Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-08-26
- Reviewer: Staff
The transfer of dynastic power in Syria sparks romantic rivalry, espionage, and adventure in this complexly plotted spy thriller. Former covert operator Michael Vaux, now a booze-loving journalist, sheds his identity and is recruited by a British intelligence unit to help Syrian nuclear scientist Nessim Said, code-named Saladin, defect to the West. Croft renders a plausible account of the ambiguities of espionage, while his world of double-dealing and treachery, with a suggestion of indifferent, manipulative bureaucrats, confirms the dour observation of a veteran spymaster that loyalty among spies verges upon being an oxymoron. Croft's moral wilderness and compilation of treachery rings far truer than the glamour of a James Bond, and the clash between romance, personal loyalty, and institutional duplicity bears the unmistakable tone of one who knows.