Publisher: Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, Bantam
Date of publication: August 2nd, 2022
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Spy Thriller, Espionage, Suspense, Adult, Contemporary, Spy Thriller
Series: Alias Emma
Alias Emma—Book 1
Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.
She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government.
All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.
But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.
As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.
But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?
The sun was setting over one of the most expensive streets in the world when nthe assassins arrived.Alias Emma by Ava Glass
I usually do not read books that are about spies or any espionage. It’s a genre I do not care for, and I typically go out of my way not to read anything from it. So, I was surprised (and a little irritated) when I read Alias Emma and realized it was a spy/espionage/thriller. That was on me, though. When the publisher sent me the invite to review, I automatically accepted without reading what I was getting. Imagine my surprise when I started liking Alias Emma. This book might be the one that has cracked my dislike for that genre. It was that good.
Alias Emma is the first book in the Alias Emma series. Anything else I would write in this section can be ignored (aka my warnings about reading books out of order in a series). That doesn’t apply here.
Alias Emma had a solid and engaging storyline. Emma is a secret agent working undercover at a shop run by a low-level threat when she gets a phone call she has been waiting for. She has been assigned to pick up a man, Dr. Michael Primalov, and bring him to the M16 before daylight. She must also keep him safe from Russian assassins and rogue agents from her agency. But that is easier said than done. The Russians have taken over London’s CCTV, her handler has gone missing, and she is receiving no help from her agency. With a cryptic message from her handler about staying in the dark, Emma must fulfill her mission. If she can’t, an innocent man will die. Can Emma do it? Can she bring Michael to the safety of the M16?
I loved Emma. She was stubborn (which served her well in this book), tough, and knew how to think outside the box. I loved seeing how she was recruited and her more tragic backstory. She was a very fleshed-out character. She did irritate me during some scenes but other than that, I liked her. I also loved how she saw something through to the end. And oh boy, did she with Michael.
The storyline with Emma, Michael, the Russians, and getting to the M16 was well written. The author did a great job of keeping my attention by constantly changing the storyline. Every time I thought something was going to happen, the storyline shifted. I did have my doubts about them getting to the M16. They were both up against so much.
The storyline with Emma, her agency, and the rogue agent kept me on the edge of my seat. I was alternately irritated for her and frightened for her. But everything did iron out in the end, but it was a ride to get there.
The spy/espionage angle of Alias Emma was very thought-provoking. I liked that the book featured a female spy who was relatable. I got a very James Bondy vibe during parts of the book, and I loved that Emma had to use her intuition to feel situations.
The action angle of Alias Emma was well written. I couldn’t get over the amount of running Emma and Michael did during this book. I also couldn’t get over the number of hand-to-hand combat situations that Emma had with the Russians. Again, it was another thing that kept my attention on the book.
The end of Alias Emma was interesting. I say interesting because I was fascinated with how the Russian storyline ended. The images I produced in my head after the Russian team passed the British one at the hotel in Paris were not good. I also liked how the author left open the storyline about specific agents going rogue. There was an explanation, but the way it was left made me wonder if book two would explain more.
I would recommend Alias Emma to anyone over 16. There are a few kissing scenes (mainly to conceal identities), language, and moderate to high violence.
If you enjoyed reading Alias Emma, you will enjoy these books: