Trevanian's Shibumi was a landmark bestseller, one of the classic international bestselling thrillers of the twentieth century. Now, chosen by Trevanian's heirs, the hugely admired writer Don Winslow returns with an irresistible "prequel": Satori.
It is the fall of 1951 and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hodo korosu or "naked kill," and fluent in over six languages. Genius and mystic, he has honed extraordinary "proximity sense" – an extra-awareness of the presence of danger – and has the skills to be the world's most formidable assassin. The Americans need him. They offer Hel freedom in exchange for one small service: go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's Commissioner to China. It's almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive violence, suspicion and betrayal while trying to achieve the ultimate goal of satori – the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.