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.
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.
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.
I would make the women characters have a little more depth and the main character a little less narcissistic.
Probably not, but mostly because it's not the kind of book I usually read. Men might like it more than women would be my guess.
He did a good job with all of them. He's one of the best narrators out there.
Really, barely. It's not really the kind of book I enjoy but I listened to find out what happened to one of the characters. I guess that says something about how the writer motivated me to care and how he was able to move the plot along.
I don't mean to sound too negative. Others might like it more than I did. The writing is good; I just wasn't crazy about the main character and I felt I was supposed to like him.
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.
I'm not a great writer so it's hard to describe exactly what I didn't like about this book. I'd just finished my first Frederick Forsyth spy novel, which was like a major motion picture compared to this made for television piece. Perhaps it would appeal to youths or those wanting a quick and light read, or perhaps it really is just a bit crap ;-)
I love Simon Vance's voice so much I select the books he narrates. I thought the storyline was ok. It took 3/4 of the book to set up the plot and then the author wrapped all up a little too neatly and quickly.
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.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
Yet I listened to it in 2 days! That is because it is well written and well read!
There are two storylines flowing through the novel, one in the present and the other in the past. In the past a spy, the hero of this tale, is persuaded to become a double agent by his country, effectively branding him a traitor. At present, the spy is retired and is a well respected author. But when the daughter of his neighbors' goes missing, he agrees to help find her. In his search for the girl, he discovers his past reputation as a traitor will dramatically effect not only him, but all of those close to him.
Where the story is lacking is in his relationships with two powerful Russian men and his former employer. All three relationships are crucial to the story and its conclusion, yet the author chose to barely skim the surface of any of them.
Still, its a fast moving tale and the few characters he chooses to develop are intriguiging and well done.
Simon Vance is stellar.
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!
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