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The Traitor's Story Kindle Edition
When fifteen-year-old American Hailey Portman goes missing in Switzerland, her desperate parents seek the help of their neighbor, Finn Harrington, a seemingly quiet historian rumored to be a former spy.
Sensing the story runs deeper than anyone yet knows, Finn reluctantly agrees to make some enquiries. He has little to go on other than his instincts, and his instincts have been wrong in the past—sometimes spectacularly wrong.
But he gets involved anyway, never imagining that Hailey’s disappearance might be linked to the tragic events that ended his career six years earlier, drawing him back into a deadly world that has neither forgiven nor forgotten.
“The entire novel is beautifully written, absolutely engaging and never falters. An utterly banging read from the first sentence to the last sentence and all of the bits in between.” —Liz Loves Books
“A gripping yarn.…fresh and fascinating…” —Brandywine Books
About the Author
Kevin Wignall is a British writer, born in Brussels in 1967. He spent many years as an army child in different parts of Europe and went on to study politics and international relations at Lancaster University. He became a full-time writer after the publication of his first book, People Die (2001). His other novels are Among the Dead (2002); Who is Conrad Hirst? (2007), shortlisted for the Edgar Award and the Barry Award; Dark Flag (2010); Hunter’s Prayer (2015, originally titled For the Dogs in the USA), which was made into a film directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush; and A Death in Sweden (2016). The Traitor’s Story is his seventh novel.
- ASIN : B0182YVVXU
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (June 21, 2016)
- Publication date : June 21, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 2434 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 384 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #57,151 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I've yet to be disappointed with any of his books.
Wignall's The Traitor's Story is a great example of how seemingly innocuous events and choices can spiral into deadliness. I never provide a storyline in my reviews—other readers do that beautifully, and everyone can read those on Amazon—so I'll focus on the writing itself.
I'm once again impressed with Wignall's ability. He masterfully depicts a wide range of characters in ways that—other than committing murder and creating mayhem—make them relatable. His descriptions of places enable me to imagine the story in my mind's eye as I read. His pacing is very good, without any soft spots or "the sagging middle" that authors (and readers) so dread.
While this isn't the most believable thriller I've ever enjoyed, it's a quick read thanks to the author's style. And even though (trying to be discreet here) I don't approve of a traitor getting away with murder (both literally and figuratively), Widnall's protagonist has enough redeeming qualities to prevent me from resenting his escape from culpability.
Both are fairly bloody thrillers with introspective and emotionally complicated protagonists. The plotting in this book really sets it apart, though. There are a couple of plot lines, spaced six years apart, and the interplay between those plot lines builds the suspense terrifically throughout the course of the book.
The book has a few little spots that don't ring quite true, and there are a couple of writing slip-ups (bad parallelism I noticed a couple of times), but the quality of writing is much higher than most of the thrillers you'll find on Amazon. I have to read through probably ten books in the genre to get to one that's this good.
I personally dislike the style of this book, in that it is actually two stories in one - one back in history, some six years prior, and the other current. The author keeps switching back and forth - your key to what time frame you are in is the word "History" in place of a chapter number. I can understand why the author chose this style for this particular story, as the past is intruding on the current, but it was disconcerting to me.
I had started reading this book at home and was having a hard time picking the book up after I had set it down - as opposed to those books that you cannot wait to get back to. I finished reading it while on vacation - probably the last 70% of the book. As I said at the beginning of this review, it gets better as it goes along.
There are a couple of nice twists in the plot.
This is an author that does not shy away from killing off characters, so don't get to attached to any of them as you are reading along - they may not be there a couple of chapters later.
A decent novel, but not one of Wignall's best.
His heroes are introspective psychological studies of men beset with problems understanding their own motivations; they dislike themselves; they yearn for the normalcy of an open authentic life; they struggle to achieve that life in the midst of circumstances that require them to perform brutal violence in the hope of securing personal tranquility.
Wignall writes action novels for readers of a philosophical turn of mind. Read them. They outshine the usual fare at the level of le Carre.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is in some respects comparable to the Jason Bourne storyline in that we have an ex-spy working outside the organisation towards his own (laudable) aims. It also addresses why Fin (the central character) is an ex-spy in "flashback" chapters. Every character in the book, from the most important to the most trivial (for example the man that looks after the building where Fin lives) has their own compelling character, rather than being just a mechanism for moving the plot along and thereby hangs one of the reasons that makes this book so compelling. You can empathise with them all. Even, to an extent, the "baddies" who have their good points. There are love interests, bursts of action, intrigue, regrets, fallibility and grim determination exhibited by Fin, who I suppose you might call a cross between Jason Bourne and George Smiley.
It's a while since I've read a spy novel. But this one is worth reading whether you are into spy novels or not because it's simply a good book. One of the tell tale signs of a good story is when you just don't want it to end and this is the case here. But, I guess, leave them wanting more is always good. Which, as a reader, I think I shall look for in more of Kevin Wignall's work.
Finn Harrington was an intelligence officer who 'took a fall', which resulted in him being classed as a traitor. Six years later he's writing history books having finished with intelligence work. His neighbours' daughter, Hailey, goes missing and Finn volunteers to find her. It transpires that secret agents have been spying on Finn and inadvertently Hailey and her friend, Jonus, hack one of the spy's computers. It contains some worrying information about Finn.
Told in history-what led up to Finn being a 'traitor' and present day- dangers revealed and the quest to find Hailey, there's a fair mix of intrigue but nothing exceptional.
Worth reading but not a page turner.
The story is imaginative and well written. I have don't like the character of Finn Harrington but that adds to the tension in the tale rather than spoiling it.
I think the ending is weak - everything suddenly falls in to place and is sweetness and light.
Overall an interesting read.