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The Shot

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  333 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The Communist. The Politician. The Hit Man. The Shot. Tom Jefferson has a job he does very well. He kills for a living. Fresh off the takedown of a Nazi in Buenos Aires, Tom is poised for his next assignment -- the assassination of Fidel Castro. The mob -- led by Sam Giancana -- the CIA, and presidential candidate Jack Kennedy are all in on the plan. Together, they can tak ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 28th 2001 by Pocket Books (first published November 18th 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 609)
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Dec 01, 2008 Stefan rated it really liked it
The Shot was a startling vivid read that mixed gore, profanity, a interesting plot, a lonely but brilliant sniper, and the JFK assassination. A book so shocking it forces the reader to think and contemplate the strange passage of history. Philip Kerr did an excellent job at creating a thriller that seems excitingly genuine, carefully crafted and well balanced. The startling implications of the ending made this an even more disturbing, yet thrilling work of fiction.
Nov 15, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it
I have read almost everything that Kerr has written. Normally I shy away from "whatif" historical novels, preferring the reality of history to what might have happened if only if. . . . I had begun reading this book some years ago while waiting for someone in a local library and resolved to complete it eventually. I'm glad that I did.

Kerr does a great job leading the reader down all sorts of blind alleys. Tom Jefferson, a hit man who uses the names of presidents as aliases, has been approached
May 13, 2011 Matt rated it liked it
Dear Lord, what a mess. I think I was one of three people who really liked Esau, and I tried to read one of the Bernie Gunther series and kept groaning at the sheer goofiness of it all, so I'm all over the map with this dude.

Let's start with the problems. There are two protagonists (oh, yeah; the book abruptly changes focus halfway through). This in and of itself wouldn't be a problem if either one of them were remotely interesting. Instead, we get a complete cipher of an assassin and a disgrace
Jun 25, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it
Not a good read. I thought it would be suspenseful, something I'd really enjoy (I mean it's snipers, who wouldn't?). I was wrong.
Not only could I get into the story, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around the main character for some reason.
I skimmed the pages of this after page 150- and I think I absorbed just as much as I would have if I really delved into the story.
Philip Kerr, you disappointed me :C
Apr 20, 2016 Kieran rated it really liked it
The Shot is a book I would recommend as far as entertainment goes, and there's a lot of it. But as far as plot structure and narrative, it's flabby, loose ended fluff with a disappointing ending - which I will not reveal. Kerr seems to skirt over the geo-political issues in favour of strong characterisations and a highly interesting and ambiguous title character (who ultimately shows himself to be less ambiguous in the final chapters), with a truly reprehensible supporting cast - the light dusti ...more
Denise Dougherty
My first Philip Kerr book and I give it 3.5 stars. The Shot was an interesting alternate history (?) story about 1960, newly elected JFK, his "sexploits", Mafia, ex-FBI, assassins in Miami & New York.
Reading as many thrillers as I do, such stories always cause me to wonder if these are really alternate history or a leaking of long-hidden actual events. But then, that is their purpose - to cause you to wonder.

Overall, it kept my interest. The only think I didn't like - and didn't like it in 1
Matthew Grossman
Aug 15, 2014 Matthew Grossman rated it liked it
J'ai acheté ce livre à Québec. Je l'aimais (la fin était très intéressante), mais le format du roman était rare. Quelque chose dans une chapitre, et d'autres choses avec d'autres personnages dans la prochaine. Cependant, je pense lire les autres romans qu'il a écrits.

I bought this book (the French edition) in Québec. I liked it (the ending was cool), although the storyline was divided oddly. Things would happen in one chapter, and then there would different events with different characters in t
Aug 04, 2012 Kristian rated it really liked it
pretty cool kennedy assassination thriller.
Aug 01, 2014 Ian rated it liked it
Recommended to Ian by:
An entertaining, and plausible rationale for the eventual assassination of JFK. The background is the anti-communist USA intelligence community, the mafia, Cuban exiles, and the Cold War, who stumble together to oppose Kennedy, for different reasons.

The novel tells of this background, and finishes with a pseudo attempt to assassinate Kennedy, which is intended to scare him into not invading Cuba. The kicker is that he is not told of the attempt, thus, leaving himself open following the Bay of Pi
Tom Vater
May 15, 2012 Tom Vater rated it liked it
Philip Kerr can do better than this. The Shot (2000) is written on autopilot. The author of the incredible Bernie Gunther novels, gripping dramas featuring a hardboiled German detective during and after Nazi Germany, must have written this one for laughs. I’m not saying it’s a bad book, I enjoyed reading it. It’s just not the author’s best shot (pun intended!)

