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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: three moon gifWilliam Morrow & Co. (Hardcover), ISBN 0-380-97545-9
I like spy novels, I really do. I like the adventure, the espionage, the suspense, the excitement -- everything that allows me to live vicariously through the characters and experience a world I will never know on my own. So, when I picked up Whistler's Angel by John R. Maxim I expected the thrilling rush of international intrigue -- not exactly what I got and not necessarily a bad thing either.

Book: John R. Maxim, Whistler's AngelI believe the back cover blurb tends to mislead the reader (don't they all) into a false sense of spy-security (ain't that an oxymoron). I truly expected dark destinations, mysterious meetings, cagey characters and slimy sycophants. What I got was sparkling sunshine on Hilton Head Island (a place I have visited myself and found well represented) and an ex-government operative trying desperately to leave the world of political corruption well behind.

And of course, the angel -- not the white robed, iridescently feathered type of angel but an angel none the less -- who commits her life to Adam Whistler (our ex-government operative cum hero). Adam, in love but not quite buying the angel bit, agrees to his father's plan of escape and takes off with Claudia (the angel) for some well deserved R&R.

They spend a year in relative quiet, but when they return to the U.S. they fall headfirst into a huge mess of political corruption (remember, what Adam tried Book: John R. Maxim, Able Baker Charleyto avoid) and their forced vacation crashes to a screeching halt.

Maxim spins a fine tale, and though he borrows many of his characters from previous novels, the reader quickly grasps their essential personalities and histories. The action moves along in a steady pace that keeps the reader involved and interested. Whistler's Angel attains suspense and drama without manic action and impossible feats of athletic ability. I enjoyed the novel and will seek out Maxim's previous and future works.

Heather Firth

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