Alias Emma

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fiction, spies

This was a competent spy novel. It’s the start of a series and an attempt to define the “female James Bond”: Emma Makepeace.

It wasn’t bad, but I get a little tired of how every female spy is always very close to their origin story. In this particular case, this is Emma’s first mission, and there are lots of flashbacks to the training she just went through. She’s young and plucky.

Compare that to Bond’s first outing in Casino Royale. He was…grizzled; already a world-weary veteran. I think this would be a good angle to explore for a female spy. Show me a middle-aged woman with bad habits who has been around the block too many times to count. That would be a lot more interesting.

The plot is pretty simplistic: Emma is assigned to get a doctor across London, while a bunch of Russians are trying to kill both of them. The doctor is the son of a Russian scientist, and the Russians are trying to teach someone a lesson.

There’s a frantic, “Escape from New York” aspect to it. The entire novel – aside from the flashbacks – takes place over one night. Early on, it becomes obvious that something has gone very wrong, and Emma and her protectee are on their own.

Again, it’s not bad. I have the second one in the series ready to go, so we’ll see if that gets better or worse.

Book Info

Ava Glass

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