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By Ted Bell

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By Ted Bell
Large Print Edition
Thorndike Press, (2005)
ISBN: 0-7862-7165-5
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - April 25, 2005

Assassin is the second Alexander Hawke book by Ted Bell. In this hard hitting thriller, British spy, Hawke, marries the lovely Victoria Sweet. Their marriage is short lived, as Sweet is murdered soon after the wedding concludes. As you would expect, Hawke vows to hunt down her killer, and sets about finding him with a vengeance. A world away in the busy canals of Venice, the American ambassador meets an untimely death. He is but the first of many diplomats to be murdered. As the death toll continues to mount, Hawke and others begin to suspect that these deaths may be somehow connected. With time running out, Hawke and his friend, former cop and Navy Seal Stokely Jones, are asked to assemble their team and track down this ruthless killer.

The assassin in question is, to all appearances, a terrorist known as Dog. To catch the Dog they embark upon a round the world adventure that is marked by chase scenes, gun battles, explosions, and all sorts of other pyrotechnics. From start to finish the action is non-stop, and Hawke barely has time to breathe, let alone grieve for his beloved wife. As the story unfolds, Hawke and his associates learn that the assassinations are just the beginning of a dastardly terrorist plot to unleash a plague of smallpox on an unsuspecting American population. As the clock ticks down to Armageddon, Hawke must use his brains and all his resources to foil the attack.

Assassin is a swashbuckling spy thriller, and Hawke is the kind of hero that you can't help but root for. In addition, Bell's writing is engaging, diverting, complex, and most important, it is a believable story. This, despite the fact that Hawke keeps finding himself in situations that a 'real' person would never survive. When he does manage to extricate himself from the improbable, you don't even notice that he shouldn't have survived, because you expect a man like Hawke to be able to do the impossible.

If you're looking for some light, yet action packed reading, this is the book to choose.

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