Magazine article New Internationalist

Beside the Syrian Sea

Magazine article New Internationalist

Beside the Syrian Sea

Article excerpt

Beside the Syrian Sea

The end of the Cold War presented thriller writers with a dilemma. Le Carré brilliantly segued into corporate malfeasance for his plotlines, and another promising espionage strand is explored by debut novelist James Wolff: the spy thriller in the age of ISIS.

Wolff's central character is Jonas Worth, an MI6 operative whose expertise lies in data analysis rather than James Bond style fieldwork. When his father is kidnapped in Syria and held to ransom by ISIS, Jonas realizes that he cannot rely on the British government to negotiate a release. He steals intelligence documents from his employers and travels to Beirut to bargain with his father's captors, enlisting as his go-between an alcoholic priest with a track record of securing the release of hostages. With MI6, the CIA and Hezbollah dogging his footsteps, Jonas plunges headfirst into the lies and duplicities of this murky world. …

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