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The Shot [Paperback]

Philip Kerr
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 July 2000
As President Jack Kennedy takes power, the mob decide to succeed where the CIA has failed and take out Fidel Castro. They despatch a hit man, but it soon turns out that he has his own agenda and target - the President. But is the hitman operating alone, or does someone else want Kennedy dead?

Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Orion, London (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752834487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752834481
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh in 1956 and read Law at university. Having learned nothing as an undergraduate lawyer he stayed on as postgraduate and read Law and Philosophy, most of this German, which was when and where he first became interested in German twentieth century history and, in particular, the Nazis. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he'd had for a novel about a Berlin-based policeman, in 1936. And following several trips to Germany - and a great deal of walking around the mean streets of Berlin - his first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and introduced the world to Bernie Gunther.
"I loved Berlin before the wall came down; I'm pretty fond of the place now, but back then it was perhaps the most atmospheric city on earth. Having a dark, not to say black sense of humour myself, it's always been somewhere I feel very comfortable."
Having left advertising behind, Kerr worked for the London Evening Standard and produced two more novels featuring Bernie Gunther: The Pale Criminal (1990) and A German Requiem (1991). These were published as an omnibus edition, Berlin Noir in 1992.
Thinking he might like to write something else, he did and published a host of other novels before returning to Bernie Gunther after a gap of sixteen years, with The One from the Other (2007).
Says Kerr, "I never intended to leave such a large gap between Book 3 and Book 4; a lot of other stuff just got in the way; and I feel kind of lucky that people are still as interested in this guy as I am. If anything I'm more interested in him now than I was back in the day."
Two more novels followed, A Quiet Flame (2008) and If the Dead Rise Not (2009).
Field Gray (2010) is perhaps his most ambitious novel yet that features Bernie Gunther. Crossing a span of more than twenty years, it takes Bernie from Cuba, to New York, to Landsberg Prison in Germany where he vividly describes a story that covers his time in Paris, Toulouse, Minsk, Konigsberg, and his life as a German POW in Soviet Russia.
Kerr is already working on an eighth title in the series.
"I don't know how long I can keep doing them; I'll probably write one too many; but I don't feel that's happened yet."
As P.B.Kerr Kerr is also the author of the popular 'Children of the Lamp' series.

Product Description


"The Midwest Book ReviewAn exciting historical fiction that blends real events and Sixties rumors into a taut political thriller....A new intriguing conspiracy theory. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

"The pick of the pre-Christmas hardback thriller offerings. Not since Oliver Stone's JFK has there been such a cleverly contrived reworking of the Kennedy assassination myth." THE TIMES

"a brilliant, complex.... taut... read it is to be back in Havana and the US in 1960." THE OBSERVER

" shocking as it is brilliant...Kerr's portrait of a morally corrupt society is so convincing that it leaves the reader wondering again about the actual assassination of good as anything Kerr has written." THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

" a shocking story of moral degeneration and sexual depravity" SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

"Fiction which reads like faction, with a plot which delivers brilliantly engineered surprises without pause or warning. Enough excitement to leave you feeling limp. A really terrific read" LITERARY REVIEW.

"Clever and accomplished...often very funny indeed." SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

