Tag Archives: thriller

#BookReview ‘The Partisan’ by Patrick Worrall #thriller #ColdWar #spy

The key protagonist in The Partisan by Patrick Worrall is a female Lithuanian resistance fighter who becomes a Cold War assassin. How nice to read a thriller set in the Baltic States, a fresh take on war and how to survive it. At the heart of the story is Greta, the partisan. I admired her, and feared her. Patrick WorrallAn ambitious timeline ranges from the Spanish Civil War to the Sixties Cold War as Greta turns from wartime fighting, one of the Three Sisters, to post-war vengeance tracking down the war criminals on her list and eliminating them. Greta’s story intersects in 1963 with Yulia and Michael, Soviet and English teenage chess champions respectively, and a Soviet plot to win the Cold War. The 1963 chess sub-plot got in the way. Greta is the fascinating character, I wanted to read about her. Her story is thrilling enough.
I couldn’t help but wonder if a more limited reach would help the story’s rhythm. The story jumps around a bit. In the first half I would prefer spending longer with each character to understand them, before the pace picks up as tension rises and point of view gets snappier. I wanted to read about Greta’s story in one long narrative thread instead of a timeline jumping between 1940s and 1963. I particularly enjoyed Greta’s interviews with journalist Indrė in 2004 and was unable to get beyond the jumping around when I wanted to settle in with one character. The character list is long with many similar names to remember – who is on which side, who is double-crossing who – and this took me out of the story.
I’m always partial to a good thriller and like to find debut authors, so I’ll be watching out for the next book from Patrick Worrall. It’s different, try it.

If you like this, try:-
The Diamond Eye’ by Kate Quinn
A Hero in France’ by Alan Furst
V2’ by Robert Harris

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE PARTISAN by Patrick Worrall #bookreview https://wp.me/p2ZHJe-5T8 via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘London Rules’ by Mick Herron #spy #thriller

‘Cover your arse’ is the first rule to live by for Jackson Lamb’s team of spies in London Rules, fifth in the Slough House thriller series by Mick Herron. Mick HerronLife in Britain is going to the dogs. A troublesome Brexiteer MP is being loud-mouthed again. Number two spy at Regent’s Park HQ, ‘Lady Di’ Taverner, has a new boss. And there’s an unprovoked gun attack by men in jeeps on a small village in Derbyshire. Lamb’s team of reject spies is adjusting to life after a recent attack on the premises. Shirley Dander is counting down the days to her last anger management session while trying to resist the packet of cocaine in her pocket; River Cartwright visits his grandfather, the ‘OB,’ now suffering from dementia; and Louisa Guy distracts herself from grief with a shoe obsession. Contrary to some descriptions, this is not a series about one man but about a team of colleagues. Each is flawed, and compelling.
When IT guy Roddy Ho is attacked in the street in broad daylight, the action can’t be ignored. The Slough House desk-bound spies leap into action. Their long-ago training lends them a basic knowledge of tradecraft which is useful, but their ignorance and ability to blindly charge into a dangerous situation can be a liability as well as an advantage. When a pipe bomb is lobbed into the penguin enclosure at a zoo and a bomb is found on a train, the team begin to wonder if JK Coe’s wild theory – that someone is implementing a theoretical five-stage terrorist plan to destabilise a state – could be happening in Britain. If so, how did the terrorists get the top secret plan? Was someone duped into leaking secrets or is there a mole at Regent’s Park?
Meanwhile the grind of daily politics continues. As the publicity-seeking MP prepares to announce he is going to cross the floor of the House of Commons, he is warned by new Lady Di’s new boss Claude Whelan that a deeply-hidden secret is about to be made public. In Birmingham, the media-friendly aspiring Muslim mayor, tipped for success and who has the ear of the PM, also has a ‘bagman’ with a criminal past. Could they be a threat, or in danger? And what has any of this to do with JK Coe’s theory?
In each book, the team of reject spies changes slightly though some old favourites, such as River Cartwright, and of course the chief, Jackson Lamb, continue. This time there are a number of curious things going on. No one can understand why Kim, beautiful girlfriend of the dysfunctional Ho, is actually with him. What secret is sleazy politician Dennis Gimball hiding from his wife, Dodie, who thinks she knows every dirty little thing he has done? And why is Ho taken to Regent’s Park and locked in an isolation room with a tap and a metal drain?
The plot twists inside out and round about and through it all cuts the acerbic cynicism of Lamb. If JK Coe’s theory is correct will Lamb believe his silent, intense, anti-social spy and act? If Lamb disobeys orders again, could Slough House be shut down?
The dark humour of this series never fails to make me laugh out loud while the scenarios are one frightening step away from feeling possible. I do long, though, to hear Lamb’s inner thoughts. We are shown the mind of other Slow Horses but not Jackson Lamb. What really makes him tick?

