The riveting cover is just the beginning of a highly unusual and intriguing story that bills itself as a fusion of fact and fiction. Author David Stanley presents Assassins List as the life story of Dean, his good friend, who spent the last year of his life staying at his holiday villa in Thailand, relaying this tale of espionage.
According to the book, young Dean grew up on a farm in rural England and was fascinated with guns at an early age, receiving his first at age 7. It was innocent at first – target practice with bottles and tin cans.
But Dean went on to become a Royal Marine Commando, Green Beret, and then the Intelligence organization MI6 sought him out and he became a secret hired assassin. Readers are taken along on the first of his two “hits,” in Paris, experiencing the waiting game he goes through as well as the planning that goes into his missions. It’s kind of like an auto accident – you don’t want to watch (read) but it’s hard not to. There are many presumably sensitive code words revealed as well as an overall feel for the inner workings of the spy world – like James Bond, though this was supposedly real. The “hits” gained worldwide attention.
The book has the potential to entertain and will appeal to those who revel in espionage. The downfall, to me, was the author’s lack of attention to grammatical and punctuation issues. I’m a stickler for that – apparently he was not. Perhaps it was meant as a gritty, run-the-words-together story. A good editing would have presented the story with better results, in this reviewer’s opinion, and he deserves better because Stanley has the makings of a fine storyteller. It is worth noting that 10 percent of the income from the sales of his book are being donated to the cause of injured Marines.