Revenge of the Assassin, the second novel in the Assassin series, is the blistering sequel to the bestselling international thriller King of Swords. When El Rey, the super assassin responsible for Latin America's most spectacular hits, returns to Mexico for one final sanction, the race is on for Captain Romero Cruz of the Federales to stop him before he can fulfill his contract to kill the president. Revenge will delight fans of King of Swords, and offers the same gritty, unpredictable ride of thrills, twists and surprises, before arriving at a conclusion that is sure to leave readers gasping.
Question and Answer with Russell Blake
Q: Revenge of the Assassin chronicles another El Rey adventure. Why the fascination with this contract killer?
RB: El Rey is one of those characters you hate, but you're fascinated by. Rather like Hannibal Lector. He's a cold blooded sociopath who kills without remorse, but he's really, really interesting. The more I wrote about him in King of Swords, and then the prequel to that book, Night of the Assassin, the more the character grew on me, and the more I wanted to see him in action. That, and the natural adversarial tension that had developed in King between Captain Cruz and El Rey seemed like it wasn't over yet. Revenge is the answer to the question, "What happens next?"
Q: Your portrayal of cartel violence in Mexico is disturbing. Is it really that bad?
RB: My depiction is accurate, and if anything, is the tame version. Something like 15,000 people died in 2011 alone due to cartel violence. Those kinds of numbers are usually associated with civil wars or armed insurgency. The cartels are de facto governors of some regions of Mexico, and the government, like that of Colombia, simply shrugs its shoulders and won't go into those areas - or if it does, it goes in like the U.S. does in Iraq, cocked and loaded in an invasion mode. That's alarming when it's within its own borders. The situation is out of control in many areas, and is a direct function of the money being made trafficking drugs to the largest market in the world: the U.S. I wish I could see it getting better anytime soon, because I love living here in Mexico, but I'd be lying.
Q: What books would you advise readers who have never read your work to check out?
RB: One of my faves for over-the-top action is the JET series. It's also my most popular. If they're into noir whodunnits, BLACK would be their cuppa. If they like Day of the Jackal, get King of Swords. And if they want something altogether different, I'd say try The Geronimo Breach, Fatal Exchange, or Upon A Pale Horse. Can't go wrong with any of those, and they are all very different approaches to the suspense thriller genre.