Articles tagged "spies"

Thriller Thursday (2/16/17 Edition)

Spies and detectives and murderers, oh my!

A DIVIDED SPY by Charles Cumming
Two starred reviews! A former MI6 officer, Thomas Kell devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin. Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy and finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom. “Bestseller Cumming’s nuanced, suspenseful third Thomas Kell novel… unfold[s] in a perfectly constructed plot that proves once again that Cumming is among today’s top spy thriller writers. ” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

AMONG THE RUINS by Ausma Zehanat Khan
In Khan’s third powerful mystery, Detective Esa Khattak is on leave in Iran when he’s asked to investigate the murder of Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani at Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls on his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. “Deeply political without becoming pedantic, Khan’s crime novel offers a fictionalized yet very real look at a region that is steeped in both beauty and misery.” — Library Journal, starred review readmoreremove

Genre Stars!

We’re seeing many stars for these great genre reads:

BY GASLIGHT by Steven Price
“With its intricate cat-and-mouse game, array of idiosyncratic characters, and brooding atmosphere, BY GASLIGHT has much to please fans of both classic suspense and Victorian fiction.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The author’s blend of quest, grief, betrayal, and the mysteries of identity will appeal to readers of literary crime fiction.” — Library Journal, starred review

BLACK WATER by Louise Doughty
“Another morally and emotionally fraught thriller from British writer Doughty (APPLE TREE YARD), this one about an operative for an Amsterdam-based black-ops organization grappling with fallout from his personal and professional history in Indonesia. Powerful, probing fiction in the tradition of Graham Greene and John le Carré.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Doughty takes a page from John le Carré, crafting a riveting, psychological, morally ambiguous tale. Harper’s backstory is richly detailed, and his budding relationship with Rita is convincing. Finally, the role of mercenaries in world affairs adds a new perspective to the spy novel genre.” Library Journal, starred review

DESOLATION FLATS by Andrew Hunt
“Set in 1938, Hunt’s outstanding third mystery featuring Mormon policeman Art Oveson (after A KILLING IN ZION) combines a moving portrayal of a man attempting to deal with his wife’s depression with a clever whodunit story line. The richness of the characters, including secondary ones, and the imaginative plot make this the best yet in the series.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] knockout of a novel… so powerful it can be taken as a stand-alone. The real magic here, though, is the author’s ability to make this ordinary man so fascinating. Credit Hunt’s writing. Like his hero, it’s only plain on the surface.” Booklist, starred review
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Starred Review for A Foreign Country

Betrayal and conspiracy reign in A FOREIGN COUNTRY, Charles Cummings' latest stand-alone spy thriller after THE TRINITY SIX.

Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared just weeks before she is due to take over as the most influential spy in Europe. Desperate to find her and keep her disappearance a secret, Britain’s top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell.

"Cumming is particularly skilled at sketching his characters, most notably Kell (a classically reluctant spy) and Weldon, who’s haunted by personal demons central to the elaborate puzzle of a story. The elegant prose will appeal to those who don’t usually read spy fiction." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A FOREIGN COUNTRY is nominated for The 2012 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award!

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Author Profile: Olen Steinhauer

Olen Steinhauer was recently profiled in Publishers Weekly about his latest novel AN AMERICAN SPY featuring the reluctant, contemporary spy Milo Weaver (preceded by THE TOURIST and THE NEAREST EXIT). The article, "A Literary Spy: Olen Steinhauer," discusses Steinhauer's journey to writing spies and what intrigues him about them. The article reads, 

"Steinhauer's remarkable portrayal of the trilogy's Weaver has garnered comparisons with John le Carré. A huge fan of le Carré, Steinhauer calls THINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY 'a wholly literary novel.' It seems clear that Steinhauer, in that spirit is trying to marry literary devotion to craft and seriousness with the compelling narratives of genre. A lot of today's spy fiction 'is interested in how spies work,' he says. 'I'm interested in how people deceive each other.'"

Steinhauer also offers some interesting commentary on his writing process. He says,

"I write myself into a corner, then get stuck, then get an idea, then change everything... If it went smoothly, I'd be worried."

Publishers Weekly also gave AN AMERICAN SPY a starred review and said,

"Steinhauer is particularly good at articulating contemporary spy craft—the mechanics of surveillance and intelligence in the digital age and the depth of paranoia endemic to the trade. In addition, his ability to create characters with genuine emotions and conflicts, coupled with an insightful and often poetic writing style, set him apart in the world of espionage fiction."

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