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.
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.
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.