Today I’m featuring a guest post by author Mark Rubinstein, author of the suspense thriller Assassin’s Lullaby
Praise for Assassin’s Lullaby
“I’ve been a fan of Mark Rubinstein for years, but with Assassin’s Lullaby, Mark joins the ranks of Daniel Silva and John le Carré. It’s a riveting story, relentlessly paced, yet still creates the blood and bones and psyche of its titular assassin. It’s thrilling with every turn of the page yet maintains an authentic and unique voice to this weary killer. Don’t miss it!” —James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Odyssey
“Assassin’s Lullaby is the kind of thriller that will have you breathlessly flipping each page. Rubinstein’s lean prose perfectly captures the stark, brutally honest life of a paid killing machine, even as the quiet moments let you, the reader, and Eli, the assassin, wonder if he shouldn’t want for something more.” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of the D. D. Warren series
“Mark Rubinstein’s Assassin’s Lullaby is vividly intense. For this man who doesn’t exist but who is all too real, every detail carries life-and-death significance. Every instant might be this assassin’s last. The immediacy is palpable.” —David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of First Blood
“Jam-packed with crosses, double-crosses, murders fair and foul, Assassin’s Lullaby is anything but sleep inducing. An edge-of-your-seat thriller stretching from Israel to Russia to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, it is a novel both grand in scale and incredibly intimate.” —Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Sleepless City
“Assassin’s Lullaby magically combines relentless action, psychological suspense, and emotional drama for a high-stakes thrill ride.” —Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author of All the Colors of Night
“Assassin’s Lullaby is a master class in crime fiction. It’s a beautiful and moving noir creation, and if it is indeed a lullaby, then Mark Rubinstein is singing and writing in a new octave.” —Richard C. Simons, MD, former President, American Psychoanalytic Association
“In Assassin’s Lullaby, Mark Rubinstein is at the top of his game. As with all his suspense novels, he grabs you by the throat with his first sentence and then puts you on a roller-coaster ride of action and suspense. He is a master at misdirection, which adds dramatically to his storytelling. You will love Rubinstein’s latest.” —Joseph Badal, award-winning author of The Carnevale Conspiracy
“Mark Rubinstein is a member of the ‘real pro’ club when it comes to thrills, reversals, and creating gripping, real-time storylines, and Assassin’s Lullaby will only advance his reputation.” —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of The One Man
“Eli Dagan is one hell of a very human assassin, and this is one hell of a story.” —Peter James, bestselling author of the Roy Grace series
In every life, there lurks catastrophe. So believes Eli Dagan, a thirty-nine-year-old man whose traumatic past led to his service as an assassin for the Mossad. He now lives in New York City, where under various assumed names he’s a contract killer. Anton Gorlov, the head of the Brooklyn-based Odessa mafia, has a new and challenging assignment for Eli. Gorlov wants to leave the country permanently, so all loose ends must be eliminated. He’s willing to pay $1 million for a task divided into two parts. The job involves extreme measures along with unprecedented danger for Eli, who has lived a ghostly existence over the last ten years. Is accepting Gorlov’s offer a subliminal death wish? Or is it a way to reclaim part of his damaged soul? For the first time since his pregnant wife and parents were killed by a suicide bomber years earlier, Eli Dagan faces challenges that will reconnect him with his blighted past and may yet offer hope for a new and better life.
What’s With All the Mafia Stories?
by Mark Rubinstein,
Author of Assassin’s Lullaby
Whether it’s The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, a Jack Reacher novel, or crime novels by Don Winslow, Nelson DeMille, Dennis Lehane, James Patterson, or other bestselling authors, the mafia will likely make an appearance.
It can be the old Italian mob or Russian Organized Crime, or the Irish or Albanian mafia or the emergence of a Colombian or Mexican cartel kingpin. It can involve the old Untouchables series, the Cagney, Bogart, and Robinson movies of the 30s and 40s, or the more contemporary mafia-thriller renderings. These stories live on in the popular imagination and no doubt, will continue to do so.
Mafia stories seem to have a timeless appeal whether they arise as a blockbuster movie, a nail-biting TV series, or a page-turning bestseller.
There may be many reasons for the enduring popularity of mafia stories whether told on the screen or page.
For one, the mafia may be seen as the realization of the American dream. Against many odds, the mafia Don is depicted as a self-made man who, despite the odds being stacked against him, climbs the economic ladder to success. Though mafiosi are often portrayed as flawed, greedy, and ruthless, they’re pitted against the well-ordered establishment and are portrayed as outsiders who manage to beat the system. Thus, the fictional mafiosi are idealized anti-heroes who succeed in a cruelly hostile world.
We shouldn’t forget that mafiosi are portrayed mythically as “men of honor” bound by a code of intense loyalty and enduring family ties. There’s the well-worn lore that they’re men of passion in an age when such qualities are viewed as rare to non-existent. Of course, this is the fictional mafia while in reality, the mafia (of any ethnic persuasion) corrupts, degrades, and kills. The fictional portrayals romanticize these criminals, often making them heroic figures or anti-heroes. But we all must have our illusions and mafia stories provide us with plenty of illusory lore, especially when it comes to honor, tradition, and family loyalties.
And let’s not overlook the reality that people have always had a morbid fascination with crime, violence and sex, (whether presented in a series like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones) which are richly depicted in countless mafia tales.
There’s the vicarious nature—and the fantasy—of the forbidden and exciting criminal life depicted in stories involving the dark side of human nature. It’s a darkness we find compellingly attractive. This is especially true for sex, vengeance, and violence. These hidden (largely unacceptable) urges are often at the deeply buried core of our beings, and run rampant in virtually all mafia stories.
How else can we explain the popularity, not only of mafia tales, but of boxing, professional wrestling, and mixed martial arts, otherwise known as cage fighting? In essence, mafia tales appeal to the primal urges that lie deeply buried within us. And whether reading a crime novel, watching a mafia television series, or sitting in a movie theater, we can get our vicarious fix of these forbidden fruits.
Mark Rubinstein is the author of Assassin’s Lullaby. Rubinstein, a novelist, physician, and psychiatrist, has written eight nonfiction books, including The Storytellers. He has also written eight novels and novellas, including the Mad Dog trilogy and The Lovers’ Tango. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut. For more information, please visit http://www.markrubinstein-author.com
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