2017-09-04 20:24:29 UTC
I had just started a thriller, "High Hand." I've since finished that
and several others, so here's the rundown.
"High Hand" was a combination of a mystery and a spy thriller. The
main characters include a newspaper reporter Frank Adams, who had
been assigned to Moscow soon after the breakup of the Soviet Union
and his ex-wife who is CIA and was still married to him during his
time in Moscow as an undercover agent operating with non-official cover
status. Also on board are a newspaper editor and publisher, a presidential
candidate, and a group of men and women who were part of a poker night at
Adams's Moscow apartment.
Sound like a normal spy thriller? Nope, it's more of a political thriller
with a mystery on the side. Each of the poker players were parts of
embassy staffs or university students or professors plus just about
all of them had ties with covert agencies including conflicting
Years later each of those poker players are the target of assassination,
including the former ambassador to Russia, now a presidential candidate.
Lots of high tech, conspiracy, financial wheeling and dealing, and trading
of secrets. And murders of those old poker buddies one after another.
What's unusual is that the "author" of this book is really three men
who each have an area of interest and expertise that fitted into
the plot of the book. A lot of effort was put into it to be believable
especially the financial points about oil exploration and reserves in
the Caspian Sea area. It's a nice change from all the poorly written
and edited cozies that I've been subjected to lately.
I'll give this one of my relatively few five star ratings.
A pair of Miss Henry books, "Mural from the Dead" and "Death Arts"
were in the recent mix, Too short, but always well-written and
plotted. I wish there were many more available.
A switch to science fiction came in the form of "The Yellowstone
Conundrum" which was long and even came with photographs and
charts showing geological information and locations that were
mentioned in the story. I'm not a geologist or an expert in
earthquakes, so I have no idea if the information quoted about
those plot points is accurate, but I sure do know history, and
the author mis-identified the president who initiated the Louisiana
Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so I have to mistrust
the rest of his assertions. The book was based on the disaster
scenario of the volcano at Yellowstone that makes up Old Faithful
blowing its top with a devastating earthquake which then triggers
another off the coast of Seattle. Mayhem and much death ensues.
So much for that.
"The Loyal Servant" by Eva Hudson is sub-titled A Very British
Political Thriller and for a first novel is a pleasant surprise.
The story revolves around a career civil servant, Caroline Barber,
who finds the body of her department head slumped over his desk dead
late one night. She does not believe that he committed suicide and
is determined to prove it. In her digging around in the records
to try to find evidence, she comes across some disturbing
inconsistencies with projects in her department which then lead
her to become a whistle blower to a newspaper reporter who has been
working on a related story.
Evidence disappears, family members are threatened, dots are connected.
Connections are found that involve the newly named prime minister
and some of his associates which explains the political thriller
part of the story. There are subplots about Caroline's family problems,
but since a lot of this ties into the main whistle blowing topic, it's
not distracting from the main plot.
Another 5 star book. Wow.
Currently reading "Murder in the Library" which is #3 in the Murder
in Milburn cozy series by Nancy McGovern. Another strong entry in
the series so far and not a cookie cutter in sight.
Nyssa, who likes cookies but not cookie cutter plots