The Obedient Assassin (Hardcover)
Delphinium Books, 9781883285586, 312pp.
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution and the head of The Fourth International, was exiled from Russia in the late 1920's by Joseph Stalin and later assassinated for opposing Stalin's non-aggression pact with Adolph Hitler.
In this dark and riveting thriller, John Porterfield Davidson has re-envisioned the life and mission of Ram?n Mercader, the Spanish nationalist enlisted to murder the great intellectual and who obediently and reluctantly completed the task after a great deal of self-doubt and soul-searching regret.
Ram?n's great internal conflict is ignited by an unexpected and unwanted passion that develops for a left-leaning Jewish woman named Sylvia whom he is ordered to seduce as a means of getting at Trotsky but ends up being the one enthralled by the woman's intelligence and gentle trusting nature. This finer feeling creates a conflict between Ram?n and his mother, part of a satellite group controlled by Stalin who has conscripted her son to murder Trotsky. We follow the protagonist through Spain, France and Belgium and finally to Mexico where he comes into contact with Frieda Kahlo who along with Diego Rivera have offered Trotsky and his wife refuge in one of their gated homes.
With a deft command of mood and atmosphere, John Davidson has woven a narrative that will strongly appeal to all readers of noir Word War II novels.