Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 26 Jun 2018
Summerland is an impressive novel blending spy-fi and science fiction. If you only pick one science fiction novel to read this summer, this is it. Summerland is set in an alternate Britain circa 1938. The Cold War is in full swing, but there are two fronts - the world of the living and the world of the dead. The world of the novel was changed forever when the Summerland was discovered. Once thought to be gone forever, the souls of the dead persevere and retain their intelligence. Technology allows communication between the living and the dead, and spy services make use of agents both living and dead.
Rachel White is a British agent in charge of a Russian defector. Before he dies he offers her a piece of information - there is a mole in the British operation. But how do you catch a mole who is already dead?
The richly imagined world of Summerland is difficult...
Real Tigers Jackson Lamb Thriller 3
by Mick Herron
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 13 Feb 2018
Real Tigers is an exemplary spy-fi novel. It is clever, tightly plotted, and eerily pertinent, with characters who are way more human and believable than Bond or Bourne. That is not to say there isn’t action - merely that superhuman feats are left to books by writers who aren’t trying to write a realistic spy novel. Real Tigers moves at a faster pace than Dead Lions, which will make it appeal to a broader audience. There is a good bit of naturally occurring humor, but on the whole it is a dark and serious novel where warring factions within the service are as much a threat or possibly more than any outside force.
In Real Tigers, a new minister is taking charge of the intelligence service, one who sees it as a ways of climbing higher, if he can make a big enough splash. (Will remind you of someone bad hair and all) Slough House is drawn in...
I have just added Mick Herron to my go-to list for spy-fi, alongside Deighton and Le’Carre. I was incredibly impressed by Dead Lions - so much so that I immediately plan to read the next book in the series. First the intro to Slough house and its residents was supremely clever, giving insight to the nature of the characters present in a nontraditional way. The closure was equally impressive .
Jackson Lamb is much like George Smiley - except for being far more slovenly and smelly.(Timothy Spall with worse teeth and gas) He is good at his job and knows where all the bodies are buried. He isn’t an action figure, but he is smart and knows how to get information. Everyone who can’t be fired from the service is sent to Slough House. All of the misfits, including those who have made big mistakes are given to Jackson Lamb. For the most part their work is ted...
MJ-12 Inception is an ambitious fantasy spy-fi novel set during the early years of the Cold War. Normally I’m a bit leery of stories where the characters have super-powers. I believe that authors have to make a good justification for the existence of unusual powers. Michael J Martinez exceeded my expectations, by not only making an unusual and well-done argument, but also by leading readers to believe that there may be an ultimate cost related to the event that transformed these distinct individuals.
There is no visible pattern behind who is touched or what power will emerge. It is only natural that both sides see them as assets, and potential threats. For now, the US government is training these variants as agents, but that is not to say that their government won’t turn on them in time.
It is always interesting to read mysteries that have been long out of print. The British Library Crime Classics showcase the work of authors once popular who have long faded from public view. These hidden gems are delightful treats, not always substantial, but definitely fun to read.
A Scream in Soho is an entertaining pulp thriller as opposed to a whodunit, set in London during WWII. Amidst the darkness of a nightly blackout, a scream is heard. Blood and a stiletto are found - but no body. Detective Inspector McCarthy, known for his brilliance and eccentricity, is assigned the case. Swiftly more comes into play as plans are found missing, and the hunt for the spy ensues.
A Scream in Soho has a little bit of everything- German spies, glamorous aristocrats, Italian gangsters, a killer dwarf, a transvestite and plenty of murder. The action moves at a fast...
The Witch Who Came In From The Cold The Complete Season One
by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Ian Tregillis, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Michael Swanwick
Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 01 Jun 2016
Ok, I admit it. I am a fan of 60s spy-fi. Callan is one of my all time favorite tv series. I also love fantasy. So it is no surprise that in my mind magic and Cold War spy fiction go together as well as peanut butter and chocolate. The Witch Who Came in from the Cold is a delectable series blending the two. It is the height of the Cold War, and the US and the KGB are fighting a covert war of deception and speculation. At the same time, another war is being waged - a hidden war between mages allied to Ice and the mages allied to Fire. Allies and enemies overlap, and one's enemy in one war may be one's closest ally in the other. The series is set in Prague and focuses on two central characters, Tanya Morozova, a KGB officer and ded...