Thursday, March 18, 2010

"The Book of Spies" by Gayle Lynds: Entertaining, fast moving and action packed

From the book description:  For centuries, emperors, historians, and even the Vatican have tried to locate Ivan the Terrible’s magnificent Library of Gold — a long-missing archive containing gold-covered, bejeweled books dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Now one of the volumes, The Book of Spies, has surfaced, and along with it the highly secret book club that owns the Library of Gold. They form a cabal of the globe’s most powerful men – men who will do anything to achieve their aims and protect their interests.

This espionage thriller has tons of action and two lead characters that I liked and wanted to succeed. The female main character, Eva Blake, is not a professional spy; she's a museum rare book curator. As the book opens, Eva has been charged with causing the death of her husband while driving drunk. She pleads guilty and goes to jail. And then the book jumps ahead two years. Judd Ryder, the other main character, is also not a professional spy but has the training and background from his military service. Judd's father is killed in connection with reports of a legendary lost Library of Gold tied into possible terrorist actions and the CIA recruits him to investigate. They also arrange for a temporary prison leave for Eva to go with Judd.

Shortly after Eva and Judd arrive in London for an exhibit featuring The Book of Spies (rumored to be part of the Library of Gold), the action really heats up and soon Eva and Judd are running from hired killers across several countries and following clues to the location of the Library of Gold. Putting too much more in the review would spoil the plot; it is enough to say you won't be bored while reading this book and will have the chance to learn some interesting things. I enjoyed the interaction between Judd and Eva and that the author did not take the easy route of a romance between them to fill up the book. There were also a couple good villains for the reader to hate and hope for them to get what they deserve. As with many thrillers, the book often flirted with the line of believability and a few times crossed over. But the plot was so entertaining and the action so constant, that I found it easy to suspend my disbelief in most cases. The bottom line is that this is a very entertaining thriller on a subject not usually covered in the spy thriller genre.  I give it 4 1/2 stars.

I had not read any of the author's previous books. After reading this one, I am going to check out some of the earlier ones.

I received this book from the Amazon Vine program for purposes of writing a review.

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