Thursday, September 12, 2013


Birth of an AssassinBirth of an Assassin by Rik Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stone packs some powerful imagery in Birth of an Assassin, and a tantalizing plot like no other author I’ve ever seen in this genre.

This suspenseful thriller takes place in Moscow, Russia 1947, and the main character, Jez Kornfeld, a young Jewish recruit, gets a heaping dose of the cruelty of reality in the cruel world that surrounds him. Jez goes to an army recruitment center thinking he’s signing up to become a soldier, and learns quickly this is not “the man’s” army. By the time he figures out what’s going on, he’s already caught up in a world of crime and corruption. And the only way out is to kill your way out. When Jez realizes this is the hand life has dealt him, he becomes the ultimate killing machine turned assassin and seeking revenge. He settles the score with his enemies in the most ruthless ways you could ever imagine.

The historical part of “Birth of an Assassin” didn’t spark my interest that much, but I did find intriguing the way Jez Kornfeld carries out assassinations. How he kills a perpetrator is directly related to their importance, and right down to the method or weapon he chooses to kill them was seen in some instances as an honor. I’m reminded of the eerie feeling I got when Jez grabs Nikolas by the wrist and slowly twist it to a grind. I mentally can still hear the sound of bones popping and grizzle cracking in Nikolas’ arm.

The book gave me a new perspective on human trafficking. I thought I knew a lot of details about the subject, but the book is filled with new details. The story is long and could take a week to read, if you have the time. But the good news is it’s a pace read, and it will hold your attention to keep you turning pages throughout the story. If you like thrillers filled with danger, revenge and life like characters, Birth of an Assassin is the book for you. I found the story suspenseful and well worth the read, and would highly recommend it.

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