Tears of an Assassin

Fiction - Action
328 Pages
Reviewed on 01/03/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Tears of an Assassin is a work of fiction penned by author DJ Power in the action, adventure, and military history subgenres. It can be enjoyed by mature teen and adult readers. The story follows Jim Coleman's unexpected journey from an aimless young man to a Marine Corps standout in 1962. Shooting perfectly at Parris Island, he achieves a historic feat, altering his destiny in the Marines. A chance encounter with Naval Officer Commander Forrest Damon propels him into a new life on Temporary Duty with the CIA. Joining the agency's most elite section, Jim is thrust into a world known only to the most powerful. From Southeast Asia to the Caribbean and the Deep South's underworld, he battles demons, both external and within. Wrestling with conflicting beliefs, each assignment plunges him deeper into a covert existence.

Author DJ Power has lovingly crafted a gripping exploration of a young man's powerful personal transformation amid secrecy, duty, and personal struggle. DJ Power delves into the complexities of espionage, morality, and the toll such a life takes on the human psyche, all with a confident narrative style that shifts scenes with cinematic ease. The central character of Jim is meticulously developed with great attention to detail in his speech and thought presentation to show us every change in his attitude, mentality, and inner pride. I loved the atmospheric lexis as the novel spans different landscapes and challenges, keeping the reader as fresh and excited as Jim is with each new experience. The constant tension between Jim's personal beliefs and the demands of his clandestine roles creates a compelling, thought-provoking through-line that adds great suspense. Overall, I would certainly recommend Tears of an Assassin as an enthralling action read and an emotive coming-of-age tale for military fiction and espionage enthusiasts everywhere.

Frank Mutuma

Jim Coleman is not sure what to do with his life, but one thing is certain: He doesn't like school. After graduating from high school, he has no intention of joining college. He ends up enrolling in the Marines and becomes the best sharpshooter. His first assignment in Vietnam has him conflicted and questioning why it is necessary to kill. After talking to his dad and the chaplain, he gets over it. His second mission is in Cuba, but things become complicated after the assassination of J.F. Kennedy. To send a message to a crime family believed to be responsible, his next mission is to take out Giacomo Spigarelli. To find out how things unfold, including Jim's mission to take out a Russian general stationed in Cuba, get a copy of Tears of an Assassin by DJ Power.

I have read many books on the Vietnam War, but Tears of an Assassin by DJ Power was unique and refreshing. I loved the angle taken by the author, from the training to Jim's assignments. The book is a page-turner, and I loved the action and adventure, which got me hooked from the first page to the last. Power also utilized suspense to great effect, which made me look forward to subsequent chapters. The characters are well-developed, and the vivid descriptions of events and places helped to create a mental picture of what was happening. The narration was excellent, and the seamless flow of the plotline added to the overall appeal of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

Grant Leishman

Tears of an Assassin by DJ Power is a powerful tale of a young man’s journey in the United States Marine Corps in 1962. When Jim Coleman decided on a whim to join the Marines as he pondered what to do with his life, he had no idea of the unusual direction this decision would have on his future. Ironically, he almost washed out during the Marine physical because of problems with his eyesight but Jim was quickly destined to become one of the most accurate sharpshooters the Corps had ever produced. Jim had found a real home in the Marines and enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of belonging to something greater than himself. It was Jim’s uncanny accuracy with a rifle that would bring him to the attention of Commander Forrest Damon who was the military’s liaison with the Central Intelligence Agency. As a soldier, Jim knows he must obey orders without question but the orders and the missions he receives from Commander Damon have him questioning their morality and his ethics. Nevertheless, as a good soldier, Jim knows he must carry out these missions to the best of his ability. From Southeast Asia to the Caribbean, Jim and his comrades must do the dirty work of the CIA.

