Cold Shot Book Review

Cold Shot Book Review

Title: Cold Shot
Author: Mark Henshaw
Published: 2014, Touchstone
No. of Pages: 398
Cover Price: $24.99 Hardcover/ US

Jonathan Burke, a CIA analyst, is back in Mark Henshaw’s Cold Shot, and this time, he and fellow analyst, Kyra Stryker, must go to Venezuela to gain intelligence regarding a body that was found floating in a life raft in the ocean. The body had been tortured, and as Jon and Kyra investigate, they find themselves involved in an international espionage plot with several really bad guys, including – a ruthless Iranian, Ahmadi, and a Venezuelan, Carreño, with Venezuelan politicians and an Iranian soldier – a nuclear weapon, and murders of dozens of innocent men who are simply carrying out their duties for their country. Of course Kyra and Jon are in danger, and Kyra is experiencing déjà vu, since the last time she encountered Carreño, he almost succeeded in killing her. The station manager is Marisa, former lover of Jon, and she is very reluctant to involve him in this dangerous mission. Kathy Cooke is the CIA director, and since the election of a new president, she is being played and given the assignment so that she will fail; the new president is playing politics with the numerous lives that are involved.

During the course of the novel, there are dozens of twists and turns, as well as close calls that threaten the lives of the analysts. Although Jonathan is supposed to be the main character in the series, the story actually focuses on Kyra, who is usually the one in danger. Jonathan is there, of course, as a backup, but he seems to take a secondary role. The characters are not as well-developed as they could be – they seem a bit surreal and do not seem to be real persons that one would like to invite to dinner. As is often the case with well-written fiction, many of the happenings that take place in Venezuela ring true; the author has done his research, and most likely spent some time there; Henshaw has a way of making the reader see the country and feel he is actually there. One of the bad guys mentions eating Pabellón Criollo, which is the national dish of Venezuela, (and which sounded so intriguing that I looked it up and put the components in slow cookers to cook while enjoying the remainder of the book).

In spite of the minor problems, readers who enjoy spy and espionage will definitely enjoy this novel. It’s difficult to put down, and there are enough dangerous scenarios and surprises to satisfy even the most discriminating thriller aficionado.

Special thanks to Maria Whelan at Simon & Schuster for supplying a review copy of this book.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Cold Shot: A Novel

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