Posted in Book Review

Derek Lambert – 4* Review – Angels in the Snow

 

Derek Lambert’s classic spy novel exposes the truth about the life of the Western community in post-Stalin Moscow and their existence in which tensions and hostility of the Soviet Union sometimes prove intolerable.

An American working for the US embassy and the CIA, a young Englishman at the British Embassy gradually cracking under the strain of Moscow life, and a member of the Twilight Brigade. In an alien land, their lives become inextricably joined in a vivid and tense story of diplomats, traitors, Soviet secret police and espionage.

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My Thoughts…

Not a thriller in the traditional sense, more Literary Fiction, but it is atmospheric and intense. Western diplomats, press corp and the intelligence services in Moscow live a pressurised life. They are insular and cut off from the indigenous population. Living in a bubble, that leads to extreme behaviour often illicit sexual liaison and heavy alcohol consumption. The isolation and loneliness come across in this story.

As in his subsequent novels, this a mix of fact and fiction with dramatic interpretation, giving it an intrinsic authenticity.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse/ Killer Reads – Collins Crime Club via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

Derek Lambert – 4* Review – The Red Dove

 

 

As the Soviet space-shuttle Dove orbits 150 miles above the earth on its maiden flight, Warsaw Pact troops crash into Poland.

The seventy-two-year-old President of America wants to be re-elected, and for that, he needs to win the first stage of the war in space: he needs to capture the Soviet space shuttle. But as the President plans his coup the nuclear-armed shuttle speeds towards target America – and only defection in space can stop it.

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My Thoughts…

A well-conceived Cold War thriller, vocalising the inherent threat of war in space. There are apparent resemblances to actual historical figures alongside purely fictional characters. The danger of destruction is implicit in this thriller, and it replicates the feelings of many who lived under the constant threat of nuclear war.

If you are interested in the Cold War as it existed in the twentieth century, this will be of interest. It’s a ‘what if’ book that could have easily happened.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse/ Killer Reads – Collins Crime Club via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

Derek Lambert – 3* Review- The Judas Code

 

In neutral Lisbon, British Intelligence has concocted a ruthless doublecross to lure Russia and Germany into a hellish war of attrition on the Eastern Front and so buy Britain the most precious commodity of all: time.

That plot now hinges on one man: Josef Hoffman, a humble Red Cross worker. But who is Hoffman? And where do his loyalties really lie?

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 My Thoughts…

A WW2 thriller that mixes iconic historical figures with fiction, mainly, for those like myself interested in this historical period.  A little dated for the present day and slow-paced rather like watching an old war film, good for the nostalgic value.

I received a copy of this book from  Harper Impulse / Killer Reads – Collins Crime Club via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

Believe Me – J.P. Delaney – 4* Review

Claire Wright likes to play other people. 

A British drama student, in New York without a green card, Claire takes the only job she can get: working for a firm of divorce lawyers, posing as an easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands.

When one of her targets becomes the subject of a murder investigation, the police ask Claire to use her acting skills to help lure their suspect into a confession. But right from the start, she has doubts about the part she’s being asked to play. Is Patrick Fogler really a killer . . . Or the only decent husband she’s ever met? And is there more to this set-up than she’s being told?

And that’s when Claire realises she’s playing the deadliest role of her life . . .

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My Thoughts…

An original perspective on the concept of ‘the honey trap’ and entrapment that raises numerous ethical issues but produces a quirky, dark thriller with addictive qualities. There is a mix of writing styles, including poetry, scripts and interviews.

Claire is a British drama student living in New York, her opportunities for making ends meet are scarce, so she uses her acting talents and earns ‘cash in hand’ money from a firm of divorce lawyers, acting as a ‘pick up’ in hotel bars to trap straying husbands.

Claire is the unreliable protagonist, at her happiest playing other people and so it’s difficult to establish who she truly is. When someone dies her role escalates, she is co-opted to trap the suspected killer. The thriller’s intensity increases and fantasy and reality merge with dangerous results.

The only thing predictable about this thriller is its unpredictability. If you accept, nothing is as it seems or what you expect and enjoy the show its an absorbing thriller.

I received a copy of this book from Quercus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.