Nicholai Hel is the world’s most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful... show more
Nicholai Hel is the world’s most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world’s most artful lover and its most accomplished—and well-paid—assassin. Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his exquisite mistress, Hel is unwillingly drawn back into the life he’d tried to leave behind when a beautiful young stranger arrives at his door, seeking help and refuge. It soon becomes clear that Hel is being tracked by his most sinister enemy—a supermonolith of international espionage known only as the Mother Company. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other . . . shibumi.
Publish date: May 10th 2005
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages no: 480
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Spy Thriller
, Mystery Thriller
Series: Nicholai Hel (#1)
“Miss Swivven regretted two aspects of her career: this getting sunburned every week or so, and the occasional impersonal use Mr. Diamond made of her to relieve his tensions. Still, she was philosophic. No job is perfect.” “Hana laughed softly. “Do call me Hana. After all, I am not Nicholai’s wife...
"Shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor i...
Playful take on the thriller genre, and shows surprisingly few creaky parts for being published in 1979. The computer databases know everything, just like now, only they print it on old-fashioned paper. I liked the first half, going from current spies trying to clean up after a botched case and the ...
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5! Senses Working Overtime!SEE the assassin in his youth! see him as a child in war-torn Shanghai, as a young Go-Master in Japan, as a dutiful son and as a tortured prisoner, as an expert caver in Basque Spain, as an equally expert Stage IV Lovemaker! see him enact the "Delight of th...
This book is one of the best spy novels I’ve ever read. I learned many things about Japanese culture and history. I also enjoyed the portrayal of Basque people (who are very similar to Iranian Kurds!). There were fantastic characters in the book, including General Kashikawa, Le Cagot (revolutionary ...