The Ethical Assassin by David Liss
A Novel

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Edgar award-winning author of the popular historical novels A Conspiracy of Paper and A Spectacle of Corruption, David Liss showcases his amazing versatility with this brilliant new tale of contemporary suspense: a literary thriller set in Florida, where killing is a matter of conscience.

No one is more surprised than Lem Altick when it turns out he’s actually good at peddling encyclopedias door to door. He hates the predatory world of sales, but he needs the money to pay for college. Then things go horribly wrong. In a sweltering trailer in rural Florida, a couple whom Lem has spent hours pitching is shot dead before his eyes, and the unassuming young man is suddenly pulled into the dark world of conspiracy and murder. Not just murder: assassination– or so claims the killer, the mysterious and strangely charismatic Melford Kean, who has struck without remorse and with remarkable good cheer. But the self-styled ethical assassin hadn’t planned on a witness, and so he makes Lem a deal: Stay quiet and there will be no problems. Go to the police and take the fall.

Before Lem can decide, he is drawn against his will into the realm of the assassin, a post-Marxist intellectual with whom he forms an unlikely (and perhaps unwise) friendship. The ethical assassin could be a charming sociopath, eco-activist, or vigilante for social justice. To unravel the mystery and save himself, Lem must descend deep into a bizarre world he never knew existed, where a group of desperate–and genuinely deranged–schemers have hatched a plan that will very likely keep Lem from leaving town alive.

David Liss skillfully interweaves a gallery of eccentric characters with a multilayered plot characterized by its unpredictable twists and turns. The Ethical Assassin is a brilliant, darkly comic novel that will leave readers in suspense until the very last page.

From the Hardcover edition.

About David Liss

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David Liss is the author of The Devil's Company, The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.From the Hardcover edition.
Published February 28, 2006 by Ballantine Books. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ethical Assassin

Book Reporter

Set in the 1980s in South Florida --- inland, not coastal --- Liss presents a tale of triple crosses and unforgettable, realistic characters in a narrative that, despite stumbling in a couple of spots, is riveting and addictive.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Ethical Assassin: A Novel

USA Today

The Ethical Assassin (written by David Liss and read by William Dufris, Brilliance Audio, $38.95, unabridged, 13 hours), is not historical fiction.

| Read Full Review of The Ethical Assassin: A Novel

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