Title: The Book of Spies
Author: Gayle Lynds
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5
Rare book expert Eva Blake is about to be tried for manslaughter, for getting into an accident while driving drunk and killing her husband. The only problem is that she swears that he was driving, even though they found him in the passenger seat. Three years later, a man named Tucker Anderson who works for the CIA comes to Eva and offers her an early release from jail in exchange for her help. People have been trying to locate the Library of Gold, a famed historical library last known to be in the hands of Ivan the Terrible, for years, and a book has surfaced that might be from the library. Eva agrees to help, but soon learns that nothing is as it seems.
I love historical thrillers. I find them to be great escapist fare, plus the included history always makes the book more interesting for me. When I first heard about The Book of Spies, I was definitely intrigued. Not only was it on a subject I’d never heard of before, but the reviews of the book were generally positive, rather than the mixed ratings of most novels in this genre.
I really enjoyed The Book of Spies. Lynds has managed to craft an intriguing novel that doesn’t feel like an old repeat of the many books that have come before it. It’s a fresh take on the genre; I never knew what to expect, and didn’t find it predictable. Additionally, the history is very interesting and well-researched, and Lynds includes a long and thorough author’s note in the back of the book which is essential for people who want to know what’s true and what’s embellished.
I liked the two main characters in this novel, Eva and Judd. They aren’t your typical thriller pair. They’re both smart and resourceful. I also enjoyed sifting through the layers of Eva’s past. She’s not what you imagine when you picture a rare book expert; there’s a lot more to her underneath the surface. Judd and Eva made an excellent team and I can only hope we revisit them in a future novel.
The Book of Spies was a fun book that contained everything I’ve come to love about the historical thriller genre without the boring clichés. I can’t believe I’ve never read any of Lynds’ books before this, but I will definitely be picking up more in the future.