The Prisoner’s Wife
Shawn waited a while, till his breathing slowed, before he knocked at a door of the Parisian apartment. It bore a hand-painted a figure five. Below the number was pinned a snapshot of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Someone in this place, he reflected, travelled the Silk Road, before the Taliban dynamited those giant effigies. Something moved inside. There was a spyhole in the door: he was observed. When the door opened, he saw a thin and beautiful Afghan hound. The woman holding its collar was also thin and beautiful. Late thirties, he guessed. Her hair was clipped back, and coming loose. Her breasts barely disturbed the fabric of her shirt. She was barefoot, wearing boot-cut jeans, with a broad belt. Shawn knew women – Ellen, for one – who wore belts to minimize width of hip. With this girl, no need. She said, ‘I am sorry. My husband is not home.’ ‘No, ‘ Shawn said, ‘it’s more than that. He’s missing.’ Kirkus Magazine starred review April 15 2012: “Living in Paris in 2004, former CIA spy Shawn Maguire accepts a freelance job to find an Iranian named Darius Osmani.
Abducted by the CIA after claiming to have information about a nuclear device, Osmani is being interrogated in one of its secret “black prisons” as a suspected terrorist. Maguire’s efforts to track him and avoid his own downfall are complicated by his attraction to Osmani’s wife, Danielle. Maguire was drummed out of the CIA for drinking and violent behavior. A major burnout, he’s out of money, attending meetings for sex addiction, mourning the death of his wife and under pressure from his former bosses to do a nasty job for them. As spies go, Maguire is a decent, straight-shooting soul—and not only when he’s putting his skills as a sniper to work. As he searches for Osmani, on a road that takes him and Danielle to Morocco, Egypt and the political danger zone of Pakistan—where U.S. intelligence has secret plans for the soon-to-be-reinstated female prime minister—he must remain on his toes with the seductive wife and his old CIA pal Bobby, who is still with the Company. Conspiracies abound in this book, a sophisticated and suspenseful effort with crackling dialogue and evocative scenery. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic. And the book does a great job capturing the casual lawlessness of the American intelligence effort via its rendition campaigns and the propping up or deposing of criminal leaders depending on America’s needs. For those who wondered where spy novels could go in the aftermath of the Cold War, John le Carré isn’t the only one providing the answers. They also can be found here and, one hopes, in a batch of sequels. Though this is Macdonald’s first adult novel, it boasts the assurance and authority of a veteran spymaster, making us feel like we’ve been reading this author for years.” “I have just finished your book. I LOVED it. It was seriously brilliant and I couldn’t put it down. Is there a sequel? I love your voice, your rich descriptions and your writing style – I am positive there is a movie in the making (there has to be – right?) — I wish I could capture atmosphere like you do. I am in awe of your writing.” Hannah Dennison, author of Scoop, Thieves and Expose.