Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for To Die in Vienna By Kevin Wignall. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
Author : Keith Wignall
Title : To Die in Vienna
Pages : 270
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : June 14, 2018
Freddie Makin is a spy for hire. For a year he’s been watching Jiang Cheng, an academic whose life seems suspiciously normal. To Freddie it’s just a job: he never asks who’s paying him and why—until the day someone is sent to kill him, and suddenly the watcher becomes the watched.
On the run from whoever wants him dead, Freddie knows he must have seen something incriminating. The only trouble is, he has no idea what. Is the CIA behind all this—or does it go higher than that? Have his trackers uncovered his own murky past?
As he’s forced into a lethal dance across Vienna, Freddie knows one thing for sure: his only hope for survival is keeping the truth from the other side, and making sure the secrets from his past stay hidden.
Set in the wonderful city of Vienna, we are introduced to a rather unlikely spy. Freddie Makin has been watching a Chinese academic, Jiang Cheng, for the past year and thinks he knows everything there is to know about him. Until one day, someone is sent to kill Freddie, his equipment is removed and Cheng disappears. Freddie must have seen something he wasn’t supposed to but what? And who is after him?
Not that I’m an expert on spy thrillers because I’ve not read that many of them, but as far as this one goes, it was a tad on the slow side for the majority of the book. Now, that’s not a bad thing as the tension and action does build up along the way and you get a good feeling about the kind of person Freddie is. He’s quite the likeable character, someone to sympathise with and to root for as he tries to find a way out of this sticky web he’s found himself in. But if you’re looking for fast-paced action, nifty gadgets, car chases and explosions, you won’t find those here. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace.
Things are slightly tricky for Freddie. After a failed mission in Yemen, he left a covert CIA unit five years ago and so he lacks experience, confidence and doubts his abilities. On top of that, he’s also suffering from nightmares and has trouble sleeping. Not the best combination when you need all your wits about you. And so we get that most classic of stories about an innocent person finding himself outside of his comfort zone and desperately trying to make it out alive. But Freddie has no resources to dig into, no fancy gadgets and no idea who to trust.
To Die in Vienna is an intelligently plotted, intriguing and suspenseful spy thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Freddie, who’s so far removed from the cliché spy we usually get and there are also a few wonderful supporting characters, none of which I trusted at all. This is an entertaining and engaging read that made for quite the fun afternoon. Will Freddie be able to bury the demons of his past? Will he survive this ordeal? That’s for me to know and for you to find out.
By the way, this will soon be a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal so look out for that! But, as always, read the book first 😉
To Die in Vienna is available to buy!
Kevin Wignall is a British writer, born in Brussels in 1967. He spent many years as an army child in different parts of Europe, and went on to study politics and international relations at Lancaster University. He became a full-time writer after the publication of his first book, People Die (2001). His other novels are Among the Dead (2002); Who Is Conrad Hirst? (2007), shortlisted for the Edgar Award and the Barry Award; and Dark Flag (2010). The Hunter’s Prayer was originally titled For the Dogs in the USA. The film The Hunter’s Prayer, directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush, will be released worldwide in 2015.
Author link : Website