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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 18 star ratings
5 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
18
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    Fantastic spy novel!

    Upon reading the book description, I knew I had to read SECRET SERVICE, and the prologue confirmed I had made the right decision; it was exactly the sort of book I was hoping for. It's almost impossible to say anything about the superb plot without giving away spoilers, so I won't. Kate Henderson is a spy and chief of MI6's Russia Desk, she is married to Stuart, a civil servant; they have two teenage children. When the Prime Minister resigns for health reasons, all hell breaks loose: Kate learns that one of the candidates is backed by the Russians, and there is a traitor in the house. At first, I wasn't too sure I liked that there was so much emphasis on Kate's family life, but in the end, it was for the best, as it gives Kate more depth, more dimension, more challenges than a typical lone wolf agent. In the beginning, I also wondered if the book was part of a series, as some information seemed to be missing. It was not the case, we are told everything in due time, and in fact, it prevented info dumping. Kate is unlike any other spy I had ever seen, yet SECRET SERVICE is very much like the glorious spy stories of old. Tom Bradby writes in a polished, refined style that flows easily, with crisp descriptions giving an overall clear picture of the characters, their work environment, and the various locations. The pace remains steady throughout while allowing for the tension to build naturally. Mr Bradby achieves a perfect balance of adrenaline-fuelled action and the more sedate sides of espionage: watching, planning, and digging for information. There is never any respite, as there is always something going on. SECRET SERVICE kept me guessing all the way through. I think I must have suspected everyone at least once of being the traitor. Yes, everyone! The characters are exceptionally well drawn, and I connected with all of them, the good and the bad. At 96%, I still didn't know who was Viper - the mole! It was the person I had first suspected, but I just didn't know for sure! I wish I could say more about my favourite characters, but in true British fashion, Mr Bradby treats us to positively shocking plot twists, where the unfathomable happens and no one is safe. I was stunned a few times, and I admire an author who dares to be so bold. It gives the narrative so much more authenticity, and raises the excitement level tenfold. If you enjoy a flawlessly executed classic British espionage novel, SECRET SERVICE is a book you do not want to miss!
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    Great Reading

    Great story of how it may all be? One never knows' but many do. Loved the mention of Robert Preston too.
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    Thrilling, Exciting, Gripping!

    An exemplary read! Thrilling, exciting, gripping ... and all the more scary because it's totally realistic in today's world. Kate Henderson is similar to thousands of other working mothers; she juggles childcare with her husband Stuart and often deals with office issues during her off-the-clock hours and vice-versa. However, Kate's job is a bit different to most of us; she is a senior MI6 officer and often has to travel far and wide at a moment's notice. When intelligence sourced by Kate's team turns out to be true, it appears that they have not only someone in government with leanings towards Russia but also a mole in their own building which racks ups the responsibility and the tension both at work and at home. This is an absorbing and awe-inspiring read! I was riveted from first to last, reading it all in a day - well, in all honesty there was no way I could fall asleep last evening without knowing how it was all going to play out. We are all well aware that there are dirty dealings behind closed government doors and this is an entirely believable scenario with powerful characters and a page-turning narrative. Tom Bradby creates an original, observant and highly memorable novel which I have relished and it certainly puts him on my 'must-read' list of authors. I cannot recommend this one highly enough - it's a well-paced, unforgettable and wholly unpredictable read, earning a full five shiny golden stars!
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    Expert cat and mouse games

    The Russians have a mole at the top of the British government . The intelligence departments are playing what we find is ours we do not share. There is great intrigue and atmosphere throughout this story. You follow the cat and mouse games played and try to uncover the moles. Kate is MI6 head of the Russia desk when Lena one of her undercover operatives gets killed it all becomes very personal who amongst the small select group who knew about the operation is a traitor. This is a well crafted story with real characters who you can relate to doing an impossible job making difficult decisions daily. I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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    Pacey spy story

    This is a well paced novel. The main characters are interesting with the right amount combative behaviour between them. The story of searching for a mole seems to pervade most spy novels, but when the denouement arrived it was not what I was expecting. The twist and turns of missions failing or successful, who knows?, kept me enthralled
18

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