This is my version of a "beach read" - a fun, page-turning spy-thriller with a kick-ass woman as the main protagonist.
Emma Makepeace works for "The Agency" in London - a branch of MI6 that carries out covert operations. She's relatively new and hasn't taken on any big cases yet. In fact, when we first meet her she's working undercover with a liberal-minded group that seems to mostly just be making posters - a boring assignment with no real "action," despite the fact that she's been told the group might become militant. But then her boss calls her into the office and she's handed one of, if not the, biggest case The Agency has - bring in the son of two Russian defectors who are already in protective custody. But Michael Primolov doesn't want to be protected. He thinks his parents and the U.S. government are being ridiculous when they say that Russia's government is out to get him (in order to get to his mother).
How wrong he is! What follows is a chase through the underbelly of London as Emma and Michael try to stay one step ahead of the Russians - all while avoiding the thousands of CCTV cameras around the city, since the Russians have hacked the system. Meanwhile, there's chaos at The Agency, where her boss has been removed and a sketchy interloper put in his place. Unsure who to turn to, they must learn to trust and rely on each other to get Michael to safety.
Flashbacks give us more background on Emma and her boss, setting the scene for the present day job, and the upheaval at The Agency. The book is fast-paced, immersive, and exciting. I had to remind myself to breathe a few times. It was a very fun one to read while on vacation for the holidays!
UP NEXT: Babel, by R.F. Kuang