Spies We Know by L.M. Reynolds

Spies We Know

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tracking down a conspirator behind an attempted attack in Boston leads a covert unit to a cache of explosives and the possibility of another planned strike in Reynolds’ (Spies in Our Midst, 2015) thriller.

It’s been a mere five months since IT company owner Lindsey Carlisle helped various U.S. agencies stop terrorists from bombing Boston Harbor. She learned at the same time that her supposedly dead half sister, Cat Powell, was a spy. Cat’s now heading operations for a multi-agency unit searching for Conrad27, a username from an email tied to the Boston plot. A recent message sent to that email address takes agents to an apartment filled with blocks of military-grade C-4. Cat soon suspects a link between Conrad and the terrorist faction Lashkar-e-Taiba, likely responsible for a series of Mumbai bombings some years ago. The sighting of one woman in particular takes Cat back further—three decades—to a Mumbai (née Bombay) assignment that didn’t end well. Cat, her brother-in-law (and CIA agent) Arnie, and Lindsey’s hacker employee Gabe look for answers in India, but Lindsey may be in trouble in the States. She’s barely started as the unit’s consultant before someone tries to kidnap her. It seems that there are nefarious figures who believe the only way to the whereabouts of the elusive Cat is through her baby sister. The story relies heavily on the author’s preceding novel: references to Boston (or “last February”) and a returning villain or two are from said book. Reynolds, however, aptly summarizes earlier events without the passages feeling like a retread. First-person narrator Lindsey, though contributing little to the team, stands her ground against baddies, thanks in part to her kangaroo kick. A lengthy flashback focusing on Cat shows what makes her so laudable, as she scales a concrete wall and tucks herself into a car’s back seat to get the drop on someone. The story has definite shocks, particularly bad guys with code names whose eventually revealed identities are surprises. Not to be outdone, Cat likewise uses an alias when going undercover, the narrative referring to her by a pseudonym; readers may even forget it’s Cat—that’s how good she is.

Everyday Lindsey eases readers into an espionage tale, but her always-formidable sibling makes the novel her own.

Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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