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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars


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on 13 May 2003
For may years the Cold War had provided a suitable background for writers of spy thrillers. However in recent years spy writers have had to cast around for alternatives. John Le Carré ventured into the territory of the financial thriller with Single and Single, but Linda Davies had already explored the interface between espionage and finance in her two earlier works and has practical experience of international banking. With Into the Fire she continues to take the spy novel in this new direction. It has an exotic location that would have appealed to Ian Fleming if he had lived in Peru. Davies paints a vivid picture of that land and includes its different faces, and not just the aspects seen by tourists (although those aspects are included too) but also the social and political background that often passes unseen. The word "spy" still tends to evoke, in most of us, images of the KGB, CIA, MI5 etc. We tend to forget that other parts of the world have their own, sinister agencies, such as Peru's SIN. Those who have followed developments in Peru since the fall of Fujimori will realise just how accurate Davies's portrayal of SIN is. Today's world is very different from that depicted in most spy thrillers. Altogether this a remarkable novel which takes the spy thriller into a new age.
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on 31 December 2016
Full of suspense and excitement, an excellent mix of financial thriller and fast moving action. Peru is beautifully described, and anyone who has been to Cusco or Machu Picchu will be taken straight back there. The country has moved on a lot since 2000, but that doesn't retract from the story!
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on 9 October 2009
Peru is an exotic and unexpected location for a financial thriller but it certainly distinguishes Into the Fire from other books of this type and greatly broadens its appeal. The heroine's presence there has to do with the fraudulent activities of some male chauvinist derivatives traders, a type not uncommon in banking. If you are interested in derivatives then you will find this an entertaining read, but if you prefer steamy jungles or high mountains to high finance then you will find that the book is an exciting thriller with the authentic touch that you would expect from an author who lived in Peru during the turbulent period just after the crushing of the Shining Path terrorists. If you have not yet been to Peru the vivid descriptions of the scenery and the milieu will probably make you want to visit it and if you have been before it will make you want to go again!
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on 19 November 2007
I do like this book - it's my 're-read for comfort book' and I would recommend it. It's just different - set in the cut-throat world of finance to begin with and then off to South America. I felt all the characters were pretty believable - although Helen could have stayed and fought her corner a bit more. Funny that this book is so enjoyable - her other books are not so good, big editorial flaws in Something Wild (unless these have since been corrected). Into the Fire though is well worth a read
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on 13 May 2003
For may years the Cold War had provided a suitable background for writers of spy thrillers. However in recent years spy writers have had to cast around for alternatives. John Le Carré ventured into the territory of the financial thriller with Single and Single, but Linda Davies had already explored the interface between espionage and finance in her two earlier works and has practical experience of international banking. With Into the Fire she continues to take the spy novel in this new direction. It has an exotic location that would have appealed to Ian Fleming if he had lived in Peru. Davies paints a vivid picture of that land and includes its different faces, and not just the aspects seen by tourists (although those aspects are included too) but also the social and political background that often passes unseen. The word "spy" still tends to evoke, in most of us, images of the KGB, CIA, MI5 etc. We tend to forget that other parts of the world have their own, sinister agencies, such as Peru's SIN. Those who have followed developments in Peru since the fall of Fujimori will realise just how accurate Davies's portrayal of SIN is. Today's world is very different from that depicted in most spy thrillers. Altogether this a remarkable novel which takes the spy thriller into a new age.
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on 22 May 2000
"Into the Fire" is flush with the elements of a first-rate thriller. These include a tightly plotted story with surprising turns, a sympathetic protagonist with lots of grit, menacing but sympathetic villains, terrific action writing, and a nifty ending, which leaves the falsely defamed heroine both happy and whole. Especially impressive to me was the highly visual nature of the writing, which will convert easily to hit movie with, say, Julia Roberts, in the lead. Lovers of London will also enjoy following the heroine, Helen Jencks, as she moves about town. I give the book my top thriller rating of five beach-towels.
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on 29 October 1999
The heroine, Helen Jencks, is a very believable character caught in a web of deceit. (These people are friends?) This book is a thriller of the first order that allows the reader into the world of banking and espionage. The portions of the book which take place in Peru and Columbia add spice along with a close look at drug trafficking. Having read her first two novels, I enjoyed them so much I ordered this latest from the UK.
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on 1 August 2014
A great plot unfolds in this wonderfully multi- layered thriller. Linda Davies takes the reader from the corruption of the London financial markets to the jungles of Peru. It is a powerful and menacing journey and Linda Davies knows how to ratchet up the tension. As the heroine, Helen Jencks literally fights for her life and the description of the flight through the Peruvian jungle is quite terrifying. The ending is not what I expected but that's what makes it into a tightly crafted thriller! Highly recommended.
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on 3 March 2015
Yet another masterpiece. The format is familiar: strong female protagonist takes on the wicked financial world. But the character is very different, very likeable, and the setting is amazing. Peru is beautifully described, and is testament to an in depth knowledge of the country. Very enjoyable, unable to put it down, great pace and interesting romantic dimension. On the back of this I have just purchased the first 2 of the Djinn series for my 12 year old daughter, so review of that hopefully to follow soon.
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on 18 May 1999
The heroine, Helen Jencks, is initially too good to be true. But as she gets drawn in to a web of deceit, which ends in a fight for her own life, the novel gets really exciting. The mysterious past of her father is very well done, tantalising the reader with a desire to know what really happened to him and the scenes in Peru add a pleasantly exotic touch. I enjoyed it to the extent that when I'd finished, I tracked down her first two novels.
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