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The Man with the Silver Beretta
or Redemption

Nov 2023

'Popeye wasn't inherently bad, he just enjoyed killing.'

Jhon 'Popeye' Velásquez is a ruthless killer – the Medellín cartel's top assassin with almost two hundred hits to his name.

'People who acted against Ramón were enemies, and Ramón had no time for enemies.'

Ramón Escobar is a dangerous psychopath who has double-crossed the cartel. He is hiding out in the Bolivian rainforest and he knows Popeye is coming after him.

Surprised by a mysterious guardian angel, attacked by a Bolivian death squad, informed on at every turn, Popeye begins to question his life as an assassin when he slowly realises he is being played.

This time the cards are stacked against him and he is going to need more than his silver Beretta to survive.

The Man with the Silver Beretta or Redemption: Work

Author Note

This one was fun to write (not that the last one wasn't) and the storyline changed a lot as the character 'Popeye' developed. What started out as an Apocalypse Now plot – a lone assassin hunting down an enemy in the rainforest – changed into what made Jhon Velásquez kill over two hundred people, then renounce his life as a sicario and look for redemption.

It's based on interviews he gave before he died in 2020. He was certainly a divisive figure, and many of his victims never forgave him, despite his efforts to make amends.

The Man with the Silver Beretta or Redemption: Text



Silver Beretta strikes gold - Hudson Store Press

'The latest instalment in Paul Kelly’s Colombian cartel thrillers starts with trademark ferocity and doesn’t let up until the final gasps of another chilling  drama. A ruthless killer hunts a dangerous psychopath like a shark hunting a pack of piranhas. With all the grit and brutal reality of Narcos, it’s already a great read. But it’s worth reading ‘Redemption’ with your Tarantino glasses on ­­– the violence is theatrical, the language is deliberately close to comic book, the hit-man hero is like a Latin American reservoir dog and death by liposuction is a spectacular way to go.'

The Man with the Silver Beretta or Redemption: Text
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