Epeolatry Book Review: And The Wolf Shall Dwell
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Title: And the Wolf Shall Dwell
Author: Joni Dee
Genre: Spy Thriller
Publisher: Blue Poppy Publishing
Release Date: August 4th 2017
Synopsis: Imagine being knocked over by a strange old man on a cold London morning…
The man delivers a garbled message about the Queen…
Moments later he falls under the wheels of a train…
The media calls it suicide, but you know better – something doesn’t quite add up….
That was the start of the day for John Daniel, a foreign professional working in the city of London.
Meanwhile, retired MI6 agent Adam Grey receives a call from an old informant:
“Your service is rotten…”
Soon Adam is dragged out of retirement, and John is dragged into the murky world of international espionage, politics, and jihadi terrorism.
An intense and explosive thriller that hits frighteningly close to the truth for a work of fiction.
“John looked into the blue eyes of the middle-aged man. He looked well, event too well for his age, but his eyes reflected fatigue and exhaustion. The wrinkles on the face, on second glance, seemed as if they were a result of miles and miles of tension and worries. Yet underneath it all, the eyes looked sincere and there was something in his face that made John trust him, almost instinctively. Years of practising fakeness? John doubted it and yet was not sure he should share with Grey the old man’s final words…. Are indistinctive words, said while in flight, worth mentioning?”
Spy stories tend to come in two flavours: action packed or a slow burn. One that glosses over the politics in favour of fights and chases and one that steeps the reader in the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of the spy game.
And the Wolf Shall Dwell, by Joni Dee, falls into the second variety, but does so well. When navigating any lesser-known world, it helps to have a greenhorn companion, which comes by way of the main character, John. He is thrown into the formerly invisible sub-culture of intelligence services and international terrorism, as is the reader alongside him.
In juxtaposition is the old-timer tapped for one more round, formerly retired Adam Grey. If Joseph Campbell could hang a sign on him, it would be wizened guide, though Grey is more than a stand-in mentor but an interesting character with his own story.
While not normally a consumer of spy novels, Dee’s work offers several solids that could appeal to all readers. For one, his descriptions of setting (largely taking place in the UK) reveals a comfortable but detailed command of place, which forms a clear image in the reader’s mind.
Also, Dee’s dialog is excellent, blending valuable information and story development with a terse realism any reader can appreciate.
Readers unfamiliar with the spy genre, however, might find some of the lengthier descriptions of world-building tedious, and with a more plot-driven story, sometimes character development gets pushed the sidelines.
With some of the narrative summary, as well, Dee missed several opportunities to use action to uncover his world rather than simply telling the reader what was what.
For fans of the genre, however, And the Wolf Shall Dwell does not disappoint and carries a worthwhile tale through to an open-ended but solid conclusion.
You can pick up a copy of And the Wolf Shall Dwell on Amazon.