Following up on the expertly constructed thrillers, The Color of Night and The Rules of Silence (recently bought by Universal Studios). “New York Times” bestselling author David Lindsey’s latest tour de force, The Face of the Assassin (released January 31, 2008) is yet another reason why he is constantly compared to John leCarre; he consistently measures up! Over the course of 13 previous novels, David Lindsey has proven himself to be one of our most bold and inventive thriller writers and this latest offering will firmly establish his reputation as a master of literary suspense.
The Face of the Assassin
Does an assassin have a face?
Bestelling American writer David Lindsey’s latest book is a riveting account of the fierce world of assassination.
The faceless are Paul Bern's business. As a forensic artist, Paul painstakingly reconstructs the likenesses of unfortunate souls whose features have been obliterated by crime or accident. His macabre yet comfortable and lucrative routine comes to a screaming halt one day, when a mysterious woman arrives at his studio with two gifts. The first is a human skull she has smuggled out of Mexico. The second is a staggering secret that brings him eyeball to eyeball with a past he never knew he had.
Forced to abandon his idyllic central Texan home, he travels to Mexico City, caught up in a murky world of spies, smugglers, renegade Mexican security forces and international terrorism, where he must impersonate his own, recently murdered CIA agent twin brother Jude, the older brother that he never knew he had.
Suddenly, Paul's own government blackmails him into using his own face as bait in a clandestine mission against a Middle Eastern terrorist group with links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah that has made the drug jungles of South America its staging ground to launch another September Eleventh styled attack on a major American city
About the Writer
Lindsey grew up in West Texas and attended college at North Texas State University. He spent a year in graduate school and nine years in publishing, at one point running his own small publishing company, Heidelberg Press. He nursed a passionate desire to write, but with two young children, he resisted the idea, saying, "I married young. We had children young. I had a lot of responsibilities that would be put at risk by beginning a writing career."
So he waited until he was thirty-five, when he couldn't stand it any longer. Out of concern for financial security and after careful evaluation he selected the mystery genre for its consistent marketability, encompassing, as he says, "Dostoyevsky to Mickey Spillane."
A Cold Mind, appeared in 1983, featuring Stuart Haydon, an independently wealthy Houston cop, and began to build a strong, steady following and Lindsey gained a reputation as a writer of dependably pleasing mystery thrillers with an often introspective flavor and a sometimes stunning flair for violence with most of his early books set in Houston.
The clarity of Lindsey's writing about Houston was fueled in part by meticulous research and intensive experience. He had embarked on a career as a mystery writer yet he knew nothing about being a homicide detective. It was a dark, intense world, and it fascinated him. "I made good contacts in the police department. I went on ride-alongs, visited crime scenes, witnessed autopsies. But I wasn't prepared for the violence that I saw during those early years of research. I've seen the morgue when it was full. The overflow spilled out into the halls, which would be lined with gurneys of bodies." These grisly experiences found their way into his writing in an unexpected way, teaching him, "how genuinely complex human life is."
In each book, Stuart Haydon, wandered through a humid miasma of violence and treachery. The ironic combination had a powerful appeal. And Lindsey's ability to bring to each book a complex moral vision in which his characters are forced to face their own potential for evil or for complicity in evil, simply put more brawn on already strong bones.
About the Books
Forensics, criminology and anatomy, combined with religion and philosophy make a good starter recipe for David Lindsey's writing. A creator of consistently successful mystery novels, several featuring his series character Stuart Haydon, he occupies his genre comfortably, and has built an equally comfortable living from it. At the same time, he's stretched the genre to fit an expansive, roving, intelligent sensibility, one that infuses his intricately turned plots with a challenging, double-edged sense of good and evil. In a David Lindsey novel, the tension comes not only from others, but also from within; his leading characters face danger not only in the form of drug smugglers, rogue cops, and serial killers hiding in unexpected places, but also from their own inner darkness.
