- Shaun Baines
Act of Vengeance by Michael Jecks
On this blog, I'll be posting my thoughts on the books I read. Nothing new there, you might think, but at the end of the review, I'll let you know which book is next. I hope you pick up a copy and read along with me. Post your comments and tell me your thoughts. It would be lovely if you post your reviews on Amazon, too. It really helps the authors to keep writing the books you enjoy.
Act of Vengeance by Michael Jecks is a multi-stranded spy thriller spanning the globe. Jack Case worked in the British security services. He is recalled from suspension to investigate the apparent suicide of Danny Lewin, an ex-interrogator whose experiences in the Middle-East proved too much to handle. Case is charged with finding Lewin's journal which has the potential to embarrass the government. As we might expect, he's not the only one to be interested.
This is the first spy thriller I've ever read and I found it fascinating and alarming in equal measure. The international setting lends the book an enormity, which could have easily made for a dispassionate read. But the author cleverly mixes the wider scope of global events with the lives of individuals, creating an intimacy that draws the reader in.
I was particularly taken by the treatment of a young Muslim lawyer. It is a harrowing vision of powerlessness and the subsequent consequences of state-led censure.
At 388 pages, it is a lengthy book that takes its time. That's not necessarily a bad thing. What it lacks in pace, it makes up for in depth. There is a real sense of the author's expertise, both in passages depicting the history of espionage and in modern day practices. The book's accuracy lends a chilling vibe. Faceless organisations. Brutal interrogations. Questionable morals. It blurs the line between fact and fiction, which is terrifying at times.
For anyone looking to explore the shadowy world of spies, this is a great place to start. I have a feeling I may have to read a few more before I find another book as good as this.
Act Of Vengeance by Michael Jecks is available from Amazon, together with a long list of other titles for you to enjoy.
Up next is Dying Seconds by the excellent Nick Rippington, available from Amazon.