3 out of 4 stars
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“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” When a woman knows a thousand ways to take a life, it is only a madman who would dare to “poke her eyeball” by hurting her most treasured one. Unless, of course, that supposed madman is her own boss, a suave, demure, and more dangerous human than herself from whom she is trying to break away. Rebecca Batista aka The Assassin lives under an alias as a model by the name of Rebecca Evans. Marrying Dr. Zack Evans is the best thing that ever happened to her life and the worst move for her career. She breaks the golden rule, “Never let it get personal,” and love enters her heart, bringing blessings and major upheavals. Therefore, although she isn't jilted by her lover, Rebecca's heart may very well have been plucked out. Samantha Harris spins an intriguing tale in The Assassin.
As the one who “never misses a shot,” Rebecca is a prized possession of The Boss, CEO of a worldwide undercover terrorist group dubbed National Termination Organization (NTO). His attempt to retain her permanently on his payroll and personal life is foiled when Rebecca informs him of her desire to disengage her services from the organization, a decision borne out of deep love for her husband. Will The Boss just let her walk away to live a quiet, normal life alongside her Prince Charming when he has the same intention with Rebecca as the object of his interest? How is innocent Dr. Zack’s life factored into this dreadful equation? What about Detective Bryce Montano, former ICU patient of Zack at one time, who had never liked Rebecca for anything? Will he put aside his suspicions of her involvement and find Zack before it’s too late or will he keep going around in circles? Can Rebecca, guided by TAS the supercomputer, navigate murky waters in time to stop The Boss and his sickening, horrific games, as well as destroy the NTO completely? Find out when you read!
Published by iUniverse, The Assassin by Samantha Harris is a fast-paced, swashbuckling, 164-page turner that keeps your eyes glued to its pages. The suspense is palpable, and I found myself rooting for Rebecca throughout the story, despite her career-induced questionable character. The story is riddled with themes of love, loyalty, power and corruption, determination, and vengeance. Intense love for her husband and determination to rescue him drove Rebecca to the ends of the earth, even to the extent of penetrating the police force for additional information. With the law hot on her heels, Rebecca’s challenges doubled up, but her quest for vengeance rose her to the tasks at hand. Bryce’s loyalty was evident as he personally embarked on the hunt to save Zack, sparing nothing and no one. It’s often said that one cannot dine with the devil and walk away in one piece. Since Rebecca was so bent on leaving him, the cunning Boss manufactured a last-ditch mission for her, utilizing his far-reaching power as the medium to ensure that there wouldn’t be someone home to return to.
Writing in the third person POV, Samantha Harris delivers a thrilling plot strongly showcasing the strength (and wrath) of a woman in love. My favorite part of the tome was Rebecca’s ingenious creativity both in infiltrating the law enforcement agency and in covering her tracks when that security breach was discovered. As a matter of fact, I was impressed that the force was able to detect the mole at all, but I still worried about her safety and how she would evade the problem.
However, in my opinion, I found quite a number of scenes to be too “fairytale-ish” at best. This was the least appealing aspect of this book. For example, the manner in which The Boss met his end was downright unrealistic and made me feel like the author wanted to ensure a happy ending at all costs. She had weaved up a suspenseful twist, and just as I was holding my breath, waiting to see how Rebecca wriggles out of the sticky situation, it ended in a disappointing mess. Additionally, following the fiasco at the garage between the local law enforcement agency and NTO’s team, for the trio - Rebecca, Bryce and Martin - to have made it out without so much as a scratch signified a lapse in painting a picture of real-life scenarios.
Furthermore, there were some grammatical errors, misspellings, missing words, and awkward sentence structures that could easily have been picked up by an eagle-eyed editor. Some instances included the spelling of “private” as “privet” (Loc. 2140), the omission of hyphens in the words “Chris Hemsworth cropped hair” (Loc. 122), and the awkward arrangement in the sentence, “She was one of only a few people who actually spoke face-to-face with him, let alone met up with him. (Loc. 205).
As a result, I peg my rating of Samantha Harris’ The Assassin at 3 out of 4 stars. The book is recommended to lovers of thrillers and stories with strong female characters. Readers who don’t fancy events happening all in favour of the protagonist may find it difficult to gel with everything that worked out for Rebecca’s benefit especially towards the climax, and thus, may want to read something else.
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