Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider Series #10)

Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider Series #10)

by Anthony Horowitz


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Alex Rider will soon be a star in his very own TV series! 
Alex Rider is an orphan turned teen superspy who's saving the world one mission at a time—from #1 New York Times bestselling author! 

Alex Rider’s life changed forever with the silent pull of a trigger.

Every story has a beginning. For teen secret agent Alex Rider, that beginning occurred prior to his first case for MI6, known by the code name Stormbreaker. By the time Stormbreaker forever changed Alex’s life, his uncle had been murdered by the assassin Yassen Gregorovich, leaving Alex orphaned and craving revenge. Yet when Yassen had a clear shot to take out Alex after he foiled the Stormbreaker plot, he let Alex live. Why?
This is Yassen’s story. A journey down the darker path of espionage.
Like a James Bond for young readers, international #1 bestseller Anthony Horowitz delivers a blockbuster thrill ride.

From the author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780147512314
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/18/2014
Series: Alex Rider Series , #10
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 63,499
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz ( is a world-renowned screenwriter for film and television, having received multiple awards. And he is, of course, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Alex Rider novels, which have become bestsellers the world over, spawned a major motion picture, and a line of graphic novels. A master of the spy thriller, Anthony is the only writer authorized by both the Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming Estates to write original Sherlock Holmes and James Bond novels, respectively. Anthony lives with his wife in London, England; they are parents to two grown boys. Follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyHorowitz.

Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE: Before the Kill
HE HAD CHOSEN THE hotel room very carefully.
As he crossed the reception area toward the elevators, he was aware of everyone in the area around him. Two receptionists, one on the phone. A Japanese guest check­ing in—from his accent, obviously from Miyazaka in the south. A concierge printing a map for a couple of tourists. A security man, Eastern European, bored, standing by the door. He saw everything. If the lights had suddenly gone out, or if he had closed his eyes, he would have been able to continue forward at exactly the same pace.
 Nobody noticed him. It was actually a skill, some­thing he had learned, the art of not being seen. Even the outfit he wore—expensive jeans, a gray cashmere jersey, and a loose coat—had been chosen because it made no statement at all. The clothes were well-known brands but he had cut out the labels. In the unlikely event that he was stopped by the police, it would be very difficult for them to know where they had been bought.           
He was twenty-eight years old. He had fair hair, cut short, and ice-cold eyes with just the faintest trace of blue. He was not large or well built, but there was a sort of sleekness about him. He moved like an athlete—perhaps a sprinter approaching the starting blocks—but there was asense of danger about him, a feeling that you should leave well alone. He carried three credit cards and a driver’s license, issued in Swansea, all with the name Matthew Reddy. A police check would have established that he was a personal trainer, that he worked in a London gym and lived in Brixton. None of this was true. His real name was Yassen Gregorovich. He had been a professional assassin for almost half his life.
The hotel was in King’s Cross, an area of London with no attractive shops and few decent restaurants, a place where nobody really stays any longer than they have to. It was called The Traveller and it was part of a chain; comfortable but not too expensive. It was the sort of place that had no regular clients. Most of the guests were pass­ing through on business and it would be their companies who paid the bill. They drank in the bar. They ate the “full English breakfast” in the brightly lit Beefeater restaurant. But they were too busy to socialize and it was unlikely they would return. Yassen preferred it that way. He could have stayed in central London, in the Ritz or the Dorchester, but he knew that the receptionists there were trained to remember the faces of the people who passed through the revolving doors. Such personal attention was the last thing he wanted.
A security camera watched him as he approached the elevators. He was aware of it blinking over his left shoul­der. The camera was annoying but inevitable. London has more of these devices than any city in Europe, and the police and secret service have access to all of them. Yassen made sure he didn’t look up. If you look at a camera, that is when it sees you. He reached the elevators but ignored them, slipping through a fire door that led to the stairs. He would never think of confining himself in a small space, a metal box with doors that he couldn’t open, sur­rounded by strangers. That would be madness. He would have walked fifteen stories if it had been necessary—and when he reached the top, he wouldn’t even have been out of breath. Yassen kept himself in superb condition, spend­ing two hours in the gym every day when that luxury was available to him, working out on his own when it wasn’t.
In fact, he was on the second floor. He had thoroughly checked the hotel on the Internet before he made his res­ervation, and number 217 was one of just four rooms that exactly met his demands. It was on the second floor, too high up to be reached from the street but low enough for him to jump out the window if he had to—after shoot­ing out the glass. It was not overlooked. There were other buildings around, but any form of surveillance would be difficult. When Yassen went to bed, he never closed the curtains. He liked to see out, to watch for any movement in the street. Every city has a natural rhythm, and anything that breaks it—a man lingering on a corner or a car pass­ing the same way twice—might warn him that it was time to leave at once. And he never slept for more than four hours, not even in the most comfortable bed.
A DO NOT DISTURB sign hung in front of him as he turned the corner and approached the door. Had it been obeyed? Yassen reached into his pants pocket and took out a small silver device, about the same size and shape as a pen. He pressed one end, covering the handle with a thin spray of diazafluoren—a simple chemical re-agent. Quickly, he spun the pen around and pressed the other end, activating a fluorescent light. There were no finger­prints. If anyone had gone into the room since he had left, they had wiped the handle clean. He put the pen away, then knelt down and checked the bottom of the door. Ear­lier in the day, he had placed a single hair across the crack. It was one of the oldest warning signals in the book, but that didn’t stop it from being effective. The hair was still in place. Yassen straightened up and went in using his elec­tronic pass key.
It took him less than a minute to ascertain that every­thing was exactly as he had left it. His briefcase was 4.6 centimeters from the edge of the desk. His suitcase was positioned at a 95-degree angle from the wall. There were no fingerprints on either of the locks. He removed the dig­ital tape recorder that had been clipped magnetically to the side of his service fridge and glanced at the dial. Noth­ing had been recorded. Nobody had been in. Many people would have found all these precautions annoying and time consuming, but for Yassen they were as much a part of his daily routine as tying his shoelaces or brushing his teeth.
It was twelve minutes past six when he sat down at the desk and opened his computer, an ordinary laptop. His password had seventeen digits and he changed it every month. He took off his watch and laid it on the surface beside him. Then he went into eBay, left-clicked on Col­lectibles, and scrolled through Coins. He soon found what he was looking for: a gold coin showing the head of the emperor Caligula with the date 11 AD. There had been no bids for this particular coin because, as any collector would know, it did not in fact exist. In 11 AD, the mad Roman emperor Caligula had not even been born. The entire website was a fake and looked it. The name of the coin dealer—Mintomatic—had been specially chosen to put off any casual purchaser. Mintomatic was supposedly based in Shanghai and did not have Top-Rated Seller sta­tus. All the coins it advertised were either fake or valueless.
Yassen sat quietly until a quarter past six. At exactly the moment that the second hand passed over the twelve on his watch, he pressed the button to place a bid, then entered his User ID—false, of course—and password. Finally, he entered a bid of $2,418.12. The figures were based on the day’s date and the exact time. He pressed Enter and a window opened that had nothing to do with eBay or with Roman coins. Nobody else could have seen it. It would have been impossible to discover where it had originated. The message had been bounced around a dozen countries, traveling through an anonymity network, before it had reached him. This is known as “onion rout­ing” because of its many layers. It had also passed through an encrypted tunnel, a secure shell that ensured that only Yassen could read what had been written. If someone had managed to arrive at the same screen by accident, they would have seen only nonsense, and within three seconds a virus would have entered their computer and obliter­ated the motherboard. The computer, however, had been authorized to receive the message, and Yassen saw three words.
They were exactly what he had expected.