Click the title to read my reviews of the first four books in the Slough House series:-

If you like this, try:-
Waiting for Sunrise’ by William Boyd
Never’ by Ken Follett
This is the Night They Come for You’ by Robert Goddard

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
LONDON RULES by Mick Herron #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5Rx via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Never’ by @KMFollett #thriller

I’ve read and enjoyed the excellent historical Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett but have never read one of his contemporary thrillers. Never, his latest, is a fast-moving story that, despite being a hefty 832 pages, I read hungrily. Ken FollettInternational politics, terrorism, drug smuggling form an unstoppable chain of events that move the world, inch by inch, to the edge of horrifying conflict. This is the content of so many dramatic films and books and is the basis for Follett’s story. He makes it powerful by letting the events unfold through the eyes of five people in different countries, each involved in local matters with far-reaching implications. As events spiral, I didn’t want to put the book down. It’s an uncomfortable read, the sensible cautious voices are at times shouted down by the brashest, loudest hard-liners and, like all the best thrillers, it makes you think ‘could this happen’ and ‘what would I do.’
Follett’s narrative is premised on how events unfolded prior to the First World War when a chain of seemingly small things culminated in a global conflict. Never starts in Northern Africa. Abdul works undercover, tracking cocaine shipments used to fund IS’s operations in the region. Tamara Levit works for the CIA in Chad where climate change is edging the rural population closer to starvation, forcing many to trek north to Europe in search of a better life. Border conflict with neighbouring Sudan is a daily threat. Chad’s president is an unpredictable dictator and terrorists are using North Korean and Chinese weapons.
In China, the government is polarising. Chang Kai is 45 and vice-president for international intelligence. He is communist royalty. His father is one of the Chinese old guard, a political hardliner, a traditionalist, but Kai is new generation Chinese. He studied at Princeton and is married to a television actress. President Chen is talked at by both sides. Prior to his election he had the ear of the traditionalists but since has taken moderate decisions. Now the North Korean neighbours are causing trouble. When there are problems in the north, it inevitably draws in not only South Korea but also the Americans and Japanese. In America, President Green is dealing with a truculent teenage daughter, an unhappy husband, and a populist challenger who fills the airwaves with dangerous rhetoric.
This is a scary thriller that makes you gobble up the pages without realising. The story is wide-ranging and is better for it. Well researched and expertly paced. The early chapters are slower as characters and situations are introduced and explored, then as the political tensions and dangers increase the story pace picks up. The ending comes in a rush but that is what happens when communications are down and control is lost.
It leaves you asking, ‘what if.’

Click the titles to read my reviews of other Follett novels:-
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING [Kingsbridge prequel]

If you like this, try:-
Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore
The Travelers’ by Chris Pavone
Last Light’ by Alex Scarrow

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
#BookReview NEVER by @KMFollett #thriller https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5R4 via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Brat Farrar’ by Josephine Tey #mystery #thriller

What a revelation is Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey, a thoughtful mystery of assumed identity I didn’t want to put down. It is the first Tey novel I have read and I now have that wonderful prospect ahead of me, anticipating seven more novels to enjoy. The book first came to my attention on social media – Twitter or Facebook I don’t recall – when a fellow writer, sadly I don’t remember who, said she re-reads this novel as the brilliant telling of a mistaken identity mystery. Josephine Tey

Brat Farrar, an English orphan, has returned to London after years travelling, most recently living in America working with horses. Horses are an important part of the story. Crossing the road, he is seen by Alec Loding, a fading actor who recognises Brat’s uncanny resemblance to Patrick Ashby, a thirteen year old boy who committed suicide years earlier. Patrick’s body was never found and Loding – who grew up nearby and knew the Ashby family well – sees the opportunity for Brat to appear at the Ashby family home and stud, Latchetts, as Patrick. In return for coaching, Loding will receive a regular payment for the rest of his life. Brat proves to be unexpectedly convincing during the training period and both men decide to go ahead with their scheme. The family and its lawyers are won over by Brat and the emotional return of Patrick. His younger twin brother Simon and heir to the Ashby inheritance is not convinced, however.

