“Why keep living a life that’s nothing but a tangle of lies and deception?”Assassin’s Lullaby by Mark Rubinstein
In every life, there lurks catastrophe
So believes Eli Dagan, a thirty-nine-year-old man whose traumatic past led to his service as an assassin for the Mossad.He now lives in New York City, where under various assumed names he’s a contract killer.
Anton Gorlov, the head of the Brooklyn-based Odessa mafia, has a new and challenging assignment for Eli. Gorlov wants to leave the county permanently, so all loose ends must be eliminated. The job involves extreme measures along with unprecedented danger for Eli, who has lived a ghostly existence over the last ten years.
Is accepting Gorlov’s offer a subliminal death wish? Or is it a way to reclaim part of his damaged soul?
For the first time since his pregnant wife and parents were killed by a suicide bomber years earlier, Eli Dagan faces challenges that will reconnect him with his blighted past and may yet offer hope for a new and better life.
Fiction, Assassin, Suspense, Killing Contracts, Living Ghost, Thriller, Mafia, Secrets, Mobsters, New York City, Double-cross
Why This Rating?
This was a fantastic thriller you guys! The amount of detail Mark Rubinstein included into the writing was captivating. I felt like I was walking around New York City right along with Eli Dagan. There was some serious planning happening with all of those moments while we were walking around the city. A paranoid character plus people out of his head equals a lot of scenery building and creation time. But that kind of makes the story so much better. I know some people out there don’t like a lot of scenery details authors can pack into a story. It can be a little over the top and unnecessary to some out there. However, if you remember who we are watching this all through it is perfect! Eli Dagan is an assassin who is always watching the surrounding area because it could be the difference between life and death. I mean come on, we get a few false “hit” moments and the amount of detail is zeroed into the very moment he’d pull a trigger if a muscle is moved. Although, considering what he is hired to do and the things he’s seen, his logic behind each of the situations make a ton of sense! I’d be freaking out internally too! There is such a balance of tension and suspense in these pages – Love it!
But it wasn’t just the writing that was wonderful, the story itself was great! I have a love for spy and heist style movies, but rarely can I find a book that falls into that thriller and suspense genre that is just as good. Assassin’s Lullaby manages to check off just about everything a movie in that genre needs to keep me hooked. Granted, Eli is an assassin instead of a spy, double agent, or thief and it is more a killing contract than gaining a prize/treasure. But considering everything he faces and the amount of planning and action that goes in to pull off the different jobs, I think this book counts.
I got a lot of Jason Bourne vibes from this book, which I have a slight obsession with, and that helped with my submersion into this world. Side note: if you haven’t watched that series and like the spy/assassin plots I’m talking about, I totally recommend. The action is fast pace and bloody – sometimes deadly.
There isn’t anyone safe from the blood being shed in New York City thanks to the mafia. Yet, there are moments where the humanity in this assassin shines through and you kind of want him to find another happy moment in life. Or at least I did. This is a guy who’s whole family was ripped from him at once in a horrible way. He is left trying to work through the trauma. Yes, the guy has killed a LOT of people, so no I don’t think he should be able to get away with murdering people. That being said, the contracts he takes usually only lead to him killing people who have also harmed others, so sorta better? Kind of like a vigilante persona buried deep in there somewhere, Dagan. I mean, what lengths would you put yourself through to get revenge on your family’s murderers?
My only complaint for the book were some of the transitional points. Either swapping POV or just skipping ahead in time, some books has decorative markers and a way to identify this swap occurring. Usual these are pretty apparent. This novel has it very subtle and took me a few times to understand how the swaps occurred. These changes are marked by simply bolding the first letter of the paragraph and thats it. I think if staying in character of Eli, this is brilliant. He is all about the subtle and not drawing attention to himself. But it was a little harder to do the transition with such a small identifier in my opinion. It is a petty little thing, true, but some of those transitions took me out of the world because I was having to read back a little and figure out what happened.
So even though I received an advanced copy of this book, I honestly really enjoyed this story! I was able to finish it all in one sitting because I was that hooked. This is a thriller and suspense book that I would recommend to anyone else who enjoys those spy/heist stories. I don’t think it would appeal to everyone in the larger genre of thriller and suspense. There are a lot of details in this story and very little is left out when it comes to some of the more blood and gory scenes. I think those scenes help set the presence and feelings for the characters involved, but I can totally understand if you don’t really want a play by play of a bullet passing through an individual and killing them. And that is one of the more milder moments. Hope you all enjoy this book!
Time to get lost in the next story!