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Born in London and educated at Oxford, James Carter spends his life pursuing challenges. By the age of 25 he had driven from Cape Town to Cairo in a dune buggy, and sailed across the Pacific in a yacht crewed by himself and his best friend.
James currently lives in India where he teaches English and courts controversy by staging school plays that call for the empowerment of women and children. He is an active critic of India’s caste system and works with numerous shelters in Delhi that support victims of domestic violence.
He can be contacted at email@example.com
on Feb. 09, 2013 :
"The Way to Die," a spy thriller by James Carter, has as its heroine a young and beautiful British agent named Sienna Thorn who makes that Swede with the dragon tattoo look like a school girl. If Thorn is not exactly certifiably pathological, she is unquestionably obsessed about her missions. You will meet a lot of intriguing people in this novel -- spies from any agency you care to name, terrorists from the usual suspects, and innocents who just happen to cross her path. But don't worry about keeping the names straight: most of them don't make it from one chapter to the next. Collateral damage is Thorn's MO.
Understandably, this habit makes her less than popular with her superiors and peers. As the head of MI6 notes, "Thorn was glad about Meaker's death. She viewed the event as an opportunity, and that was a little annoying." But it doesn't make her any less fascinating to follow. Intent on kidnapping for interrogation -- merely killing assassins is just busy work for the Brits who have major terrorist worries -- Thorn sets off first for Istanbul, follows her quarry to Israel, and eventually winds up in Afghanistan. The reader has hardly recovered from one car chase in one exotic location before he finds himself hurtling boulevards against the oncoming traffic, roaring onto sidewalks full of pedestrians, and leaping intersections in yet another unfortunate city. Thorn is the traffic nightmare from hell.
Is it fun? Well, if not being able to put a book down is fun, yes. We are accustomed to liking our protagonists in spy stories, and Sienna Thorn never goes an inch out of her way to inspire affection. She is, however, successful, as maybe only the obsessed can be in such a world.
(reviewed the day of purchase)