Books Reviews by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 31 Jul 2017

Alhawadeth Media

A Rising Man

 

By

 

Abir Mukherjee

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

In this debut novel and introduction to a new series featuring Capt. Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard inspector, we are taken to 1919 Calcutta.  Having survived the trenches of WWI and the death of his young wife, he has accepted a position with the British Imperial Police Force in Bengal.

 

The climate is steamy; there is simmering conflict between the Indian population and the occupying British.  Into this mix, Wyndham is faced with a sensitive murder investigation shortly after arriving.  Alexander MacAuley, a top aide to the lieutenant governor, is found in a seedy part of the city known as “Black Town” with his throat cut and other ghoulish wounds.  A note stuffed in his mouth suggests that the culprit(s) may be Indian terrorists opposed to British rule.  But soon, Wyndham realizes this is a much more complicated scenario. 

 

His Indian assistant, a sergeant known as Surrender-not Banerjee is a delightful paradox at a time when association between the races is a risky business. 

 

While this book is as much about the political situation in 1919 India, it is most definitely a first-rate mystery that grabs you from page one to the final chapter. 

 

The only question now is – how fast can Mukherjee write – since we’ll be counting the time until the next in the series. 

 

 

 

Lenin’s Roller Coaster

 

By

 

David Downing

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

In 1917, while World War I is in its last throes, Russia had two revolutions.  The first overthrew the monarchy of Czar Nicholas II; the second – in October – overthrew the provisional government and replaced it with Lenin’s Bolshevik (i.e. Communist) Party.  This story is set during those traumatic times.

 

British spy Jack McColl is assigned a sabotage mission deep in Central Asia.  The remoteness of the steppes does not preclude the danger of the German influence there.  Concurrently, his friend and sweetheart, Caitlin Hanley, is pursuing her own journalism career Russia.  Their careers have separated them with little idea of the other’s location. 

 

While Jack sees the war(s) through the prism of British Intelligence, Caitlin is attracted to the revolutionaries’ promise of greater freedom and equality for women.  The lines will be blurred by civil war as broken political promises abound.

 

Mr. Downing has delivered another great historical novel illuminating areas seldom written about.  This is a compelling story and all the more relevant when we contemplate the passions of a hundred years ago and their effect on us today.

 

 

 

 

House of Spies

 

by

 

Daniel Silva

 

 

   Review by Brenda Repland

 

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists have turned their sights on London with chilling accuracy. 

 

Only Gabriel Allon can find the one clue that will lead to the mastermind behind the attacks, a man known only as “Saladin.”  He and his team of operatives follow the trail to the south of France where they meet Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson, his “almost-wife.”  Martel is known as an immensely successful hotelier, restauranteur, jeweler, and on and on.  But where does his money really come from?

Even he refuses to acknowledge that the lucrative drug trade means doing business with the very man whose goal is the destruction of the West.

 

As the story moves from Saint-Tropez to Casablanca, Gabriel will maneuver the hapless couple into useful pawns in the war on terror.

 

 

This latest in the Gabriel Allon series is every bit as thrilling as its predecessors.  You will find yourself racing through the book for the hair-raising end.

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