Russell Blake was introduced to me by fellow author, David Lender. As you know, I like good writers and people who have adventurous spirits—Russell certainly qualifies as both. You’ll discover more about him in the coming months when he’s interviewed here, but in the meantime, enjoy finding out about his latest release, King of Swords.
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Thanks so much for the opportunity to share with your audience, Eden. My name’s Russell Blake, and I write suspense/intrigue thrillers with a strong conspiracy undercurrent. I live full time in Mexico, where I’ve resided happily for approaching a decade.
My latest novel, King of Swords, draws on my familiarity with Mexico, specifically with the culture of modern Mexico, which is completely different than the country portrayed in Hollywood and the news. It draws on that different perspective, and my exposure to the ongoing de facto civil war between the drug cartels and the government, to frame a novel that was demanding to get out. It’s an assassination thriller set in present-day Mexico, where a cop gets wind of an assassination plot by a super assassin known only as “El Rey” – the King of Swords – after the tarot card he uses as his calling card on hits. The cop, captain Romero Cruz of the Mexican Federal Police, must race to find and stop El Rey from killing the U.S. and Mexican presidents at the upcoming G-20 financial summit in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. King of Swords is a gritty, disturbing, lurid, breakneck-paced novel that unflinchingly describes the reality of the cartel violence that kills between eight to ten thousand people in Mexico every year, as well as examines the financial and political drivers behind the drug trade. Day of the Jackal is one of my favorite novels, and I always wanted to write a book like it. I’ve been told that King of Swords is like Jackal on steroids in a Ferrari on an ice-covered autobahn. It’s unlike anything else I’ve written, or read – and I read voraciously. I would advise readers who are unfamiliar with my work to give King of Swords twenty minutes, and if they can put it down, I failed. Likewise, if they aren’t disturbed or cringing or wincing in places, I failed. And if they can sleep at night, or don’t have recurring dreams of scenes from the book, I failed. It’s a novel that is designed to affect and move, that will cause readers to want to recommend it and discuss it, and it’s written in a manner that presumes the reader is intelligent and informed. I think of my readers as bright, jaded, pragmatic, and demanding much from their books. If you’re looking for formulaic or monosyllabic, I’m not going to be your cuppa. I deliberately push the envelope on everything, at all times, in the book – it’s unconventional, in the same way a season of “24” was unconventional when that TV show first broadcast. If you want predictable books where ex-CIA killers make the ladies swoon, you won’t like me. If you demand thrillers that leave you gasping, going, “WTF was that?” you should give me a try.
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King of Swords is an epic assassination thriller framed against a gritty backdrop of brutal drug cartel violence in modern Mexico.
The G-20 Financial Summit is planned for San Jose Del Cabo. The world’s pre-eminent finance ministers will attend, along with the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico.
Captain Romero Cruz of the Mexican Federal Police uncovers an assassination plot against the attendees. In a roller-coaster race against the clock, Cruz must track and stop El Rey, the “King of Swords” – a faceless super-assassin responsible for a string of the world’s most spectacular killings, before he turns the G-20 into a slaughterhouse.
King of Swords is an intelligent, rule-breaking rush that shatters convention to create a richly-drawn story that’s sure to shock and delight even the most jaded intrigue/adventure thriller fans.
Russell Blake is the international bestselling author of Fatal Exchange, a groundbreaking genre-blending thriller set against the counter-culture backdrop of New York’s gritty underground, The Geronimo Breach, an action/intrigue/thriller set in Panama, the bestselling Zero Sum trilogy of Wall Street thrillers – Kotov Syndrome, Focal Point and Checkmate (which hit #15 on Amazon’s top 100 free books), The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, the epic assassination thriller, King of Swords, and its prequel, Night of the Assassin.
His first satirical non-fiction work, How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated) was released to critical raves. An Angel With Fur, his second non-fiction book chronicling the saga of Lobo the miracle dog, has been the #1-#5 Book in Animal Essays at Amazon UK for months.
“Captain” Russell, 52, lives on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where he spends his time writing, fishing, collecting & drinking tequila, and playing with his dogs. He is currently hard at work on a magnum opus of indeterminate plot, topic or genre, tentatively titled The Voynich Cipher, and a panoramic, epic screenplay about…cartoon ninja beavers for whom this time it’s personal, tentatively titled Beaver Team Bravo.
Often referred to as “The Writer’s Writer’s Writer’s Writer,” Russell is also a self-declared guru on everything related to writing, self-publishing and self-promotion. And he hates clowns.