Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Shake Off by Mischa Hiller

Title: Shake Off
Author: Mischa Hiller
Year Published: 20011

Genre: Adult mystery
Pages: 272
Rating: 4 out of 5

Challenges: Middle East
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): UK (mostly, but also Germany and Lebanon)


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher for review

Summary (from the back of the book): Years of training have transformed Michel Khoury into a skilled intelligence operative. A refugee whose family was murdered by extremists, he has one mission: the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict that upended his life. An alluring enigma, he draws the attention of Helen, an attractive English girl who lives across the hall. As their relationship develops, Michel is unable to tell Helen about his past--or the collection of passports and unmarked bills he's concealed in the bathroom they share. When Michel's secrets turn deadly, Helen and Michel find htemselves pursued through the streets of London and Berlin and through the Scottish countryside. As they run, each steps closer to a discovery that will change their lives forever.

Review: This book began slowly for me, but really picked up about 50 pages in! I am someone who likes a good thriller/mystery and that is what this is. Here are some thoughts about it, bullet style, since I want to get this review posted and that seems easier to my brain right now.

  • I wish there had been a little more explanation/discussion of the Israel/Palestine issue. It is definitely mentioned since Michel is doing some sort of work for the Palestinians, but it isn't ever clear exactly what he is doing (perhaps because he isn't sure) or what he hopes to accomplish
  • I liked Michel and Helen as characters, but felt sorry for Michel. He is family-less and is a pawn in the greater Middle East situation, which leaves him sad and a drift. I am glad there is a glimmer of hope for Michel and Helen.
  • I loved that the book had multiple locations (Berlin, Britain, Lebanon)
  • The plot is believable. You know how sometimes mysteries/thrillers leave the reader thinking, "really? Could that really happen?" Well, not in this one. The covert stuff is tame enough that I could easily imagine it happening. I found the spy stuff, especially the surveillance, really interesting.

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