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Circle of Assassins Paperback – Apr 15 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Ransom Note Press LLC (April 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977378748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977378746
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,442,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Five desperate strangers answer an ad that promises to help them rid an unwanted person from their life.  A criminal mastermind named “A” makes each of them a provocative offer via an advertisement in The Clarion, a community newspaper published on Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Murder a complete stranger chosen by a fellow assassin, and in return have a stranger murder your chosen target.

How many of those who answer the advertisement will accept A’s offer to join the circle of assassins, in which anonymity is guaranteed?  Which of the killers will succeed in their plots?  Who is A, and will he or she end up dead or alive?

(Rigolosi, Steven)

About the Author

Steven Rigolosi is the best-selling author of The Outsmarting of Criminals, chosen by Oprah's editors as one of the five best mysteries of Fall 2014. Library Journal has called him a "completely fresh voice in the mystery genre." He is a two-time David Award winner from Deadly Ink and lives in northern New Jersey.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Revenge is Sweet

Every day we are brutalized by those who hurt us, take advantage of us, steal what is ours, mistreat our loved ones, destroy our property, terrorize us psychologically, criticize and condemn us, or trample our self respect. Enough is enough! It's time to turn the tables. Write to A care of

Box 270
(For entertainment purposes only)

When five people answer the above ad, they have no idea that they have started a chain reaction that will result in the ultimate revenge: death. Each answers the ad in hopes to rid their life of an unwanted person. Someone known only as "A" offers to help them, if they kill someone else.

The deal is simple: Five strangers each assigned a letter and a colour. Each will receive details in the mail about the person they are to kill. Each of them must be careful to leave no paper trail and to destroy any and all communication.

Co-ordinated by "A", they are each sent letters, pictures and address information in order to more effectively murder the person their contact has chosen. But why must these people die? There are all sorts of different reasons for someone to die; maybe this person is a drug dealer. Maybe he is a pedophile. Maybe he is not who he seems on the surface.

They become a circle of killers, a circle of assassins. Their identities are hidden, even to themselves. But, as with most secrets, something goes horribly wrong.

Each of them must reach deep down into their hearts, and their souls, in order to survive...

To tell you any more of the plot would be to ruin what is without a doubt the most engaging and ingenious mystery novel I have read in years. Make no mistake; this is not your ordinary mystery novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb3304378) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2e23dbc) out of 5 stars Asking: Is revenge sweet? April 17 2007
By Armchair Interviews - Published on
Format: Paperback
Four desperate strangers in Manhattan's upper West Side answer an advertisement titled "Revenge is Sweet." Each of the four is known as B, C, D, & E. Letter "A" is the coordinator for the circle. Their names and backgrounds are provided later on. Each agrees to kill a "chosen person" in exchange for having their own unwanted person killed. You are taken into the lives of the victims and explore the minds and motives of the assassins.

At times we are left with enough information to form ideas and feelings about each of the characters. Each assassin mails a series of letters to a post office box. They receive information on several means of committing murder, and any possible evidence that could be left behind. Following this exchange of information, they are each sent pictures and information about their victims and when and where not to do it. Finally, they are required to investigate the habits and comings and goings of their victim. Now it is time to execute the plan and the victim.

Steven Rigolosi has masterminded a new type of mystery, one that is continually developing, not waiting until the finish to enlighten readers, although there is a surprise ending.

Circle of Assassins is the second book in the series Tales from the Back Page.

The first book is Who Gets the Apartment? Rigolosi makes characters seem true-to-life and is gifted with new concepts. He also reveals the dark side that is possible in any one of us.

