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The First Assassin by [Miller, John J.]
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The First Assassin Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 210 customer reviews

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Length: 461 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Product Details

  • File Size: 407 KB
  • Print Length: 461 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597116
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 26, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 14, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003HHQ12O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,683 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert C. Rogers on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
And now for something completely different, a review from someone who purchased and read the book before the brown shirted thugs started to take over the Amazon reviews.

The book's strength is its portrait of the Washington, D.C. of 1860. Miller is able to convey a strong sense of place by working details of the city into the plot rather than just giving a narrative travelogue. Technology, architecture, sanitation, and commerce all come up in fairly natural ways. He is a bit less successful with this in his portraits of Charleston and a South Carolina plantation.

The biggest weakness is the dialog. Many characters' words feel "researched" rather than lied. This is always the toughest task in historical fiction - giving us a feel for the strangeness of our language in a different time while making it feel alive. Miller has a way to go to be one of the best at this.

The plot is enjoyable, and the pacing and rhythm are well done. Miller avoids the dreadful "quick cut" technique that seems to sell so many bad books these days. A very enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm sure it won't escape anyone who notices the sudden explosion of one-star "reviews" of "The First Assassin" how many of those so-called "reviews" are ad-hominems against the author, not reviews of the book. Those that do talk about the book rely on the excerpts posted here or on the author's own website, or (as another reviewer points out) on the comments of a particular blogger who evidently has it in for John Miller because of who Mr. Miller writes for. Readers interested in the book itself, instead of the author's politics, will know how to look past all that, and see the merits of which is in fact a pretty darn good first novel.

Most immediately impressive, of course, is the depth of John Miller's historical research. He's able to capture both the era and the people in it quite well. More significantly, however, he's been able to wrap that research around a well-crafted story, a plot that keeps the reader involved, and characters we can care about (contrast this, for people still looking for political bias, with the wooden characterizations in Newt Gingrich's Pearl Harbor novel Days of Infamy, where I would not have recognized his "Winston Churchill" as Winston Churchill if the author hadn't told us that's who he was). Is Miller's prose style to everyone's taste? No, of course not. But then, neither is any other writer's. Parts of "The First Assassin" could use some tightening, as the pros say. Some of the narrative passages, I'd like to have seen as dialogue instead ("Show them, don't tell them"). I'm confident future novels will be more polished -- and there will be future novels, won't there?

Look. This is a first novel.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Miller has managed to create a believable, suspense-filled thriller out of a story whose ultimate ending everone knows, which is no small task. He does so by giving us refreshing characters who don't quite fit the stereotypes assigned them by prejudice or history and doing meticulous historical research to make his setting come alive. The writing is crisp, the dialogue natural, and the plot twists keep you turning the page. He wisely kept Abe Lincoln in the background through most of the novel, and when he does appear, briefly, it's not the Abe Lincoln as statesman or orator we see, but a man with a sense of humor even as he faces the nation's darkest hour. I loved the book and will be putting on my Christmas list to give friends and family.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit this is not my usual cup of tea. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. The way that it was written conveyed a very clear picture of Washington DC as it was ~150 years ago. I have read John J Miller's excerpts and news articles for years and look forward to more of his writings. I suggest this for anyone interested in historical fiction or simply a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Miller's first book is a page turner. He created a great story with believable dialogue and presents the perfect backdrop for historical characters we have always wanted to know more about. This is what historical fiction is supposed to accomplish. Great supplement to our homeschool curriculum.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, and seemingly there's no justification for this in the content of the book itself, a Liberal group centered [...] is dead-set on trying to destroy this book by posting their negative reviews on Amazon. I doubt that any of them have actually read the book. Their reviews are all agenda driven, rather than commenting on the fast-paced, action-filled story. It is a great story, full of intrigue, very believable, along the lines of Stephen King action in a John Grisham plot. It also gives interesting background on what was happening in America and in Washington, DC, during Lincoln's presidency that is very enlightening. I am looking forward to the sequels.
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Format: Paperback
OK, maybe I'm biased because I have known the author for a long time...but this is a great read! The characters are all vivid, heroes and villains appear in the most unlikely places, and plot is full of surprises, big and small. It's a shame that the reviews here are being tainted by the politically-motivated jerks who are giving it one star based on reading the preview pages. I hope Amazon removes those soon so the book can find the audience it deserves.
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