The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup – Angie Smith
In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in imminent danger.
Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a lifeline. Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?
The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But what are his real intentions?
What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.
Can The China Teacup survive this time?
My thanks to Sarah Hardy and the team at Bloodhound Books for my review copy and the chance to join the tour.
The Spy Who Chipped the China Teacup is certainly one of the more unusually named books I have read this year, however, the story is what I was really interested in and it is every bit as intriguing as the book title.
A spy thriller with a decidedly dark edge to it. There are some really not nice bad guys in this book and they make a lot of money through gun running. To ensure their operations remain hidden from the eyes of the authorities they are prepared to kill anyone that threatens their business. Teacup features some really unpleasant murders and Angie Smith is not going to sugar coat the experience for readers, be warned!
From the opening pages the action kicks in and the book is an adrenalin rush of a read. We meet Taylor Hudson – she is married to the main bad guy and she wants out. Taylor knows this will not be easy and the reader joins the story just as one of her husband’s henchmen finds her in the remote African wilderness. Fortunately for Taylor the man sent to kill her is actually an undercover operative that is looking to bring down the gun running business.
This may sound like a major spoiler, however, as it covers the opening few pages I am reasonably comfortable using it to illustrate one key element of The Spy Who Chipped the China Teacup – everyone in the book seems to be working to a secret agenda. There are bluffs, double-crosses, lies, red herrings and falsehoods at every page turn. Be prepared to have to pay attention to this book as there is loads going on and you need to keep track to get maximum enjoyment.
The action spans the globe as the South of Africa, beautifully depicted, houses Hudson (the arms dealer) but it is the British Intelligence Service in London who are actively working to end his business deals. Players in this dangerous game of cat and mouse are zipped around from location to location and we see how events in Africa can have an immediate impact on the agents working in London. When nobody knows who they can trust it makes for a tense reading experience and Angie Smith exploits the uncertainties and duplicitous alliances with deadly efficiency.
Long ago a spy thriller would make me think of characters having clandestine chats on a park bench, leaving a coded message in a newspaper for another agent to recover. I tended not to read spy novels as there was frequently not enough going on to hold my attention. With The Spy Who Chipped the China Teacup I can see that I need to re-evaluate my opinion of the genre – this is full on action and I had to slow my reading to ensure I was not missing any of the twists.
Great fun. It’s sneaky, twisty, shocking and a storming page-turner.
The Spy Who Chipped the China Teacup is published by Bloodhound Books and is available now in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spy-Who-Chipped-China-Teacup-ebook/dp/B0725LHQRR/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8