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After listening to the master piece Birth of an Assassin, I was looking forward to The Turkish Connection. This is a different book, and not exactly a continuation, even though it is presented as the second book in the series. The story happens in the same universe as Birth of an Assassin, but I would say that this is one complements the first novel. One of the subplots in Birth of an Assassin was about Jez’s sisters sent to Turkey to work as prostitutes. We see a little bit of them here, along with other characters from book 1, but the main story is a completely unrelated one.
The main character of The Turkish Connection is Mehmet, a young boy of eight from Istanbul who is kidnapped after his father has been killed for being caught stealing some money from one of his friends. Mehmet starts a new life surviving with a band of urchins, but he has an enemy that wants him dead. The reader will go along Mehmet in the journey of his life, from becoming an orphan to the point where is is recruited by a higher cause, but he will never forget his desire for revenge.
This is again an action packed thriller that spans many years in the life of its characters. If there is something characteristic in Stone’s books is how time and events affect their characters, and how there is a clear evolution in the main character, causing a grave transformation that will be decisive in the main events.
We are against a complex story again, with many subplots and reading layers. We are witness to the corruption by quite different people, but there is also the need for justice, the desire for revenge, and there is even place for low passions. The characters were amazingly well written, and Stone’s style makes you see the characters’ surroundings like you were part of the main action. I definitely cared for Mehmet, and suffered a lot with the ordeals he met in his journey.
I was glad to listen to Dennis Kleinman again narrating a book written by Rik Stone. His style works perfectly for Stone’s stories, using a compelling tone that kept me on the edge of my seat. His characters’ interpretations were spot on, I just missed again some voice range variation, even when voicing female characters, which were not many this time.
This book can be read as a standalone, since it is not really a sequel to Birth of an Assassin, but the clear references will delight anyone who has read the previous book. I am looking forward to The Man in the Blue Fez.
I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.
If you could sum up The Turkish Connection in three words, what would they be?
Desperation, violence, flashbacks.
Who was your favorite character and why?
It was obviously Mehmet as he finds his way through the world of crime, sex trafficking and survival. He learns to work the system and becomes a thief working with his gang.
Which character – as performed by Dennis Kleinman – was your favorite?
I'd have to say Ozel as he works these young children into the world of theft and violence.
Who was the most memorable character of The Turkish Connection and why?
Mehmet. The reason being you meet Mehmet as a young boy and follow his survival through the streets of Istanbul.