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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assasins

I love "murder and mayhem," as my mother calls it. [For the record, I now call it that, too.] So obviously I picked up a copy of former CIA spy Robert B. Baer's The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assasins. Obviously.

How does one become the perfect assassin? They follow the 21 laws that have been intricately honed by those you will never see. But what is an assassin, and what makes a man (or woman) one? This is about a game that is played between those who both believe they are right--but only one can come out alive.

Here's the deal--I totally thought this was fiction until about halfway through when I was like, "Hey, Nicole, you know these actual dates and facts are super on point." So I did some poking around and it turns out that Hajj Radwan, the main target in this book, is a real person whom Baer hunted. Mind. Officially. Blown. That being said, I think it speaks to the intrigue of the writing that it came across very much in the vein of a Josh Bazzell or a Matthew Quirk, a piece of fiction with a clear voice that is at times humorous and at others dead serious about staying alive.

This was also an incredibly fascinating take on our recent international history from the point of a government worker who lived and ran his life under the radar. There is so much that we simply can't know from the point of laymen in the United States, and so down the line reading this account made my jaw drop at times.

Since I don't plan on becoming an assassin anytime soon (psychologist works just fine for me, thankyouverymuch), I probably won't follow these laws to the letter. However, there is something to be said for living by these. "Make it count" (Law 2), because you might not get another shot. "Always have a backup for everything" (Law 4), because when something goes wrong you need to be sure you achieve what you set out to do. "Don't shoot everyone in the room" (Law 9), because not everyone deserves it and also, you are an assassin, not a murder. "He who laughs last shoots first," (Law 17), because if you hesitate you might not get it at all. All good lessons for life.

Hard copy for purchase below.

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