Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Spy's Wife

Hello and welcome to my Thursday review!

I recently read The Spy's Wife by Reginald Hill(I typically link to the purchase page for books, but Blogger isn't cooperating today. Images aren't posting either. I'll try to edit and add them later.)He's written a ton of mystery including the Dalziel and Pascoe series, so I was excited to discover a great new author to me with a huge backlist!

I'm not sure that this book can really be called a mystery. Amazon tags it as "British Detective", "Tales of Intrigue", and "Spy Stories", but in my mind it really is women's fiction centered around the world of spies and intrigue.

The premise is that a woman wakes to a very normal day, seemingly like every other. Then, her husband pulls into the driveway in a rush, crushing her rose bush which really bothers her, mutters an apology, then leaves. She doesn't know really why, but doesn't think much of it till the British Intelligence show up looking for her husband and explaining that he's been a spy working for Russia since before they were married.

This launches her into tumult while she waits and hopes for her husband to return while rethinking all of their lives together. She also deals with her relationship with her parents, where she goes to wait out part of this time, an old flame, and a new flame, all the while really loving her husband.

It's beautifully written. Hill has a real ability to make you feel evocative elements like fog and rain and to make you feel the way this woman got kicked in the stomach. He's a master of drawing you into the story.

I'd rate this very low on gore. There is some blood once, and it's described but it isn't anything disturbing. It's hard to rate it on the senuality meter. There is a sex scene that's fairly explicit but the best way I can describe it is that it's written from a very male perspective. So it isn't at all sensual, but is descriptive.

If you enjoy this book, I'd check out others of Reginald Hill and also the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear.


Kimber An said...

Awesome review, Mystery Robin.

I think if male authors want to write sex scenes and they want to appeal to female readers, they really ought to spend some time in the Romance aisle of their local bookstores to learn what appeals.

Sounds like a really interesting book anyway. Do you think Mr. Hill wrote the female point of view really well otherwise?

Mystery Robin said...

I do. It was a very internal book, and I felt that all of her emotions and reactions made a lot of sense without being predictable. I even think the sex scene made sense given her outlook at the time - but I still though it was a bit on the gross side, for risk of sounding like a 12 year old. ;)

Kimber An said...

It's not necessarily a 12 year old thing. Explicit sex scenes gross me out too and I haven't been 12 in a looooong time. I mean, good grief, I know how it works already. (roll eyes) Most of the time, it jerks me right out of the story and I have to skip it.

It is nice to hear of another author who can right the opposite sex well. Seems to me most authors can write one or the other well. Sometimes they even seem to switch which they do well from novel to novel. Haven't figured that out yet.

Robyn said...

Russia as villain. Good times. Sounds bizarre, but in a literary sense I miss the cold war.