Been awhile since I sat down to a great spy novel. Just as powerful as a Tom Clancy novel, this gripping espionage novel is not one to pass up for this genre. This read has multiple twists and turns with several national intelligence agencies teaming to uncover an international plot to secure oil resources in the Arctic. Every page, as you want to race to the next, gives you new unexpected satisfactional nods.
Magnus Ose, a senior intelligence officer with the Norwegian Police Security Service, wanted sleep. Laying there with his beautiful wife Malin, his step-daughter Lilly sound asleep in her room, safe, yet he knew something was terribly wrong when his phone went off at 0430 and read - Need to meet. Very important. It was from one of his assets, Finn Aspen.
A disturbing feeling overwhelmed his thoughts - he knew. Finn Aspen is a cool collective asset and he never jumps the gun on anything. Now Magnus wondered if Aspen had a target on his back or, worse yet, had he been uncovered as a double?
They met for lunch and Aspen looked as if he was running scared. After Magnus pulled teeth from him to find out what was going on, he reassured him that they will get to the bottom of this.
Aspen didn't get to the bottom of it. As Magnus was paying the bill for lunch, Aspen was found shortly afterwards shot in the head. Clean shot. His instincts and years of training kicked in and he assessed the situation was from a sniper. Magnus spotted him and gave chase, to no avail.
Soon afterwards, within 24 hours, another of Magnus' assets, Norwegian diplomat Alf Evenson was found dead in an "accidental" apartment fire and now those disturbing feelings he had earlier were in full swing. Magnus starts to uncover a huge web of double-agents, countries, and spies all involved with a decade old project called Black Ice.
Not only are his assets being murdered, there is a certain "hit-list" of characters that need to be silenced.
He needs to race against time, and as he races to the truth, the intensity grows through each page. I didn't think one of the characters were ... oh, I can't tell you - it'd be a spoiler.
Although, I will tell you Morgan has a couple of sub-plots that are seamed beautifully into the story with expert anticipation. Malin's brother Henrik, a tree-hugger as he is, gets arrested for protesting the off-shore drilling by the Russians. His ultimate outcome depends heavily on Malin herself.
And there is the Canadian Minister of the Arctic Council, Miranda Hobb. One of the founding members of the joint project Black Ice. Her demise? her safety? her...was she/is she a double? I tell ya, it's great! Wait till the end!
One of the many great scenes in the novel that I could picture well was from pages 136 - 138. Henrik was on the prison train being taken to where? and the scene with the one of the prisoners was very colorful. It was like that throughout the novel. Very colorful scenes that you can vividly see.
Once Magnus learns that his beloved family is in harms way - all hell will be let out of Hades.
Max Morgan's ability to shape his characters into their perspective roles was ingenious and original. Told in third person multiple POV you have the much needed sense of how each character played out. Yet, you have no idea who the double-agents that needed to be kept secret are until the time arises within the story. Outstanding.
The ending has a twist that's inauspicious, yet, hopeful - ...
For those who want a gripping, enthralling read, Black Ice: the 66 Degree Conspiracy by Max Morgan would be your compelling tale.
Here's where you can get your fingers on Black Ice: the 66 Degree Conspiracy:
- Amazon ~ Kindle edition $8.60 Paperback $10.59 USD
- Barnes and Noble ~ Paperback $10.48 USD
- IndieBound.org ~ Purchase at your local independent bookseller
Read my interview with Max Morgan