Friday, 3 February 2012

SPY THRILLER COMEDY REVIEW: Angelmaker - Nick Harkaway

Release Date: 02/02/11


From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World - a new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who are forced to team up to save the world.

All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad.

Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. Worse yet, the things she fought to save don't seem to exist anymore, and she's beginning to wonder if they ever did.

When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client is one Edie Banister. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis. With Joe's once-quiet world now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realises that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father's old gun...


To be honest I really wasn’t sure what to make of this title from the book blurb, yes it had all the hallmarks of a Thriller but there was a little something else added , a touch of comedy, which at times, can fall quite short for the reader.

What unfurls is an adventure that has some delightfully eccentric characters, some wicked twists and for me, Nick has done for the Spy Thriller what Tom Holt has done for the Urban Fantasy. Its quirky, it has some wonderful twists and the authorly writing style keeps it not only friendly but a story that you have trouble dragging yourself away from.

Add to this some great dialogue, a few murders and mechanical madness to the max which keeps the tale running at full throttle. Cracking.

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