Review -The Man in the Blue Fez: A Birth of an Assassin Novel by Rik Stone

Synopsis: From a former death camp in the snowy Russian mountains of 1973, Jez Kord is sent into the freezing wastelands to prove himself fit. Pavel Rostislav has orders to hinder his progress and follows closely behind. The training ends and they unite, but as they return to camp, the sky fills with helicopter gunships. A venomous assault ends with the flaming liquid of napalm bombs swallowing up the entire complex. The pair make a run for it, but a unit of Spetsnaz elitists are hot on their heels. Anna Kord is on assignment in Turkey with two other agents. Adam Mannesh and his twisted band of misfits have designs on a drug empire that Anna and the unit have been tasked to take down. Adam comes to their assistance, but then betrays them. Now their only chance of survival hangs on Jez and Pavel evading the Siberian pursuit.

This is the second book by this author that I have read. It was written very well but didn’t appeal to me as much as The Turkish Connection did. He incorporates historical information with the story line. I liked that although it is mainly about Jez and Anna Kord, he also mixed in the previous characters of Mehmet and Yuri. The story pace is pretty steady with the main action starting after Jez and Pavel meet up. As before, the author does a good job in building the characters, making them realistic. Some new characters were introduced that just as quickly were removed when they were killed. Some characters like Borislav and Adam are extremely cruel and very unlikable. I found myself cheering the Jez and Anna on as they raced to stop the drug ring without getting killed themselves.

I did find the timeline  confusing but otherwise didn’t have any issues with the story. The action is continuous although the violence can sometimes be graphic.  The author has created a world where the lines between allies and enemies is very thin. Overall, good read for anyone who loves spy mystery thrillers filled with espionage, betrayal and drugs.




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