4 out of 4 stars
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Sins of the Younger Sons, by Jan Reid, is the story of ex-Marine Luken Burgoa and his exploits as a member of The Outfit, a clandestine organization which operates spies around the world, and later as a fugitive. Luken has been sent to deal with the head of the Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA), Peru Madariaga. They meet in France on a trail ride through the mountains. Luken immediately falls in love with Madariaga’s wife Ysolina, and she returns his feelings. After completing an undercover armament deal with Madariaga, Luken cuts ties with The Outfit and escorts Ysolina to Spain so she can complete research for her schooling. In the background is the politics of Basque territory in Spain, and the building of a new Guggenheim Museum in Basque territory. What will happen to the two lovers? Will they survive? What is ETA planning? Where does the museum factor in to ETA plans?
This novel was extremely well edited. I felt that it took an intermediate skill of reading, as it often switched between languages, and I found myself going back to repronounce words I was unfamiliar with. There wasn’t any profanity in the book. However, there is a scene of rape in the book, for those who are sensitive to this topic.
The thing I liked most about this book was that everything that was laid out eventually came to a brilliant conclusion. Even though the good guys didn’t totally win, I felt like this was what life would have actually been like under the circumstances presented in the book. It didn’t feel like a cheesy riding off into the sunset moment when the book ended. Yes, there were parts that were shocking, but the book is about people who are spies and working with and against dangerous people. The shocking moments felt like they belonged.
The thing I disliked most was the length of the exposition of the book. There were a few times during the book where I wished it would hurry up and get back to the real action of it. There may be readers who appreciate this, because it adds to the shock of abrupt happenings in the book, but I felt this could have been shorter. I think the author was really making an effort to introduce us to Basque culture, and for us to appreciate it as much as they do, but it was a little lost on me.
Overall, this was a really great book, and even though there was a thing I disliked about it, I would definitely recommend it to others. Anyone who likes crime, spy or historical fiction novels will like it. Get ready to curl up and not put it down, because I give it 4 out of 4 stars.
Sins of the Younger Sons
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