"Mind boggling...Keeps you guessing until the end" SUNDAY EXPRESS

"Britain's new state-of-the-art thriller writer, and you can see why from The Shot. It grips right from the opening line....Kerr keeps the plot twisting admirably through an intelligent if callous thriller...full of snappy dialogue and sharp detailing....Kerr's new novel certainly hits the spot." THE SUNDAY TIMES --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Helmut Gregor feared the sound of his real name as another man might fear the name of his worst enemy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dashed Off Fluff 6 Dec 2001
By A Customer
KERR'S WWII-ERA Berlin Noir Trilogy is some of my favorite historical fiction, so I figured I'd give one of his more recent thrillers a chance. This one is set in 1960, mainly in Havana, Miami, New York, with side trips to Vegas and Chicago and takes place over the course of the Nixon/Kennedy election and the buildup to JFK's inauguration. Kerr weaves a fairly elaborate plot around the JFK assassination conspiracy mythos, involving a top assassin, the mob, Cuban intelligence, crooked CIA and FBI agents running amok, inept Secret Service, and a bevy of sexpots-all building up to an attempt to kill Kennedy prior to the inauguration. There are two major, major reversals (ie. unexpected plot twists), and many reviewers are inexplicably revealing the first of these in their summaries. I will not, but suffice to say, it's these two reversals that keep the pages turning. Of course, we all know what happened in Dallas, several years later, and Kerr manages to produce an ending to explain that as well.
Some reviewers have complained that since we know the assassination doesn't take place, there's no suspense. Personally, I found that creating and building the suspense in the face of such knowledge is Kerr's most impressive achievement in this case. Much like Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal, the reader is drawn into the world and methodology of the killer and those tracking him. Unfortunately, plot seems to be occurring at the expense of character. There's no one to really root for or care about, which is fine in some types of fiction, but doesn't usually work so well in thrillers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very poor book 1 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perhaps the worst Philip Kerr work so far. Tired, obvious and meretricious this is way below the standard of the Bernie Gunther/'Berlin Noir' sequence, and has none of the cerebrality of 'A Philosophical Investigation'. The ending is predictable, the characters two-dimensional and the peppering of 'insider' JFK Assassination jokes lame.
Even as a throwaway airport paperback this would be second-rate: for someone like Kerr, who at his best writes stylish and exciting prose, it's a sad waste of time and effort. There's a definite sense of a multi-book publisher's contract being completed on automatic pilot, by an author with all the obvious conspiracy theory books on one side of his keyboard, and Berlitz guides to NYC and Boston on the other. Buy Don DeLillo's 'Libra' or James Ellroy's 'American Tabloid' instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb holiday reading 2 Aug 2008
I got this book in audio version and loaded it onto my ipod for holiday listening. I had never heard of this author before and was more than slightly dubious about the book - WHAT A BIG MISTAKE ON MY PART - this is one of those books that comes along rarely that you can really get into and don't want to finish. The narration was superb and I was able to relax and get into the book very easily. There are several twists and turns but I am giving away no details except to say that the author certainly makes you feel that you are back in that era and location - never the less this book is an absolute must for all who enjoy a really good murder/thriller. Please either listen or read this.
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By A Customer
I blasted through it in a few days. Good & complicated plot which goes lots of different ways(you know what the ending is but are curious to find out how & why). Am a sucker for the mixing of real figures with fiction. Many great "sequences", eg the "hit" during the Psycho screening. I also enjoyed the many intellectual & well-researched conceits (that I'm sure the author will deny).
If you like Ellroy and 60s-style, mafio-cubo-kennediana + a good crime-fiction thriller- this'll work for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller 8 Oct 2007
I bought the book on a hunch and I was blown away. Great character depiction and a perfect story. Almost alternative history stuff. One of the best books I ever read. I wonder why Hollywood has not made a film of it? They have made dozens of junk films. Why not this? It would make the perfect movie. I strongly recommend the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, yet ending disappoints 22 Jun 2014
By Cathy
It’s fertile terrain: Anti-commie phobia, the Mafia and US political scheming when Castro seizes power in Cuba. Brilliantly exploiting these ingredients is the author who writes Nazi thrillers about Bernie Gunther (this isn’t one).
The revelations are intriguing in a work classed as fiction, and where private agendas fuel a plot inspired by history. Kerr’s dialogue and his character sketches expose not only mobsters of note but the dark side of the FBI, CIA and the Secret Service. The professional hitman, in contrast, has higher morals than them all. And this includes the Kennedy clan!
The end twist disappointed me (I won’t reveal it). After lovely double-cross and deadly deceit throughout, I found the reader was also taken for a ride. An enjoyable ride no less, but by tradition a literary no-no.
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By AlexS
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'd lost my old copy, so I bought another. Well worth every penny. More complex and clever than the average thriller
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4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 22 Mar 2013
By 2basil
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great Philip Kerr story-As with most Philip Kerr novels ,one is under the impression that it really happened.Not all his non Bernie Gunther books are up to scratch but this one certainly is!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific thriller with a great sting in the tail.
A marvellous story about an assassination plan on JFK - BEFORE he became president. All sorts of dirty tricks from the usual suspects - CIA, FBI, the Mafia, anti Castro Cubans and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by MewzikFreek
4.0 out of 5 stars Different to Kerr's usual
I have read a few books by Philip Kerr about life in Germany before the second world war. This is quite different. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2010 by Blyth
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best but very readable.
Kerr is one of my favourite writers but I felt the plot was over elaborate at times but still a decent read.
Published on 7 Nov 2009 by Mr. Peter Nelson
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Unputdownable
Although I thought this started off fairly slowly, the plot/action/tension increases dramatically in part two of the story. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2008 by Charlie_Crocker
5.0 out of 5 stars Found this book in Spain - Great!
Having never heard of the author or the book before, I decided to give it a go, not one for read alot of books, but this was brilliant! Read more
Published on 15 July 2003 by TecDiver
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent assasination yarn with a good twist
I haven't read any of the other books by this auhtor but if they're half as good then they are worth a read. Read more
Published on 6 July 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative thriller set in the turbulent 60's of N America
If you are inquisitive as to the nature and political background of the Assasination of John F Kennedy then this is an alternative and surprising viewpoint. Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2001 by Andrew Fyfe
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