The Assassin is the latest book in the Isabella Rose spy thriller series by one of my favorites authors in the genre, Mark Dawson.
If you like spy thrillers, books with assassins, hitmen, and shady organizations, reading the Mark Dawson books in order will give you a world where you constantly crave the next story to come out. You won’t get enough. I know I don’t.
First, it was John Milton. I was hooked on that series. Next, I’ve read the Beatrix Rose series. I was still hooked. And now, we have already the 4th book in the Isabella Rose series, featuring Isabella, the daughter of the ex-operative Beatrix, who is carving her own way in the dangerous life of an assassin.
In The Agent, Isabella was thrown together with Michael Pope, an operative with his own demons to fight. He was darn good at his job, but things got tough, he learned more than he should have and became a liability to the very organization that he worked for. So the two were now on the run.
We also met Maia, an enhanced human who was one of the few secret weapons that were cultivated and used for their purpose.
In The Assassin, Maia and Isabelle have been together for a year, training together and plotting their next steps. Michael Pope was out of sight after the events of the previous book.
Maia is Isabelle’s mentor and she is pushing her hard to become stronger than she’s ever been. And that is no small feat considering that Isabelle is only 16, still a teenager. Now, after one year of plotting, Maia and Isabelle are ready to put their very dangerous plan into action and it will take all their cunning, wit and everything they’ve learned together to succeed.
Over the last four books, we’ve seen Isabelle grown from a child with difficult past into the strong young adult she is now. She is truly her mother’s daughter. We’ve also got to learn more about Maia and appreciate her for who she really is. And, of course, in this last installment, we got to meet Pope again, ready to save the day – and Isabella of course. Or is Isabella the one to save him for once?
The story is fascinating, and while it at times stretches credibility, this is a fiction novel, so leaps of faith are allowed. There is constant action or its plotting, but something is always going on. The author once again proves that he is master of his craft. He is truly an accomplished storyteller.
The characters – even the bad ones – are well fleshed-out, and everyone has their own reasons for their action. You do get to see inside their heads, and sometimes you feel dirty just by reading about the evil going on behind the curtains.
Someone mentioned on Goodreads that the Isabella Rose might end with The Assassin. Thankfully (without giving spoilers), the ending left it open enough for at least one more book to go.
While this is not a John Milton series, my heart did skip a bit during one tiny moment when his name was mentioned by one of the characters. I miss John Milton so much, but thankfully, The Redeemer, the latest book in the series, is not all that far away with only a few more weeks to go. It’s already on my preorder list.
Each series in itself is addictive, but if you do want to start the Mark Dawson books, do start with John Milton and then work your way up the rest of the series.