Friday, August 28, 2009

The Daily Beast Roars for Heart of the Assassin

David J. Mongomery, Mystery and Thrillers critic for the Daily Beast gave a great review to Heart of the Assassin this morning. I'm particularly pleased that he noted the human and family aspect of this final volume.

Robert Ferrigno brings his “Assassin” trilogy to a close with Heart of the Assassin, the final chapter in what has become an ingenious look at what the United States might be like if it underwent an Islamic revolution. Ferrigno posits a world in which America, wracked by years of economic devastation, moral decay, and never-ending conflicts, has undergone a civil war, splitting into two very difference sections: one a conservative Christian nation based in the former American South (“The Bible Belt”), the other a moderate Islamic Republic, centered in the city of Seattle.

Against this startling backdrop, Ferrigno has cast an intriguing, fast-paced thriller that sees the Islamic Republic and the Bible Belt both threatened with attack from the expansionist Aztlán Empire (formerly Latin America). In order to find a solution to this imperialist threat, Rakkim Epps, a biologically enhanced covert operative and hero of the series, must journey into the nuclear wasteland that is Washington, D.C. in an effort to find a holy relic that can bring the two halves of the United States back together.

Heart of the Assassin differs from the first two books in the trilogy with a more heartfelt and human focus. Rakkim is now married with a son, giving him both more to care about and more to lose, yet he’s willing to risk everything to save the country he loves. Heart still has the amazing sense of imagination of Prayers of the Assassin, and the action and suspense of Sins of the Assassin, but it also has an emotional resonance that brings the series to a fitting close.