Twelve Fingers

Written by Clifford E. Landers (trans.) Jo Soares
Review by Meredith Campbell

Being born with twelve fingers portended that Dimitri “Dimo” Borja Korozec would become the world’s greatest assassin — or so thought his parents. After all, didn’t having six fingers on each hand give him an extra trigger finger? Therefore, Dimo’s father, a rabid Serbian nationalist, enrolls the eager fifteen-year-old in a school that does nothing but train assassins. Young Dimo has all the qualities needed to be a master spy and assassin: good looks, a poet’s vulnerable manner, charismatic brilliance, and skill as a marksman. But he has an innate propensity for clumsiness.

As went the boy, so goes the man. Either Dimo slips and falls, misunderstands directions, or misreads signs. Something always goes wrong. An inept assassin who fails to kill any of his intended targets, the anarchist bumbles through the 20th century, meeting, to name a few, Mata Hari, Al Capone, and George Raft. From the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the 1954 assassination attempt of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, somehow Dimitri manages to mess things up.

Premier Brazilian author Soares provides a romp filled with belly laughs and fun. Using a reportorial style and wonderfully “retouched” photographs, he seamlessly weaves his historical characters into the fabric of the story. Soares has written a witty, historically accurate tour de force that will charm readers the world over.