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The Exterminators: An Assassin Bug Thriller…
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The Exterminators: An Assassin Bug Thriller (Assassin Bug Thrillers)

by Bill Fitzhugh

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Nineteen years ago I read Pest Control, a madcap thriller that all starts when Bob Dillon, sick of chemical pesticides, breeds some special exterminating bugs and runs an ad, naming himself The Exterminator. For some reason, it was perceived as an ad for a hitman. This led to mayhem. It was hysterically funny and I have never forgotten it. I was chatting books with my best friend the other day and asked is she remembered it, which got us to wondering if the author had written more books. Wow, has he!! She stopped by the library the next day and picked up the sequel, The Exterminators and said she really liked it. I was still a bit chary of reading it since nothing could match the original, but then I saw Bob had moved with his family and Klaus, his partner, to Corvallis, Oregon. Well, of course, I had to read it then.

I am glad I did.The Exterminators opens when Bob and Klaus are looking for some venture capital and, as luck would have it, sends it to a front for DARPA, a favorite agency for conspiracy thrillers because it’s quite secretive. Bob and Klaus want to make some assassin bugs to kill other bugs…while DARPA suggests developing some assassin bugs to kill Osama. The games begin.

Of course, what happens when a government agency gets involved is forms are filled out and files are created and information leaks, which leads to their nemesis from book one discovering they are alive and faked their deaths. Time to send out another batch of hired assassins to kill them. Meanwhile, their boss at DARPA has some ulterior motives and different priorities that he hid from everyone. Chaos ensues.

I enjoyed The Exterminators, but it is definitely a book two. Sequels are hard if your series is not a procedural with the same people in the same situation from book to book. For this book, the new situation must be created and explained. This book is just so very, very Book Two at the beginning, but once it establishes itself it moved quickly.

The book is full of the clever quips and humor that made Pest Control so delightful with even more wild and crazy stunts. It is cinematic in its reach and that makes sense, one of the characters is writing a screen play. The satire is obvious and contemporary media is skewered without mercy. Who is being skewered is equally obvious with Matt Christopher of HardHeads on MSCBN. Winston Archer’s followers say Amen instead of Ditto, but he’s the contemporary hate-mongering rightwing radio blowhard to a T. There’s a Times reporter named Judy, not Judith, who will sell a false narrative to protect those in power. It’s pretty obvious. There are so many bad actors, from drug cartels to apocalyptic megachurches planning to push the Second Coming button. It’s mayhem and madness and of course, great fun.

★★★
http://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/the-exterminators-by-bill-... ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Apr 13, 2017 |
Bill Fitzhugh’s second comic thriller featuring bug-killer Bob Dillon has more twists and turns than a cockroach eluding a slipper. Bob and his sidekick, retired assassin Klaus Muller, are working in Oregon on developing an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical pest control in the form of genetically engineered insects from the assassin bug family. Short of cash, they turn to a venture capitalist for funding, which is a front connected to the DOD’s DARPA, whose representative wants their help in the war on terror. Bob and Klaus wind up in Hollywood, where they become targets of a Bolivian drug lord (again) who puts a $20 million price tag on their heads. One step ahead of the gang of hired killers and the nonstop loony-ness, Bill and Klaus are framed for terrorist attacks at the Academy Awards after-parties. Yes, seriously.

Fitzhugh skewers our modern culture, including the CIA, mainstream and right-wing news agencies, talk-radio hosts, millennial religious fanatics, the film industry, and the environment. All in all, this was another hilarious romp, and is recommended for fans of [a:Carl Hiaasen|8178|Carl Hiaasen|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1208367876p2/8178.jpg] and [a:Tim Dorsey|27017|Tim Dorsey|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1274614239p2/27017.jpg], and anyone who enjoys a well-plotted thriller mixed liberally with a large dose of humor. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
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All Bob Dillon ever wanted was a truck with a big fiberglass bug on the roof. All he had to do was survive half a dozen assassination attempts, pull a $10 million con on a Bolivian drug lord, and then fall off the face of the earth with his family and his new best friend, Klaus. Six years later,they surface in Oregon where they continue Bob's work creating an all-natural means of pest control.… (more)

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