cover image A Loyal Spy

A Loyal Spy

Simon Conway. Arcade, $25.99 (408p) ISBN 978-1-62872-823-1

In Conway’s stunning follow-up to Rage, a mission takes British spy Jonah Said, the son of a Palestinian scientist and an English barrister, to Sierra Leone in 2001. Jonah is investigating terrorists who are attempting to buy $20 million worth of smuggled diamonds; things go awry, and he finds himself held at gunpoint by Nor ed-Din, a spy he thought he killed a number of years before in the Khyber Pass. Jonah parts from Nor, knowing their differences will be settled another day. Years later, when Nor announces in an internet video that he’s planning a spectacular attack, Jonah joins the effort to try to stop him and other terrorists from detonating a sunken WWII ship rigged with explosives in the Thames Estuary. The resulting explosion would create a tsunami that would destroy London. With its complex characters and plot, this thriller feels as if the author has channeled his considerable powers through le Carré by way of Tolstoy, and yet it remains uniquely his own. The final paragraph will give readers hope that they’ll be seeing Jonah again in the future. (Feb.)