Sunday, 22 May 2011

Book of the Week - Chris Morgan Jones, An Agent of Deceit

Anyone who follows this blog will know that while my preference is for literary fiction, I occasionally dip into other genres for a little variety. An Agent of Deceit is probably best described as a thriller, and is a first novel by Chris Morgan Jones. Jones was born in Aberystwyth, and for eleven years worked for the world's largest business intelligence agency (Kroll). During his time there he specialised in dispute work, helping clients win legal battles and corporate contests, and in reputation work, gathering information about their competitors and acquisition targets. He has worked for Middle Eastern governments, Russian oligarchs, New York banks, London hedge funds and African mining companies, but in particular had an interest in Russia. The experience he accumulated in his work has undoubtedly contributed to the realistic feeling of this book. It is well written, with a good plot, and has received favourable reviews. There is a 500 copy signed and numbered edition from Goldsboro Books which is the one to go for from a collector’s persepctive.

“Ten years ago, journalist Ben Webster had his investigation into a corrupt Russian business in Kazakhstan crushed, the cost of his scrutiny a terrible tragedy. Now employed by a private London intelligence agency, Webster’s interest is piqued when a client asks him to expose the dealings of shadowy Russian oligarch Konstantin Malin. Before long Webster finds himself fixated by Malin and by his front man Richard Boot. But how far is he willing to risk the wellbeing of his family? And that of Boot himself? Meanwhile Boot finds himself under pressure to explain to the world how he – a simple lawyer – came to be one of Russia’s largest investors. And when one of Malin’s former protégées is found dead after meeting with Webster, begins to realise that he too may be at risk. Desperate to seek a haven with the wife he lost years before, Boot realises that he must now take action – but his options are fast running out.”

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