What follows is a cat and mouse game of who-has-guessed-what in which I grew to like Brat and dislike Simon, not what I expected. Tey creates complex characters with light and shade and, though the novel was first published in 1949, it is not dated. Brat tailors his own experiences to dovetail with what may have happened to Patrick if he had run away – no body was found, the inquest passed a verdict of suicide based on a note found after Patrick’s disappearance – and he finds himself loving the Ashbys and Latchetts.

An excellent read.

Oh and to the writer who inspired me to read Brat Farrar, a huge thank you!

If you like this, try:-
The Quarry’ by Iain Banks
Wolf Winter’ by Cecilia Ekback
The Snakes’ by Sadie Jones

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
BRAT FARRAR by Josephine Tey #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-48P via @SandraDanby

#Books ‘This is the Night They Come for You’ by Robert Goddard

Robert Goddard is a thriller writer with a particular skill at writing mysteries where the past remains entangled with today. This is the Night They Come for You features Algerian police Superintendent Mouloud Taleb; believable, likeable, he’s the type of character you instantly root for. Robert GoddardThe story starts today in Algiers as Taleb, sweating in his dingy un-air-conditioned office, considers approaching retirement. But when Wassim Zarbi, a former agent convicted of corruption, is released from prison and then disappears, it is feared he is reuniting with old colleague Nadir Laloul. Events in Paris in 1961 come alive again and Taleb is pulled into the dangerous search for Laloul, Zarbi and the truth of a cold case murder. The history and peoples of Algeria and France are entwined and Goddard puts at the heart of his story a shadowy organisation in Algeria named ‘hizb franca’, the ‘party of France’, dedicated to undermining the success of the fledgling Algerian republic. A small practical note, it would have been helpful to have the Glossary at the front of the Kindle edition rather than at the back. And, for a novice at Algerian politics as I am, a short historical context would also be useful. As a character in the book says, ‘No one learns anything from history in Algeria. They just keep repeating it in ever more exaggerated forms.’
There are two strands to the story and I admit to temporary confusion about who is who, on which side, in the first half of the book. But Goddard portrays a situation and politics disrupted, with truths sewn together by deception. I trusted Goddard to make it all clear, and he does. The various allegiances become aligned as the story progresses, until the twists occur.
Taleb finds himself assigned to work with Souad Hidouchi, an agent from the Algerian secret service. Neither trusts the other, unsure of their unstated objectives. It is a delight to watch the development of their relationship, their suspicions, the small details of friendship, the willingness to take a risk on placing trust. In comparison, the second strand featuring Stephen Gray and Suzette Fontaine, is less dynamic. Stephen has dedicated his life to uncovering the truth about his sister Harriet who disappeared in Paris in 1961. Suzette meanwhile has received a strange call from a Swiss solicitor. A document, claimed to be a memoir written in Algeria by her bookseller father, Nigel Dalby, tells the truth of what happened in Paris in 1961.
As Goddard alternates the viewpoints with excerpts from Dalby’s typewritten manuscript, at times the reader knows more than the characters. But the characters are not all telling the truth, motivations and secrets are hidden, and Goddard juggles the tensions and unveilings like a master.
A thoroughly enjoyable historical thriller. Knowing little of Algerian politics, it’s so good to read fiction that makes me turn the pages while teaching me something new. A small design note, I hated the cover which trivialises the subject matter of the novel and is befitting a young adult title.