This sensibility runs underneath a sensual writing style and sure knowledge of his public, which ensure his books enjoy steady sales both here and overseas; translations can be found in twenty languages.
Slowly tiring of Houston and the police department, Lindsey reached a watershed moment with Mercy, a highly successful book that brought him added prominence. "Mercy was an intense experience. It started as an accident, really. I was researching another Stuart Haydon novel. And I was on a ride-along with an FBI agent, riding around Houston. We started talking about Quantico and serial killer profiling. It just grabbed my interest." He switched from the Haydon novel and began writing Mercy, a novel about a female detective hunting a seemingly androgynous serial killer. It combined breathtaking violence with tantalizing sexuality and added a strong female protagonist in the person of Latina detective Carmen Palma. In short, it was a hit.
Having established that he could write a best-selling novel that didn't feature Haydon, Lindsey has continued to move away from his old stomping grounds.
Albeit, An Absence of Light, is still set in Houston, it features a newer character in the form of Marcus Graver, captain of the Houston Police Department’s Intelligence Division.
Requiem for a Glass Heart has a skilled female assassin, Irina Ismaylova against Cate Cuevas, a Houston FBI agent, who has been assigned to infiltrate Irina’s mob boss’ trusted circle.
The Color of Night introduces Harry Strand, a secret agent who has never really come in from the cold despite living quietly as a widowed art dealer in Houston, dealing in Klimt and Schiele and other master painters
His last four novels, including The Face of the Assassin, have dabbled in a variety of genres, from international post-Cold War espionage to the novel of psychological suspense. Switching genres could be seen as a chancy step for a brand-name author of popular fiction. So far, however, the decision has not hurt him.
Ultimately, complexity is David Lindsey's element, which is perhaps a bit ironic, given that he has built his career on genres whose conventions themselves can be considerably less than nuanced. Having said all of this, however, it is surprising to find that David Lindsey is still not widely known in Japan and it is our sincerest wish that the number of Lindsey fans here increases because there is nothing like a great Lindsey book!!
Our company, Hakurosya, placed the advertisement that appears on the left, in the New York Times, September 11, 2005. The advertisement we ran solicited submissions and manuscripts from both aspiring and established writers. We received about 70 submissions, from which, as of August 2007, four have been selected with contracts drawn up between ourselves and the writers.
From the beginning of the Meiji period up to and including today, without exception, the formula for publishing a foreign book in Japan was to purchase the Japanese language rights and pay the associated royalties to a foreign publishing firm and then translate the work into Japanese word by word without deviation, thought or emotion.
In a sense, we would exchange the English language work for a work written in Japanese. They would show us theirs then after we had finished the translation, we would show the foreign publisher ours. This show was called a movement of culture and literature, but was it really? Is it really a cultural exchange of literature?
The writer teaches the editor. The editor refines the writer. This give and take, this reciprocity, this exchange of ideas, influences both parties and the work for the better and together a completed translation that is ready for market is produced. Is this system not favorable? Is this way of producing works in translation not possible?
It is now! Through Hakurosya’s Future Bestseller’s Series (F☆B Series) we hope to achieve our aim of working together with the writer to produce a more honest translation with input from both parties represented in the final draft.
In June of 2007, Hakurosya applied for and received a patent for this entirely novel method of directly reaching out to and discovering new writers; patent reference number HRS0501, application serial number 2005-348206.
At present, our company, Hakurosya is working in partnership with Intercollege Sapporo, the largest translation method school in Hokkaido and together with two English native speakers and over thirty proofreaders, each manuscript we receive is subjected to a rigorous three-step review and evaluation process to determine the work’s merits and potential market appeal.
Who knows whether it is a bold statement, an exaggeration or a serious claim but I have a feeling that one day, this company, Hakurosya, may be congratulating one of those unknown writers who contacted us with their work and their dream for receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature!
See you in Sweden!
President of Hakurosya
Mr. Mitsunobu Yamamoto