This was a review copy kindly provided by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
When bombs rip through Amsterdam, English student Georgina “George” McKenzie becomes embroiled in the hunt for those responsible. In doing so, she places herself, her student friends and those she cares for into danger.
I found this to be an enjoyable and exciting story that ripped along at an exhilarating, cracking pace, which led me to eagerly turn the pages in anticipation. The contemporary theme of the novel, horrific bombing atrocities by suspected terrorists, and the unusual location of Amsterdam was interesting to me. Riches populate this story, the first in an expected series featuring her heroine, with some fabulous and unusual characters. George’s neighbors, two ladies plying their trade in the red light district, are quite enjoyable – in the literary sense! – and Inspector Van den Bergen as the police “hero” is a delight.
Riches’ leads us on a headlong rush as the adventure travels from Holland to Germany and England via more than one dead end and red herring. Enroute we meet a cast of fantastic characters and are drawn deeper into George’s background as she faces both her future and her past.
Whilst this was a thoroughly satisfying read, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons, possibly unfairly, with Lisbeth Salander form Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy. This is in no way meant as an insult. Larsson’s excellent books remain among my favourites and Salander is a wonderful creation. However, I got the distinct impression that George and Lisbeth could be cut from the same cloth and the two locations, George’s Amsterdam and the Sweden of Salander, both come across strangely familiar yet deliciously and familiarly strange to this British reader. Also, I got the sense that George’s hinted attraction towards Van den Bergen may mirror that off Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Finally, the cover artwork (to my mind) echoes Larsson’s.
But, as I say, this does not in any manner detract from this memorable introduction to an exciting and intriguing new female character that I eagerly await more of.
Moustache Rating: 3.5/5
Learn more about Marnie Riches.