Customer Reviews

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Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WARNING!: If you havent read all of the Alex Rider books, do not read this review. This review contains information form the other Alex Rider books. If you don't want the books to be ruined for you do not read this review. You have been warned. You may not sue me. Thank you.###Review: They need to add more after the end of the book. It leaves you wanting to see things from yassen's point of view like when he is on the plane with Alex. Anthony needs to write another book from bolth Alex's and Yassen's points of view. Huge fan and love the books!!! ~M. The crazy/insane genius. Read TQOM at 1245 res one. An amazing piece of Rick Riorden fan fic! A must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, I loved the book! The one thing that bugged me was that if you go back and read Snakehead, Ash talks about Yassen shooting tons of people with John Rider, which doesnt go with this story because Yassen still had never killed with John. Sorry just had to share please correct me if Im wrong!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read the rest of the books to know whats going on. It refers from other books. When reading this book you will experience. Action and suspence it will tell you all about yassans life. this it truly a must read.
GTHughes More than 1 year ago
I ordered the book because I had read all the others. I was disappointed when I realized it was about Yassen, but I have been completely drawn in. It is such an excellent book and well worth reading. It might be too graphic for the younger end of YA but it keeps you immersed in Yassen's world.
SCS726 More than 1 year ago
A fresh new Alex Rider book. We loved reading Yassen's story. Hope there is more to come. Best new book I've read so far this fall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about yassen gorgovitch they assin from stormbreaker. Its his story not alex rider.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book soooooooo much all of them are extravogandolorious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this book was the last released in the Alex Rider series, it really is the prequel to the entire series. This story focuses on Yassen's past and his path to becoming an assassin. Anthony Horowitz does a tremendous job blending Alex and Yassen's life together. One is able to see the hardships Yassen had to endure and really feel empathy for him. One is also able to gain a greater understanding and knowledge on the powerful organization of Scorpia. This book is definitely a must read for fans of the Alex Rider series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im confused. In snake head, it says Cossack and Hunter kill the commander. This happened in russian roulete too. Does that mean that Yasha (yassen) was Cossack in snake head? Still good book. Really liked it. Horowitz is a good author.
Kurosaki_Ichigo More than 1 year ago
DChavez More than 1 year ago
Mr. Gregorovich hasn’t always been the deadly, feared assassin that he is. No, as a boy he was sheltered and happy in his small town that seemed like a paradise. Now, he is the opposite of what he was, and there is no real way of getting him back to that state of peaceful living. Yasha Gregorovich was a lucky young kid who lived ever-joyfully with his parents and grandmother. One decision of one company changed everything. One factory leaked a life-threatening sickness. As he sees his parents have sacrificed their life for him and he sees everyone in the village either get blown up or killed by the sickness, his life takes a whole new path down a horrifying path. The story is about the road that Yassen Gregorovich was pushed down toward becoming Scorpia’s deadliest contract killer. The author Anthony Horowitz adds this final novel to his Alex Rider series, where Yassen Gregorovich makes few but important interferences in the grand plot. The book was written to explain how Yassen was made into this kind of person, and what led him to make all the decisions on the road. Horowitz does a wonderful job of illustrating how Yasha goes through his journey in Moscow and then in Italy. It was easy to feel how Yassen felt about his experiences, and it was helpful to have the book in first person to be able to have this element of inner thought and opinion. Also, the way that Mr. Horowitz tied in some parts of the rest of the series made the book feel more complete and also helped it feel like it was yet another book in the series. I think that Mr. Horowitz could’ve added a bit more of Yassen’s adulthood and the way to the scene to the end, or at least led much closer. I would most definitely recommend this amazing read to any person that is in their double-digit years because of the awesome work of art that it is, but make sure that if you do read this book that you have read all the ones before, due to the fact that it is still part of the series and that it is the last book of that series. I think the book is mostly directed towards teenagers, and if you are a teenager, do definitely read the series, without a doubt. Hopefully you enjoy the book as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Make more Alex Riders
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Great book get it if u can
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hell yeathis book is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is bossness $$ :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST book EVER!!!! ; )
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Just lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need to read this. I'm still sad though because scorpia rising was the last one about alex from alex's point of view.