The Tattered Scroll News, Reviews, & Opinions on Fantasy and Espionage Books

17May/13Off

Quick Takes: Ben Coes and Tom Wood

Its been awhile since I've posted any thoughts on books I've read, so I thought I would write up a couple of brief reports.

-Coup d'Etat by Ben Coes is the 2nd novel in the Dewey Andreas series (the 3rd came out last summer, and the 4th is due out this summer). This one involved two main plot elements: a potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan, and a revenge element left over from the 1st novel. I have to admit I wished the entire novel had been based around the war plot element, though doing so might have limited the amount of page time given to Dewey. There was nothing wrong with the revenge element, I just wish they had been integrated a little more. The war element was downright scary, as Coes made me believe as if that sort of thing could easily happen in the real world. This "real world believability" has been the primary thing that has driven me to read more thrillers the last 18 months. Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable read, and a stronger novel than the first book in the series. I'm not sure I would put Dewey's character on the same level as Mitch Rapp, Gabriel Allen, or Pike Logan..at least not yet. But there was definite growth in this novel, and I have hopes that will continue in the next book in the series.

-Bad Luck In Berlin by Tom Wood is a digital-only novella that takes place between books 1 and 2 in the Victor series (I haven't found an official name for the series, and since the main dude is named Victor, I call it the Victor series). Tom Wood wrote one of my favorite books of 2010, The Killer (I'm guessing his publishers must have asked him to change his pen name). I was glad to see this novella, as it has been 3 years since the first book was published here in the US. I believe book 2 was published on time in the UK in 2011, but we here in the US had to wait an extra 2 years (the 2nd book, The Enemy, was published this month). As I mentioned, this novella bridges the story between books 1 and books 2, and serves as a good refresher for Victor's character. If you have not read The Killer, you can easily start with this one. Victor is a hired killer, an assassin. The thing that stands out for me in Tom's books, besides the great pacing, is the author's attention to detail. He goes the extra mile to sprinkle in technical details that other authors skip (and no, I don't mean mentioning the name brand of the watch the character is wearing, or the maker of the bullets or the gun, which is popular in some series). Maybe its the computer programmer/geek in me, but the deeper look into Victor's actions really works for me. And while this story is a novella, it is longer than most Kindle novellas I've read, so it feels more like a fully-fleshed out story. Bad Luck In Berlin served to remind me how much I enjoy Tom Wood's writing, and made me excited that the long awaited book 2 is finally here.

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