Tag Archives: Suspense

Review: Northern Spy

Northern Spy

Northern Spy
By Flynn Berry
Viking, 9780735224995, April 6, 2021, 288pp

The Short of It:

I had no idea what I was stepping into but surprisingly, this spy story was very readable and held my interest.

The Rest of It:

Tessa is the mother of young Finn. While at work in Belfast, news of a raid comes on the air. Bomb threats and security checkpoints have become the norm as the IRA makes themselves known after being underground for years. Tessa’s main concern is the safety of her young son but Belfast has been home to her, her sister Marian and her mother for as long as she can remember. She wants to be safe, but where can they go?

Then, one day, a robbery takes place and the security footage clearly shows her sister as one of the robbers. Donning a black ski mask, Marian gazes at the security cameras. Tessa is sure that her sister has been kidnapped and is being used by the IRA. What other explanation could there be? Tessa finds herself being questioned by the authorities and when her sister fails to return home, Tessa can only imagine the worst.

This was a unique story and one I was not expecting. It takes common, every day folks and puts them in extraordinary circumstances, politically. There’s some action and many dangerous moments as Tessa and her family find themselves in the middle of the fight for freedom. Her ties to her young son, not even a year old yet is what keeps her grounded but out of concern for her sister, Tessa makes some dangerous decisions and it’s those situations that she puts herself into that keep you turning the pages. I finished this book in one sitting. If you are looking for an adventurous read, this is it.

I do have a couple of criticisms though. As a reader, I absolutely wanted to know that Tessa was safe. Her commitment to her son Finn is what strings you along but I don’t feel as if I spent enough time with Marian for me to care a whole lot about her safety. Besides her being Tessa’s sister, she seemed very disposable to me. I didn’t feel her passion for the movement come through at all. You should know right off that I enjoy a good spy movie and yes, a good spy story now and then but all the politics go over my head and perhaps that is why I could not connect with Marian on the same level as I did with Tessa.

This is an interesting choice for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. I’ve read many of her picks and enjoyed many of them including this one. I can totally see this being adapted for the big screen.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Three Perfect Liars

Three Perfect LiarsThree Perfect Liars
By Heidi Perks
Gallery Books, 9781982139940, March 2021, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Exactly what I wanted. A good story that was hard to put down.

The Rest of It:

When Laura left her high profile job at Morris and Wood for six months of maternity leave, she had no idea that when she returned, the temp that she personally hired would still be there, sitting at her desk, working with her most important client. Turns out that Mia has done such a great job while she was away, that her boss Harry Wood has decided to keep her on.

At first, Laura is confused. Surely this is a mistake. Once she’s up-to-speed, things will return to normal but that’s not the case. Everyone in the office seems to love Mia and although Laura makes her feelings known, Harry doesn’t agree. Mia will continue to work with Laura’s previous client and Laura will work on other accounts.

As the tension mounts and Laura tries her best to balance her workload and the challenges that a new baby brings, she is convinced that  there must be more at play. Why is Mia even there? Yes, she hired her but she was a temp and clearly not looking for a long-term position, or was she?

The pacing of this story was excellent. Perks quickly pulls you in. There’s a lot more than just workplace rivalry going on and although it’s immediately hinted at, it’s not immediately apparent what is going on. Perks keeps you guessing. I found this to be a solid story and loved how quickly I needed to turn those pages. It did remind me a little of the movie Baby Boom and those of you who have seen that movie might see some similarities in how the office is run but the similarities stop there. If you need a solid read that also happens to be a page turner, pick this one up.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.