Read my reviews of Goddard’s other books:-
Panic Room
The Fine Art of Invisible Detection
The Ways of the World #1 The Wide World Trilogy
The Corners of the Globe #2 The Wide World Trilogy
The Ends of the Earth #3 The Wide World Trilogy

If you like this, try:-
Waiting for Sunrise’ by William Boyd
The Museum of Broken Promises’ by Elizabeth Buchan
Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:-
THIS IS THE NIGHT THEY COME FOR YOU by Robert Goddard #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5Pq via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The Paris Apartment’ by @lucyfoleytweets #thriller

I read The Paris Apartment, the latest thriller by Lucy Foley, in two sittings. It kept me guessing nearly to the end, with some unexpected twists along the way. When penniless Jess arrives in Paris to spend some time with her half-brother, he has disappeared. What follows is a page-turning story of the apartment block where Ben has been living, its inhabitants and the confusing discoveries Jess makes as she tries to find him. It makes her question if she really knows her brother and why he has been so distant from her. Lucy FoleyThis is a book about secrets, small ones, shameful ones, old and new secrets. And one huge one. Jess, at times vulnerable at times recklessly brave, attempts to be pleasant to Ben’s neighbours in this surprisingly elegant old Parisian apartment block. The snobbish couple in the penthouse, the two young women sharing on the fourth floor, a thug and his wife, the silent concierge plus Ben’s old university friend, Nick. The viewpoint swaps quickly between Jess and the other residents as Foley pushes the action quickly from event to event. The chapters are short and snappy and this makes it easy to read just one more, and one more. As Jess struggles to make a connection with these neighbours, she doesn’t know who to trust; and neither did I. I didn’t like any of them and Jess herself is difficult to connect with. But the mystery led me on.
The apartment block offers a kind of ‘closed room’ setting, well-used in crime stories, and it does its job well. It is grand yet mysterious with hidden doors and stairs, spooky attic and cellar, a cranky old lift and a C-shaped construction around a courtyard allowing residents to observe each other. I had a clear picture of it in my head.
Where is Ben? Did someone see him leave? Why hasn’t he answered his phone? And why is he living in Paris anyway? Nick offered him the flatshare but the two men haven’t been in touch for years. Given we don’t see Ben’s viewpoint except a brief Prologue, some things are hidden until the very end. The lines between current time and flashbacks at times seemed blurred and I got a little irritated with Jess’s naivety. A couple of scenarios I thought might be possible turned out to be wrong, but it was fun guessing.
Lucy Foley uses glamorous Paris alongside the sinister apartment building, riots on the streets, juxtaposing Parisian elegance with the seedier side streets and alleys, clubs and bars. As Jess considers each of her neighbours, trying to work out who knows what, shuffling up and down stairs trying to eavesdrop, she inevitably lands in trouble.
A satisfying fast read, helped by short chapters in different viewpoints which gradually construct the mystery like layers of filo pastry.

Click the title to read my reviews of two other novels by Lucy Foley:-

If you like this, try:-
These Dividing Walls’ by Fran Cooper
Smash All the Windows’ by Jane Davis
The Quarry’ by Iain Banks

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE PARIS APARTMENT by @lucyfoleytweets #thriller #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5Pk via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Real Tigers’ by Mick Herron #spy #thriller

When recovering alcoholic and slow horse Catherine Standish goes missing, alarm bells ring at Slough House. Real Tigers by Mick Herron is third in his series about the unfashionable not-quite-up-to-it spies who have been sent to MI5’s version of Coventry. After an intriguing start, I found myself immersed in the tortuous twists and turns of Regents Park v politicians, all playing I-can-betray-you-better-than-you-can-betray-me, when I wanted more Standish. Mick HerronStandish, who has been kidnapped, seems the most unlikely target for attack. But this is Herron’s take on London’s spy-stitching-up-another-spy-for-promotion world where power and accountability don’t go together. Add in slimy Home Secretary Peter Judd and I lost track of the double-crossing. Thankfully Jackson Lamb who, despite disgusting personal habits and an apparent ‘don’t care’ attitude, was an operative during the Cold War and so can still cut through the lies. When Slough House is the focus of a surprise assessment, and it becomes clear that Standish is not coming back, Lamb’s Cold War trickery comes in handy.
After a soggy middle, the pace picks up in the final third. The real tigers of the title are of course the slow horses who find their claws at last. The action scene in the underground data centre, hidden beneath a shabby industrial estate, is snappy though confusing to keep up with who is where and who is shooting at who. Marcus particularly excels, I loved the detail about his hat, while Shirley finds that being a real spy is a bigger hit than drugs and computer nerd Roderick Ho drives a London bus.
Not as addictive a read as the first two books but this is a gritty series with characters who you want to fight back.

