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review 2020-10-07 00:02
Political assassination thriller detailed and convincing.



When is having multiple personalities, or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), an asset? When one personality is a professional assassin and the others can cover for her. 


When former CIA assassination trainer Troy Greenbrier discovers Shinayne, a disoriented, young woman on the streets of Las Vegas, he selflessly decides to help her out. He gives her lodging; food and the following day buys her some new clothes.  He even takes her to a gun range where he is conducting training for his new government employer. 


Shinayne is a natural marksman as well as having some other personality traits Troy sees as making her a perfect candidate for a specialized career. Sensing her prospects, he makes some enquiries with his former employer, then puts her on military transit destined for a facility where she’ll begin psychological testing and training as a government assassin. 


A few years later Troy is working for the Federal Protective Service guarding Federal employees like judges and Congressmen, but he differs from others in the Service in that he does it proactively and not defensively.  He solves the problem before it shows up.  


So, when Misha Roberts, an American citizen, a known sympathizer to Iran, and a possible operative for other terrorist organizations enters the United States via Canada, Troy gets the call of duty to discover what she’s up to? But right from the start, they are bureaucratic irregularities that make him suspicious. Could someone high up in his own government be actually aiding and abetting this likely terrorist? 


So begins a game of high stakes intrigue with Troy trying to discover who or what Misha Roberts’ target is and prevent her from carrying out her deadly mission. But not only is his investigation being foiled by his own government, he’s up against a highly sophisticated opponent, and though he doesn’t know it, she’s the one he recommended for the job when he first recognized her potential. 


Author Clark Wilkins writes an impeccably researched account of how to plan, prepare, and execute the assassination of a High Value Target in America - all the while eluding the various agencies tasked with preventing it.  And he does by introducing a unique character, a young woman whose psychiatric disorder is an asset, allowing her to convincingly become different people, one of them a sociopathic murderer. 


With High Value Target, Wilkins’ provides the reader with a thrilling story, insight into Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as a disturbing look at politics in America today. 

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review 2019-12-18 23:46
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1 - Yusei Matsui

Assassination Classroom is a fun little manga story that keeps you engaged. I don't believe that you should take this seriously, in light of the fact that that is not what it's here for. I feel that it's only a fun and engaging book to sit back. Pleasant.

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review 2019-11-25 21:11
Book Review: Four Days in November - The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy - Vincent Bugliosi

Book: Four Days in November - The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy


Author: Vincent Bugliosi


Genre: Non-Fiction/U.S History/Assassinations


Summary: Four Days in November is an extraordinarily exciting, precise, and definitive narrative of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald. It is drawn from Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a monumental and historic account of the event and all the conspiracy theories it spawned, by Vincent Bugliosi, legendary prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of Helter Skelter. For general readers, the carefully documented account presented in Four Days is utterly persuasive: Oswald did it and he acted alone. -W.W. Norton, 2007.

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review 2019-08-25 00:40
The Prince by Jillian Dodd
The Prince - Jillian Dodd

The 18-year-old protagonist, X, is one of the top students at Blackwood Academy, a boarding school for young spies. She's given her first mission before she even graduates: keep Lorenzo Giovanni Baptiste Vallenta, the Crown Prince of Montrovia, alive. Her new identity: Huntley, a 20-year-old socialite who has just learned that she has a 21-year-old brother named Ari (also a spy, but with a slightly different mission) and a billionaire father. Their "father" has just died, and it's common knowledge that they both stand to inherit billions as long as they spend the next six months getting to know each other.

Although aspects of her situation don't quite add up, Huntley rapidly gets down to business, befriending those closest to the Prince and enjoying the money, cars, clothes, and house supposedly left to her and Ari by their father. The Prince needs all the help he can get - his security is riddled with holes, mostly due to his own love of women and parties, and there are multiple people in his life who might have reason to kill him.

I found out about this book via one of the panels at Book Bonanza 2019 and ended up buying it and getting it signed at the author's table. "YA spy series" sounded like my kind of thing. Now that I've actually read it, I can say that 1) it isn't YA and 2) it's definitely not my kind of thing. I wish the author had marketed it as what it actually is, New Adult, because then I could have avoided it and saved myself some money, brain space, and time.

The things I liked: it was a quick read, and the mystery of X/Huntley's past and plans for her future were interesting enough that I wouldn't mind reading spoilers for the later books. I just don't plan to continue on with the series myself. Oh, and I like the cover.

I knew this book wasn't going to be for me when Huntley hooked up with Daniel, one of the Prince's acquaintances, by page 40. She'd known him for maybe a few hours by that point. The sex wasn't particularly explicit, but it was definitely vigorous and on-page.

After that, Huntley spent most of the book shopping for expensive clothes and accessories, driving one of her new expensive cars, and lusting after whichever hot guy was in her immediate vicinity. Occasionally, she mistook her lusting for actual emotions, which resulted in one of the weakest love triangles I've ever read. There were a few opportunities for her to save the Prince's life, but that was mostly because the Prince was an idiot who'd structured his life around having easy access to hot women, even if that meant having enormous holes in his personal security. Huntley should barely have been a blip on his radar, someone new for him to have sex with and then forget about. However, she played hard to get, which apparently works like an aphrodisiac in this book.

I wasn't fond of the author's use of first-person present tense POV - I don't know if it was intended to somehow humanize Huntley, but instead she was oddly emotionally distant. It was like she felt whatever emotions were convenient for a particular scene and then forgot about them later. This was most noticeable with the "love triangle." When she was with Daniel, she'd feel her heart soften for him, worry that she was falling for him, and fret over the parts of her training that stated she shouldn't get emotionally involved with others. When she was with the Prince, she felt the exact same things, but for him instead, like Daniel didn't exist.

The overall world-building was ridiculous. I could sort of be on board with a school for teenage spy candidates. I was less pleased when it was revealed that

the school was created solely for Huntley, to the point that it was closed after she left - that felt a little too much like the spy story version of "the chosen one."

(spoiler show)

And I downright rolled my eyes at every mention of what life was supposedly like for citizens of Montrovia. In Montrovia, all hotels were 5-star and poverty didn't exist.

It'd be nice to find out what Black X's plans are for Huntley, and I'm morbidly curious about Dodd's plans for the romance aspects of this series (my theory: the Prince and Daniel are out, or will be, and there will be an overarching love triangle involving Huntley, Ari, and William, the 30+ year old hottie British spy that Huntley has had a crush on for years). However, I'm not interested enough to subject myself to more of this.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-05-26 23:16
very good
A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassinati... A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin's War with the West - Luke Harding

If you watched the adoration of Putin last year by a certain orange tinged president, this book will make it even worse.

This does not mean to say that the other world leaders come off much better, but if you needed reason beside election influence and the Crimea to blackball Russia, this book presents it. And I am not even talking about the murder of Litvinenko.

Seriously a good book.

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