Armchair Interviews says: Good and evil and the dark side of human nature.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2e23e10) out of 5 stars I was up all night June 2 2007
By David Belsky - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again Rigolosi has proved his incredible story telling talent by provoking insomnia... Yup, I was up all nite enjoying this deft rollercoaster of a read, and just had to get to the surprising (and I mean surprising) ending! But what I enjoyed as much as the twists and turns of the plot and its imaginative premise (wouldn't you like to have a stranger bump off your most hated enemy?), was its social satire. From the agonies of a feminist English professor at a "midlevel" college yearning for the Ivy Leagues forced to deal with a dean who (horrors) wants students to read the classics, to a Main Line matron with a sexual deviant son-- Rigolosi shows that he really gets our contemporary culture. Actually, I should say I was up LAUGHING all night!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb328d660) out of 5 stars cleverly crafted mystery and much more May 14 2007
By G. Ellenbogen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This fast-paced, page-turner has an amazing bomb-shell turn of events in the middle of the book. In fact, had the book stopped at that point, I would not have been disappointed--that's how remarkable the revelation regarding a part of the mystery. I was treated to still more riveting plot beyong the midpoint, and was well rewarded with an even bigger twist at the end. Highly recommended!
HASH(0xb2e280b4) out of 5 stars Great for puzzle lovers Dec 14 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This atypical mystery/thriller novel is the second by Rigolosi. The novel begins with an advertisement placed in The Clarion, a newspaper published in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. The ad invites responses from people who want revenge for one reason or another. There is a caveat of "for entertainment purposes only", for the participants, but it doesn't take long for the 'entertainer' to reel in the five participants, labeled A, B, C, D, and E, respectively. The reader gets hints into the goings-on bit by bit, but the twists in the stories are what keep the pages turning.

A doesn't give much away other than that he will be coordinating the proceedings, and he gives the instructions on how their stories should be told and what precautions the others should take when participating. Slowly we, the readers, begin to learn the stories behind the need for revenge by the everyday person. There are hints that this is all just a research project for an aspiring author who is on the brink of a contract with a major book company, but only the author knows that the research is more than fiction. B is an elderly woman who has spent her entire life scrimping and saving so she could leave the drab, overpriced apartment in the city. When she comes into money, she immediately moves to the suburbs and loves it. When her neighborhood is threatened, she is denied all normal avenues of assistance, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. C is a dissolute and jealous brother - depending on the point of view. We get to see many sides of the circle of assassins - unlike those involved, or so they think.

Each believes this stranger (A) - a person that could be entirely fictitious or malevolent - because they so deeply feel the need for revenge that they will do anything to further their cause.

I can't say too much else or the storyline will be revealed before its time. This is the most unusual mystery I've ever picked up, and while I was not totally engrossed enough to ignore everything else; I did want to find out what happened next and how it all ended. This is not your typical mystery, and if you are one of those readers who reads the end to find out what happens - this one will be a stumper.
HASH(0xb2e28264) out of 5 stars Remove the deterrent, and then what happens ... Nov. 6 2007
By Theresa de Valence - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's an interesting notion that the deterrent for most folks to commit murder is the fear of getting caught. If you remove that obstacle, will everyone rush out and kill their enemies? I began reading this book while waiting for Small Claims Court to begin, a particularly suitable place to contemplate revenge, and CIRCLE OF ASSASSINS proved distracting.

Each murderer is assigned another's murderee. The mastermind is very clever, he/she knows that the murderee needs to be perceived as a villain, not a victim, so he/she presents instructions to each murderer and requests justification for the crime. The idea is unquestionably amusing, but how would the book unfold? There are five potential murderers, with five grievances and five potential victims.

Cleverly the author doesn't give every story equal time. Once one is fully involved in these stories (which does take a while), the author introduces interesting changes to the main thrust of the story, surprising the reader and morphing the storyline--the reader eagerly flips pages. I did get lost a few times (there are plenty of details), but nowhere near enough to lose track of the story.

Then the author completely changes the rules. It's riveting.

The writing is clear and straightforward; the reading is very fast. I did put the book down in order to attend court, but when I picked it up later, I read it straight through. Would I have stayed up until the wee hours in order to follow the story? You betcha.

One question which concerns readers of crime fiction only vaguely is whether the murderers will be caught, because, by and large, it's one of the rules of the genre that murderers are identified and punished. But, in this case, will the murderers be caught, and if they are, will that serve justice?

You'll have to read CIRCLE OF ASSASSINS to find out.

Theresa de Valence, Mystery Fiction Reviewer