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The Assassin is a direct follow up to Stephen Coonts last Grafton & Carmellini adventure, Traitor. It brings to a conclusion the pursuit of master terrorist Abu Quasim that began during Traitor, so if you haven't yet read that novel I would recommend doing so before starting The Assassin. Traitor is somewhat implausible, but still an above avergae thriller.

The Assassin is a great improvement on the book that precedes it. Whereas Traitor relied on an implausible central plot device that never rang true, events in this lastest Coonts thriller feel far more believable.

Once again Grafton and Carmellini make a fine double act, with Carmellini doing the physical action man stuff with aplomb whilst Grafton is the inscrutable brains of the operation. The rest of the cast of characters are reasonably well drawn, although none make it much beyond being one or two dimensional plot devices.

The plot itself is pretty convoluted and takes a long time to reach what end up being two separate finales, if that isn't an oxymoron, one immediately after the other. Its holds your attention whilst it gets there, but you don't want to think too hard about it or you'll be spotting more plot holes than the story could be expected to survive. Some of the story elements also feel a little dated, drawing as they do on real life events from a number of years ago, but not to the extent of ruining the book.

Surprisingly The Assassin is also pretty brutal in places. I never had Coonts down as that sort of writer, but the body count here is pretty high, with the good guys coming off almost as badly as their enemies and often in pretty bloody, painful ways. If you're at all squeamish about such things this side to the book might put you off.

Overall however, The Assassin shows that Stephen Coonts can still produce solid, entertaining thrillers that easily compete with the best in the genre. That's not bad for an author who has been around for so long and to my mind remains underrated. The Assassin isn't going to go down as a classic, but its still a damn sight better than some of the later, lazier and tired efforts put out by other authors who have been labouring in the thriller genre for similar lengths of time.
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on 5 October 2014
The characters are good and Carmellini, the main character in the books is mainly entertaining. The stories are quite different to the earlier books, which were about the pilot Jake Grafton and his battles in the skies. I would think it was by a different author, as the way the stories are told, seem totally different but the Carmellini stories are quite good but not as good as the earlier writings by this author.
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on 31 August 2009
Possibly the worst written book I have ever read. The Tom Clancy quote on the front cover is 'Stephen Coonts just keeps getting better'- which is just as well because he really couldn't get any worse. I am total bewildered that this man is a 'bestselling author'. How did he do it?

Where to start? The plot thinks it is clever by weaving in contemporaneous events. But they are so tritely exploited, a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings would have been more exciting. The characters are cardboard. The principal character tries far far too hard to be a good 'ol boy everyman. The cultural misogyny is breathtaking.

Worst of all is the writing itself. Does the author have an editor or does he just drawl into a dictating machine? Leaving grammar aside, the style is so bad I have struggled through half the book in the sheer marvel that he can get away with it. I think I'll have to stop now.
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on 20 January 2013
Having read all of Stephen Coonts' books I wasn't disappointed with this one. Looking forward to the fourth book in the Carmellini series.
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on 9 March 2014
Bought as part of a series to re read on my Kindle. I had bought the book a few years ago in paperback and wanted to read it again.
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on 6 August 2015
not as well written as some his other books, jumps around between all of the main areas of action and seems to miss out significant words so that you loose the thread of the plot.
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on 16 October 2014
Steven Coonts does it again with another highly enjoyable thriller. If you have read other Jake Grafton or Tommy Carmellini adventures then you will also enjoy this one.
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on 11 October 2013
One of the most gripping stories I have ever read, really up to date considering our present times, a well recommended read.Stephen Coonts is a master storyteller.
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on 25 September 2009
A dam good book, very hard to put down. This is book number 3 in the The Tommy Carmellini Series but can be read alone. Well worth reading.
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on 9 June 2014
As always a great read with more twists and turns than a mountain road. What more can be said good reading a classic tale of daring do.
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