Review of The Perfect Assassin

51grn5cphil-_sy346_The Amazon blurb:

One perfect shot will change the course of history. Christine Palmer, a young American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, makes an incredible discovery – a man narrowly clinging to his life in the frigid waters. But there is much more to this desperate survivor than meets the eye. David Slaton is a Kidon – a highly-trained, highly-precise, and highly-dangerous assassin. The Kidon is both the hunter and the hunted, and he and Christine are in grave danger. Will they win in this race against time?With the precision of a sharpshooter, author Ward Larsen weaves an intricate tale of espionage and intrigue.

What I thought: 4 Stars 

The book hangs together well and has the feel of one of Tom Clancy’s shorter novels.  That is, a nice mix of political intrigue and daring-do action that quickly start stitching together to reveal plots within plots, and everything coming to a head.

The testy relationship between the woman whose sail boat our assassin anti-hero commandeers, essentially kidnapping her, sets us up for a nice romantic character arc as well, early on, with both parties’ fates precariously interlocked.  Will he kill her when he gets to shore and doesn’t need her sailing skills anymore, or will this be the start of a longer, even more dangerous journey, with an even more uncertain end?

I liked the multi-continent angle to the story, as I’m a fan of travel lit and thrillers that take me all over the world.

Chapters are long, especially for the action-thriller genre the author is writing in.  They are broken up by ellipses, however, or their equivalent, an extra paragraph break between cutaways.  But you’ll need extra size time blocks to get through a chapter.  That said, the chapters themselves still move very fast.

Note: despite the title, The Perfect Assassin, and despite our hero being an assassin, this really reads a lot more like a fast-paced Jack Ryan book penned by Clancy than your typical assassin book.  For some people that will be a great thing, for others, the richer mix of spies, espionage, conspiracy thriller, and action thriller will be less of a win.