Saturday, July 10, 2021

43. The Black Assassin by James-Howard Readus

I think I bought this at S.W. Welch because it was $5 and has there pencilled-in price in the upper right hand corner.  As a paperback artifact, it is a beautiful find, an original Holloway House with a cool cover.  I'm a big fan of the assassin/sniper rifle scope view for a cover.  I am also very into black power conspiracies to take over America.

Unfortunately, this book was kind of a mess. It never really got to the government takeover that the back blurb promised.  It spent way too much time on the excessive side characters, most of whom got their own paragraph and then were promptly forgotten.  It felt like Readus was trying to copy the style of thrillers of the time, but left out most of the meat of what would have made this story great.  A group of Black American elites conspire to train an elite assassin and send him on kill missions that will propel a Black senator to become the president.  Again, a great plot.  The assassin himself, Adrian Baker, ex-military is sent to Algiers where he is broken down and then built up again by Chang, Soviet-trained Chinese scientist.  He is then sent to DC and NYC in the guise of the Tanzanian ambassador.  There he hooks up with a supermodel and carries out two hits.  The story ends up focusing on Adrian and the girl who I guess sneak off and live happily ever after while the conspirators try again with a new assassin.  

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