Friday, October 29, 2004

Book Review: Mesmerized - Gayle Lynds

Beth Convey is a hard nosed, high powered Washington D.C. lawyer working on a divorce case for a multi-million dollar client. She is tough, and she is good. In the middle of the very stressful trial, just as she made a play that will win the divorce settlement she is aiming for, Beth Convey suffers a heart attack and collapses in the court room. To save her life, Beth Convey needs a heart transplant. She is fortunate enough to receive one, but this is the beginning of her troubles.

Upon receiving the heart transplant Beth begins to dream. She dreams she is a Russian and she dreams that she has been involved in some criminal activity. More than this, she is starting to crave Russian foods and Russian drinks, but is also starting to remember things that she never knew. She is suddenly familiar with weaponry and discovers a new affinity for martial arts. It is as if Beth Convey is remembering another life. Perhaps she is remembering the life of the original owner of her new heart. She is determined to find out.

Jeffrey Hammond is a former FBI Agent, but is now a reporter for the Washington Post. He is tracking and investigating former KGB spies in America. This may not be on the up and up, however. His former partner, Eli Kirkhart, believes that Hammond may be the mole (or have contact with the mole) in the FBI giving out state secrets. The lives of Convey, Hammond, and Kirkhart will all intertwine in "Mesmerized", the espionage thriller from Gayle Lynds.

Gayle Lynds writes a different kind of spy novel. In a traditionally male dominated field filled with authors and James Bond like male characters, Lynds gives a non-traditional look at the spy novel. To start with, Lynds gives us a strong female protagonist who is just as capable as any of her male counterparts. Having a female lead in a spy novel gives any story a completely different perspective. To top it off, Lynds tells a good story. There may be a cliche or two, but most genre novels have more than a couple. Gayle Lynds is a good story teller and works a fast paced thriller like a master. "Mesmerized" is just as good as her two Liz Sansborough novels, and is a welcome addition to the genre. This is one of her earlier works, so it is a little bit rougher around the edges than "The Coil", but if you are a fan of Robert Ludlum and spy novels, Gayle Lynds is a name to watch,

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