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The Accidental Assassin Book Review

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Title: The Accidental Assassin
Author: Jan Toms
Published: 2011, The History Press
No. of Pages: 222
Cover Price: £8.99 US



In The Accidental Assassin, a spoof of the suspense/thriller novel, Victor Green, a prim 37-year old tax examiner and poet, who is so particular with the details of his life that he irons his underwear, climbs a tree to prune the branches as ordered in a letter to him from the city. As he is pruning branches, a pigeon flies near him and causes him to fall from the tree. He isn’t injured, since he falls on a man walking under the tree, but is mortified because the fall has killed the man, whose name is Tommy Hewson. Constable Alan Grimes informs Victor that Hewson is known in mob circles as Gruesome, and that he is/was a vicious killer. Hewson’s dog, a white French poodle, is taken to the Dog’s Home (pound), but Victor rescues her and names her Fluffy.

Victor is very surprised, of course, when he receives a letter containing a check for £20,000, so he puts it in the bank assuming it is an error. Unbeknownst to him, the newspaper reporting the accident reported his name as Vincent Green, which is an alias of the powerful and much sought after assassin who works for the mob, Vincenzo Verdi. Victor receives other checks and messages for meetings.

As the story unfolds, Victor just happens to be in the vicinity of several other mobster and gangland killings and becomes well known by two local gangs who think the other has had their men killed. He meets the constable’s pushy and overbearing daughter, Charity, and she becomes his first girlfriend; he is relieved since several of his acquaintances think he’s gay. Charity suspects Victor is involved in something to do with the gang murders, and does her own investigation. Fluffy turns out to be quite vicious around strangers, biting them on the ankles before they are killed, which leads to much speculation in the police department.

Anyone who likes British humor (which tends to be a bit crude) will enjoy The Accidental Assassin, and will find themselves laughing non-stop. For Americans and others who are not familiar with British vernacular, some of the terms may be a little confusing, such as goal (jail), screw (prison guard), and put-u-up (hide-a-bed). However, this well-written light suspense/thriller/parody will have readers hooked in early on. It is a nice change from suspense thriller novels that are violent and serious, and is definitely worth the quick read.

Although Jan Toms has written several other books, they are of the non-fiction variety. It is unfortunate that there are as yet no sequels to The Accidental Assassin. Victor and the other characters in this book are hilarious and fascinating, and it would be nice to have more of their antics to look forward to.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Accidental Assassin: An Island, A Poodle, A Body...

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Content copyright © 2013 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
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