The Obedient Assassin


Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution and the head of The Fourth International, was exiled from Russia in the late 1920’s by Joseph Stalin and later assassinated for opposing Stalin’s non-aggression pact with Adolph Hitler.

In this dark and riveting thriller, John Porterfield Davidson has re-envisioned the life and mission of Ramón Mercader, the Spanish nationalist enlisted to murder the great intellectual and who obediently and reluctantly completed the task after a great deal of self-doubt and soul-searching regret.

Ramón’s great internal conflict is ignited by an unexpected and unwanted passion that develops for a left-leaning Jewish woman named Sylvia whom he is ordered to seduce as a means of getting at Trotsky but ends up being the one enthralled by the woman’s intelligence and gentle trusting nature. This finer feeling creates a conflict between Ramón and his mother, part of a satellite group controlled by Stalin who has conscripted her son to murder Trotsky. We follow the protagonist through Spain, France and Belgium and finally to Mexico where he comes into contact with Frieda Kahlo who along with Diego Rivera have offered Trotsky and his wife refuge in one of their gated homes.

With a deft command of mood and atmosphere, John Davidson has woven a narrative that will strongly appeal to all readers of noir Word War II novels.

About The Author

John P. DavidsonJOHN P. DAVIDSON was born and grew up in Fredericksburg, a small ranching community in the Texas Hill Country. He studied economics and history at the University of Texas at Austin then joined the Peace Corps, serving as a Volunteer in Peru where he worked with agricultural coops in the desert south of Lima. Following the Peace Corps, he earned a Master’s degree at the University of Texas while working in a community literacy program.

He began writing at Texas Monthly magazine where one of his early assignments was to follow Mexican workers crossing the Rio Grande River to find jobs in Texas. He made the trip twice with two brothers and in 1980 published The Long Road North, (Doubleday, 1980) He has held senior editorial positions at Texas Monthly, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Vanity Fair. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to GQ, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Elle, Preservation, and Mirabella. He received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, and the Penney-Missouri Prize for Excellence in Journalism. He taught English at the Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico.  He travels frequently in Latin America and lives in Austin, Texas. is a hub for booklovers and dedicated to on-the-rise authors that readers may not have heard of. For readers constantly in search of new titles, authors and ideas for their next read, BookTrib will introduce them under-the-radar writers who might be a perfect match. BookTrib has it all: new and noteworthy, exclusive reviews, video interviews, the hottest book podcasts, and all the buzz to enhance readers' understanding and enjoyment of books and up and coming authors. Top-notch contributors. In-the-know content partners. Expert recommendations. Behind-the-scenes peeks. is produced by Meryl Moss Media, a 25-year-old literary marketing, publicity and social media firm. Visit

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