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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ferrigno on Jim Pfaff's radio show

Did a full hour on Jim Pfaff's radio show, which is broadcast out of Denver. I thought it went well. (Our gurantee, no more than five uhhs per sentence!)

link 1

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best Tweet EVER

Reader Kevin A has been spreading the word about Heart of the Assassin. He just sent me this visual tweet whcih knocked me out. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

National Review Online podcast

I was interviewed a few days ago by John J. Miller of National Review Online. The podcast has just been posted.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Heart of the Assassin youtube clip (reposted)


Here's the youtube trailer my pal Michael Dougan and I made for Heart of the Assassin. We decided not to go for one of me in a leather chair smoking a pipe and blathering on about the book. We opted for old comic books and cartoons, and a soundtrack from a maniac turning a radio dial in a 57 Chevy under a crescent moon. If you like it, pass it on.

My interview with Hugh Hewitt (podcast)

Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Daniel C, who informs me that Seattle radio station KKOL no longer carries the Hugh Hewitt show, and suggests that I tell you to simply listen to it on the live streaming audio on KRLA, Hugh's home station. This will work no matter where you live. The show begins at 3pm PST/6pm EST.

I'll try to be coherent.

ADDED: Here's the link to the podcast of my Hugh Hewitt interview

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Robert on radio

On Monday, August 10, I'll be the first guest on Hugh Hewitt's national radio show, doing a full hour talking about Heart of the Assassin and anything else Hugh brings up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

great deal on Heart of the Assassin ebook

I just got this from my publisher. Definitely a great deal for ebook readers.

Scribner will be doing a promotional eBook free download promotion with the first two novels in the Assassin Trilogy with Amazon Kindle and Sony eReader. may participate in the promotion as well, but we are waiting on their confirmation. I wanted to send you some information on the promotion so you are aware. The way the promotion will work is listed below.

When a consumer buys the eBook of the third novel, Heart of the Assassin, they will be given the opportunity to download the first two eBooks, Prayers for the Assassin and Sins of the Assassin, at no cost. The promotion will run for the first two weeks the eBook for Heart of the Assassin is on sale (8/11/09 – 8/25/09).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Seattle Times covers the trilogy

Monday, August 3, 2009 at 12:00 AM
E-mail article Lit Life
Robert Ferrigno's 'Assassin' trilogy, a topsy-turvy alternative history
Kirkland author Robert Ferrigno's "Assassin" trilogy features an America that's converted to Islam after a long, grueling war — it has fans in France, Russia, China and throughout the Arabic-speaking world. The third novel in the trilogy has just been published, and Ferrigno reads at several Seattle area locations this month.

By Mary Ann Gwinn
Seattle Times book editor

It was shortly after 9/11, and the United States had just declared war on Iraq. This is what Kirkland author Robert Ferrigno was hearing: "Everyone was so gung-ho, saying 'We'll go to war, we'll kick butt, we'll be out in two weeks.' But writers like to invert logic. I thought, 'What if it's a long war?' "

Ferrigno (pronounced Fur-Eeen-Yo) wasn't a prescient foreign-policy expert but a successful writer of thrillers, set mostly in Southern California with a good-guy-faces-hard-choices theme. But he took a risk: he started writing what publishing calls an "alternative history," a novel that takes a pivot point in history and then goes in the opposite direction.

Ferrigno's premise was "in a long war, it's the spiritual strength of the combatants that matters." Devotees of Islam are fervent and have exceedingly long memories. Americans, on the other hand ... " 'If it's an hour old, it's too old' ... 'If we can't win, we want to get out now.' "

Thus was born Ferrigno's 2006 "Prayers for the Assassin." Washington, D.C., New York and Mecca have been nuked, and Zionist fanatics are blamed. Repelled and worn out by a long war, most Americans have converted to Islam and pledge allegiance to the Islamic States of America (capital: Seattle!), though it's in conflict with a swath of the Christian Bible Belt. But bad guys, including a radical right-wing Islamic sect named the Black Robes, are trying to seize power, and only an elite soldier named Rakkim Epps stands in their way.

"Prayers" got rave reviews and was followed by a second book: "Sins of the Assassin." Now the third in the trilogy is out: "Heart of the Assassin." Ferrigno's counterintuitive premise turned him into an amateur scholar on Islam and connected him with a worldwide audience.
Surprisingly, he has a devoted military readership: "The military likes the fact that the stakes are so high, that this is a fight for values and sovereignty. There is a continuity to Islam, a sense of right and wrong, and the military has a sense of right and wrong. If you tell a lie at West Point, you get thrown out."

And a good chunk of his international readers are Muslim. Foreign versions of the "Assassin" books were first published in Turkey, an Islamic country with a secular government (just like his fictional version). They've been published in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France, China and Russia. The Egyptian edition has been distributed throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
Ferrigno has a spirited correspondence with his Muslim readers; "even the angry ones are trying to educate me," he says, laughing. "But 98 percent of the comments are positive; they feel it's so rare that Muslims are treated as human beings."

It's been a long haul; six years of contemplating religious war and apocalyptic terror. But here's the rewarding part of writing entertaining, thought-provoking books — people read them. He got a letter after "Prayers" was published from an English working-class guy in his 20s. "He said 'Prayers for the Assassin' was the first book he ever read all the way through," Ferrigno says.

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Mary Ann Gwinn appears on Classical KING-FM's Arts Channel at
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company