Title: Mortal Showdown
Author: Nik Krasno
“Mortal Showdown is an action packed thriller sending the reader on a kaleidoscopic race through violence, sex, scamming and anti-scamming, political upheaval and murder. Michael (Misha) – a Ukrainian oligarch who was rapidly climbing the Forbes rich list, wakes from a coma caused by an assassination attempt and realizes that he’s in the thick of a multilayered attack on him and his business empire. Making things even worse – among his numerous adversaries is one of Russia’s most influential strongmen. From rich and powerful, Michael very quickly becomes a fugitive, struggling for survival. Counting on his wits and a handful of loyal associates, he searches for a way to even the score with each of his adversaries and to save his country from the Russian bear’s grasp. In order to have the slightest chance in a face-off with his prime nemesis, Michael needs to attack head on, undertaking the greatest risk of his entire life. Unfortunately, the dangerous mission goes wrong from the very beginning…”
Mortal Showdown is a thriller that has no filter. Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with violence, sex, murder, etc., but Nik Krasno does so in such an elegant way that the reader can’t turn away. Usually it takes me a while to get into thrillers, but from the first page I could see how talented Krasno is. He has a way of being crass in a way that isn’t demeaning and doesn’t cross a line. Even though there were derogatory comments made towards women and other characters in the novel, it was clear that this was just an element of the setting of the story, and I didn’t find it insulting.
It was clear to me that Nik Krasno knows people, how they act and why they act the way that they do. His writing was so clear that I could see clearly the events that he was describing. Even though I don’t know very much about politics in Russia and Ukraine, Krasno had such a grip on both countries that the reader wasn’t required to have this knowledge in order to enjoy the novel. All of the events that occurred in the novel were more than enough to keep the reader captivated, and I was captivated by the fact that everything seemed to be going wrong. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Political thrillers can be very hard to pull off at times, but Krasno goes above and beyond. His writing deserves more than a 5/5 rating, and I highly recommend it. It helped me to gain a big appreciation for thrillers that I did not have before reading this novel. I hope that he continues to write more, because if he does, I know that he will be very successful.
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