Book review: The Obedient Assassin by John P. Davidson


The Obedient Assassin: A Novel Based on a True StoryThe Obedient Assassin: A Novel Based on a True Story by John P. Davidson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review. Thank you so much for this book.

This book is based on the story of Leon Trotsky assassination in Mexico.

The story begins with the Spanish revolution when the communist Ramon Mercader is convinced by the Soviets to murder Leon Trotsky .

After the death of Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin emerged as a leader of the Soviet Union. Even if Trotsky seems to be the heir apparent of Lenin, he lost the fight of Lenin’s succession. Due to his criticism the new regime established by Stalin, Trotsky is forced to live in exile. In 1936, he finally obtained an asylum in Mexico.

The author describes the enrollment of Mercader in his mission to murder the head of the Fourth International. By arriving in Mexico he becomes a friend of Sylvia Ageloff, a rich American Jewess, whose family are known to visit Trotsky. Trotsky lived at the “Blue House” owned by the famous mexican painter Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo.

Since this book is based on a true story, the author demonstrates an extensive research work by telling the story as close as possible to the historical facts.

The book is fast-paced and it is almost impossible to stop reading once you start to be engaged in this fascinate plot.

A similar book, based on this same subject, was published in 2009: The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura Fuentes.

It is “amazing” how some authors are regaining ideas from their books based on books which have been already published. A similar case happen with Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and published in 2014 compared to Fanny Stevenson by Alexandra Lapierre which was published in 1993.

An interesting movie Frida (2002) was made based on the background’s story, with Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush.

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