The Ethical Assassin

The Ethical Assassin

A Novel

Book - 2006
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Edgar award-winning author of the popular historical novels A Conspiracy of Paper and A Spectacle of Corruption, David Liss showcases his amazing versatility with this brilliant new tale of contemporary suspense: a literary thriller set in Florida, where killing is a matter of conscience. No one is more surprised than Lem Altick when it turns out he's actually good at peddling encyclopedias door to door. He hates the predatory world of sales, but he needs the money to pay for college. Then things go horribly wrong. In a sweltering trailer in rural Florida, a couple whom Lem has spent hours pitching is shot dead before his eyes, and the unassuming young man is suddenly pulled into the dark world of conspiracy and murder. Not just murder: assassination-- or so claims the killer, the mysterious and strangely charismatic Melford Kean, who has struck without remorse and with remarkable good cheer. But the self-styled ethical assassin hadn't planned on a witness, and so he makes Lem a deal: Stay quiet and there will be no problems. Go to the police and take the fall. Before Lem can decide, he is drawn against his will into the realm of the assassin, a post-Marxist intellectual with whom he forms an unlikely (and perhaps unwise) friendship. The ethical assassin could be a charming sociopath, eco-activist, or vigilante for social justice. To unravel the mystery and save himself, Lem must descend deep into a bizarre world he never knew existed, where a group of desperate--and genuinely deranged--schemers have hatched a plan that will very likely keep Lem from leaving town alive. David Liss skillfully interweaves a gallery of eccentric characters with a multilayered plot characterized by its unpredictable twists and turns. The Ethical Assassin is a brilliant, darkly comic novel that will leave readers in suspense until the very last page.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400064212
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 327 p. ; 25 cm.


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Oct 10, 2015

I picked the book for its cover, and for the title. How wrong I was. This book is a melting pot of ideas that goes flat pretty quickly. Maybe this is a good read for upcoming teenagers, but for 'normal' adults the situations that are described are not very credible. All in all a pretty dull book. And it does feel like being sucked up by an insufferable waste lagoon.

Jul 23, 2015

This book was an interesting read! I only felt as though the author didnt place you in the main character but more in how the main character wanted to be seen. But it was a very interesting book.

ChristchurchLib Sep 09, 2013

"Working as a door-to-door salesman in a South Florida trailer park, teenager Lem Altick becomes an eyewitness to the murders of two of his would-be customers by a vegan/animal rights activist/assassin. Lem agrees to an uneasy alliance with the ethical assassin (who's quite charming when he's not killing people) but trouble isn't far away. It's ecologically centred wackiness in Florida, so Carl Hiaasen fans will surely want to check this one out. (Author David Liss is better known for his historical mysteries. This is not one of them.)" September 2013 Thrillers and Suspense newsletter


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