The Traitor’s Story, by Kevin Wignall
I’m always a little upset when I find a new-to-me author that I enjoy who already has a dozen titles out. I wonder what I’ve missed. Wignall appears to have self-published up until the last few novels. He’s now published by Thomas & Mercer on this and three other books.
This was a fun and interesting spy/mystery/thriller centered around a former British agent named Finn Harrington. Having left MI6 a half dozen years earlier he’s now a full-time writer of popular histories. It’s kind of odd that in the book he tries to keep his past profession a secret but everyone seems to assume he’s a former spook. (These things happen. My grandsons have been under the impression for some time that I was in the CIA. I just tell them it’s something i can’t confirm or deny.)
The daughter of his Swiss neighbors disappears and, because of his reputation, they ask if he’ll help in finding her. If becomes apparent quickly that she may have disappeared because of some people who were keeping an eye on him.
It’s no spoiler, as it becomes clear early in the book and it’s in the title for hell’s sake, that Harrington agreed to end his career under a cloud by pretending to be a double agent. He also managed to arrange for a chunk of change that keeps him comfortably writing.
As he hunts for the girl he is forced to get closer to contacts inside Russia from his past life, some friendly and some dangerous.
It’s a very good leisure book. Is that a bad term? Like leisure suit? I don’t know. I need occasional brain floss after chomping on some tougher titles now and again. Or after a run of so-so books. After a few non-fiction titles it’s nice to take a break with a book that helps shut out everything else. This was a fun read. Nice action sequences, well-developed tension, not a brain teaser mystery but keeps one guessing in parts. A favorite character for me was his former control in the service. Watch for her. I don’t know if I’ll go digging through Wignall’s past catalog but I’ll keep an eye out for new stuff.