Grand Central. Mar. 2011. c.512p. ISBN 9780446561921. $25.99. F
In his 1979 classic Shibumi, Trevanian introduced assassin Nicholai Hel, fluent in seven languages, a master of a form of martial arts called "naked kill," and in possession of "proximity sense" that enables him not only to know when someone approaches him but to sense how that person is feeling. That novel was fluff but fun, not so much for its action as for the over-the-top James Bond-like touches and Trevanian's mordant sense of humor. (The CIA is represented by the Deputy International Liaison Duty Officer, whose acronym is never spelled out.) Now Shamus Award winner Winslow (Savages) continues the story, fleshing out one incident from Hel's past that was mentioned in the first book but not elaborated: a CIA-sponsored assassination attempt against the Soviet commissioner in China.
VERDICT This is a straightforward adventure book: there's a good deal of killing and sex in it but little of the humor of the original. A so-so thriller that peters out toward the end. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/10.]

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