Tears of an Assassin is a compelling read. Author DJ Power has created a character in Jim Coleman who is the epitome of the “all-American boy” who wants to serve his country and do the very best he can. I particularly appreciated the gentle romance that was threaded into the narrative as it served to soften the often brutal aspects of Jim’s missions. The author pulls no punches in describing the trials and tribulations of missions in foreign countries against enemies that are well-versed in defending their homelands. The journey through Southeast Asia was tough, both physically and mentally, something the author was able to perfectly capture in his narrative. Despite him being a “good soldier,” I enjoyed Jim’s rebellious streak, especially when Commander Damon was less than forthcoming when it came to extraction strategies once the missions were concluded. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this story is the lack of acknowledgment for his missions and his success due to the very secretive nature of the work he was doing for the CIA. This frequently made Jim the target of higher-ups in the Corps who wondered why he was constantly being transferred on temporary duty and why he had reached sergeant status so quickly in his short career. This led to some unfair treatment at times. I was thrilled to realize this was not the end of Jim’s adventures and will await the next iteration of his journey excitedly. I can highly recommend this read.

Foluso Falaye

Jim Coleman is known as a skilled shooter with an impressive track record on the rifle range. After graduating from boot camp with exceptional accuracy, he becomes a Marine Corps sniper with a promising future in a time of war. A strange encounter in a parking lot leads to Jim being involved with the Central Intelligence Agency. From covert missions in the Vietnam War to moral dilemmas involving a planned assassination of the South Vietnamese leader, Jim strives to carry out his duties for his nation while facing spine-chilling dangers. Also, he is forced to make tough decisions involving Mafia bosses and politics in Cuba. DJ Power's Tears of an Assassin takes readers on one man's strategy-rich, thought-provoking journey. Follow a highly skilled soldier as he makes tough decisions and contemplates ethical predicaments in a historical, war-torn era.

Tears of an Assassin smoothly incorporates a historical conspiracy theory surrounding the Mafia's alleged involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It merges fictional elements with true events in such a way that it all seems believable. Jim tells his story in the first person point of view and with a deep, observatory perspective. His personality shines through, and the reader forms a connection with him. Jim has to face some tough decisions, which force him to endure multiple internal battles. He displays a conscientious and thoughtful nature, whether he is contemplating the morality behind the assassination of a killer or how expendable he is in his missions. DJ Power offers an addictive mix of deep characterization, conflicts, and suspenseful action scenes. If the meticulous blend of history and fiction doesn't keep you turning the pages excitedly, the daunting missions and mind-blowing action will.

Carmen Tenorio

Tears of An Assassin by DJ Power is the first installment of a book trilogy centering around Jim Coleman, a Marine who served as a sniper for the CIA during the mid-60s. The novel starts with why and how he joined the Marines as he completes the recruitment process with the belief that he has nothing better to do. To his surprise and especially that of his mentors and instructors, Jim ends up being the most proficient and perfect scoring shooter. This caught the attention of the higher-ups and most notably the CIA. Upon graduating as a fully-fledged Marine, he immediately was detailed with a temporary duty (TDY) completing classified and top-secret work known only to the most powerful and influential men in the government and military. Jim was given the most difficult and high-risk assignments abroad in Southeast Asia and Central America and one locally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But the real issue lies in Jim's ongoing struggle to balance his obligations to his country with what he has been taught his whole life growing up Catholic—that is, "Thou shalt not kill."

Tears of An Assassin by DJ Power is fast-paced military fiction mainly based on the author's pre-Vietnam war experience. He has woven significant historical references from US and world events into a realistic and exciting backstory around Jim Coleman that lends a genuine voice to the character. The author tells the story through Jim's eyes and this enables the reader to easily see his personality, worldview, intelligence, manner of speaking, and other habits. Several parts of the narrative are influenced by the character's struggle with what is right or wrong in his work. The dilemma of work that directly contradicts one's religious values and beliefs can be relatable to many people. As the novel progresses, we see how Jim's work and the people around him groom him into accepting what he does best. DJ Power writes in a no-nonsense style but still manages to inject some humor into the dialogue. It is chock-full of intriguing details that give the inside story on how the military and the government work through classified top-secret assignments. Highly recommended for fans of military and/or historical fiction and adventure who also appreciate the drama and humanity behind a story.