The Assassination Bureau, Ltd

The Assassination Bureau, Ltd
Language English
Publication date
Media type Print
ISBN 0-14-018677-8

The Assassination Bureau, Ltd is a thriller novel, begun by Jack London and finished after his death by Robert L. Fish. It was published in 1963. The plot follows Ivan Dragomiloff, who, in a twist of fate, finds himself pitted against the secret assassination agency he founded.

The novel was based on a story idea London purchased from author Sinclair Lewis (Elmer Gantry) in early 1910. London wrote 20,000 words on the novel before he gave it up later that same year, saying he could not find a logical way to conclude it. He died in 1916, leaving the book unfinished.

The novel is about a secret organization, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd., that will assassinate evildoers, for example, corrupt police commissioners, legislators, politicians, etc.; but will not act unless convinced that the target truly is worthy of assassination.

In 1963, mystery writer Fish completed the novel based on the unfinished manuscript with additional notes by London and an ending outline done by London's wife Charmian shortly before her death in 1955.

First sentence

"He was a handsome man, with large liquid-black eyes, an olive complexion that was laid upon a skin clear, clean, and of surpassing smoothness of texture, and with a mop of curly black hair that invited fondling – in short, the kind of a man that women like to look upon, and also, the kind of a man who is quite thoroughly aware of this insinuative quality of his looks."

Film adaptation

In 1969, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd was made into a film, The Assassination Bureau Limited, starring Diana Rigg, Oliver Reed, Telly Savalas and Curt Jurgens. Directed by Basil Dearden, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1970 for Best English-Language Foreign Film, and Rigg was nominated for a Golden Laurel Award in 1970 for Female New Face. Whereas London's novel is set in the United States, the film is set in Europe in the 1900s.

See also

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