In the movies, a highly trained assassin does not turn up on his target’s doorstep, have a crisis of confidence, confess all and then hand himself over to the police, knowing that a long prison sentence will follow. No cinema audience would ever tolerate such an implausible plot but in real life this has actually happened—and what is even harder to believe, two assassins from the same intelligence service did exactly this, in back-to-back operations.
In fiction, top spymasters do not take handwritten notes saying “do not mention the word assassination” during a meeting with their political masters. In real life they do. In the best thrillers, silencers are essential gear for any modern assassin and they always work brilliantly. In real life, one highly paid trained killer threw his away because it burnt his hands.
No Hollywood scriptwriter would construct a scene in which a group of hardnosed killers decided to assassinate a political leader, agree that they have to cover their tracks and that no mention must be made of their plans—and then write a detailed minute of the meeting for the files and circulate it widely. But again, in actuality they did.
In films, the bomb always explodes as the hero runs away from the building. No studio would tolerate a script where a truckload of TNT fails to go off because the evil terrorist gang forgot to attach the detonator. But it happened.
--Terminate with Extreme Prejudice
Has anyone else read Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist? I should probably reread it, but it includes a semi-bungled bit of terrorism-- and the motivation for the bungling is unspeakably British.
What I caught on the first pass was the amount of havoc the main character causes with seemingly small impulsive actions, and how much of her fucked-upness could be traced to specific things about her childhood.
However, the end of the book is about the professionals showing up, with an implication that they'll be more capable than the amateurs. Maybe that's reasonable, but it's a low standard.
Link thanks to andrewducker.