When the author, Ray Stone, contacted me to read and review his latest book Isia’s Secret, I didn’t know what to expect. He did mention though that part of the story takes place in Cyprus, and even when it doesn’t, the island of Cyprus is prominent within the entire book.
This definitely got my attention because Cyprus is the island where I’ve been living for the last 18 years since I moved here to my husband from other parts of Europe, so I agreed to read it as I truly got curious about it. It did take me a while to get to it since I’m even now quite backlogged with books to read, however having finally finished it the other day, here is my review.
I’ve never heard of this author before, but the writing style got me right from the beginning. It is engaging and written in a style that shown professionalism and a great way with words.
The book is basically a contemporary spy thriller, a genre that I quite like. Enda Osin is a columnist at Herald, a newspaper in London who’s just been demoted because he tends to be blunt in his reports, something that the powers to be don’t care for, not when they’re usually end up getting exposed for whey really are.
So now Enda gets a very simple assignment and a new female partner, Jessica Du Rosse, a beautiful a West Indian woman who is literally half his own age, to write only positive things about a Greek tycoon, Paul Hrisacopolis and his charitable activities, which include his latest project, bringing back the Elgin Marbles to Athens.
However as luck would have it, Enda and Jessica discover dark secrets about the Greek millionaire, who is not all that charitable as he seems to be. In fact he is a greedy, corrupt and power driven industrialist who is not shy away from giving orders to kill anyone who gets in the way. And of course Enda and Jessica soon will find themselves in the middle of all this – doing exactly what the tycoon doesn’t want them to do: getting in the way and discovering stuff that should better be hidden away.
The story takes us from Cyprus to Greece, to England, Turkey and other parts of Europe, giving us a very visual and well done description of the places encountered. I loved reading the descriptions of places, especially Cyprus, and I even found myself recognizing some of the locations within the island that the author was talking about.
The theme is a modern espionage story, and while, of course, in real life the fate of Cyprus doesn’t rest in the hands of a single person, no matter how wealthy and corrupt he is, I did find myself immerse in the story and buying it all up.
Much to the author’s credit, it was not only places that I recognized in Cyprus, but also events from the history of this island, including the Turkish occupation of the Northern area of the island back in 1974, joining the European Unions several years later and the (so far) failed attempts of Turkey to do the same.
The whole political climate is very well depicted by the author, and since I’ve been living here from before we joined the EU, it brought back very strong and controversial memories in me, especially since today many Cypriots are actually longing for the old days from before the Kourema, of being independent, having their own very strong currency, CYP (Cyprus pound), which at the time was even strong than the British GBP pound, and being considered one of the wealthiest nation in Europe – which they indeed were.
All in all I found the novel well worth reading, and I’m glad that Ray Stone decided to pick this island for his current book, and through his writing giving it a better chance to be known in the world. Making the island the centerpoint of a spy thriller and interweaving real facts with fictional ones will, hopefully, bring Cyprus just a bit closer to the attention of people all over the world who might not be able to travel to this fun holiday destination in real life.
If I peaked your interest about reading this fun political thriller, to read more about it or get the book, go to Amazon. At the time of me writing the review, it is free to download and read on Kindle.