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Hollington, Kris - 'How to Kill'
Paperback: 400 pages (Jun. 2007) Publisher: Century ISBN: 1846051045

This fascinating non-fiction book is extremely well researched by this new author and it traces in over 36 detailed chapters the development of the assassin in the last 100 years or so.

It is almost encyclopaedic in its approach but not lacking in humour as is shown in one of the first examples - the attempted assassination of President Truman on the 1st November 1950 at Blair House, (the White House was being renovated at the time). The two would be assassins shot most of the secret service agents, one by one, who were guarding the President and the President, still in his pyjamas, disturbed from his sleep by all the noise and mayhem that he heard came to investigate and then nearly walked into the path of a bullet, which he would have avoided if he had left it to the secret service guards, who then killed all the assassins.

The section which I most enjoyed dealt with the JFK assassination as I remembered seeing most of it on black and white TV just after it happened. The author detailed this most convincingly. He mentioned an attempt that JFK's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald made on another victim, days before JFK. He covers the assassination in extraordinary detail including both the Jack Ruby shooting and also explains all the so-called conspiracy theories surrounding the whole myth of the JFK era.

The author covers a huge variety of cases including George W Bush, Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Richard Nixon and many more.

The author describes the unusual methods, some would be assassins use to achieve their ends including poisonous handkerchiefs, guns that shoot around corners, poisoned umbrellas and umpteen versions of bombs and even ordinary guns.

This most extraordinary book is probably a first in its subject matter and should prove entertaining to all its readers, as by its very nature it is episodic in content and can be dipped into over a long period of time and enjoyed till the very end.

Terry Halligan, England
July 2007

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last updated 22/03/2009 08:42