In this breakneck, race-against-the-clock thriller, a British spy has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia hacks the city’s security cameras. Can she make it without being spotted . . . or killed?
Nothing about Emma Makepeace is real. Not even her name.
A newly minted secret agent, Emma’s barely graduated from basic training when she gets the call for her first major assignment. Eager to serve her country and prove her worth, she dives in headfirst.
Emma must covertly travel across one of the world’s most watched cities to bring the reluctant—and handsome—son of Russian dissidents into protective custody, so long as the assassins from the Motherland don’t find him first. With London’s famous Ring of Steel hacked by the Russian government, the two must cross the city without being seen by the hundreds of thousands of CCTV cameras that document every inch of the city’s streets, alleys, and gutters.
Buses, subways, cars, and trains are out of the question. Traveling on foot, and operating without phones or bank cards that could reveal their location or identity, they have twelve hours to make it to safety. This will take all of Emma’s skills of disguise and subterfuge. But when Emma’s handler goes dark, there’s no one left to trust. And just one wrong move will get them both killed.
Alias Emma is a fast-paced spy thriller that follows newly minted spy Emma Makepeace as she tries to keep herself and her charge safe from Russian assassins as they make their way across London.
I, like many people, automatically think James Bond when the word “spy” is mentioned. While I have never watched a James Bond movie and never really plan on it, I have started reading more books with spies in them – primarily historical fiction. But Alias Emma is a contemporary novel with a modern day spy who also happens to be young and female. After finishing Alias Emma, I am starting to think that maybe spy thrillers are a thing I enjoy. I can guarantee that you have never read a more compelling foot chase as this one.
Alias Emma is high-octane from the start. I was quickly pulled into the story and did not want to put it down. (Sadly, sleep called and I had to take a break before I finished.) I found my heart racing as I journeyed through current day London with Emma trying to avoid all CCTVs after it had been hacked. I loved that this story was much more brains than brawn and had a heroine with whom I could identify.
Often in thrillers, character development falls to the wayside. However, Ava Glass created characters with some depth. While the story took place in the present, there were a few flashbacks that helped sparse out Emma’s background and character. I liked that Glass developed the characters primarily through their actions, rather than telling readers what to think. It allowed the plot to speed along without story nor character development suffering.
Overall, I really enjoyed Alias Emma and highly recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers. It was a smart, refreshing change from the typical domestic or psychological thriller. I am crossing my fingers that Ava Glass will give us more adventures of Emma Makepeace in the future. If not, at least film and TV rights have already been optioned!
August 2, 2022
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Bantam Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.