The New York Review of Books, by Aryeh Neier:
Much of Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint is a detailed account of the complex process of tracking down Álvaro Saravia and the various witnesses needed to prove the findings by the UN truth commission that he took part with Roberto D’Aubuisson in the murder of Archbishop Romero. It is a tale told well that provides valuable insights into the motives and modus operandi of the death squads in El Salvador, and of the financiers who commissioned and facilitated such crimes.
The Guardian, by Nina Lakhani:
Assassination of a Saint is the first book to detail the plot to kill Romero and probe the roles played by the wealthy business owners, politicians and military death squad commanders who felt threatened by the archbishop’s outspoken criticism of the country’s military dictatorship…. Eisenbrandt’s book includes interviews with other witnesses and accomplices of the crime, as well as previously unknown information from the investigation which led to the 2004 lawsuit…. One of the book’s most gripping sections is the testimony of a mole from a leftwing guerrilla group who during the 1980s worked at the Arena party headquarters.
National Catholic Reporter, by Dan Morris-Young:
Matt Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint: The Plot to Murder Oscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice connects dots, fills in holes and provides a frontline account of the battle to bring accountability to those who plotted and carried out Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero’s murder…. [A] remarkable synthesis of the passions, politics and players at work in El Salvador’s brutal last half century…. Eisenbrandt writes not from a front-row seat, but from the stage itself…. It is a dramatic tale that involves remarkable efforts by professional investigators, legal experts, human rights activists and others.
America Magazine, by Kevin Clarke:
Assassination begins like a crime thriller, complete with a criminal manhunt, before transitioning into a courtroom drama. Ultimately, however, the book’s lasting value is as a work of history…. [A] well-resourced and well-written work that offers a unique perspective on one of the great crimes of the late 20th century and the pursuit of justice that remains, regretfully, mostly denied.
Vancouver Sun, by Tom Sandborn:
[A] fast paced, informative and dramatic account…. Imagine a report from Amnesty International written by Graham Greene and John LeCarre in tandem and you will have a sense of Eisenbrandt’s exciting and well-written achievement…. Their win was a triumph for human rights defenders, and this book is a powerful account of how that victory was won. Highly recommended.
The Progressive named Assassination of a Saint one of its Favorite Books of 2016:
Part detective story, part historical reminiscence, it shows the reader how hard it is to prosecute such cases, and why so many human rights violators go unpunished.
Catholic Herald, by Julian Filochowski:
It has taken Matt Eisenbrandt a decade to write this beautifully crafted volume, but it was worth waiting for. It is a timely addition to the literature on Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom…. He has produced a gripping detective story alternating between San Salvador and a courtroom in Fresno, California, in 2004.
Reading Religion, by Todd Walatka:
Matt Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint is a remarkable achievement…. This is a must-read for anyone interested in recent Salvadoran history, the life and witness of Óscar Romero, the Catholic Church in Latin America, or the challenge of defending human rights in our world…. Assassination of a Saint reads like an engrossing detective story. It is wonderfully written as it deftly shifts back and forth between analyses of Romero’s life and time, the Salvadoran Civil War of the 1980s, and the post-2000 pursuit of justice. The reader is constantly drawn in by a new turn in the legal case or a new detail revealed about Romero and his killers.
Factum, by Héctor Silva Ávalos:
El libro de Eisenbrandt es, como los citados, rico en fondo y forma…. Tan importante como el fondo histórico es, para el caso del libro de Eisenbrandt, la forma en que los hechos están contados. El autor combina, en inglés, un estilo sobrio y una gran habilidad en el uso de recursos más literarios de los tiempos narrativos, o del suspense que generan los hechos, para hacer de este relato histórico un potente testimonio…. Este libro es especialmente relevante hoy.
Jacobin, by Micah Uetricht:
[A] fast-paced, often heartbreaking look into a uniquely depraved period of the Cold War.
Using the investigation as a framework, Eisenbrandt weaves the history of El Salvador with the social and international dynamics (including those of the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations) that precipitated the assassination and the subsequent civil war that spanned 1980–92…. An intriguing story filled with tragic “if-only’s” and powerful examples of courage.
CHOICE, by K. Sorensen:
Eisenbrandt offers a thorough accounting of the evidence available against those who committed the 1980 murder…. [T]his volume is important for the preservation of historical memory.