The Gryphon Heist | Book Review
Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe -- a department known only as "Other". When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she'll be back in DC within a few days. But that's before she knows where the designs are stored -- and who's after them.
With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where criminal minds and unlikely strategies compete for access to the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault that hovers in the mesosphere. But is Tyler actually helping her? Or is he using her for his own dark purpose?
This one "ticked all the boxes" for me, as the Brits say. (I may or may not have been watching too much of the Great British Baking Show this week.) Humor, excitement, characters that I fell in love with, and a (mostly) unpredictable, honest-to-goodness spy adventure created escapist fiction at its finest.
Talia Inger, the rookie CIA agent with a troubled past, was a well-written main character, especially considering that the author, James Hannibal, is a guy! What I mean by that is: I don't often see male authors in the Christian fiction genre, and it's rare to see them writing female main characters, and doing it well!
Eddie, the specialized-skills computer geek, was the darling of the story, and I loved his techy, boyish, cousin-like friendship with Talia. He made me chuckle so many times.
Adam Tyler... well, you'll just have to read the book to learn about this mysterious guy! He and the rest of the unlikely team that come together to complete the Gryphon Heist -- Mac, Finn, Darcy, and Val -- will return in Spring 2020 in the next book, Chasing the White Lion, and I can't wait! This group of thieves-turned-goodish-guys had some of the best team chemistry that I've read in a while. It very much had a high-powered Robin Hood and His Merry Men vibe, which was addicting!
And the spiritual/moral aspect of the story was so tastefully done! The Christian characters in the book live and speak truth but never in a preachy way, which I really appreciated. (And I can't share because of spoilers, but there were some paragraphs that were so quotable!)
Not to step on any toes, but when a guy is a stealth pilot in real life, like James Hannibal .... he's just going to have the advantage when it comes to writing realistic action. Fact. The Heist was suspenseful, kept me turning pages quicker than usual, and actually made me dream about it once. :) One of my tests for a book that holds my interest is whether or not I think about the characters during the day when I'm doing other things, and I definitely did with this one!
4.5 stars (the missing half point is for the "mostly" in "mostly unpredictable")
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*