Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the fast paced, high tension delight that is The Chase by Ava Glass. The book came out in paperback last week, and I was sent a copy by the lovely folk at Penguin. It’s always nice to read books featuring kick-ass female leads and this one really hit the spot. Here’s what it’s about:
About the Book
MOVE FAST. STAY DARK.
These are the instructions sent to new operative Emma Makepeace.
She’s been assigned to track down a man wanted by the Russians and bring him into MI5.
It should be easy. But the Russians have eyes everywhere.
Emma knows that if spotted she and her target will be killed.
What follows is a perilous chase through London’s night-time streets.
But in a city full of cameras, where can you hide?
I liked this book. A lot. Full of action, tension, this was a high stakes thrill ride (sometimes literally) that had me completely enthralled from the start. With a brilliant lead character in Emma Makepeace, this is one of those series (Alias Emma) that I can very easily see myself returning to again and again. I like an edge-of-the-seat thriller, and this gave me all of that and more.
The action in The Chase is set over a single night which, near as damn it, is the time it took me to read the book in its entirety. Now you’d be forgiven for thinking that it must be a short book then, but the paperback actually stands at 416 pages. I have to say that it couldn’t have felt less like it. The pacing is top notch, the chapters short and sharp, without a wasted word, and the action really propels you forward. It also makes it very hard to put down, so, day tripping around Edinburgh aside, I basically didn’t. I flew through the opening chapters in which the premise of the book is established in eyebrow raising style, and soon found myself right in the heart of the book, walking/running side by side with Emma as the action really begins. Assigned by the head of her secret Government agency to protect a very reluctant target, she really has her work cut out for her, especially when she find out that her colleagues appear to have hung her out to dry.
Emma is a fabulous character. We get to learn of her history throughout the book, the reasons why working in intelligence is so important to her. Her first major assignment looks set to go all manner of wrong, but I liked how Ava Glass has developed her personality, her determination and her steadfastness in the face of great adversity. And that is somewhat of an understatement to be fair as there is only one Emma and an untold number of Russian spies and assassins who appear determined to take their mark, Michael Primalov, by any means necessary. There is an added layer of complication as the Russians have hacked the CCTV and so have eyes all over London, making evading them almost impossible. The resourcefulness of Emma as a character, and her ability to keep a level head really mark her as a great action character, and one I’m looking forward to getting to know better.
Ava Glass really has created what looks set to be a great series here. Whilst you might expect that one woman agains the whole or Russian squad might seem like unrealistic odds, it actually didn’t bother me in the slightest, or even strike me as unlikely. The high drama kept me completely in the moment, and whilst neither Emma or Michael come out of the situation completely unharmed, the story still felt scarily plausible, and so entertaining that I’m not sure I would have cared if it hadn’t been. With high speed chases on both land and river, use of a very different kind of underground network, and just some good old fashioned manoeuvring around the London streets, I felt on high alert every bit as much as the characters. This is a real minute by minute thriller, where ever second and every decision, counts. A kind of cat and mouse action story, just one where there are only two itty-bitty mice and they’ve just been dumped in the middle of the worlds largest cat cafe …
Definitely recommended for thriller fans everywhere. Loved it.
About the Author
AVA GLASS is a former crime reporter and civil servant. Her time working for the government introduced her to the world of spies, and she’s been fascinated by them ever since. She lives in the south of England.