The Honourable Assassin | Roland Perry

THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN is Roland Perry’s twenty-eighth book, this action spy thriller travels from a murder in a Melbourne laneway to Mexican cartels in Thailand. Perry is best known for his non-fiction, especially history and sports books and biographies. THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN is out now from the folks at Allen and Unwin Book Publishers, you will find this one in most bookstores of you can obtain it HERE. Kernel Kate reviews this one for Salty……..enjoy her thoughts…….all the best…….JK. 

BY KATE DAWES

THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN takes us on an action packed ride through the shady world of Mexican and Thai drug cartels in the latest from Melbourne based author Roland Perry.

As a young man Vic Cavalier put his skills to the test to be accepted into the elite SAS, making it through the course with flying colours, only to fall at the last hurdle. But as the top scorer in every measured attribute he was too valuable to let go. Now decades later Vic works as a newspaper journalist and is the author of a book about cricket, giving him the chance to travel the world for work, but is he working on more than he lets on?

 

author roland perry image
Author Roland Perry Image – Photo Credit: Daily Review

 

Receiving a phone call late one night from his editor, Vic finds himself summoned to an assassination-style murder in an alley by the police investigator working the case. Upon closer inspection he finds the victim is none other than the second-in-command of the Mexican drug cartel Vic suspects of having murdered his daughter. Also on the scene is the beautiful and mysterious Thai task-force cop Jacinta Cin Lai who proves herself to also be a Muay Thai kickboxing champion. With Vic and Jacinta off to Thailand will they get to the bottom of why the Mexicans are working in Thailand or do they have something else in mind?

Perry’s latest novel does a great job of spinning current issues, action and espionage into a fast-paced and gripping read. Setting the bulk of the action in Thailand during the country’s recent civil unrest adds a real sense of danger and urgency for Cavalier, who lives up to his name, even beyond the intrigue he finds himself embroiled with corrupt cops and drug dealers. While Perry’s explanations of how and why the Mexican cartels would choose to operate out of Asia (an explanation which included events as recent as El Chapo’s infamous jail break) creates what is easy to imagine as a perfect storm for police trying to foil international drug smuggling and all this serves to create a sense of urgency which really lifts the pace throughout the last two thirds of the book.

 

The Honourable Assassin Book Cover Image

 

For me THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN is let down a little by some of its unexplored plot points. Despite Vic’s daughter being murdered by the same drug lords he is chasing and Vic being sent video confirmation of this in early chapters this is never really discussed as a motivation for his actions. Even when he learns Jacinta’s best friends have also been murdered by the same drug lord he never really mentions this similarity they have. Additionally while he mentions several times his ex-wife lives in Thailand and has never had positive confirmation of their daughters death he never attempts to track her down or mention this to her. While these little additions serve as a reason for Vic to drink they and a few other asides, which weren’t explored quite enough for me, could have lead to a really deep story with fully rounded characters, instead they are just left as throwaway comments.

With Roland Perry being perhaps best known for his non-fiction work including numerous books on war history and cricket I can’t help but feel there is a little bit of wishful thinking included in the Vic Cavalier character. If nothing else there are certainly a number of similarities. Both journalists have a keen interest in military history and published cricket books under their belts and links to Thailand, with Cavalier even using a story about the Thai- Burma railway, which is remarkably similar to another of Perry’s books, as a cover. As far as having a fantasy double-life goes THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN covers all the bases, who hasn’t imagined what it would be like if they were secretly a spy / assassin / man of mystery on the side, and this despite the unexplored aspects of the plot does give the everyday aspect of Vic’s life a certain reality.

An action-packed ride through international espionage and drug trafficking THE HONOURABLE ASSASSIN is an enjoyable read which is perhaps best taken at face value.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

Having always loved stories one of Kernel Kate’s most frequent childhood memories was her parents telling her in the early hours that it was way too late to still be reading and to go to sleep, but she would always sneak in the end of the chapter. Her love of stories led to a career in movies as well as remaining an avid reader of everything from novels to academic papers and junk mail. She makes a perfect reading machine fit to the Salty Cob.

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or the publisher – credit has been given to photographers where possible and images will be removed on request