spy thriller

Review of ‘I am not a Traitor’

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Henry Stein is a 50-year-old master chef for the Israeli submarine force. When he’s laid off after a long career, he’s too ashamed to tell his wife or the other residents of his kibbutz. But, when he’s arrested and charged with passing classified information to a beautiful Korean-American CIA agent, his past begins to unravel.

 

I Am Not a Traitor by Y. I. Latz is a bizarre tale of a man who owes allegiance to two nations, Israel and Britain. He is also smitten by the lovely doctor, a neophyte spy for the CIA, who manipulates him in exchange for the information he picks up in his dining room at the submarine base. The story moves back and forth through Henry’s life, from his life as a young man in England, and the suspicious death of his grandmother, to Colombia, where his daughter is arrested and threatened with a trial for a routine traffic accident, to his experiences with the sometimes-brutal interrogators in the secret Israeli prison where he’s being held.

 

While the facts of Henry’s life are not in dispute almost from the beginning of the tale, where his true loyalties lie—the core theme—does not become clear until very near the end. The author’s judicious dispensation of facts is done in such a way as to keep the reader guessing. Henry is presented as a complex character, one with whom the reader will find it hard to sympathize until the stunning truth is revealed.

 

If you like your spy thrillers packed with false leads, byzantine plots, and plenty of intrigue, you’ll love this book. I received a free copy.

Review of ‘Arctic Wargame’

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After a botched job in Libya, Canadian Secret Intelligence Agent, Justin Hall, has been demoted to a desk job. When reports come in of unidentified icebreakers in Canadian waters in the Arctic, Hall wangles himself on the mission to scout and find out who they belong to. His partner, Carrie, and two outsiders are sent as part of his team. They suspect the ships belong to either Russia or the U.S., both countries often challenging Canada’s sovereignty in the region, but are surprised to learn that they belong, in fact, to Denmark, and that the Danes are planning a military invasion in the Arctic under the guise of an exercise.

Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones is book one in the Justin Hall spy thriller series. Though the pace and narrative are a bit choppy, the action is nonstop. Hall is the Canadian version of 007 with a bit of Rambo thrown in for good measure. Unlike many books in this genre, the female characters are neither femme fatales nor shrinking violets; they can kick butt with the best of them.

This story has a bit of everything that goes into a good thriller; intrigue and betrayal, lots of kinetic action, and a hint of romance. Thrown in for good measure is a subtle hint that the main protagonist has some family problem that motivates him—would have been interesting to know more detail, which will hopefully come out in the next book.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book.

I give this one three stars. The series has potential, which will hopefully shine through in the sequels.