Archive for the ‘spy’ Category

66 metres



The only thing worth killing for is family.
Everyone said she had her father’s eyes.  A killer’s eyes.  Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow,  she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.
Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has one last mission to complete.  Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose,  a military weapon shrouded in secrecy,  Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.
And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her…

“A masterfully paced action thriller that takes readers to unexplored depths. The first novel in J. F. Kirwan’s Nadia Laksheva series introduces a heroine that readers are bound to fall hard for.” BestThrillers.com

My Thoughts & Review:

Being a fan of spy thrillers I was keen to read 66 Metres to see if it lived up to the immensely intriguing book description.  The cover states this is “A chilling thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat!” and they’re not wrong!
From the opening pages the reader is faced with an intense storyline and is first introduced to a young Nadia Laksheva who is yet to face up to the harsh realities of her dysfunctional family.  As she ages she learns that her father was not the man she thought he was, not a saint, but a killer.  Her sister is a drug addicted prostitute and her mother is a cold and distant figure who is quick to remind her that her father was a killer.  Combine these things with the harsh freezing temperatures of Russia and you begin to see the insufferably difficult life that Nadia is living.  Seeing a way out, a means of escaping this torturous existence for herself and her sister Katya, Nadia takes the “option” given to her by Russian mob boss Kadinsky.  I say option, because really the only other choice would be a concrete overcoat or perhaps ventilation holes in their heads.

After undergoing rigorous training at the hands of Russian experts, Nadia is ready to take on her 5 years of missions for Kadinsky in return for her and Katya’s freedom.  The final mission means the end is in sight, but Nadia needs to complete it successfully first.

Thankfully I read this book whilst on holiday so I could curl up on a deckchair in the sun and completely shut off from the world around me for a few hours.  This is definitely a book that you want to keep reading, you want to find out what is going to happen next, see what characters will do next and find out whether Nadia comes out of this all unscathed.

Characterisation is brilliant, Nadia develops well throughout the book and her motivations become clearer as the reader gets to know her.  The glimpses of the vulnerable side of her really bring her to life.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s all too easy for authors to keep their trained assassins as cold hearted and strictly functioning “machines”, but here the author has gone under the surface of this character to give readers a real insight to Nadia which I think does make her more likeable.
The switching perspective between characters adds to the intensity and intrigue of this book no end!  Being able to step into the mind of the “baddies” always makes the plot more exciting, but here some of the “baddies” showed remorse for some of their actions, or showed humility which I found caught me off guard and in turn had be liking this book even more.

The descriptive abilities that Kirwan possesses are incredible – I’ve never dived, don’t really think it’s something I would ever do but just reading the underwater scenes had me feeling like I was there, in the wrecks with Nadia and the dive crew, the way it played out on the page was almost hypnotic.  I will admit to initial worries that some of the information about the diving would be too technical for me to grasp but somehow Kirwan has managed to portray the dangers and the ecstasy of diving clearly and concisely so that even a heathen like me can understand it.

A breakneck paced spy thriller that will leave you holding your breath in anticipation of what might happen next!  Now I just need to wait patiently for the next book in the series………

You can buy a copy of 66 Metres via Amazon

My thanks to Noelle and Kate at Thick as Thieves Book Publicity and Promo for the opportunity to read and review this book, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Follow the blog tour:


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The Fall of Moscow Station

Author: Mark Henshaw
Published: 2 February 2016
Reviewed: 30 March 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Touchstone in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars



Decorated CIA analyst Mark Henshaw continues the Red Cell series with an “authentic, compelling, and revealing” (Jason Matthews) thriller following CIA analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker, as they try to save the CIA’s sources in Russia after a major intelligence breach leaves Moscow Station in ruins.

When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. And the murder coincides with the defection of one of the CIA’s upper-level officers. 

Alden Maines, is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia.

But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia’s intelligence service (GRU) has other plans. He immediately announces Maines’s defection to the world and then pumps him for every last ounce of intel, including the names of every agent in the CIA’s Moscow Station and their assets working in the Kremlin. But why would Lavrov burn an asset whose intel and access could pay dividends for years to come? What is Lavrov up to?

Traveling from Langley, to Berlin, and finally Moscow—working black without backup—analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker are up against their most formidable enemy yet, and their lives and the fate of America’s most important assets in the New Cold War hang in the balance.

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Mrs. John Doe

Author: Tom Savage
Published: 06 October 2015
Reviewed: 18 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Random House Publishing in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars



Nora Baron’s life is perfect. She lives on Long Island Sound, teaches acting at a local university, and has a loving family. Then one phone call changes everything. She’s informed that her husband, Jeff, has died in a car crash while on a business trip in England. Nora flies to London to identify the body, which the police have listed as a “John Doe.” When she leaves the morgue, a man tries to steal her purse containing Jeff’s personal effects. Clearly, all is not as it seems.
At her hotel, Nora receives a cryptic message that leaves her with more questions than answers. She follows the message’s instructions to France, where a fatal encounter transforms her into a fugitive. Wanted for murder, on the run in a shadowy landscape of lies, secrets, and sudden violence, Mrs. “John Doe” must play the role of a lifetime to stay one step ahead of a ruthless enemy with deadly plans for her—and for the world.

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The Long Room

Author: Francesca Kay
Published: 07 January 2016
Reviewed: 18 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Faber & Faber Ltd in return for an honest review

3 out of 5 Stars



Set in London in the early eighties, award-winning novelist Francesca Kay’s third novel tells the story of a spy who falls for the wrong woman.

What happens to a man who has his ear pressed to the lives of others but not much life of his own? When Stephen Donaldson joins the Institute, he anticipates excitement, romance and new status. Instead he gets the tape-recorded conversations of ancient communists and ineffectual revolutionaries, until the day he is assigned a new case: the ultra-secret PHOENIX. Is PHOENIX really working for a foreign power? Stephen hardly cares; it is the voice of the target’s wife that mesmerises him.

This is December 1981. Bombs are exploding, a cold war is being waged, another war is just over the horizon and the nation is transfixed by weekly instalments of Brideshead Revisited. Dangerously in love, and lonely, Stephen sets himself up for a vertiginous fall that will forever change his life.

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