This novel is disappointing because it is not, in essence, an 'Honor Harrington' novel. Rather, it is an elaborate prequel to what seems to be the top...moreThis novel is disappointing because it is not, in essence, an 'Honor Harrington' novel. Rather, it is an elaborate prequel to what seems to be the topic of the next novel: a war between the Mesans and a military alliance between Manticore and Haven. I am eager to read this next novel but sorry that this one very much needs a 'Part 1' or 'To be continued' subtitle.(less)
What a relief to find a series in which the Scandinavian detective has a fairly normal and happy homelife! Irene Huss has a happy marriage and almost-...moreWhat a relief to find a series in which the Scandinavian detective has a fairly normal and happy homelife! Irene Huss has a happy marriage and almost-grown twins who are neither addicted to drugs nor involved in crime. Although she is clearly a more-than-competent detective, she is not obsessed every minute with her investigation. In this novel, Irene has the opportunity to travel to Britain for her investigation, and we see both the steps of the investigation and her enjoyment of this new environment.
The plot is well-structured, and the characters are well drawn. I will certainly read more of this series and hope that more English translations are forthcoming. (I found this book after watching an episode of the Swedish TV series. Since it is now on American TV, I hope more of the books will become available.) Unfortunately, I did find the writing style of the novel irritating--too simplistic for the subject matter. I think this may be a result of the translation, since I've noticed the same thing in several Wallander books, but it kept me from completely enjoying this book.(less)
Liz Carlyle works for MI5, the agency of which Stella Rimington was the first female director general. Her experience is used well in this, her first...moreLiz Carlyle works for MI5, the agency of which Stella Rimington was the first female director general. Her experience is used well in this, her first novel.
An announcement is made at a meeting that Islamic terrorists may be about to deploy an 'invisible', an agent native to Britain and able to move and act without attracting suspicion. This is worrying, but Liz has agents to supervise and a new MI6 counterpart to deal with. Very quickly, however, Liz receives information that puts her in the center of the operation to stop the threat. The reader sees both the actions of the terrorists and the efforts made to discover and stop them. Although Liz is clearly the heroine, it is made very clear that her successes are not only the result of her own intelligence but also the massive resources needed to investigate even the smallest lead. The author does not overemphasize or explain the 'tradecraft', but it is always present and adds a gritty reality to the narration. The suspense is heightened because the reader, who knows more about the terrorists as individuals, is allowed to learn crucial facts only when Liz does. Most of the action of this book is phone calls, conversations, and encrypted reports, but the pacing never lags. The descriptions and characterizations are vivid. The conclusion, although satisfying for the reader, deepens the characterization of Liz, who can only be dissatisfied with the outcome.(less)