Events in the tragic past and dangerous present spectacularly collide in Condon’s fast-paced second Magdalena thriller. After a brush with death three years before, special ops agent Magdalena “Maggie” Curran is now helping covert missions succeed from the safety of her basement operations center in a quiet Virginia town. Restless from being sidelined with “safe” duties, Maggie longs to get back in the field despite the danger and the family she loves. She struggles to reconcile this urge with her desires to continue her musical training and her difficulty conceiving a second child with her husband, fellow agent Bernardo. When the son of an old enemy with ties to the Russians reappears and past truths are revealed, Maggie must uncover subterfuge, betrayal, heartbreaking losses,and danger to reclaim her life.
Finding Magdalena introduced Maggie as a teenager in a harrowing tale of love and loss. Now readers get to appreciate Maggie as an adult: agent, singer, mother, and wife. The dialogue can sometimes be stilted or trite (“I need to remember that a lot of women don’t even get one baby”), but the emotions underneath it are real. Domestic issues including fertility problems, jealousy, and mental illness intertwine and juxtapose with dangerous enemies including the mysterious group known as the Brotherhood, and loved ones become collateral damage when covert operations go terribly wrong, showing the tragic humanity in the espionage world.
Condon’s wonderful heroine is a survivor above all else. The story boasts a rare mix of daring spycraft and the domestic life of an extended family, though this sometimes leads to uneven pacing and an overextended plot. There’s much to enjoy as Maggie outwits kidnappers and Russian operatives while facing her own fears and demons. Both new and returning readers will appreciate the promise of this unique series and be eager to follow Maggie wherever her dangerous, fulfilling life takes her next.
Takeaway: A tough heroine with strong family ties brings adventures galore to thriller readers wishing their ordinary lives could be just a little more exciting.
Great for fans of David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell series, Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses.
Production grades Cover: A Design and typography: A Illustrations: - Editing: B- Marketing copy: B+
"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Shannon Condon is a talented writer who knows not only how to hold your interest but also how to turn up the heat."
-Melinda Hills, Reader's Favorite
"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Very strong, intelligent female lead character that would give James Bond a run for his money. Very fast paced drama, with lots of twists and double crossing..."
-Suzanne Tibbo, Goodreads Reviewer