[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]
A fairly entertaining novel, although it didn’t keep me enthralled.
I couldn’t decide if ultimately, the whole spy organisation was believable or not; some aspects felt far-fetched, where I had expected something more on the… ‘realistic’ side? Not that I know much about actual MI6 operations are conducted, that is: it was more a feeling than anything truly objective. Some parts I found amusing and inventive, in a sort of parodic way that I could only envision in a novel or a game (such as conducting interrogations in disused Tube parts, so that nobody would hear the cries over the din of trains or wonder about ‘that drunk, stumbling friend I’m dragging with me at 1 am is absolutely not a suspect I’ve just finished torturing’). I’d say this works if you’re looking for the kind of caricatural spy network, and works probably less well otherwise. As far as I’m concerned, I’m on the fence with it.
As a result, the plot was a little unconvincing, and I couldn’t really connect with Lex as a character: I liked her snarky comments in general, but found it difficult to reconcile her callous take on offing and torturing people with the double standard of ‘I do it on a regular basis to other people, but no one dare touch my daughter’. While wanting to protect one’s family is totally normal, there’s an underlying hypocrisy here that doesn’t sit too well with me, probably because I usually have a strong reaction to ‘do what I say, not as I do’ people.
On the other hand, the novel raises interesting, if not unexpected points about age-old attitudes in the workplace regarding women, and especially mothers. In that, ‘Killing It’ is close to a lot of things we can still see nowadays, where in spit of feminist progress and workplaces generally opening up, a woman’s position is still subjected to ‘having to prove herself twice as much as the men’. (There’s been a lot of progress IRL, and I sure won’t deny this, but I’ve been in enough interviews with barely concealed sexist questions to know that the way to full equality is still long.) Basically, Lex’s struggle with coming back to work after her maternity leave felt real and relevant: some of her colleagues, and especially her boss, kept on questioning her ability to do her job and not ‘giving in to hormones’ and all manners of crap arguments. Here, too, some things were caricatural and laid out too heavily (like Bennie’s attempts at putting Lex down)—and, of course, Lex’s job is not just any office job, and is much more dangerous—but it doesn’t change the fact that many people (other women included) still assume too often that as soon as one becomes a mother, one becomes ‘weaker/less smart/less able/whatever’ and have to prove herself all over again… while nobody bats an eyelid at a man becoming a father.
Conclusion: The humour didn’t always work for me, and some things were definitely hammered in too much. Still, as a light novel that doesn’t demand too much focus, it worked.
I really enjoyed following Nate Colgan in Malcolm Mackay's last book so I requested this book as soon as I saw it. While Nate appears in this book as well I just wasn't as interested in this one.
This book mainly follows Martin and Usman who partner together to rob the Jamieson organization. Martin, who is new to the area, is reluctant to work with Usman but Usman knows that Martin is the gunman that he needs.
I can't say that I was all that interested in Martin or Usman. I found them both annoying in their own ways and found it hard to at times want to read about them. I did enjoy reading about the final "job" that they worked together and was happy with the outcome of that job.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.
|Well this is certainly a bit different from the last series I read from Cali. Wren has moved away from home to try and forget all the bad stuff that happened, I don't think she knew her father has been having her watched though maybe if he had done that sooner the bad stuff wouldn't have happened. Ash had broken off with her thinking maybe someone else could help her and she would be happier, all it did was send her back to the one causing the trouble. Both are still in love with each other and now being blackmailed to get married by her father. The twists in this were not as surprising as I expected them to be, but I still enjoyed the story. There is abusive content and talk of rape, plus the BDSM element to Wren and Ash's relationship though I feel she needed that because of everything else she had been through and Ash was just trying to give her the release she needed. Lots of sexual content which is graphic, I suppose some might feel there was to much of this and maybe there could have been a bit more plot. But I felt that to some extent the sexual side of the story was probably more of the focus because they just couldn't keep their hands off each other, even when Wren was running away. I still found I lost myself in the reading which is good, maybe not my favourite of Cali's books but still worth my 5 stars and I am reading on through the series.|