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Den Of The Assassin [Hardcover]

Peter Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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March 30 2005
'Den Of The Assassin' opens in New York City, where an unassuming investment banker, Tyler Boxter, is preoccupied with his all-consuming career that acts as a personal shield against the trappings of life that hide guilt and pain and memories he doesn't want. Memories of a time when there was more than superficial niceties. And work. And work for Tyler Boxter was fruitful, perhaps even his salvation. Unknown to the world, Tyler Boxter and his partner, retired federal judge John Morgan, had in fact embarked upon altering the investment world they dwelled in, a strategy that would, if successful, earn them untold amount of monies. More importantly, if it were possible to receive penance by masterminding a financial strategy that would benefit millions, then that much the better. However, if they failed . . . failure was not even an option. A mysterious theft leads the two partners from the sanctity of their Wall Street office as they are thrust into the dark world of international terrorism -- where zealots stir in the brutal desserts of the Middle East, where dark, sunken eyes look into the abyss of Siberia's desolate terrains, where prisoners -citizens- who live on a remote peninsula in Asia would rather submit to isolationist cleansing than feel the wrath of a deceitful troll intent on destroying the ideals of the West. Unknown to Boxter, a sophisticated game of corporate chess is about to be played against a madman who is more savage and merciless than the winds of an atomic holocaust. From the current resurgence of former-KGB hard-liners in Russia and the corrupt oligarchs who control the black-market of the weapons trade, from the isolationist mountains of North Korea to the sweeping deserts of the Middle East, from the looming specter of biological warfare to the ways in which terrorists hide and wash their money, from the arcane methods by which corporate America funds itself to the inner workings of Wall Street's war rooms, to democratic nations' use of sophisticated computer systems such as PROMIS and PISCES, Peter Thomas' 'Den Of The Assassin' is an informative, compelling, spin-tingling international espionage thriller that will keep readers turning through the pages.

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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is one seriously good thriller. Billed as "a novel of international finance and espionage," Den of the Assassin is a super-realistic exploration of frightening possibilities, unsurpassed heroism, Lucifer-like evil, and terrorism of the worst kind. When you look at the cover, which features a shot of the American Stock Exchange captured in the sights of a rifle, you might think this the novel revolves around some kind of Day of the Jackal-like assassination plot, but the complexity of this novel stretches its tendrils deeply into international finance, the vagaries of the American legal and health care systems, international terrorism, diplomacy, intelligence, WMD, and cold-blooded murder - with a little romance thrown in just to stir up the pot a little more. Peter Thomas does a masterful job traversing the inner hallways of diverse institutions as he slowly brings all of these diverse elements together for a slam-bang climax.

The novel is steeped in the new realities of our post-9/11 world, which gives the whole story a visceral prescience teeming with realism and frightful possibility. The focus also provides a warning of sorts, as the greatest danger to America may lie where it is least suspected. The potential dangers inherent in the secret black-market underworld (and the rogues' hall of evil men it does business with) of a still-troubled Russia become a clear and present danger as Den of the Assassin works its way toward its highly suspenseful conclusion.

Tyler Boxter is a young, well-respected investment banker working in the heart of Wall Street. He and his partner, retired judge John Morgan, are days away from finally realizing a dream borne of years of hard and highly secretive work.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nail-biting drama and intrigue Oct. 26 2004
By Shelley Gammon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This timely novel brings most of today's headlines into an action-packed drama of intertwining plots involving North Korea's Kim Jung-Il, biological warfare, Muslim terrorists, mercenaries, members of Russia's underbelly, Pakistani nuclear scientists and the brokers & money-movers of Wall Street together a web of why's, how's & whodunits.

Some of the enemies of America's economy and way of life don't fit the usual suspects and they easily slip under the radar of both average citizens and our Department Homeland Security. The linchpin to this international plot is Tyler Boxter, a Wall Street broker who is one of the few good guys who sees beyond the almighty dollar, but who also knows how to turn millions into billions. As he and his partner, former Federal Judge John Morgan, form the building blocks of a multi-billion-dollar empire, they believe they have crossed all "t"s and dotted all "i"s by keeping their plans as close to the vest as possible before the official unveiling. Even their trusted friends, members of the firm they built from the ground-up, have not been included in this scheme which is intended to not only make them all filthy rich, but to also make life better for the common man.

