Author: Rob Hart

Publisher: Polis Books (July 11, 2017)

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B01N249780

https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Prague-Ash-McKenna/dp/1943818479

The Woman from Prague is author Rob Hart’s fourth adventure featuring would-be amateur private investigator Ashley McKenna, following New Yorked, City of Rose, and South Village. Now, self-exiled from his home base of New York, McKenna is in Prague and blackmailed by a self-described U.S. government agent named Roman. Roman wants McKenna to supposedly intercept a package handover on a bridge, a mission that he says is too small to use a real, official agent.     

In very short order, McKenna learns the mission is no quick grab the flash-drive and run job like he thought.  For one matter, he’s nearly killed by a super assassin who begins a manhunt for him.  For another, he begins running with Samantha, the girl he was supposed to intercept to get the flash drive from. The two keep moving all over Prague to get the drive as the assassin prevented the original handover from taking place. At the same time, Roman keeps sending thugs after Ashley and Sam in his hunt for the secrets he craves.

Rob Hart certainly knows all the tropes, moves, scenes, and characters you’d expect in a thriller very much in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock’s version of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps and James Grady’s Six Days of the Condor, remade into the 1975 film, Three Days of the Condor. Not to mention Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity. That is, stories where a male/female team is made up of one member who is relatively, if not completely innocent, of any connections to the covert world; he/she is paired with a usually professional agent not often happy about pulling along an unskilled partner.   Hart makes his connections to this heritage overt   when he invokes Three Days of the Condor   in his own book; he got James Grady to write a blurb for Woman from Prague you can see at Amazon.

Publishers’ Weekly has claimed the novel is one of your best bets for summer reading. That is likely true for readers who like very fast-paced stories with engaging and believable characters. Ash McKenna, in particular, is very well-developed as the entire story is told in his first-person voice. I very much liked Samantha even though I was never convinced Ash should completely trust a woman who has such a low opinion of him.   Just don’t expect any surprises or anything much different from previous thrillers you’ve read in this rather well-established genre. Hart pushes all the right buttons and pulls all the right levers. Good, diverting, entertaining reading for airports, terminals, the like.