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Book Review: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Genre: Historical Fiction, Spy fiction

BUG Rating: 3.5/5

Overall: Honestly, I had higher hopes for this book. I felt it left too many unanswered questions – I was 2 pages from the end and thought, what, how is it going to wrap up so quickly? A bit disappointing. That said – I loved the storyline. I loved the characters. I loved where the book was heading. It was a very quick read, and had a bit of everything – romance, action and thriller and it really did keep me hooked. I also think it could have benefited from an author’s note. I struggled to find much online talking about Lauren’s inspiration for the story (I had to google Burkina Faso!). I’d love for an opportunity to ask Lauren some questions!

I don’t like to say what I’ve read. That’s how you disclose the most about yourself.

Plot:

What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love? 

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.

Inspired by true events—Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”—American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.


Pros:

+ Had me hooked wanting to find out what happened next

+ Enjoyed the fact it was a ‘bit of everything’ novel – action packed, thriller elements and even some romance!

+ I learnt some history!!!

Cons:

– No Author’s note – I really think this would have been very valuable

– It was a short book – could have perhaps been longer to explain more around her sister/and ending

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