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Not since "The Day of the Jackal" has there been an assassination thriller so charged with relentless suspense!

Sonny, a recent graduate of medical school, is polished and refined. He is also a cold-blooded killer. When he is hired to murder a closely guarded world leader, Sonny creates an ingenious and seemingly foolproof plan.

But he doesn't count on a young clerk at the ...

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Overview

Not since "The Day of the Jackal" has there been an assassination thriller so charged with relentless suspense!

Sonny, a recent graduate of medical school, is polished and refined. He is also a cold-blooded killer. When he is hired to murder a closely guarded world leader, Sonny creates an ingenious and seemingly foolproof plan.

But he doesn't count on a young clerk at the British Embassy in New York investigating the random murders of British citizens in the city: random except for the green scimitars tattooed on their chests. Also in pursuit on Sonny is an American woman who fell into Sonny's sexual snare and was betrayed by him.

Heading straight for the top of the bestseller lists with heart-pounding action, John Abbott's dazzling debut novel delivers shocks, surprises and a journey into the mind of a ruthless assassin.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A razor-sharp beginning soon loses its edge in a thriller that will remind many (too many) readers of Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal. That crackling yarn concerned a plot to assassinate De Gaulle; Abbott's killer is after George Bush. And while Forsyth's lightning-fast plot rapidly convinced readers to suspend disbelief, first novelist Abbott digresses with plodding secondary characters, often fatuous dialogue and--regarding a deadly chemical concoction--overly complex jargon. When tattoos of green scimitars show up on murder victims in New York City, the trail leads to Sonny Hemkar, a Middle Eastern assassin cum Don Juan, who is bent on nationalistic revenge. Genuine suspense, unfortunately, is in short supply here; generic verbiage abounds (the killer fired ``into what was left of her head''); and attempts at wry humor generally fall flat. Abbott's laudable endeavors to humanize his characters merely trivialize them instead (the heroine is particularly slow-witted) and slow down the action. While fans of this genre may discover a modicum of excitement here, they will hope for more exciting future fare from Abbott. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Clever, cartoonish thriller about a deep-cover assassin on the trail of George Bush. Abbott, a pseudonymous first-time novelist, weaves a witty, zigzagging plot that's bolstered with liberal graphics—photos, maps, handwritten notes, etc. The stylish action begins when L.A. medical intern "Sonny" Hemkar is telephoned by a woman who alerts him that his day has finally come—for Sonny is really an incognito hit man for an Arab dictator (guessing which one serves as one of the plot's several puzzles). On the train to N.Y.C., Sonny picks up naive UCLA coed Elita Randall, who notes the tiny green scimitar tattooed on his chest; meanwhile, in New York, the woman who phoned Sonny is shot (by whom?), and the cops, finding her British passport, check her i.d. with Geoffrey Turner, a young British consulate hack. Arriving in New York, Sonny dumps Elita, who, heart-stricken, tries to locate him through the British consulate—and through Geoffrey. At the same time, Sonny learns his targets: George Bush and, if possible, Margaret Thatcher, either at the Plaza Hotel (at a dinner) or the Statue of Liberty (during a speech). In scenes detailed in the assured manner of Frederick Forsyth, Sonny explores both potential killing fields and concocts an exotic poison; he then takes some r&r in the Hamptons, where he unwittingly picks up...Elita's sexy mom. She smells a rat; he dismembers her. Back in the city, Sonny stalks the Plaza dinner but is spotted by Elita, who's been invited by Geoffrey—and so the narrative spirals to a suspenseful climax on Liberty Island, where Sonny, bug-sprayer in hand, takes an end-run at Bush.... Lack of a proper foe to supervillain Sonny (Geoffrey et al.add up to fleabites) comprises the only big flaw in an otherwise swift, crafty, and roundly enjoyable—if far-fetched—entertainment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440215509
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400

Meet the Author

John Abbott

Evan Hunter, the real name of John Abbott, is also the author who as Ed McBain virtually invented the American police procedural with his gritty 87th Precinct series featuring an entire detective squad as its hero, died in 2005 at his home in Weston, Conn. He was 78.

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