Unknown to them, secret eyes are watching them in the wings, waiting to kill them. Are they just hired mercenaries from some company pushing industrial espionage to the next level, or do these cut-throat terrorists have more sinister plans in which Boxter and Morgan are just stepping stones?

The story takes the reader across the world, literally, as each character travels from one square to another on the global chess board, stitching together a plan to take over the economies of the planet itself, destroying America along the way.

Author Peter Thomas weaves together complex, but believable characters - described both physically and emotionally so you really care what is happening to them. Despite the fact that everything from prostitution to beheadings is touched on, Thomas manages to tell his story without foul language, without grotesque details that give you nightmares and without detailed sex scenes that make you want to bathe after reading. How refreshing!

Just when you think you've figured what is going to happen next, the story twists and turns just like real life - and you don't know what's happening until it's over. Antagonists are hate-worthy and protagonists are not perfect, but heroic nonetheless. Thomas is a gifted writer and can write certain scenes in such a way that you feel like you are in the room with these characters.

My less than perfect rating is for a number of reasons, but I think they all stem from one main problem - this book needed a professional editor to chisel off the rough edges. Some of the economic, trade and health care concepts were way too detailed and over-explained, and made the story less than enjoyable. The concepts are explained, re-explained and then explained again in dialogue that sounds like an infomercial. An editor would have been instrumental in snipping these over-the-top explanations, as well as eliminating the typos. Each chapter has a scene change - citing a date and a time. Some of the time differences are really irrelevant or at least were lost on this reader. Most of these time notations would have been better as "later that evening" or "earlier that morning..." in my opinion. And finally, the over-use of $50-words - words that no one with even an above-average IQ would use in a normal conversation. I had to consult a dictionary so many times, I simply stopped looking the words up because it stopped the natural flow of reading. I love an intelligently-written book such as "Den of the Assassin," but it felt as though the words were thrown in because they were the most intelligent-sounding words found in a thesaurus.

Despite these shortcomings, the book is well-worth the read and enduring the technical jargon regarding the financial markets. Once the story gets going, it is a page-turner. Love, hate, anger, joy, jealousy, loyalty, celebration and grief - the novel takes you through about every emotion and experience you can imagine in a brief 400+ pages and does an excellent job at it. The end of the book sets the reader up for expectations of a second novel. Just like life, things are not tied up in a neat little bow all the time. For his first novel, Thomas truly shines, I am already looking forward to reading his next book.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly engaging, unpredictable suspense thriller Oct. 4 2004
By Daniel Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is one seriously good thriller. Billed as "a novel of international finance and espionage," Den of the Assassin is a super-realistic exploration of frightening possibilities, unsurpassed heroism, Lucifer-like evil, and terrorism of the worst kind. When you look at the cover, which features a shot of the American Stock Exchange captured in the sights of a rifle, you might think this the novel revolves around some kind of Day of the Jackal-like assassination plot, but the complexity of this novel stretches its tendrils deeply into international finance, the vagaries of the American legal and health care systems, international terrorism, diplomacy, intelligence, WMD, and cold-blooded murder - with a little romance thrown in just to stir up the pot a little more. Peter Thomas does a masterful job traversing the inner hallways of diverse institutions as he slowly brings all of these diverse elements together for a slam-bang climax.

The novel is steeped in the new realities of our post-9/11 world, which gives the whole story a visceral prescience teeming with realism and frightful possibility. The focus also provides a warning of sorts, as the greatest danger to America may lie where it is least suspected. The potential dangers inherent in the secret black-market underworld (and the rogues' hall of evil men it does business with) of a still-troubled Russia become a clear and present danger as Den of the Assassin works its way toward its highly suspenseful conclusion.

