Title: Assassin’s Lullaby
Author: Mark Rubinstein
Published on: 21 June 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Meet Eli Dagan, thirty-nine-year old ex-Mossad agent who now works as a freelance assassin. He has made quite a lot of money by killing people and is definitely not in need of money. But when an Odessa Mafia boss Anton Gorlov asks him to meet, Eli’s curiosity is piqued.
He had asked the Mafia head to come alone and at the last minute, he even changes their meeting destination. But Eli finds that Anton does not travel alone. What does Anton want from Eli? He has two jobs for Eli – the first is to eliminate a rival gangleader who is currently undergoing trial. The gang leader’s dealing might come to light during the trail and Anton might be arrested too.
Anton wants to eliminate all loose ends before he leaves the country for good. Money is no issue. Eli will be paid separately for the two jobs. The first involves eliminating Agapov and the second… well, Anton wants to keep it a secret until the first job is done.
Eli asks Anton to send a dossier on Agapov – the usual details such as Agapov’s daily routines, how many bodyguards and all that. How would he approach his target? Anton says not to worry as Agapov would contact Eli directly. After a few days, Agapov does call Eli and has an assignment for him. Eliminate his rival… Anton.
Eli has followed a certain routine throughout his career as an assassin. He never met his clients in person. All the dealings were done through phone calls. He has worked for Anton before and was quite surprised when Anton asked him to meet face-to-face. Eli once again breaks his rule when Agapov too requests a face-to-face meeting.
What made Eli turn from a Mossad agent to a hire assassin? Grief. Loss. Eli lost his loved ones to a hate crime and that made him join the Mossad where he was trained to be a killer. Once his first target was eliminated, he did not want to stop killing.
Throughout the story, we have Eli reminiscing his past – the good times with the love of his life Hannah, his mother’s last words and the loss of his parents and pregnant wife to a suicide bomber. As a trained assassin, it is also necessary for Eli to keep looking over his shoulder at all times. How to lose a tail or how to recognize one is all part of his daily life. When he receives a job from Anton, his paranoia gets the better of him. Everybody seems like a threat… a threat that Eli must either eliminate or lose (track of).
It had been ages since I read a story like this. The hunter becomes the hunted. The best part about this book is the chase. Eli is an assassin, yes, but he’s also being hunted by the rival gang. Then comes a twist. The second job that Anton has for him. Eli finds himself loosening up a bit, at the cost of not paying attention to his surroundings. Oh boy! That is not the best way for an assassin to keep himself safe.
Mark Rubinstein is a master storyteller. We have lots of twists in the story – starting from the time when Eli meets Agapov to Anton’s second task to the ending. Speaking of endings, that was one heck-of-a-twist! I had to read the paragraph twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and Eli was, in real, facing something dangerous. Double crossings are plenty and money plays a major role – both rival have their ‘inside’ man in each other’s gangs. And Eli is caught in between.
Assassin’s Lullaby by Mark Rubinstein is a captivating thriller with plot twists you will never see coming. If you are a looking for a completely gripping and thrilling read, you might want to give this book a try.
Many thanks to Michelle from FSB Associates for sending me an ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.