Friday 16 May 2014

Review ~ The Whitehall Mandarin by Edward Wilson.

Title: The Whitehall Mandarin.
Author: Edward Wilson.
Genre: Espionage.
Publication Date: May 15, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon

British intelligence has a mole deep in the KGB. When that mole reports on a Soviet spy ring in London, MI6 gets worried. And when MI6 gets worried, they call Catesby.

He is sent on a mole hunt that leads him through the seamy sex scandals of 1960s London to the jungles of Vietnam. The tectonic plates of world power are shifting.

Thrilling and deeply intelligent, The Whitehall Mandarin reveals the US government's most deeply held secret - its investigation into the People's Republic of China, and its concurrent rise to world domination.

It's a secret that Catesby may not live to share.

With each new espionage novel by Edward Wilson, I kind of expect it not to get any better (they’re pretty stunning as it is) but with The Whitehall Mandarin, Wilson has excelled himself again. The plot was spectacular from start to finish, the fantastic character of Catesby returned (which is always a plus) and the suspense and mystery was at a complete high. The Whitehall Mandarin is a great spy thriller.

This was probably the busiest of Wilson’s spy novels – there was a lot of content packed into the 360+ pages but none of it disappointed. Complex plots seem to be a bit of a speciality of the author’s or at least complex plots which make perfect sense. I’ve learnt that you don’t need to worry about being confused with Wilson’s novels regardless of your knowledge (or lack of) the historical elements in his plots because his sublime writing ability makes it easy to understand and follow.

The Whitehall Mandarin was no different. Covering war and political events during the 50s, 60s amongst others takes you on a historical journey but the suspense and mystery in the fiction is what kept me turning the pages in anticipation. The twists were fantastic, the writing was too and the ending, as with all Wilson’s novels, was done to perfection.

I can’t really cover the plot without giving anything away but I can’t recommend The Whitehall Mandarin enough. The plot as it goes back and forth is at a faultless pace which makes the novel very captivating and easy to engage with. As the journey unfolds to uncovering the final secret, you’ll be wishing it had been drawn out longer, just so this great piece of writing doesn’t have to end so soon.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon

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