science at West Virginia University, graduating in 1968 with an A.B. degree. Upon graduation he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and began flight training in Pensacola, Florida.
He received his Navy wings in August, 1969. After completion of fleet replacement training in the A-6 Intruder aircraft, Mr. Coonts reported to Attack Squadron 196 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. He made two combat cruises aboard USS Enterprise during the final years of the Vietnam War as a member of this squadron. After the war he served as a flight instructor on A-6 aircraft for two years, then did a tour as an assistant catapult and arresting gear officer aboard USS Nimitz. He left active duty in 1977 and moved to Colorado. After short stints as a taxi driver and police officer, he entered the University of Colorado School of Law in the fall of 1977.
Mr. Coonts received his law degree in December, 1979, and moved to West Virginia to practice. He returned to Colorado in 1981 as a staff attorney specializing in oil and gas law for a large independent oil company.
His first novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER, published in September 1986 by the Naval Institute Press, spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists in hardcover. A motion picture based on this novel, with the same title, was released nationwide in January 1991.
The success of his first novel allowed Mr. Coonts to devote himself full time to writing; he has been at it ever since. He and his wife, Deborah, enjoy flying and try to do as much of it as possible.
Mr. Coonts' books have been widely translated and republished in the British Commonwealth, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, China, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Latvia, and Israel.
Mr. Coonts was a trustee of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1990-1998. He was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 1992. The U.S. Naval Institute honored him with its Author of the Year Award for the year 1986 for his novel, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER. Mr. Coonts and his wife, Deborah, reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

The reader is in the dark for far too much of the narrative.
R. Horton
Love Stephen Coonts books and love his stories dealing with Admiral Grafton and Tommy Carmellini.
J. Cook
One of those reads that keeps you guessing from beginning to end.
Gary W. Mac Kendrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on January 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Coonts is a pilot and a novelist. This book had me stumped for a while as the narrative just kept plodding along. I have read a lot of accounts lately of the Eighth Air Force in England during WW2 and this book reminded me of the long take off roll of a fully loaded B-17 on the way to Germany. Gathering speed slowly, all engines straining, the bomber leaves the air strip with little to spare and slowly forms up with its mates and heads to the target.

For what seemed like the longest time, I wondered if this book was ever going anywhere. The plot line has been explained by others and maybe it is necessary to take so much time to wind this story up, however once we get to the point where the bodies on both sides start droppping like flies, things get very interesting.

This author has given us a lot of very readable novels in the past and while this one isn't his best, there is still some bite in his writing and I am glad I stuck it out. That may not be the highest praise, but it is honest.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've read nearly all of Coonts' novels and would call myself a tepid fan of his work. Coonts can range from absolutely terrific to pretty bad. "The Assassin", however, is the first Coonts novel I've ever set aside without finishing. In fact, I gave it up at page 75.

Why?

Because there is not a smidgen of credibility in the book. Coonts draws on recent headlines for his plot line and that becomes a part of the problem. Coonts uses the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko with Polonium-20 as the weapon. Not a good thing to do since anyone who followed the news of that truly unique act knows that Coonts is simply borrowing it for the story. There is no credibility to Coonts' back story. To be believable, Coonts should have invented his own narrative from the same base.

The main characters, Jake Grfton and Tommy Carmellini, are back again - and frankly they have beome threadbare. Grafton, the retired Admiral and intelligence czar, was at one time a formidable character. Now, frankly, his dialog bounces mercurially from all-knowing to stuck on stupid. Carmellini, who speaks to us in the first-person while everyone else uses third-person, needs help with his sex addiction. The plot device of a privately financed, government executed campaign against Muslim terrorists is unbelievable from the very first words describing it.

The Abu Qasim character, supposedly the world's most feared terrorist, whom no one can identify by sight is - here's that word agsain - unbelievable. His alleged daughter, who is now a French socialite (and, of course, rich and stunningly beautiful) is also unbelievble.

All of this mind numbing, silly nonsense comes in the first 62 pages.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suc Hamate on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This novel has a very clear theme: fighting the never-ending anti-terrorist war.
What's different from the reality is that the momentum behind the war is not the will and strength of the American government and its allies, but several billionaires and dignitaries.
Coonts weaved certains plots of contemporary news into his novel, e.g. the poisoning of a Russian dissenter. The novel is entertaining to some extent but not beyond expectation at all. In fact, you'll soon find that the twists and turns of the protaganists' fates are within your easy imagination, thus reducing the fun of reading.
Have you every watched the movie, True Lies? This novel is just something like that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Ski on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Assassin is the first book i have read in years... I am hooked on Coont's writing now. The book did leave you jumping around a bit, but it was very good. Since then I have read The Traitor and Liar and Thieves. They both kept me busy every night. The wife was getting alittle upset... I just ordered Cuba, America and Liberty. Now i am waiting to read the rest of his creations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Tidlund on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
After a good start it turned out to be a bore. This author fell asleep. I know I did after about page 50. A very weak attempt after a pretty good beginning. Buyer be ware. A waste of money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. pascale on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Assassin unfortunately proves a disappointing follow-up to the events of the previous Carmellini novel, The Traitor. While that was a suspenseful novel of espionage whose only major shortcoming was the soap oprah-ish twist involving the title character(not who you think, though he was the main bad guy), this is more of a chase-type novel which initially involves protecting people wanting to kill the main villain. That wouldn't be such a thing if Coonts still had the ability in him to maintain a tense air throughout. Unfortunately, despite that several people are murdered, it's far too easy in advance to know what's coming. There's one moment where you'll be astounded by a particular character pair's stupidity(they both end up dead)

Not to mention that Coonts completely ruins the villain. His past few novels have had an anti-Islamist direction, so I'm not surprised. However, the former idealist from the last novel has transformed into a stereotypical rhetorical-spouting terrorist who's better off on a Internet videotape than the pages of a novel. The harsh and unloving way he treats his daughter is probably the most indicative of this, because he seems to think that she's "unworthy" of her affection or something. Speaking of her, the subplot involving her *possible spoiler* husband's murder is so ridiculously generic, it should never have been included.

About the only thing good I can say about this novel would have to be the character of Tommy Carmellini, who's still as charismatic and witty a Sangamon Taylor-esque protagonist than ever. He's a far easier guy to root for than the "planner" Grafton. Unfortunately, his insights and point of view aren't enough to save this book.

If you're looking for a good beachside read, you can probably find better alternatives. Unless you absolutely love Tommy Carmellini however, you're better off not bothering.
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