Saturday 23 October 2010

Review: The First Assassin - John J. Miller

Genre: Historical fiction, thriller
Pages: 384
Published: September 2010
Review by Anna the Bookworm

Washington, D.C., 1861: A new president takes office, a nation begins to break apart--and Colonel Charles Rook must risk insubordination to stop a mysterious assassin who prowls a nervous city. He will need the help of an ally he does not even know he has: Portia, a beautiful slave who holds a vital clue, hundreds of miles away. 

The First Assassin is about Abraham Lincoln who has just become president, and the year is 1861. War is about to start between the North and the South, and people from the South are leaving Washington. Bennett, a plantation owner from South Carolina, wants to eliminate the union and kill Lincoln. A slave named Portia is on a quest from her grandfather, to go to Washington and warn Lincoln by giving him a photo of the killer. But it’s a dangerous journey, and the question is if she will make it all the way there. Slave hunters are after her and her friend. And while all this is going on, Colonel Rook tries to protect the president because Rook feels there is a big treat, but Lincoln doesn’t want protection or bodyguards. Rook gets some help from colleagues and tries to uncover this conspiracy.

The book is exciting, and it gives you some very colourful characters. But it has to be said that this is a novel and the author has mixed fact and fiction. The author wants to tell us what could have happened, and therefore it’s important not to see the book as real. Still some of the people in the book are real, and some of the things being said are also real.

I recommended the book to everyone that is interesting in historical novels. You get a good idea what life was like in the middle of the 19th century in the US. On top of that it’s a good thriller. It’s very exciting and even a bit frightening in places.

The author has written non-fiction books but this is his first fiction book. And the First Assassin is a strong debut.

Anna the Bookworm

Another guest review.

Thanks Anna!

I meant to read this one but I struggled with it, and it was too much of a thriller for me, so I called in an expert. Anna the Bookworm, the former Miss X who reviewed a book for me last year. She loves thrillers, mysteries, suspense and books in those kind of genres, so she was perfect for this one. She told me that she would give it a 4, even though it was rather dry in some places. I even told her that I would translate the review from Swedish so she would have it easy ;)

Psst, yes that was me working on Gimp fixing this pic, that is how "good" I am ;)


  1. Great review by Anna. This does sound good, I like historicals and Lincoln is a favorite historical figure of mine.
    Great job translating Blodeuedd :)

  2. Great review by Anna! I love this time period, the war between the North and South. This might be a good read for me.

  3. Anna
    Tack igen :D Du räddade verkligen mig där. Jag bara int kuna läs nå mer.

  4. Naida
    Hihi, thanks. I did it really fast, but it's good enough :)
    Speaking of Lincoln, I do wanna read where he hunts vampires or what he did, lol.

    I have read way to few books set at that time

  5. I'm a huge fan of this time period and this book appeals to me!

  6. Staci
    I say go ahead and read it then :)

  7. I do like to read about history, but don't enjoy dry text, so I might enjoy this one too!

  8. Oh a nice book! Good review, Anna and you had a very professional translator - neat job, Blodeuedd! Lincoln hunted vampires? Well, I am not impressed - nowadays everybody seems to hunt vampires, at least in books! ;P

  9. Bermuda
    Same with me :) Though sometimes I do go for non-fiction

    Lol, yeah I do think it was vampires he was slaying in some books, but who hasn't slayed a vamp or two

  10. I love historical fiction books like this one, and it's been ages since I've read one. I'm putting this on my wishlist!

  11. Nice review! I'll have to see if my dad... mr. history... would want to read it!

  12. I love the sound of this one! I'm on a historical fiction kick right now, so this is right up my alley :) Brilliant review by Anna!

  13. I don't think it would be my thing, either!

  14. Bucky,
    I hope you like it if you read it.

    I do think this could be the book for your dad :)

    I am so glad I managed to get her to read it, and she brings a new perspective.

    It was just so, dunno, too much for me

  15. The cover is awesome. A great review. Interesting though dry.

  16. Great interview by Anna. Thanks for the translation.

  17. You're welcome Mystica

    Can't say the cover did anything for me, sadly

  18. You know, I don't read nearly enough novels set in 19th America and I should. This one sounds quite interesting and I might just pick it up.

  19. Nice to see your friend helped with this book to.

    I'm intrigued so will look it up next.

  20. Lilly
    Same thing with me...dunno if I have even read one

    I am so glad she did :)

  21. I haven't read too much fiction about Lincoln or the Civil War, so I'll keep this in mind. Thanks for the review!



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