Tyler Boxter is a young, well-respected investment banker working in the heart of Wall Street. He and his partner, retired judge John Morgan, are days away from finally realizing a dream borne of years of hard and highly secretive work. If eight Special Letter Ruling applications (SLRs) they have submitted amongst several federal agencies are approved, the two partners will thoroughly shake up the financial, insurance, and medical world by revolutionizing (and perhaps even fixing) the health care industry - they will also, in the process, earn almost unimaginable profits for themselves and the company. Tyler has basically staked his wealth and reputation on this plan, and it is a truly risky proposition - if a single one of the SLRs is rejected, the whole plan falls apart. The greatest danger, however, is that someone outside of Tyler's tight circle will find out what is going on and begin putting up legal roadblocks to keep it from happening. Many people stand to lose vast sums in the wake of this revolutionary change, and they will do just about anything to stop the deal dead in its tracks. Tyler knew that going in, but he could never have realized the true dangers he would soon be facing.

Tyler's greatest fear is realized when copies of the SLRs are stolen by unknown thieves. Thinking a competitor is out there trying to circumvent the deal, Tyler and Morgan bring in Judge Ronnie Pitt, a brilliant but disparaged 83-year-old lawyer and Morgan's mentor, and rush to move their timetable up so that they can move as soon as the applications come through (they hope). As things develop, it becomes increasingly clear that Tyler and Morgan have a much bigger problem on their hands than they initially thought, though. For reasons they can't comprehend, their ordeal seems to be linked to an international terrorist operation. Fears of financial failure soon turn to fears for their very lives and those of their friends and loved ones. What makes this terrorist threat so insidious and dangerous is the fact that it does not come from the likely suspects (e.g., al-Qaeda). The real enemy here consists of a criminal, Mafia-type organization of old guard Russian hard-liners led by an untraceable mad genius with designs on destroying America and using her pilfered resources to make Russia the dominant player in the world. The Father, as this mysterious entity is called, needs money - and lots of it - and he will stop at absolutely nothing to get what he wants - including the unleashing of an all-too real "mythical" superplague secretly developed in Russia's biological weapons labs.

Thomas displays a wealth of knowledge of geopolitics, espionage, and international finance, describing all the technical intricacies of the story's elements and implications with great attention to detail -without ever letting the pace get bogged down or become confusing to the reader. He also keeps a number of secrets close to the vest, saving them for just the right time in the story. This serves to make the book thoroughly believable and increasingly suspenseful. There's no shortage of action here. What Tyler finds himself involved in is nothing less than a war, and he must fight to save not only himself, his friends, and his company, but his very country from an unimaginable catastrophe. The Father's network of agents and killers is as formidable as they come, and the security-related forces Tyler brings into the game are some of the best money can buy. In the end, though, the drama becomes deeply personal, as The Father and Tyler Boxter rush headlong toward a face-to-face encounter of epic proportions.

Many a writer of thrillers seem to drop the ball somewhere in the middle of their novels, but Thomas' knowledge of geopolitics, international finance, and 21st century terrorist threats keeps the fires of detailed complexity and story evolution stoked and red-hot for the entire ride. Tyler Boxter is no James Bond, but Den of the Assassin proves to be just as exciting as any 007 caper - and much more realistic.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A writer with courage . . . this is an outstanding story! March 7 2005
By Brenda Schiller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
By:Brenda Schiller, a member of C.P.J

What I liked most about this book is how the complicated pace of the story moves so quickly. What Thomas has created is a seriously good thriller in his novel 'The Den of the Assassin'; however, what impressed me most is how the author used his great wealth of knowledge in the areas of finance, terrorism, and health care and created a complex (but easily understandable)storyline filled with many subplots.

Character development appeared to be very well thought out and carefully executed. In particular, the story's protagonist, Boxter, is a deal maker on Wall Street who appears to have everything. To my eyes, I would probably not have been so interested in him, however, the gradual rate of understanding and insight into the character was carefully orchestrated, allowing my feelings for Boxter to grow, which made me more interested in the 'peddle on the metal' thiller.

In the end, Thomas left me craving for more, as there are many unexpected twists and turns, including a epilogue that was simply perfect.

Using fact in fiction is a very tricky proposition for writers. At what point does creative storytelling and fiction overlap, and how does this add or detract from the other's prose? I think the answer is in keeping consistant with factual presentation, and here, I think is where the author shines most.

