Review of “The Moroccan Girl” by Charles Cumming

the moroccan girlI saw a notice in NetGalley.com that an advanced electronic copy of “The Moroccan Girl” by Charles Cumming was available in exchange for an honest review. I took NetGalley up on this offer. The mechanics of requesting this book, receiving it on my Kindle, and filing the review were very user-friendly.

The publication date of “The Moroccan Girl” is February 2019, but I prepared the review shown below in late November 2018.

This is an excellent espionage thriller.

Charles Cumming has again written a believable espionage thriller in the tradition of John LeCarré. His story involves a thriller writer who is recruited to work for British Intelligence. His thriller writer protagonist seems very real, flaws and all. He is certainly a refreshing break from the superhero military operative so prevalent in today’s thrillers. Cumming’s strength is the creation of a feeling of paranoia experienced by an ordinary person with some training or knowledge of intelligence who is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than he had anticipated. Like LeCarré, Cumming’s plot has many twists and turns. His protagonist sometimes does foolish things that a normal person might do. Sometimes the protagonist does not read the situation correctly. The reader is never sure of exactly who the villain is. To me, this makes for a very good espionage story, and I enjoyed “The Moroccan Girl” very much.

As the title indicates, much of the story is set in Morocco, and Cumming does enough research to make this setting come alive and provide additional richness to the story.

My only criticism is probably the result of the fact that I read a galley proof on a Kindle. I found the use of various interview reports spaced throughout the book a little difficult to deal with. The switch from narrative to the document was a little confusing to this reader. I am sure this issue can be fixed with some clever formatting.

Other than that small issue, I found this book very enjoyable, and look forward to read many other books written by this author.

Advertisements

Review of “The Gray Man” by Mark Greaney

 

the gray man

Author:  Mark Greaney

Publication Date:  2009

Publisher:  Jove Books, The Berkeley Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-0-515-14701-8

Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Publishing Group

Source of Book: Local library

 

Blurb:

Courtland Gentry is a good man. But he’s a great assassin…

To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.

But then there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money.  And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive.

(Source of Blurb:  Back Cover)

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. The Gray Man is becoming one of my favorite thriller characters. I tend not to enjoy superheroes, but the Gray Man has shot and killed his way into my heart. The plot is very simple. The Gray Man is a professional assassin, and it seems like agents from many nations are all simultaneously trying to kill him while he is engaged in a rescue mission. The plot is a little preposterous (actually very preposterous), but it is a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed a scene in which the Gray Man is driving to the rescue while a veterinarian’s assistant is giving him a blood transfusion while suturing up a stab wound in his stomach area. Good quips abound. The author, Mark Greaney, has a great imagination and is a terrific action writer. The book moves from action scene to action scene without letup, and I managed to read this very quickly.

The Gray Man is a “complex” character as well. He only seems to kill bad people, and he abhors acts of dishonesty. I have a feeling the author had a huge amount of fun writing this book, and creating difficult situations for the “Gray Man”. I enjoyed the author’s creativity, and my sense of disbelief was overshadowed by the cleverness of the almost absurd situations in which the “Gray Man” found himself.

I normally prefer a more intellectual story, but this one is a lot of fun. I highly recommend it. Buckle your seatbelt and have a really great ride.

I have read two other books in Mark Greaney’s “The Gray Man” series and enjoyed each of them, so I wanted to read his debut novel, so I sought it out. I was not disappointed.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Link to Author’s Website:  https://markgreaneybooks.com/

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002N83GSA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Review of “A Man Called Intrepid” by William Stevenson

 

a man called intrepid

Author:   William Stevenson

Publication Date: 1976, 2014

Publisher:  Skyhorse Publishing

eISBN: 978-1-62914360-6

Source of Book: BookBub

Blurb:

The classic real-life story of the superspy whose vast intelligence network helped defeat the Nazis in World War II.

A Man Called Intrepid is the account of the world’s first integrated intelligence operation and of its master, William Stephenson (no relation to the author). Codenamed INTREPID by Winston Churchill, Stephenson was charged with establishing and running a vast, worldwide intelligence network to challenge the terrifying force of Nazi Germany. Nothing less than the fate of Britain and the free world hung in the balance as INTREPID covertly set about stalling the Nazis by any means necessary.

(Source of Blurb: Skyhorse Publishing)

Review:  This was an amazing book to read. A Man Called Intrepid proves that truth can be as exciting as fiction. I learned a great deal from this book that I hadn’t previously known. The book is really a series of true stories about operations run by Stephenson out of his headquarters in New York City. It brings light on some of the terrible decisions Churchill and Roosevelt had to make before and during World War II. I developed a greater appreciation of these giants as well as the numerous men and women who actually performed the operations described in this book. Many of them died at the hands of Nazi Germany, and many of those who lived received little or no recognition. The sacrifices these people made are awe-inspiring.

I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in World War II or espionage in general. For an aspiring writer, plotlines abound, interesting characters occur throughout, and magnificent stories of the conflicts inherent in espionage operations are well documented. The capture of the Enigma Machine and various related codebooks, the issues involved in the ill-fated, and infrequently discussed raid on Dieppe, and the exfiltration of Niels Bohr, and the raid on the Shell Building in Denmark are some of the particular operations that remain with me after reading “A Man Called Enigma”. It is a classic.

I obtained this book through a promotion on BookBub.

I posted this review in Goodreads and Amazon.

Rating: 4.8/5.0