- I try not to be that guy. You know who I mean. "That Guy." The one that always tells you what it is you should like and what you shouldn't like. The one who is so intensely into his stuff that it borders on psychotic. The one who's self-esteem is entirely wrapped up in whether everyone likes the same things they like. That Guy drives me crazy, so I do not want to do that to someone else. So when I tell you that Greg Rucka and Queen & Country are completely awesome and you should read everything you can get your hands on, be aware that I don't do so lightly.
- After the author signing a couple weeks ago, I tore straight into his latest Queen & Country book, The Last Run. Set a few years after the prior novel, Private Wars, the book starts off in Iran after the expulsion of of several personnel from the British Embassy. Iranian counterintelligence has decided that they need to make a bigger statement by capturing a British spy, most notably Q&C protagonist Tara Chase. Tara, who has been a Minder (the codename for SIS special operatives) for eleven years now, already knows she's been doing the job too long. But when the political forces make it impossible for her boss, Paul Crocker, to keep her out of Iran, Tara does her best to see the mission through.
- The novel grabbed me right from the beginning. Rucka knows exactly how to hook a reader and he uses all of his tricks here. His prose is pared down to a knife's edge, cutting right to the chase, no matter whether it is politics, espionage, or run-and-gun action. He makes the political maneuverings feel as deadly as the chases or the fights. (Okay, so the ending felt a little abrupt, but that's the only nitpicking I'm going to do.)
- If you are in the mood for international espionage, and if you prefer it with the hard edge of realism, I have to recommend The Last Run. Actually, read A Gentleman's Game and Private Wars first, then read The Last Run. You won't be sorry.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.