Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Traitor by Ava Glass
Series: Alias Emma #2
Published by Ballantine on September 19, 2023
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
When an MI6 operative is discovered murdered in his London apartment - killed with a nerve agent, his body folded inside a locked suitcase - fellow spy Emma Makepeace knows the killer was professional.
The dead spy had been investigating two Russian oligarchs suspected of selling chemical weapons from within the UK, and it seems likely there was a third man in the conspiracy - someone working from deep within the British government.
To find the truth, Emma is sent undercover on a superyacht owned by one of the oligarchs. Codenamed GOLD DUST, the operation takes her from the billionaire enclaves of the Cote d'Azur to the fashionable hotels of Barcelona, where she comes close to discovering what the Russians are planning - until her identity is discovered, and she barely escapes with her life.
Emma knows that someone inside the government has betrayed her, and it soon transpires that the elusive third man is closer than any of them imagined.
The Traitor was fun to read even though it felt a bit unrealistic. Those aspects didn’t make it less enjoyable though. It was easy to read as I knew the characters and some of the situations from the previous book. The story is still mainly told by Emma.
Emma is healed from her last outing physically. Mentally, I suspect things like being shot stay with you. However, she is eager enough to go undercover in a very dangerous situation to gain more information. The Russian oligarchs are hard to penetrate in their circles but she takes a role as a server on the yacht. She hopes to also learn more about the suspected British traitor. She befriends the oligarch’s mistress and feels sorry for her.
Emma really doesn’t learn very much on the boat, although she does take pictures of some documents. Her big break comes when she follows them to a meeting in town but it also gets her caught. She is in dire straits. She fights her way out but she is burned and can’t go back to the boat.
Emma is determined to unmask the traitor. So she offers to go undercover again with the other oligarch’s mistress at the gym. This oligarch hasn’t seen her and her appearance has been changed. The mistress really likes her and invites her to a party. Emma is fearless to the point of too stupid to live, pushing into a meeting of the villains.
Somehow Emma manages to not die, gather information or people as needed, and her team comes in to arrest or clean up bodies. I just don’t find it probable she could do some things or fight large men as well as she manages. The Alias Emma series is a lot of fun to read though.
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