Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Man With The Golden Mind by Tom Vater

The Man With The Golden Mind by Tom Vater
First published by Exhibit A in March 2014. Republished by Crime Wave Press in September 2016.

One of my WorldReads from Germany

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Julia Rendel asks Maier to investigate the twenty-five year old murder of her father, an East German cultural attaché who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. But before the detective can set off, his client is kidnapped right out of his arms. Maier follows Julia’s trail to the Laotian capital Vientiane, where he learns different parties, including his missing client are searching for a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets. But the real prize is the file’s author, a man codenamed Weltmeister, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century.

I am again impressed with a Crime Wave Press offering, this one being a Cold War aftermath spy thriller set in a country about which I knew very little: Laos. Tom Vater sets up an intricate and complicated plot which I found it a joy to get lost in and also introduces interesting and believable characters, both male and female. The women in this novel aren't just eye candy! I was a little concerned that I hadn't already read the first in what is becoming the Detective Maier series, but that turned out not to matter at all. This is a self-contained tale, admittedly with nods to its predecessor, but I enjoyed the read without any prior knowledge of our lead character.

Laos provides a fascinating backdrop to the story and I loved seeing glimpses into a completely different culture and way of life. I hadn't realised just how comprehensively the nation was bombed as a result of the Vietnam War, or that its people are still being killed and maimed by that war's bombs and landmines. Vater manages to include such education without losing the pace of his thriller. I did occasionally lose track of peripheral characters as there is quite a large cast to keep track of, but the twists, turns and double-crosses make for compelling reading and I particularly loved Mikhail. What a fabulous creation!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Tom Vater / Thrillers / Books from Germany

No comments:

Post a Comment