eARC, 353 pg.
Read: May 22-26, 2020
This is the second in a series—but it’s not essential to read the first. Bridge will cover everything you need to know in her narration.
Following a botched pickup of a journalist who wants to give some evidence to the British government, Brigitte Sharp—cyber-analyst extraordinaire—is out for payback. Her hunt for those responsible to the op going wrong, as well as a hunt for those to behind a cyber-attack at G20 summit in London, puts her neck-deep in international intrigue (her early guess that there’s a connection between the two just adds impetus).
The motives behind these two attacks—in addition to some other cyber-hijinks—is beyond her ability to guess. So Bridge focuses on the how and who, leaving aside the considerations of why for later. It’s an exciting ride, full of enough twists and turns to satisfy any thriller reader.
I’ve always been bugged by it, but Dreyer’s English has emboldened me in this particular hang-up: there are significant, multiple-page long, sections in all italics. It’d make the reading process nicer if we didn’t need to wade through that. It’s a minor thing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it bugged me.
The tension is played just right. The technobabble* feels authentic—or at least enough to get away with. The plot’s intricate without becoming Byzantine. There’s plenty of character development, but it felt…forced? By the numbers? Heartless? I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s like Johnston knew he needed some character development and did what he could to put it in, even if it didn’t feel natural or earned. That shortcoming colored the rest of it for me. Still, I liked Bridge and the rest of this cast of characters.
* That’s not a term of derision, just trying for an all-encompassing term.
I have a friend who will regularly upbraid me for not liking things as much as he does (he doesn’t comment here, it’ll be via text, email, or in-person—depending how much he has to say about my wrong-ness). I can easily see where this is one of those books where he—or others—will feel like scolding me for not liking it enough. And they really might be right to do so. I liked this, I recommend it, I just wanted a bit more from it. I can easily see me coming back for another installment, too, I should add.
My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the novel) they provided.