This was quite a satisfying little book - despite the fact that by the time I picked it up from the library I had rather forgotten what it was about a...moreThis was quite a satisfying little book - despite the fact that by the time I picked it up from the library I had rather forgotten what it was about and why I'd requested it!
I read through the whole thing in a few hours, the writing making it easy to slide along, and the mystery kept me alternately a little horrified and worried for everyone - especially Gianetta, of course - as well as eager to find out the ending.
I won't discuss the ending at all, save to say that it wasn't what I expected, precisely, and it was terribly satisfying, as such things go. Honestly, anything more would spoil it!
Before I start a review for this novel I have to point out the fact that I am really not a fan of spy novels in general, which you can be sure coloure...moreBefore I start a review for this novel I have to point out the fact that I am really not a fan of spy novels in general, which you can be sure coloured my enjoyment of this book.
I picked up this book because I had been searching at my library for one of the roughly half a dozen other novels with this title, and stumbled across it. I decided, on a whim, to give it a chance, though it is far outside my 'normal' tastes - I do try to read outside my favourite genres, however, so I started in on this one.
Technically, the writing was a bit sloppy in places - I understand the usage of different names repeatedly for the same people, of course, but when a man is thinking of himself, he should not really switch from thinking of himself by first name, then last name, then cover name, all in the space of one paragraph, for instance.
I really have little inkling on the history used, and how accurate it might be, but it seems plausible - if depressing - enough to me.
It was complicated - of course it was, it is a load of spy vs. spy activities, spanning across the US, Europe, and Africa, it would have to be - but in places it seemed as though the complications were just thrown in with little reason or sense to indicate them.
I have to admit that at one point I actually paused, setting the book down, and commented aloud 'this book was very definitely written by a man'. In this case, I meant only that the female characters - of which there are two major, if obviously secondary - are very strange in their motivations. As a woman, I look at these characters and cannot understand why on earth they would do some of these things.
Not to say that real women don't sometimes do things that make no sense to me, but it was a repetitive enough feeling to dislodge me from the story in a few places.
I do think that, despite the confusing nature of the book, when I reached the end I had figured out about as much of the plot as is possible to do - short some small details that I expect I would have to actually be practised at reading spy novels to untangle.
On that note . . . I must say, the ending was . . . unsatisfying. Perhaps realistic, in its own unrealistic way, but unsatisfying, nevertheless.
I tried to be as objective as possible here, but really, I've no doubt that my personal preferences leavened that attempt, and while I was too curious about what was going on and where the characters would wind up - not all of which was revealed, disappointingly - to put down the novel, even though I realised early that I would particularly enjoy . . . well, I didn't particularly enjoy the read.(less)