Picks and Pans Review: Wilderness of Mirrors
by Linda Davies
He enjoys business, the Hong Kong entrepreneur Robie Frazer lazily explains, because it is simply "a bloodless form of war." That description is as false as his languorous demeanor. There is blood aplenty in Fraser's arms-and-drug-peddling enterprise, which forms the elusive backdrop for Davies's riveting new novel.
Further laying claim to the unlikely terrain of financial thrillers she explored in Nest of Vipers, Davies, an Oxford-educated merchant banker turned suspense writer, again invents a female protagonist as cool and dangerous as the men she stalks. Eva Cunningham, recruited at 22 by the British intelligence service MI6, now has a score to settle with Frazer. Seducing him with both body and booty (the promise of a rare new diamond find), she sets him up for the fall with the unwitting help of an old Oxford friend, venture capitalist Cassie Stewart.
But Cassie is not the only player left in the dark as this wilderness of mirrors becomes a fun house of betrayals and miscalculations. Skillfully moving the action from Hong Kong to Vietnam to London, Davies creates characters as intriguing as they are reprehensible, seducing the reader with a story of passion, power and the price of life choices. (Doubleday, $23)
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