What They’re Saying

by John J. Miller on March 4, 2010

in Uncategorized

  • Sumo

All that’s fit to print about The First Assassin.

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Frontpagemag.com: “Miller, a top-notch columnist and observer of the cultural scene, proves equally adept at fiction with this crackerjack historical thriller. Imagine Jeff Shaara setting Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal in the first days of the Lincoln presidency, and you have The First Assassin. … Miller does a terrific job of immersing the reader in a time and place that is familiar, but not necessarily that well understood. … Miller crafts human beings on all sides with complex motives and various degrees of weaknesses, selfishness, idealism, evil and goodness.”

Rich Lowry: “It’s a heck of a lot of fun — a thriller that’s enjoyable in its own right, set against an 1860s backdrop that will interest and inform history buffs. I kept finding myself saying, “Huh — I did not know that.” The plot moves, the characters are lively (my favorite is the Southern-sympathizing Washington socialite Violet Grenier, while the assassin reminded me of Anton Chigurh of No Country for Old Men), and you’re kept guessing throughout. Highly recommended.”

Columnist Linda Chavez: “A great read … He [brings] the reader into the heart of the city of Washington in 1861 — recreating its sights, sounds, even its smells, in such realistic fashion, you feel like you’re there. Miller blends historical figures with purely fictional ones and weaves a tale that is exciting and believable, even at its most fantastic.”

Mary Katharine Ham: “My dad’s reading John. J. Miller’s (of NRO) first novel, “The First Assassin,” and says he can’t put it down.”

Civil War Novels: “A fast paced thriller … A believable story set at a tumultuous time will captivate the historical fiction fan and interest the hard-core Civil War enthusiast.”

History News Network: “A competent thriller and easy read… the description of the city, with its unfinished Capitol and one-third-built Washington Monument, is meticulously drawn.”

Daily News of Galveston County: “A fast-paced thriller … a tightly plotted tale that keeps readers on the edge of their seat. Miller also manages to place the reader in 19th century America, north and south. He captures the spirit of that age.”

New Ledger: “An impressive first novel … strong, well plotted fiction.”

Decibel: “Wonderfully engrossing.”

National Review: “Although it’s set a century and a half ago, this thriller by veteran NR writer and first-time novelist John J. Miller deals with a problem that still bedevils us today: how a liberal society can protect itself from determined enemies without undermining its basic values. Miller tells a compelling fictional story of an attempted assassination and other contemplated atrocities in the early days of the Lincoln administration.”

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Profiles, Interviews, Articles

NRO podcast: A ten-minute audio interview on the podcast program that I normally host.

American Spectator: Q&A with Shawn Macomber.

AnnArbor.com: A profile.

Big Hollywood: How the movies helped me write the book.

Heritage Insider: Observations on self-publishing.

Michigan Review: A Q&A in my old college newspaper

News & Messenger: My local paper in Prince William County profiles me, the area man.

Reason.tv: Video interview with Nick Gillespie.

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Grab Bag

Name Game: Where the names of the characters come from.

The Page 99 Test: I submit myself to it.

Bookends: Why The First Assassin makes me think of San Antonio.

The Story Behind the Book: The complete blog posts.

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Advance Praise

“An excellent book—it’s like The Day of the Jackal set in 1861 Washington.”
—Vince Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pursuit of Honor

“Packed with fascinating information, superb characters, and sublime plot twists, The First Assassin is one of the most exciting thrillers I have read in a long, long time. This is historical fiction at its best and John J. Miller is the hot new author everyone will be talking about.”
—Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Apostle

“The story moves with swift suspense, but Miller’s real achievement is to take us inside a mindset nearly lost to time, and to create identifiable, sympathetic characters on all sides, including those who are willing to do murder to preserve the Confederacy and its ‘peculiar institution.’”
—Andrew Klavan, author of Empire of Lies

The First Assassin knocked me out. Utterly compelling, the novel sweeps the reader along multiple storylines which converge at one point, one moment, where history pivots on its axis. A skilled writer of non-fiction, here Miller uses his knowledge and research to create a powerful thriller that is completely believable. With its accurate period details and pitch-perfect characters—from house slaves to Washington, D.C. careerists to a mysterious hitman—there’s not a false note in the whole book. Read it and tell me I’m wrong.”
—Robert Ferrigno, author of Heart of the Assassin

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