A Case for Old Spies

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Zach Warren is deputy sheriff on the idyllic Chipley Island, where he lives with his wife Josie. They are both retired spies – he once an expert assassin, she a courier – two of the many cold-war era operatives living out their retirement years on the island after their agency was quietly shut down. On Chipley Island, the circle of old spies enjoy their mundane lives, owning restaurants and writing children’s books, but those lives are thrown into chaos when the body of their old boss, a man known as the Trojan, washes up on shore, very recently dead. Investigating his death pulls Zach and Josie and their friends back into the spy games that they had abandoned many years ago, into a long-dormant plot that once almost got Josie killed and secrets within secrets that leave them unsure who they can trust. Though their skills are out of date in a world where technology has made espionage increasingly impersonal, sometimes an old dog’s tricks prove to be just as good as anything new.

A Case for Old Spies plays with the divide between Cold-War era espionage and that of the modern day – a divide that may not be as great as it seems. The story starts slowly, mainly through the need to introduce and establish the roles of the large cast, but moving forward the plot picks up pace and focuses more tightly on Zach and Josie. The result is interesting, though far from the action-thriller that one might expect from a spy novel. Indeed, what violent action there is happens almost entirely off the page. Instead, the focus of the story is on planning, problem solving, code-breaking, and exchanging information. Overall, it’s a refreshing change of pace, and, though the very end may feel a bit rushed, ultimately, it fits in with the book’s focus on the more cerebral and social aspects of spycraft. A solid four-star read.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 246 pages
Publisher iUniverse
Publish Date 04-Mar-2014
ISBN 9781491726518
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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