Book Review: Circle of Assassins by Steven Rigolosi

Circle of Assassins
Steven Rigolosi
Ransom Notes Press, 2007
ISBN 978-0-9773787-4-6
Trade Paperback

A very unique, thought-provoking book and certainly not your every day mystery but one I will be thinking about for sometime.

An ad is placed in the paper entitled Revenge Is Sweet!  The contact is A at a PO Box.  After sorting through all the responses A comes up with five strangers that are willing to eliminate an unwanted person for another stranger.  In return the assassin expects his unwanted person to be eliminated.

The members of the Circle are identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E.  Each person receives a color code as well as detailed instructions on various ways of committing murder, how to be sure you have covered your tracks, and how to make sure no one will discover your identity.

Each chapter is identified by a letter or in some instances a name.  You will be reading the instructions given by A as well as details regarding each individual in their own words setting forth their reason for wanting to rid the world of one person.

There are also some before and after chapters which explain the murderers’ feelings before they actually commit the crime and after the crime has been committed.

Victims actually speak to you, prior to their demise of course, regarding their feelings about their life and their friends and loved ones if they have any.

I took a different approach to this book than I normally do when I read a book.  I took notes.  I had a little note pad listing all the letters and the colors and the names as I found them out in reading the book.  I noted who the victims would be under the appropriate letter and color.  This was not very time consuming and took up one small page but I thought it really gave me a handle on what was going on and who was doing what and that there would be no surprises for me.

Wrong again! As I got to the end of the book I had one surprise after the other.  Things that I didn’t see coming even though I thought I had everything lined out.

I totally enjoyed this book and loved reading about the different killers as well as their victims.  The killer’s reaction after their event took place was a real eye opener.

The conclusion was stunning as far as I’m concerned.  This is Tales From the Back Page No. 2.  I no more than finished the last page until I ordered Who Gets The Apartment which is Tales From the Back Page No. 1.  I understand that Steven Rigolosi will have a third book out in 2008 and I can’t wait to order it.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, April 2007.