I must admit that this is not a genre that I would normally be drawn to but it came recommended and was willing to try it out. I was hooked from the first few chapters and hardly put it down until I got to the end. The characters are well-described and very believable. I was rooting for Palmer and Theodosia from the start and instantly took against the bad guys. Apart from the characters, the two things that impressed me the most were the descriptive style and the pace. Some writers can spend pages describing a room, and others, like Dan Brown throw in detailed descriptions of characters that play little or no role in the main story. EM Powell manages to give just enough description to paint a picture but not so much as to bore the pants of you. The pace of the book is very similar to say, a Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown or James Patterson story and keeps the action going all the way through. There ARE moments where disbelief needs to be suspended but not many and anyway, isn't that you want from fiction? There are twists and turns but I will refrain from saying any more so as not to give anything away. As a first novel, I think it's a triumph and sincerely recommend it to anyone looking for a genuine page-turner.
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