Tuesday, February 06, 2024

I Need A Hit Man

 By Charlotte Hinger


 No, I'm not plotting mayhem during this election cycle. Not yet, at least.

I need a hit man in my new mystery. It can't be someone too good at the job. The person should be a little dumb. More than a little. Can't be too bright or he won't take the job to begin with. 

Eureka! I discovered a terrific book, The Perfect Kill, written by a retired CIA agent, Robert Baer. He did a wonderful job of explaining the major ways assassins screw up. The fact is, there aren't that many really efficient ones around. 

As the saying goes, "good help is hard to find." Criminals often can't keep their mouths shut. I'm amazed at the number of times in real life murderers can't resist telling someone about their crimes. Not out of a feeling of remorse or a need to confess, but a compulsion to brag. Too often mediocre hit men think they are the smartest person in the room. 

Although I need a inferior hit man, through rather weird research, I unearthed some of the practices used by the very best.

Incidentally, these lessons can also be applied to writing and the promotion of books.

1.  Hits should be planned meticulously and always have a backup plan. 

2.  Protect your reputation. Always, always keep your word. Show up when you've promised you'll be there. 

3.  Don't work for crazy people. Check out organizations and individuals before you agree to do a job.

4.  Don't involve unnecessary people in your operation. You'll lose control. 

5.  Don't dance in the end zone. No one likes a braggart. 

6.  Don't make enemies. Keep a low profile. 

Although Baer's book is focused on political assassinations it provides fascinating instructions for those who would like to pursue a life of crime. Or writing. It's fascinating reading. 

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