The story follows hitman Tom Jefferson who is hired by the mob and the CIA in the late 1950s to assassinate Fidel Castro. I don’t want to
Apr 08, 2016 Gerry rated it really liked it
Kerr’s thriller puts a new spin on the Kennedy assassination myth, and one that’s quite believable, supported as it is by a cast of characters including politicians, CIA & FBI agents, the Secret Service, mobsters, Cubans on both sides of the Castro issue, and a freelance assassin who may have reasons of his own for wanting Kennedy dead. Great plotting and good portrayal of the time period, with twists and surprises that kept me wondering just who was working with whom until the very end.
Ian Robb
This is a fiction about an assassination attempt on John Kennedy. It was planned to take place after his election and before his inauguration, while Eisenhower was still president. Kerr has a lot of detail about the times late 1960 and early 1961 and provides much interesting information about the Kennedys and their relationship with people in organized crime. In any case the assassination ordered by Cuba does not happen. The attempt, without bullets, is filmed and sent to US officials to show h ...more
Melinda Seyler
Mar 09, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it it was ok
Recommended to Melinda by:

While I was reading "The Shot", the Philip Kerr book, someone at work said he had
written a very good trilogy about Berlin. I may read it and hope
it's better than this one. This book is about an assassin hired in
the early 1960s to kill Castro. It has many twists and turns and is
well written. I didn't like it. What I actually didn't like was the
depiction of the time. I lived through the 60's and yet I found the
attitudes towards women, blacks, minorities disturbing. I don't know
what else to say. Ma
Sep 16, 2010 Jonathan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, thriller
The Shot is a Philip Kerr thriller about an assination attempt on John Kennedy and the efforts of the Mob (!) to thwart it. A very odd book, with mostly repugnant characters, made it one of my least favorite Kerr books. It has a problem it shared with The Day of the Jackal, about de Gaulle getting assassinated - you know it isn't going to happen (well, tragically in Kennedy's case, not yet). Although he does make it all plausible in the end, and even hints of a consipiracy on the real assassinat ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
A very clever story. Hugely attractive if you are a conspiratory theorist, with an interest in the Kennedy years. Lots of theories come together well in this book. The ending was a surprise though I'm still thinking about the practicalities. Worth a read.
Yves Panis
Apr 14, 2014 Yves Panis rated it it was amazing
Bon alors la c'est du très lourd et tout ce qu'on aime : un roman d'espionnage, un projet d'assassinat de Castro, puis de Jack, des agents doubles voire triple. Le pied total. Par l'auteur de la trilogie berlinoise. Un must absolu !
Jari Peteri
Sep 10, 2014 Jari Peteri rated it it was amazing
This book will demolish all your ideas about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But I'm not telling you more than that Philip Kerr is a terrific thriller writer!
Feb 22, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this quite a bit...not too far fetched in my opinion. Fun and quick take on history.
Nov 25, 2014 Gianni rated it it was amazing
Probably Kerr's best book, it's a page turner that you will not be able to put down.
Kerri Jones
The Mob, The CIA, The Secret Service, Castro, The Cubans, The Russians; this book had all the political main players of the early sixties. Almost too many to sort out all the political innuendo going on. Interesting story surrounding well known history but the politics bogged me down and made it far too intellectual to really enjoy.
Apr 06, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
Didn't really go anywhere, but was entertaining. 8-)
Barbara Bengston
Interesting concept regarding possible assassination of President JFK.
Holly Esterline
I probably would have liked it better if I'd understood all the period references. great twist at the end
Scott Bagley
Sep 05, 2011 Scott Bagley rated it it was ok
What a great premise to a book, and how disappointing. This book could have used an EDITOR because a whole lot of nothing happens from beginning to end. This is one of those books I'm kicking myself for finishing because I kept on thinking that it just MUST get better. I didn't.

This book DID do a pretty good job with laying down the political feelings at the time. It sets the scene well, but I don't read a book for just that. I need some story, too, and it didn't deliver.
Nov 24, 2013 Gram rated it really liked it
A marvellous story about an assassination plan on JFK - BEFORE he became president. All sorts of dirty tricks from the usual suspects - CIA, FBI, the Mafia, anti-Castro Cubans and Castro's intelligence service. Lots of false trails, twists and turns with a cast of characters almost all of whom are definitely not to be trusted and most of whom have blood on their hands. I've read all of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther books but this was a new one on me - and I'm glad I decided to read it.
Simon Page
Sep 16, 2013 Simon Page rated it it was amazing
This was the first Philip Kerr book I read, and it encouraged me to go on and buy all of the Bernie Gunther series. The way the situation in the early 60's was brought to life was brilliant, and I just loved the dialog. I also enjoy books about hitmen, snipers, the mafia etc.. so this one was perfect for me.
It wasn't thrilling, in fact, for most of it, it was boring.

Maybe I just don't get into this type of book. The whole assassin who we can't be sure whose side he is on thing. But really, it was pretty bad.

Its not a good book, save yourself the time and don't read it.
May 15, 2009 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, thriller
Kerr is an excellent thriller writer and he has a real knack for alternative history. This one is in the genre of the Kennedy Assasination and truly leaves the reader guessing up to the very surprising ending.
Ron Crooks
Dec 12, 2010 Ron Crooks rated it it was ok

I love Philip Kerr but this book was weak in comparison to the Bernie Gunther series.

I spite of this I quickly finished this book. I like to intersperse my serious reading with the occasional thriller.
Mie and Gareth
May 04, 2013 Mie and Gareth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As usual from Kerr, excellent research authenticates the historical setting. The story builds and deepens and the ending is unpredictable to the last breathe. Great stuff.
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Kerr has published eleven novels under his full name and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

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