23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pure Joy to Read, 9 Mar 2012
The latest offering by Jake Simons, one of London's most talented young writers, is a one-of-a-kind thriller. *****
There is fresh intrigue on every page. Characters are flawed and real. There is a nerve-racking sense of danger and claustrophobia taking its toll on the main character, with shocking and unexpected violence which threatens to engulf his life. Simons' The Pure, like the works of Capote and le Carré, is honestly about as suspenseful as literature gets. The novel, of course, is very topical, with the realities of a nuclear Iran and Wikileaks playing a key part in a story which brings plausible events to life. This was a truly exhilarating novel I didn't want to end, and I join thousands of others who eagerly await Jake Simons' next work.
Among the members of our London-based Book Club, I was not the only one to have been quite unable to put this thriller down. Like the English German Girl, Simons' previous masterpiece, The Pure kept me up at night, so compelling to read and enchanting to think about afterwards.
Jake Simons is of course renowned for the exhaustive research that goes into each book, and fans will be pleased to learn that The Pure is no exception. In the epilogue, Simons reveals that he interviewed a number of British and Israeli intelligence personnel in preparation for its writing, which help make the story ring true. The set pieces left me full of adrenaline, but unlike James Bond and other ludicrous Hollywood plots, were very believable. You feel as if Uzi and the other main spies are genuinely risking their neck, and you do not start off with any obvious assurances of a happy ending. One feels as if this really is what could happen among individuals working for security intelligence, fighting with and at times against corrupt, cut throat (and democratic?) governments. True tales of Mossad operations are woven into the story, revealing incredible incidents of which the public are rarely informed. The plot is extremely fast-paced, with quite unusually not a single dull moment.
It is no secret that Jake Simons has become a formidable voice in British fiction. With such an unusual array of masterpieces in his repertoire, one can only be amazed at his versatility.
Verdict: 9.5/10 A rare masterpiece: a fun and gritty psychological and political thriller