THE TRAITOR By Ava Glass
Ava Glass’s debut thriller about British secret agent Emma Makepeace, Alias Emma (aka The Chase), drew considerable praise from around the world and was a very exciting, fast paced tale.
Ava has now followed up Alias Emma with a new Makepeace novel, The Traitor (Penguin, September 2023).
The story opens with the gruesome discovery of the body of a British Intelligence analyst in a padlocked suitcase in London. The analyst had been shadowing two oligarchs suspected of procuring illegal weapons in the UK, but it seems that his activities had not gone undetected. Intelligence chiefs are also concerned that there is a traitor deep within the British government who helped to unmask the analyst. To find out who the traitor is, Emma goes deep undercover on a superyacht owned by one of the oligarchs. But the glamorous veneer of the rich hides dark secret and out at sea, Emma is both hunter and prey, and no one can protect her.
The opening sections are little clunky, but once Emma is placed on the superyacht the pace and the tension picks up, and the rest of the book races along. Emma’s appeal in the first book was her vulnerability and relative inexperience and while this is missing in The Traitor, there is a good sense of suspense generated by her isolation on the boat and the steadily mounting odds against her chance of success. The plotting is well thought out and the story moves through some solid twists and turns. The depiction of life on a superyacht is convincing and interesting, and the European locations are also evocative.
The book builds to a good climax and while the identity of the traitor is not overly hard to work out, the ending produces some good thrills and unexpected turns.
In all, a very enjoyable spy thriller that kept me entertained as I was moving around Europe.
There is a variety of releases dates for The Traitor, but it can be readily purchased through Amazon and the like.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early copy of the book.