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James Wolff lives in London. He has been working for the British government for the last 10 years. This is his second novel in a planned trilogy about anti-terror espionage in the Middle East. The first was the highly acclaimed Beside the Syrian Sea.
An absolutely cracking spy thriller with a difference, this is one to put to the top of your reading pile. Disgraced spy August Drummond finds himself up to his neck in trouble when he steps into the middle of an Islamic State plot. Author James Wolff (a pseudonym) has worked for the British government for over ten years. There is an undeniably sharp edge to this story that feels all too real, and yet the fabulous writing ensured I couldn’t determine what was outrageously inventive or shockingly authentic. One thing I would definitely recommend, and that’s starting with the first in this trilogy, Beside the Syrian Sea. While you could read How to Betray Your Country as a standalone, to fully understand what has come before is an important part of this tale. August is a loose cannon with a conscience, the loss and sadness that directs his every move is clearly felt. And yet, there is an underlying wit, smirk, and dark humour that skulks through the pages. This is a story that skips and flits and burrows and teases. As the file excerpts filled in missing information and as the plot sky-rocketed towards its conclusion I became more and more consumed. A LoveReading Star Book, How to Betray Your Country is ever so smart, provocative, and thought-provoking, its also thoroughly entertaining. It comes with the hugest of thumbs up from me.
Jonas thought about what it would mean to cross a border in a place like this. He might have followed a trail laid down by others, but this time there would be no searchlights, no sirens, no soldiers in greatcoats. Philby had been disappointed by Moscow. Jonas suspected he would feel the same about Raqqa. Jonas is a spy with a problem. His quiet life spent writing reports for British intelligence is turned upside-down when his father is kidnapped by ISIS, and he soon finds himself dangerously out of his depth in Beirut, struggling to put into action the most audacious plan imaginable. As events hurtle towards a confrontation with the kidnappers, and the British government realises the full horror of what he is planning, Jonas is forced to decide how far he is willing to go to see his father again.
Jonas is a British spy out in the cold. When his father, an elderly clergyman, is kidnapped and held for ransom by ISIS in Syria, he takes matters into his own hands and begins to steal the only currency he has access to: secret government intelligence. He heads to Beirut with a haul of sensitive documents and recruits an unlikely ally - an alcoholic Swiss priest named Father Tobias. Despite barely surviving his previous contact with ISIS, Tobias agrees to travel into the heart of the Islamic State and inform the kidnappers that Jonas is willing to negotiate for his father's life. British and American intelligence agents in Beirut try everything in their power to stop Jonas, and he finds himself tested to the limit as he fights to keep the negotiations alive and play his enemies off against each other. As the book races towards a thrilling confrontation in the Syrian desert, Jonas will have to decide how far he is willing to go to see his father again.