Click the title to read my reviews of the first two books in the Slough House series:-

If you like this, try:-
The Travelers’ by Chris Pavone
Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore
Waiting for Sunrise’ by William Boyd

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
REAL TIGERS by Mick Herron #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5xE via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Dead Lions’ by Mick Herron #spy #thriller

No tuxedos, no superheroes, no gadgets. The Slough House spy thrillers by Mick Herron feature the spies who, having messed up, have been consigned to a dead-end department [in London, not Slough, but that’s the joke]. Dead Lions is second in the series. The title is taken from a kids’ party game, ‘You have to pretend to be dead. Lie still. Do nothing.’ Mick HerronWhen elderly retired streetwalker Dickie Bow, a spy good at following people on the street and discovering their secrets, turns up dead on a train near Oxford no-one takes much notice. Except Jackson Lamb, Slough House boss and pragmatist. The bloody-minded Lamb considers whether an old Soviet cold war tactic, planting sleeper agents in a foreign country to activate at a future date, is again being used. But who by, and why? What is there to gain? Herron populates his stories with many layers and in that they are John le Carré like. Le Carré had his own alcoholic, shambling agent in Alec Leamas and Jackson Lamb, like Leamas, is good at talking his way into unlikely places, places others would never expect to find answers. He also has a cynical sense of humour, rather like Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer.
While Lamb is checking up on Dickie Bow, his team of misfits at Slough House continue to do their day jobs – boring data input and administration, checking identity profiles, chained to their desks – not very well. It doesn’t take much to distract them. IT guy and social inadequate Roderick Ho has spotted a girl he fancies and is building an unflattering fake online profile for her boyfriend in the hope she will fall for Ho instead. Except Ho hasn’t spoken to her and doesn’t know he exists. Min Harper and Louisa Guy have been seconded by Spider Webb, a ‘suit’ from Regent’s Park MI5 headquarters, to do a security audit ahead of a meeting he has with a Russian oil billionaire at ‘The Needle’. Building survey, exits and entrances, surveillance, risks and threats. Basically, they have to write a report. Webb, who keeps the purpose of the meeting a secret, will handle the exciting stuff himself.
River Cartwright, visiting his former spy grandfather ‘the OB’, shares the news about Bow’s death. The OB recounts the story of Alexander Popov, a fake Russian who MI6 regarded as an invention to spread disinformation to the West. “If Moscow Centre said ‘Look at this’, the sensible thing was to look in the opposite direction,” says the OB. Lamb’s number two Catherine Standish, former alcoholic, avoids the temptation of the bottle by considering why a bald man on a rainy station platform would leave his hat on a train. Downstairs in a pokey office, Slough House’s two newest recruits Shirley Dander and Marcus Longridge, considered by the old lags as a spy for ‘Lady’ Di Taverner, irritate each other and resent their demotions. And so, the spies worry about being spied upon.
This is a wonderful smoke and mirrors story where nothing is at it seems. It starts with a death which the mainstream spies at the Park dismiss as irrelevant, but which Lamb’s band of rejects set out to solve. Herron’s plot mixes together the ambitious intelligence officers with the misguided and often not bright slow horses, so you won’t know who is on the right track.
Different. Wonderful. Difficult to put down.

Click the title to read my review of Slow Horses, first in the Slough House series.

