Have you ever read a book where you weren’t quite sure who the bad guys were? I have, and they can be kind of frustrating.
At the same time, these frustrating books are probably the closest to real life that we can get in a book. The world isn’t black and white; the world is gray, and sometimes green or purple. This book is a spy book that takes that “the world is gray” opinion to extreme details. I spent so much time psychoanalyzing the characters, and finding their motivations. It was really fun, because most of the characters are psychologically fascinating and complex. This is the first book in a series, so I will definitely be reading the others.
This is one of those books that sat on my TBR for quite a while before I got to it, and I wasn’t always in the mood for a spy thriller, so it took me a while to get through. All that said, this book was really good, so I wanted to share anyway 🙂
I received this book through a book deal on BookBub. The links in this post are affiliate links, which offer me a small commission, without extra purchase on your part.
Daniel Petrovich used to be a spy. He was part of a program called Black Flag, which trained undercover agents for the work no one else wants to do. As a result, Daniel is one of the highest trained assets the United States had. He worked for a General in Serbia for 4 years, and when his partner was killed, he retired and moved back to the U.S.
Daniel has been living the corporate life for several years, when he’s contacted and requested for “one last” assassination job. Daniel is, at heart, a patriot, so when he’s contracted to do the job, he thinks he’s working for the U.S. This is when the gray really starts to show up in the book. I never really did figure out who the bad guys were, and who the good guys were. This book was very “yin and yang” for me, and I enjoyed it very much. I like books that aren’t predictable, and while a couple elements were, overall the book was unpredictable. I hope the next books in the series carry this theme on, because I don’t like my spy books to be predictable.
My degree from school is in psychology, so I really enjoy books where I can immerse myself in the psychology of the characters. This book was full of characters that I loved, that I hated and that I loved to hate, but those characters in each category changed from chapter to chapter. One character (won’t tell you who, you’ll figure it out) was such a chauvinist that I enjoyed seeing him get his comeuppance. But even that character was in the gray area, because he was a good guy in almost every other situation.
This book was so complicated in theory and in psychology, but the story itself was pretty simple and easy to follow. I enjoyed the complexity of the characters, and I loved going back and forth of “is this guy a good guy or a bad guy?”
I appreciate male authors who don’t try to make their female authors overly complicated. I’ve read romance books by male authors before, and the female lead characters have so many male characteristics that I can’t connect with the characters. This author didn’t do that. The book has female characters, but they are supporting, and the author didn’t try to make them more or less female than he knew he could. This book is male-centric. All the main characters are male, but I appreciate that from a male author. Please no offense to male authors, but writing a good, strong female lead isn’t something I have found successful in many male authored books. This author took what he was good at, and didn’t try to be something he wasn’t. I liked that.
Ya’ll, I have read so many 5 star books recently! This one is no different, and it makes my heart so glad! I loved the complexity of the characters, and the “not so black and white” atmosphere of the storyline. If you like spy books, or political thrillers, this book (and series, I hope) is probably for you! I hope you check it out, and please let me know what you think in the comments below!