I would like to add that what Peter Thomas writes about in 'The Den of the Asssassin', is based upon true and current realities. Over the past four years nineteen fellow journalist reporting about the Russian oligarch system have been murdered. And only last week was there finally an arrest for one of these nineteen victems. Putin has moved Russia backward, and clearly away from the democracy that Yelstin hoped for. Additionally, all that is presented in 'Den', the lack of accountability of WMD control, continual biological and chemical weapon build -ups, oligarch manipulation on world markets, etc, are FACT. I was end this review by saying that Thomas did his homework, and showed the courage to write a story that others may not have.

This is an outstanding novel.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! March 3 2005
By Roland Calbott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Review by Roland Calbott

Den of the Assassin is a rip-roaring tale timely in historical accuracy as it is in presenting a matrix of current international issues America now faces. Brilliantly executed due to a phenomenal premise, a detailed but not overwhelming use of actual fact, and memorable characters, Peter Thomas' novel focuses on the foundation of post 9-11 terrorism: money and the quest for it by organizations that bitterly desire it from the West. And there is no place that epitomizes finance than the Mecca of global capitalism itself: Wall Street. Elegantly portraying its brutal honesty, the Mecca of capitalism provides an ideal setting for this fascinating suspense thriller where Thomas brings the reader into the dark and deviant side of Wall Street few individuals have any idea exists. Nevertheless it does, and Den of the Assassin had me racing through the pages while all along pressing me to think more deeply about the world I live in. Are there any shortages to this book? Yes, but overall this was simply a terrific story.

Den of the Assassin is indeed a story of geopolitics, but there is so much more here: as the story unfolded before my racing eyes, the humanization of the differences mankind has with one another is beautifully portrayed, which I might add, pleasantly, but disturbingly forced me to think about the complexity of the world we live in. Love, hate, anger, confusion, innocence, pride, friendship, betrayal, religion, and hope, its all nicely crafted and put together through superb character development and dialogue.

Starting in the bowls of the birth of capitalism and western democracy; Wall Street, the reader literally races across the globe in an exciting, unpredictable, spin-tingling tale of terrorism and world control. From The United States to Canada, England, Russia, Nauru, Iran, Pakistan, Bermuda, and North Korea, Thomas' alluring ability to use these countries and their cities as settings as historical, rich characters adds to the deep plot line as much as it presents the opportunity for the author to share his vast wealth of knowledge of the consistencies, customs, and current views of the people who live their, giving a deeper meaning to this superb thriller. Of equal importance is the fact that I did not feel as if I was being taken all over the place without purpose. In this sense, the geographical movements were tightly held together. Something most writers do not do well.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmerizing Thriller May 15 2005
By Richard D'Angelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Den Of The Assassin is a mesmerizing thriller that I belive all readers will enjoy immensely. Author Peter Thomas does a fantastic job blending in historical facts to guide a story deeply layered in dramatic plots, but does so in a manner that readers will 'push the pages', desiring to stay caught in the twisted actions surrounding the main character, Tyler Boxter.

Beginning in remote Russia, the reader is teased in Thomas' whimsical prologue that introduces the reader to the story's main antagonist ( a former Soviet General), and, clearly illustrates how Russia did not have complete control over their Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The opening chapter brings the reader into the present post Iraq War, and onto fabled Wall Street . . . where the author's descrption and use of the visual is brilliant. It is here where we meet Tyler Boxter, a brilliant investment banker working on changing some of Wall Street's finanical methods. If Boxter is successful at completing his plans, then not only will the banker earn untold wealth, but he will change the landscape for modern-day healthcare intergration.

What happens next is a twisted plot where unknown and unseen enemies of Boxter set him up for more than his personal downfall! As Thomas takes the reader into the heart of terrorist organizations and their hatred against America.

I will say this: I am a big fan of espionage thrillers. From LeCarre, to Clancy, to Ludlam, to Patterson, I've read them all. Den Of The Assassin is, in my openion, outside of the Bourne trilogy, the best espionage thriller I have ever read. This is a must read for anyone who follows and enjoys this genre'.
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