My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I got this one for free off an author promotion after a friend's suggestion. I'm not actually a giant fan of spy thrillers. That said this one was pretty well written and I might have rated it slightly higher if not for the last 30% of the book.
I don't get to read a lot of stuff set in Australia for some reason and definitely not about their Spooks so that was different. I did like Charlie Jones, the main protagonist. Charlie is a spy who gets tangled up with a Kurdish traffic cop hiding out in Australia who might be the key to finding out what happened to an American Delta Force soldier whose brother (also a spook) is in Oz looking for him. So are Islamic terrorists among others.
Charlie has a knack for getting hurt and for calling up a Catholic priest to confess almost daily (there's a whole story behind that I don't want to spoil). Karn, an exotic dancer, seems to be the love interest though the relationship has more bumps than it does anything resembling functionality.
The trail leads Charlie all the way to the mining town of Coober Pedy and to even more shady characters.
Honestly I didn't care that much for the ending but it does work with this.
What bothered me about this is the twist and I don't want to spoil that but at the 70% mark the story reveals something that I hadn't expected (okay there will be minor spoilers so...). Charlie is...I don't want to say unreliable narrator. It's more like Charlie is a deceptive narrator, hiding something major by exclusion and to get that far into the book and have it revealed wasn't a 'wow, isn't that fun' moment for me. It was more like a poke in the eye irritating as hell moment, especially when a) you realize the Catholic Priest was there to deepen Charlie's deception and b) once it was revealed you get hit over the head with this hidden tidbit from then to the end.
That said, I would probably read another in the series.
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