Today I’m delighted to have a short review of the first book in the English Spy Mysteries series by Rachel Amphlett, a new collection of novellas being released over the next three weeks. The opening novella, Assassins Hunted, was released on Sunday 7th January and introduces our protagonist, Eva Delacourt in a pretty dramatic fashion. Before I tell you more of my thoughts, let’s take a quick look at what the book, and the series, is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Mother. Widow. Spy.
Eva Delacourt has been in hiding for three years after her fiancée was assassinated in cold blood outside the British embassy in Prague.
She thought she was safe.
But someone in the mysterious Section has betrayed her, and now she’s on the run for her life, sworn to protect the six-year-old boy she adores.
Her enemies are closing in, and the odds are not in Eva’s favour. For Eva, the nightmare is just beginning…
Assassins Hunted is the first part in an ongoing story involving Eva Delacourt. The story will be continued in book 2 of the English Spy Mysteries, Assassins Vengeance.
The English Spy Mysteries is a new concept by acclaimed crime fiction author, Rachel Amphlett. Combining fast-paced thrilling reads with episodic delivery in the vein of TV shows 24, Alias, and Spooks, series one is a must-read for fans of Robert Ludlum, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.
The English Spy Mysteries – series 1:
Episode 1: Assassins Hunted (7 January 2018)
Episode 2: Assassins Vengeance (14 January 2018)
Episode 3: Assassins Retribution (21 January 2018)
If you follow my blog at all (which you quite probably do or you wouldn’t be here reading this now) then you will know that I am a big fan of Rachel Amphlett’s Dan Taylor series. I am a sucker for an action book and Mr Taylor is one of the best. When I heard that she was releasing a new series of novellas, I have to admit that my ears pricked up and as soon as I was able, I banged in a cheeky preorder. Well, who wouldn’t?
So the question is, having waited patiently for a whole seven days between order and e-book delivery, did the book meet my expectations?
Yup. Absolutely. Most undeniably.
What a read.
But bloody hard to review … in a good way.
Now those of you of a certain age may remember back when Stephen King first released The Green Mile. Way back before it became a major motion picture, this book was released in six parts and, rather annoyingly, fans of the series had to wait a whole calendar month between each book being released to find out what was going on in that there prison.
Why do I mention this? Well because, in a wonderfully plotted episodic fashion, akin to TV series like 24, that is exactly what you’re faced with when you dip into the pages of Assassins Hunted, book one in the English Spy Mysteries series. Now the savvy reader can play this one of two ways. Obsessed readers (me) who have zero patience, can dive straight in as and when, (thankfully) week by week, the three books are released or the more patient may choose to save them and read all three on the bounce. But where’s the fun in that … ?
I started to read book one as soon as I downloaded it on my kindle (a frustrating couple of minutes wait as mine is soooooo slow) and I was rewarded with a book which is as explosive as any Dan Taylor book and due to the episodic nature, twice as intriguing, leaving me craving the next episode.
In part one we are introduced to the central protagonist, Eva Delacourt, a former operative for the mysterious Section. After three years in hiding it appears Eva has been found and her life and that of those around her is in jeopardy. As to who from, or why … well that is something that is going to be uncovered as the story unfurls week by week, but I can say that from the very get go there is no let up in what is an intense and taut thrill ride. It may only take one and half hours or so to read, but every minute is well used, with heart thumping action, assassination attempts and characters who I am really starting to get a feel and a liking for.
Now Eva has certain talents shall we say, as the title of the book may suggest, which make her a formidable opponent. Savvy, sharp and hyper alert, she has all the skills you want in your action hero. However, her back up, at least initially, are a trained agent-come-cybergeek and a six year old boy whose lives she needs to protect as much as her own. Without knowing who her true enemies are it makes for one exciting read.
Now I can’t say too much more about the plot as it is constantly evolving and we only have a flavour of what is yet to come in this series. Needless to say, given the styling of the novellas, the book ends on quite the cliffhanger, so if this is the kind of thing to drive you nuts then you may want to be reader type two as mentioned above. If you can stand the tension and the anticipation which will surely build in the lead up to the release of part two next week, then go take a look now.
Rachel Amphlett has a real talent for creating tension and producing a sense of urgency through her writing which is used to full effect here. A brilliant start to the series and it has hooked me 100%. I cannot wait for next Sunday.
Assassins Hunted is available now from the following retailers:
Book 2 in the series, Assassins Vengeance, is released next week, 14th January and can be preordered here: