Read in: September 2014
Edition and format: Troubadour Publishing Ltd. 2014/digital advance review copy
First published: May 2014
My immense thanks goes to Troubador Publishing Ltd. for my ARC via NetGalley.
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, Doctor, as I’m sure you know.”
An outstanding first novel. Immensely entertaining and well-structured, with all the loose ends tied up to satisfaction. The story is compelling, and even though it’s quite possible to roughly guess the direction in which it’s heading, the actual plunge into the world of secrets and spies is full of surprises, and as refreshing as an actual plunge into cold water.
The relatively slow introduction to the underlying themes is brilliant and helps establish the atmosphere of the novel, which is exactly as dark as it needs to be.
The writing style itself betrays instances of admirable character potrayal – a heightened sensitivity to all the details that comprise a scene: movement, dialogue, emotional depth, all of that is handled admirably.
What is particularly commendable is how the issues and conflicts that arise are studied from the viewpoints of all parties involved; here are round, complex characters tangled up in genuinely gripping matters of great momentum and lasting impact.
Introducing the reader to the underlying procedures and behind-the-scenes dealings of the various institutions involved is another dimension that works exceptionally well throughout the novel.
What I personally disliked just the tiniest bit were the fragments of foreshadowing among the internal monologue that did not seem to help build suspense, but they were too few, almost unnoticeable amid the overall successful application of the internal monologue as a method of propelling the plot onward.
I couldn’t shake off the amusing thought that I’d really like to see a film version of this, and perhaps even a sequel.
All in all, a highly enjoyable book that I’m happy to recommend to fans of the genre and to the uninitiated alike. Great work!