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review 2017-04-25 18:26
Spook Street / Mick Herron
Spook Street (Slough House) - Mick Herron

A shakeup at MI5 and a terrorist attack on British soil set in motion clandestine machinery known to few modern spies. David Cartwright isn't a modern spy, however; he's legend and a bonafide Cold War hero. He's also in his dotage and losing his mind to Alzheimer's. His stories of -stotes- hiding in the bushes, following his every move have been dismissed by friends and family for years. Cartwright may be losing track of reality but he's certain about one thing: Old spooks don't go quietly and neither do the secrets they keep.

 

Mick Herron has really hit his stride with the fourth book in the Slough House series! River Cartwright is an inspired creation, grandson of an admired British “spook” (that’s a spy to you & me) who has been sabotaged during a training exercise by a frenemy and ended up in Slough House, the place where failed spies go to be punished for their sins.

There’s been a bombing of a shopping centre, plus River is starting to worry about his grandfather’s mental state. He has the same concerns that everyone has about relatives with dementia, plus the added concern that his grandfather may indeed shoot someone who comes to the door, believing that they are out to get him. That spy-paranoia doesn’t just go away just because he is losing his grip on every-day life.

As per usual, Herron provides a complex plot, with plenty of twists & turns to keep the reader on their toes. There are interesting revelations from the past, political machinations of the most vicious & devious kinds, and Herron isn’t afraid to sacrifice a person or two along the way. The ending is also skillfull—I was given enough resolution to satisfy, while still left with enough loose threads that I am happily anticipating the next installment. Well played!

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review 2017-04-18 00:07
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger

I picked this book up at my local Dollar Tree store. I had heard of this series before so when I saw it I just had to get it.

 

I have never read the Parasol Protectorate series so I was a bit unfamiliar with the world. Regardless, this book was still lot of fun. My only issue was that the ending felt rushed.

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text 2017-04-12 06:42
Reading progress update: I've read 19 out of 307 pages.
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
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review 2017-04-03 22:56
Spies and More Spies
Sub Rosa: The O.S.S. and American Espionage - Stewart Alsop,Thomas Braden

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                In my English 101 class, we just talked about spies and saboteurs in World War II.   It was in a conversation about an essay that dealt with the changing nature of history books in schools.  We were discussing people and ideas that history books leave out.  Female resistance members and the dropping of people into occupied countries came up.

 

                Perhaps we don’t like talking about such people in wars because there is a whiff, just a whiff, of something not quite right.  It is almost sneaky but in an understandable way.  It is the question of tough choices and we really know that real spies are not James Bond in any of his incarnations.   It is messy and tough, and not fair.

 

                Perhaps that is why.  Perhaps this is also why we romanticize the role because we know that it is a necessary one.

 

                This slim volume gives a brief history of the OSS (the forerunner to the CIA) built pretty much by Wild Bill Donovan as well as detailing some of the lesser known missions.  Both Alsop and Braden worked for the OSS, so the reader gets a sense of wanting the deserved acknowledgement.

 

                Considering the time in which the authors lived, they deserve absolute kudos for noting woman agents and pointing out that the women agents did not hesitate to throw themselves out of perfectly good airplanes.  It almost makes up for the use of only male missions in the second section of the book.

 

                The authors also note the use of non-white agents as well.

 

                Yet the authors do deserve praise for not trying to sugar coat not only the risks but also the need to sometimes act in a less than chivalrous way, this is particularly true of the last class.

 

                At times, the stories seem to be a bit blogged down with words (and sometimes with too similar names), yet Alsop and Braden do a good job at bringing a little known but very important role in the Second World War to light.

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review 2017-01-13 21:36
Amazing beginning to a new series
Spotless - Camilla Monk

This book blew me out of the water! There are so many things I can say about it but I don’t even know where to begin. I downloaded it on a whim and ended up staying up the entire night because I couldn't put it down. The closest thing I can think of to compare it to is the movie Red with Bruce Willis. Monk is very gifted writer who puts her own spin on a hitman romance.

 

First, I must say that I absolutely love every character in this book no matter how big or small. Island, the lead female protagonist, is hilarious but also realistic! I found myself relating to her on multiple occasions. March, the male lead opposite of her, was enigmatic with just the right amount of charm. I felt like each character was well developed regardless of their role. I became so invested in the story, I think I actually cried at one point. While the overall plot wasn't so complicated that I was blindsided, it was satisfying to watch everything fall into place.


The only real issue I had with the novel was that sometimes the author would be describing something and I had no idea to what she was referring to. I would have to return to a couple paragraphs previous to understand what I was supposed to be currently reading.

 

Spoiler though, the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger. I am so angry that this book isn't even out yet because I can’t wait for book two. Spotless is one of the novels that digs itself inside you and makes you want so much more. I feel that right now, no book can possibly compare and I will be stuck in reading limbo until a book half as worthy catches my eye.

Source: rainythursdays.com/2015/04/28/review-spotless-by-camilla-monk
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