20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A not so simple chase to trap a rat,
This review is from: Ratcatcher (John Purkiss Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a highly literate, well-written, multi-layered spy story with a large cast of characters. On the surface, at least, it has a simple plot: British intelligence assigns a spy named Purkiss to pursue a turncoat spy named Fallon who also happens to have murdered Purkiss' love interest. Through various twists and turns and action scenes, Purkiss tracks Fallon to a location involving heads of state. Guess what happens next. On second thought, don't try.
I concur with many of the comments made by other reviewers on the book's high points. It is fast-paced and filled with action scenes. The author's technical knowledge of human anatomy probably adds a degree of realism. The dialogue is excellent--tight and well-edited, without a wasted word. The main character, Purkiss, is well developed and believable, no James Bond quasi-superhero. The descriptions are right on. Stevens has a genuine talent for the simile; not a dud in the book.
I do have a few qualms. Ratcatcher is not an easy read. You have to pay attention and, if you have a memory like mine, take notes to keep track of the characters, locations, and various relationships. Characters may appear without introduction or description, act, have thoughts, and enter the story without context. It is only after reading further that a reader is able (or unable) to make sense of them and how they fit into the story. Likewise, chapters often begin with a line of dialogue, without attribution, and it is only later that one finds out who said what. Perhaps all this is intentional. Ratcatcher is a spy story and spy business is often a mystery. Some folks like puzzles.