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Book Review: Chasing Ivan by Tim Tigner

Chasing Ivan Tim TignerChasing Ivan is a prequel novella in a spy thriller series by a new author to me, Tim Tigner.

After recently reading Mark Dawson‘s latest John Milton book, I got in the mood once again to read spy and political thrillers.

You know, those in the veins of Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher, Pike Logan, Mitch Rapp, and so on.

But I wanted to read something new, to find new authors. And find I did.

First I picked up Ben Coes’s Dewey Andreas series, and having finished the latest book, a related Goodreads screen showed me the Kyle Achilles series by Tim Tigner as being in the same veins as the former ones.

As I love reading books in the proper reading order, I first picked up Chasing Ivan, a short novella which basically sets the stage for the adventures of our new ex-athlete, now CIA operative and hero, Kyle Achilles.

In this short story, Achilles has been working for the CIA as a deep operative for about five years when he got a case of finding a Russian evil operator called Ivan, but fondly known as The Ghost by his most arduous enemies and friends.

Achilles learns that the guy is in Monte Carlo, a lush haven for the uber-wealthy, so he sets course to that destination as well.

Of course, obstacles are constantly thrown at him and at his young female partner, but he is a different sort of clever, and while his background is rather unusual for being picked as an undercover operative, that’s also probably what makes him find stand out from the crowd.

Achilles is a quick thinker, fast on his feet, and is, at times, at odds with what the lazy bureaucrats (aka his bosses) want him to do.

The story, while short, is action-packed from the first page to the last. Also, having just finished the latest Ben Coes book the previous night, I had the chance to learn of a very different style of writing, one which really gripped me from the start.

Tim Tigner uses the first-person point of view, and the writing is often funny. While the plot was gripping and the chase was dangerous, Achilles had a humorous outlook on things which I found quite refreshing. At times, the choice of words used had also a slightly shocking. The author has a rare talent for putting the oddest words together to make the story flow like honey. Smooth and sweet.

Loved this book, and now I can’t wait to dig into the first full-length story of the Kyle Achilles series, Pushing Brilliance.

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