Author: Alec Nevala-Lee

ISBN: 978-0-451-23878-8

Publisher: Penguin

If the machinations that take place within the Russian intelligence services were only half as convoluted as Alec Nevala-Lee makes them, they'd still be twice as hard to unravel as those of agencies anywhere else in the world. There's something about those Russians; they keep their cards close to the chest - and here it makes for dense, intricate reading as the plot of City of Exiles is slowly introduced and begins to unfold.

The operative word there is, "slow," as the reader is first introduced in Prologue to Ilya Severin, former Russian Intelligence operative known as, "The Scythian," but now in hiding, and then to Karvonen, ostensibly in London to work with his boss, a fashion photographer.  Next, we meet Wolfe, female FBI agent assigned to London's Serious Organized Crime unit, a division of the British Intelligence Directorate, and Powell, Wolfe's immediate boss, as they investigate the murder of the man who'd been at the center of the arms trafficking case they'd been building for the past year, but whose death has now left their case in shambles.

Even at page 100 it is not yet clear who the principal protagonist will be or what, if any, question will lie at the core of the plot, and for us these things made the early part of  City of Exiles hard to engage with. We found ourself putting the book down more frequently than is usual. We just weren't "into" the story.

Fortunately, in this case perseverance early on paid big dividends later. The POV gradually comes to center on Wolfe, who takes steps to investigate the death of the Armorer and others important to the case. Ultimately, Wolfe establishes a rapport with Severin, and as they discuss the Book of Ezekiel and he mentors her on the realities of Russian life, the first inklings of a hidden intelligence operation are revealed. From there, the pace of the story accelerates, and the second half of the novel becomes a sizzling ride no one who enjoys intrigue is likely to be putting down before the final lines have been delivered.

Nevala-Lee's writing is confident and his prose polished, elements that make for a very, "reader-friendly" experience which is a pleasure all by itself. The work has been well edited and given a strong cover. If you're ready for a level of intrigue that probes further and reaches deeper than the average thriller, City of Exiles is likely to provide you with an enjoyable experience.

Follow Here To Purchase City of Exiles (Icon Thief)

Check Out Some Great Amazon.Com Deals