a street in Lausanne, Switzerland

The Traitor’s Story by Kevin Wignall

An intelligent espionage thriller that explores the complex nature of loyalty, patriotism and love amongst other things. Although, it is not really a typical thriller until the later part of the book. But at the heart of the story is the challenge and impact of secrets which grows out of espionage and an attempt to escape from it.

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An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer

With An American Spy Olen Steinhauer continues to explore both the mechanics of spy craft and the moral tension inherent in the trade using Milo Weaver as his lens. With this third volume in the series, Weaver is no longer a Tourist but can’t escape the gravity of the agency’s destruction. What from so many angles seems like violence and betrayal fueled by mere revenge turns out to be each side attempting to turn constantly shifting events to their advantage. Steinhauer plays the...

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In the Mail: On Target

On Target (A Gray Man Novel) by Mark Greaney Publishers Weekly Disgraced former CIA agent Court “The Gray Man” Gentry (introduced in 2009’s The Gray Man) makes ends meet as an assassin working for clients he cannot trust. Russian arms merchant Sidorenko wants Court to kill Sudan’s President Abboud, arguably the man responsible for the genocide in Darfur. The CIA makes a counteroffer: kidnap Abboud and give him to American officials in exchange for amnesty. Court...

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In the Mail: Red Star Rising

Red Star Rising: A Thriller by Brian Freemantle Publishers Weekly Last seen in 2002’s Kings of Many Castles, working-class British spy Charlie Muffin once again proves that experience and intelligence (on the part of both author and hero) are at least as important as flying fists and explosions in this entertaining entry in Freemantle’s long-running series. When a faceless body turns up on the grounds of the British Embassy in Moscow, Charlie’s superiors send him to...

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In the Mail: Moscow Sting

Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden Booklist Dryden follows up his superb debut, Red to Black (2009), with a riveting sequel. British spy Finn, who uncovered a Russian plan to control Europe’s access to oil and natural gas, is dead, murdered by a KGB-trained Russian criminal. Anna, the beautiful KGB colonel assigned to seduce Finn, but who fell in love with him instead, is in hiding, raising her son, Little Finn. In the post-Bush era, both the U.S. and Britain have realized that Finn was right:...

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The American Spectator on The Breaking of Eggs

Over at The American Spectator Larry Thornberry reviews a book in my TBR pile: The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell: This impressive first novel is part coming of age story and part spy story, with a primer on 20th century European history thrown in. History at the most personal, small-picture level. It’s also about redemption, second chances, and what home means.

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The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

I am a big fan of Steinhauer and was really looking forward to this second book in The Tourist series The Nearest Exit. I usually read them in ARC format before they are released but I have been so busy that I actually bought this one weeks after it had been released. Booklist had a nice recap/review Since the events of The Tourist (2009), Milo Weaver has served time in prison, worked in administration, and tried to reconnect with his wife and daughter. But talk therapy is hard when ...

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