If you like this, try:-
Waiting for Sunrise’ by William Boyd
The Museum of Broken Promises’ by Elizabeth Buchan
The Secrets We Kept’ by Lara Prescott

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
DEAD LIONS by Mick Herron #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5oF via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The Man in the Bunker’ by Rory Clements #thriller #WW2

The Man in the Bunker by Rory Clements gripped me from beginning to end. It starts at the end of the Second World War when spy Tom Wilde thinks real life is beginning again. But the dilemma is in the book’s title. Who was the dead man in the bunker in Berlin? Were the burnt remains really that of Hitler? If not, where is he? Rory ClementsThis is the sixth in Clements’ thriller series about American historian-turned-spy Wilde who spends the war working for the English and American secret services, and each of them has been unputdownable. It is now late summer 1945 and the European war is over. Germany is defeated, in ruins, starving and with millions of Holocaust survivors, displaced people and refugees. The country has been carved up between the allied forces to bring security and discipline but it is a world in which it is easy to disappear, to reinvent yourself. It is a world in which lies are told for survival. As in the previous Wilde books, it is difficult to know who is telling the truth, who is lying and why. Clements is a consummate thriller writer who writes with emotional depth, political intrigue and historical research.
The action starts at a running pace and never stops. Two men are killed on a remote road in southern Bavaria. In Cambridge, history professor Tom Wilde is anticipating the arrival of new undergraduates and his wife Lydia is applying to study medicine. Then three visitors arrive with an incredible request. Wilde must find Adolf Hitler. At first Wilde laughs, then he refuses. That night, Lydia says he will regret refusing. The next day Wilde changes his mind. First, he questions some German scientists who are imprisoned near Cambridge, their rooms bugged, their conversations and gossip recorded. A clue leads Wilde to Garmisch where he teams up with the unpredictable Lieutenant Mozes Heck, a Dutch Jew who hates the Nazis. As they identify Nazis who were close to Hitler, their progress is continually impeded by the conditions in defeated Germany; starvation, bomb damage, medical crisis and the flood of Holocaust survivors and misplaced citizens. And by Heck’s secret, personal mission.
The ending is particularly intriguing. Is The Man in the Bunker the final book of the Tom Wilde story or will it morph into a Cold War series?

Click the title to read my reviews of the first five books in the Tom Wilde series:-
Hitler’s Secret
A Prince and a Spy

If you like this, try:-
Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore
V2’ by Robert Harris
The Second Midnight’ by Andrew Taylor

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE MAN THE IN BUNKER by Rory Clements #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5o5 via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘Waiting for Sunrise’ by William Boyd #WW1 #spy

Determined to deal with my overflowing to-read shelf, I picked up Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd. Thoughtful with a twisty plot, we follow actor Lysander Rief from Vienna to the trenches as he tries to identify a traitor passing war secrets to the enemy. William BoydIt is Vienna 1913. Actor Lysander Rief has gone to Vienna seeking help for an intimate problem. In the waiting room he encounters two people who will determine the course of Rief’s life in the forthcoming Great War. Rief falls head over heels in lust with Hettie Bull but when Rief is thrown into prison charged with rape, he feels abandoned. He is extricated from Austria thanks to the help of a shadowy British government officer and Rief’s own ingenuity. But he owes a debt and is drawn into the shadowy world of wartime spies. Someone is sending coded messages about essential infrastructure, supply and troop movements to the enemy, and Rief is charged with hunting down the traitor.
Boyd is one of my favourite writers, his writing flows and there are multiple layers to consider long after finishing the book. All concocted with a skilful touch of humour in the right place. It all starts in the consulting room of Dr Bensimon who suggests that Rief’s delicate problem, based on an unfortunate but funny episode in his youth, can be solved not by drugs or hypnosis but by his own theory of Parallelism. Rief must revisit his memory of the incident and reconstruct the story of what happened so that today his dreams are about the changed story and his little problem stops happening. Smoke and mirrors. Rief, as an actor, is adept at pretending to be what he is not and there are countless characters he meets who do the same. He is good at spotting some people who are acting, but misses others. But unlike on stage, missing the clues can lead to hurt, separation and death. And at stake in the bigger picture of the war are the lives of allied soldiers.
This is a book about deception; lies to others, lies told to oneself. Small lies told for convenience. Big lies told to disguise treason. Along the way, people get hurt.
So much more than a conventional spy thriller from a master author. 4* for me rather than 5* because of the slow beginning. It pays to be patient.

Here are my reviews of other books by William Boyd:-

… and try the first paragraph of ARMADILLO.

If you like this, try:-
Wake’ by Anna Hope
The Lie’ by Helen Dunmore
Corpus’ by Rory Clements

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
WAITING FOR SUNRISE by William Boyd#bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5hB via @SandraDanby