Wednesday, April 10, 2013


This thriller has been sitting on my TBR shelf for several years patiently waiting to be read.  If only I had known how good it is, I would have read it when I bought it.  This one is a real winner.

The plot begins with the death of Princess Diana in Paris.  You'll remember, I'm sure, that various conspiracy theories got a lot of attention at the time, and actually some people still believe them.  Tom Cain has built an intricate, frightening tale which takes off from that fatal accident.

The major character is an assassin who goes by the name Samuel Carver.  Old military friends know him as Pablo Jackson and he has various other identities as well.  He is a loner, wouldn't you know, who was given away by his mother when he was born, and who doesn't trust anyone except for a very few close friends.  (Sorry about the snide remark about loners.  It's a pet peeve of mine.)  He seems to be able to survive anything and to be fearless.  He is fit and healthy, but mainly he's smart and able to plan ahead quickly.  He doesn't know who he works for, only that he has the job because of his old commander in the British military.  Someone he knows as Max calls him, gives him the target and then provides him with the supplies he needs.  Afterward he deposits lots of money in Carver's bank account.  His assassinations are always supposed to look like accidents.

The other major character is a young, beautiful Russian woman.  She is supposed to kill Carver but instead stays with him.  Their's is the strangest love story you'll ever read but it makes sense in this story.  It's also quite odd that I liked both of them even though I knew they were killers.

I must warn readers who are squeamish about violence that this is a violent book; of course, since it is about a killer.  I sometimes shy away from violent books, but I was so caught up in this one that I simply expected it and greedily read until the final page.  I've been lucky to read several page-turners lately.  When I finished this one, I looked at my husband (who was smiling at my edge-of-the-seat reading) and said, "Wow!  What a book!"  

I can't tell you any more about the plot without possibly slipping in spoilers.  All I can say is that this is a winner.  It has well-drawn characters, everyone from the truly evil to people capable of evil to achieve a good end.  The settings, whether French, Swiss, or British are beautifully depicted.  The plot is intricate and ever-changing, but yet easy to follow.  And the ending simply took my breath away.  

Highly recommended reading, with warning of violence.
Source:  probably a book sale


  1. I love books that incorporate real events like that so this appeals to me. I am squeamish but can read things I could never watch or listen to.

  2. Sounds interesting - sort of like A Reliable Wife by Goolrick. And personally, on the one hand I usually feel like kicking myself when I've let a book sit that turns out to be great, and on the other, I'm so happy to have found a great book! :--)

  3. Kathy, It's funny, isn't it, that we can read things we couldn't possibly stand to watch. I avoid movies with violence, yet I can read about all sorts of violence.

    Jill, It is a great feeling to find a book you really love.