When fifteen-year-old American Hailey Portman goes missing in Switzerland, her desperate parents seek the help of their neighbor, Finn Harrington, a seemingly quiet historian rumored to be a former spy.
Sensing the story runs deeper than anyone yet knows, Finn reluctantly agrees to make some enquiries. He has little to go on other than his instincts, and his instincts have been wrong in the past - sometimes spectacularly wrong.
But he gets involved anyway, never imagining that Hailey's disappearance might be linked to the tragic events that ended his career six years earlier, drawing him back into a deadly world that has neither forgiven nor forgotten.
©2016 Kevin Wignall (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Entrepreneur + Avid Reader + Concerned Political Skeptic
With over 600 books in my library, I find myself struggling for good read (or listen). By chance, I tried Wignall's "A Death in Sweden" and now "The Traitor's Story". Both stories, narrators and characters are quite different. A clue to settings and, etc. comes from looking at who does the narrations ... and both quite accomplished.
Kevin Wignall is an excellent writer ... and his work has been well-polished for publication. As a heavy mysteries and suspense reader, I have found only a few can muster up original story lines and assemble non-stereotypical characters to animate them. I would say Mr. Wignall is quite good at both story and character development.
As of now, Wignall has not decided to serialize a protagonist. If he continues in this manner or decides to serialize either of the main protagonists in the 2 books, that's OK with me ... he's got me as a reader for now.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Wingnall's story arc not only rambles it becomes discontinuous in the middle effectively creating twin, yet connected, plots. They're about Finn Harrington's evolution as he moves between life moments.
Wignal's not as impenetrable as some LeCarré wannabes (see my review of "Slow Horses" by Mick Herron for example). What does tie this genre of British spy stories together though is their common dislike for Britain. They are about cultural evil that recurs in each of their works. If all you know about the English is what you read in this genre, well, you will certainly grow Anglophobic. Okay, I can understand how these works have become particularly popular in the old colonies... including Ireland and America.
Anyway, there's nothing distinguished here and Simon Vance's considerable talents can't create a silk purse. On balance, I can't recommend "The Traitor's Story" to anyone beyond the hardest core LeCarré fans.
This book was on sale so I took a chance and am glad I did. 'The Traitor's Story' is what I would call an intelligent page turner. Given what passes for literature under library headings nowadays, I believe it would fit even fit nicely under this label. By this I mean that it hold the reader, introduces a world that is foreign to most English-as-first-language speakers, and yet is also a world of familiar people and moral dilemmas that leave the reader rooting for actions one could not condone in everyday life. Further, it is spare, tightly and well written, and well edited. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would gladly pay a full credit.
The story was multi layered and was not laced with profanity. The characters were believable you can relate to the main characters vulnerability and determination to do the right thing.
It did at times
Vance does a great job perfect fit for this book
The Life I Lived
I like a good mystery especially dealing with spies. I also like the fact the book was not filled with foul language.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
This one has everything good -- Simon Prebble narrating, Wignall's superb prose, and a fascinating, edge of the seat mystery. The story focuses on a "retired" spy who gets drawn back into sleuthing and spying due to the mysterious disappearance of a 15- year old neighbor. the narrative gives listeners a great "current" story while adding in the details of why the spy retired; which by the way are strongly connected to the contemporary tale that Wignall created. Lovers of good mysteries will enjoy this -- a good cat and mouse romp through Europe!
First, the narration: Simon Vance at his best. Every writer of intrigue should want him to read his or her books. Excellent.
Then, the plot: Past and Present storylines that get complicated (twists and turns) within themselves and in relation to each other. What's great: the two storylines are interesting on their own (sometimes when there are two timelines, one is there simply for the other's benefit). What could have been better (ergo the three stars): some of the twists are so complicated that the author doesn't have enough time to develop the characters that come into the picture. Still, the overall was indeed four stars and I will definitely give this author another try.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
Past problems always catch up with you. Finn Harrington believes he has successfully retired from clandestine operations, but he is shaken when his neighbors' daughter goes missing. He finds out that the event is somehow linked to his past: he has been the subject of surveillance by a mysterious company with ties to his old agency.
The book is well written; a different twist to a spy novel that, after a slow start, keeps you gripped and becomes difficult to put it down. Characters are well shaped and the suspense is growing page by page.
The story has a few little spots that don't ring quite true and the main character is not utterly likeable, but , all in all, this is a very enjoyable reading.
I listen to audible daily and nightly sometimes and burn through books (mystery/thriller/crime-drama mostly w/some SciFi occasionally (Game of thrones/Brilliance series) & can say w/o reservation that this was a very good listen. Worth your credit!
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