In a world of lies, one man wants the truth.
Fearing for his life, journalist Philip Mangan has gone into hiding from the Chinese agents who have identified him as a Western spy. His reputation and life are in tatters. But when he is caught in a terrorist attack in East Africa and a shadowy Chinese figure approaches him in the dead of night with information on the origins of the attack, Mangan is suddenly back in the eye of the storm.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away on a humid Hong Kong night, a key British Intelligence source is murdered minutes after meeting spy Trish Patterson. From Washington, DC, to the hallowed halls of Oxford University and dusty African streets, a sinister power is stirring that will use Mangan and Patterson as its pawns - if they survive.
Deeply steeped in tension and paranoia, Adam Brookes' follow-up to his award-nominated debut is a remarkable, groundbreaking spy thriller.
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Dirty Game of Spy-craft
The Modern Spy Novel
Globally connected thriller.
Of course, Spy Games can be compared to the first novel in this series, Night Heron, and serves as an excellent follow up. While Spy Games can be taken in on its own, I would highly recommend those interested in exploring this book to begin with the first installment as they do build on each other.
I've been a reader of old-school spy thrillers for a long while, but have found that over the last decade (at least) the classic approaches have really lost their luster, clinging to cold war dynamics. Adam Brookes brings a more contemporary, global, perspective to his work by weaving characters together not only in multiple countries, but through drawing on themes that touch on modern espionage, international industry, and related struggles with inequality. It's particularly notable that within this genre Brookes is one of the few to include rich involvement of characters and story lines that bring China into the fold - and in a rather informed way, to boot!
My one issue is that his books (and Spy Games in particular) remain rather short, which make the introduction of such abundant subjects and characters somewhat thin. That being said, it allows for a quick (and fast paced) listen. I look forward to new installments and would recommend Spy Games particularly to those who have read/listened to Night Heron.