Historical Fiction / Thriller
Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.
Given the order to disperse and arrest a crowd of Jewish demonstrators in Red Square, Jez breaks up the rally but discovers his sisters in their ranks. Rushed for a solution, he sneaks the girls from under the noses of secret police and hides them in downtown Moscow. But he knows they will no longer be safe in Russia. He has to find them a safe route out.
The journey begins, but he is unaware that his every move is being observed and that he has set in motion a chain of events that will plunge his life into a headlong battle to stay alive.
Not your typical Suspense/Thriller. This novel really takes you into the mind and life of Jez from early on. What he thought he was getting into vs. Reality are two completely different things and he finds himself in a situation with no way out.
This is Dark and Brutal. Being that it is called Birth of an Assassin, we do have many instances where he does the killing, how, and how methodical he is about it.
Thinking about the amount of research that had to go into this, I really have to applaud Rik Stone for creating a story that felt so authentic.
Do children born into poverty become impoverished adults? It happens; pitfalls and roadblocks to advancement are everywhere. Rik Stone grew up poor amidst the slum-lands of fifties North East England, and left school at 15 without any academic qualifications.
He worked in the shipyards on a local river and later went into the merchant navy. Further down the line, he worked quarries in Essex in South East England.
But life was without horizons until, contrary to what his teachers had told him, he found he was capable of studying and completed a BSc degree in mathematics and computing.
Life got lucky for him when he took a company pension at 50 and began writing. And now, here he is offering up his debut novel Birth of an Assassin, the first in a series.