Review: Dawn of the Assassin by Bill Brewer

FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Money is not everything and sometimes people find it out the hard way. For example: ending up bankrupt all of a sudden, getting rich and still seeing problems pop up left and right, or loosing your job due to one bad decision. This last reason is that of David Diegert, the protagonist of Bill Brewer’s absorbing thriller Dawn of the Assassin. He is a man to follow with a close eye because of the route he chooses to take to change his life: enlisting in the US Army. However, his heart is not entirely with this decision. Thus, he is in for some major disappointment, but only to find a new, darker opportunity pop up.

David Diegert gets arrested after assaulting the store manager who had fired him from his low paying job in Broward County, Minnesota one chilly night. Luckily for Diegert, the sheriff of Broward County convinces the store manager to drop the charges and proceeds to give Diegert instructions for enlisting in the Army. After training, he ends up in Afghanistan, but a fight with his superior officer as well as a lack of a good enough reason to be in the Army causes him to be dishonorably discharged. This sets David on a course to work for a night club in Austin, Texas, angering the Russian Bratva, and murdering two men before learning what it takes to become a professional assassin. He becomes one, but can he deal with the hits his assassination missions make on his outlook of the basic value of another person’s life?

Major Carl Winston, a strong-looking African-American man whom David meets at the Army Forces recruiting center in Bemidji, asks David if he’s strong enough to be in the US Army. Responding with a simple “I think so”, inferring that he’s not serious about the military is easy. David’s love for money and often thoughtless attitude towards resolving conflict stems from a family situation where his brother is a drug dealer and his father is abusive towards his mother. What Major Winston intends for young men like David is to grow into capable fighters with integrity and strong values. Before him, he cannot see the dark path that Diegert has been set on.

David sports a black belt in karate, a status as state champion wrestler, and a good, albeit an interrupted experience in the Army. In Austin, Texas, Diegert, who works for a night club called the Dark Horse at this time, displays a fighting skill that impresses a mobster named Igor Dimitrov. The author illustrates his initial love for money as Diegert starts doing illegal work for him, but this sets him on the wrong path where a job causes him to end up as being held captive in a safe house by two other mobsters. These are the two men that Diegert murders before becoming a professional assassin. It is from these two men, especially the inarticulate one named Peotor, that Diegert learns how easy and profitable it is to become one in this day and age where technology has become man’s best tool for self-destruction.

Diegert’s first experience with killing is one that, as Brewer writes, gives him an animalistic sense of power. The passage itself is dangerous country for readers too much into violent thrillers, especially when the author uses the word “pulverize” to describe what happens to a man’s skull after Diegert pulls the trigger. I’d certainly say that Diegert was a man in strong need of some form of religion, but that religion alone is not the only thing that can help him since his family situation isn’t good to start with. Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, he reasons that becoming an assassin would be the best thing. The alternative would be jail for life. “Making a plan and thinking about the future as only a matter of hours was far more comforting than worrying about the rest of his life.”

The assassin lifestyle that the author pushes Diegert towards is filled with economic rewards, but it takes a massive hit on his soul and care for another person’s life. Paris is the first place that Diegert travels to outside of America as an assassin and what I liked about his arrival in it is his immediate homesickness, which tells us a lot about the possibility of Diegert’s good side having a substantial effect on this new cold blooded killer he has become and the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, it will allow him to stop killing altogether. A different job puts him in the awkward situation of questioning a girl that he is not sure of killing. The way the author lines out Diegert’s career as an assassin is systematic as he goes from travelling to various different countries, meeting people like Barney Pinsdale, and ending up in a training facility to further enhance his skills as a killer.

Brewer gives readers a view of Diegert’s high school wrestling days to give us a sense of how powerful Diegert always felt while fighting. He is a great fighter, almost too perfect in combat, but unfortunately for him, in the second half of the book, he faces better fighters than himself in a deadly tournament which pits assassins against each other.

What this book does which is wrong in my view is that it leans on the task of making the job of an assassin sound attractive and easy. It also promotes violence in an extremely gory and unhealthy way. The author has created a deadly killing machine in Diegert. His main flaw, however, is that the side of him that loves money can cause readers to become greatly disinterested in him in the end. I had a major problem with the ending because, though it reads at first glance like a happy one, it forces one to question Diegert’s intelligence.

If you’re into firearm action and expert combat skills, you should definitely dive into this one. Bill Brewer has an unbeatable recipe to keep the adrenaline going with his born to kill protagonist.

* This book is not available on Amazon yet and is set for release on October 15, 2019. More information about this book can be found on the author’s website:

Kindle Edition:

Publisher: Melange Books LLC
Date Published: N/A
Genre: Thriller
Pages: N/A

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