Satori by Don Winslow, A Novel Based on Trevanian’s Shibumi – The Multi-Million Copy Bestseller

by |February 16, 2011

Nicholai Hel exploded onto the scene in Trevanian’s 1970s blockbuster Shibumi. Now critically acclaimed novelist Don Winslow continues the story and reveals how Nicolai Hel became the world’s most dangerous assassin.

A gripping thriller that follows assassin Nicholai Hel across Asia as he fights to regain his freedom.

Sugamo Prison, Japan, October 1951. Twenty-six year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement for the murder of his mentor. A formidable assassin, linguist and scholar, as well as a master of hoda korosu or naked kill , he has developed a supreme awareness of the presence of danger. Suddenly offered the chance of freedom, he feels it now as never before…

Overseen by Haverford, his American spymaster, and the beautiful and mysterious Solange he must go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union’s commissioner to China. In a landscape primed for war this is a suicide mission he has no choice but to accept.

Can Hel succeed in winning his freedom and if so, at what cost? And can he ever achieve his ultimate goal of satori the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world?

From the glittering corruption of Beijing to the darkest shadows of the Vietnam jungle, his mission will sweep him through a world of chaos, violence and imminent betrayal. For in those shadows lurks a formidable adversary known only as The Cobra, who strikes without warning and kills without mercy.

About the Author

Trevanian was the pen name of Dr Rodney William Whitaker.  Trevanian was the pen name of Dr Rodney William Whitaker. He wrote several classic international bestsellers, including SHIBUMI and  THE EIGER SANCTION. He died in 2005.

Don Winslow was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. His books include THE POWER OF THE DOG, SAVAGES and THE DAWN PATROL In addition to his writing Don has been an actor, director, movie theatre manager, safari guide and private investigator. Don lives in the San Diego area with his wife Jean and son Thomas.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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