Reviewed by Kathy L. Brown
Nerves and swords rattle in this high-level Cold War spy thriller
The British agent is confronted with an amazing conceiver behind a suspicious port explosion, only then learns that the stakes of human civilization are infinitely greater than a shipping disaster.
Cold starCreated during the Cold War, the spy thriller takes readers to the compelling Casablanca of the 1960s, as well as immersing them in the morally ambiguous world of a secret agent. Author Dick Woodgate demonstrates his love for the classics of this genre in the shadowy spirit of the great spy stories.
A sighting character, an unnamed British spy, called an “agent,” is assigned to investigate the ship’s explosion in the port of Casablanca. The official reports are not entirely correct, and Western allies are forever on guard over the Soviet threat of nuclear weapons.
After a bit of spying and interrogation of many informants, the agent quickly finds that something huge and threatening is being built in the Moroccan desert. However, he meets in his match office and faces many challenges when trying and failing to stop the threat. The result is questionable until the bitter end.
Cold star is successful on many levels, including a solid storyline, classic nostalgia for spy history, and a unique and truly compelling setting. Readers in this story are introduced to the rich details of the narrated city.
“The sun went down about an hour ago, and the narrow street, densely overgrown with ancient buildings, displacing the rest of the early evening light, gave him a pocket of deeper shadows that was useful to him – like the dark blue Maserati paint.
The atmosphere and attitude of the Cold War are also well conveyed. The 1970s-style secret agent is a classic entertainment icon, and so Cold Star doesn’t disappoint. The agent is a gentle young man enjoying the sensual pleasures of life thanks to fast cars, champagne and luxury hotels. Professionally immoral, before getting rid of his opponent, he vaguely hints at some great points in international law. However, we see a bit of introspection as the agent ponders his future, impoverished in front of him, by the head of the alcoholic beverage station, who helps him investigate.
The villain’s plot is arrogant and clever, and he has a strong motivation to wear the story. Big bets and their global importance make history a real thriller. The arc of the narrative is strong, and the great turn at the end creates a force for change for the agent himself, which is a great touch that elevates the story.
The book has a clean, clear narrative voice, just enough clever twists to satisfy me. For example, the wreckage described in port after the ship exploded: “During the cooling, he merged and formed an extraordinary new structure, similar to the monumental dripping sculpture of Salvador Dali.”
The seventies were a world of men, at least as presented by pop culture. Recently, the public has begun to reveal new historical information and hear additional voices. Unfortunately, Cold star occasionally perpetuates the myth of the “human world” to the detriment of history. There are few female characters, and the only one with a plot function is Valentina, a beautiful young Russian who works at a Soviet consulate in Casablanca. The agent, and more importantly the book, always refers to her as a “girl”, resentful because she is thirty years old. And after a scene where the agent shares her past and Valentina admits that her failed career hopes to become an astronomer, I hope her inner story succeeds, but she still lacks an agency that could possibly help this novel transcend the negative qualities of outdated classics. to which he imitates.
But spy and thriller readers will enjoy the great possibilities of the novel and the clever danger of the villain to humanity. Fans of historical fiction interested in the 1960s, space racing, and the Cold War will also appreciate the detail of the storyline.
Genre: Spy Thriller / Historic
Print length: 287 pages
Thanks for reading Book Review: The Cold Star by Kathy L. Brown! If you enjoyed what you read, spend a little more time with us using the links below.