Sunday, 23 March 2014

Picking Up Plans in Palma

Well here again readers do I have the pleasure of reviewing a piece by fellow blogger Matthew Quinn. This one comes once again from his excellent alternate history universe (which I have mentioned before) and deals with some good old fashioned spy vs. spy action over who gets the plans to the big old battle station parked in orbit.

Since this potentially decides who wins World War III, the stakes really couldn't be higher! Taking place in a world where an uber-Calvinist Afrikaner Confederation (comprising much of Southern Africa, India, and the Middle East) has combined into an alliance of various vassal states vs the League of Democracies (United States, Germany, United Kingdom and colonies, among others). It's a Cold War threatening to go hot and we get some interesting looks at the world and culture behind it.

The story I present to you is: Picking Up Plans in Palma

The story of course takes place in Palma within the Confederation and our hapless young spy (who isn't even a field agent) is sent in to pick up the plans after an informant gets caught due to a high ranking traitor exposing multiple people. Therefore Connor Kelly, an unlikely field agent, gets sent into the fray.

It's a fun spy story with lots of interesting twists and turns but shows us an interesting side of the Afrikaner Confederation. Connor is dating a Confederate expat, one who's a flaming liberal by the Confederation's standards but insanely conservative by American standards which makes for an interesting contrast at home. Due to her origins she's also under intense scrutiny from the American intelligence services, something with make's poor Connor's life even more difficult as he falls under scrutiny for potentially being a liability.

There's also more interesting cultural separation as we learn that people flee the Confederation because of the new near theocratic Theonomic Party which has taken power in the Confederation. It's religious intolerance and Dominionist tendencies make it unpalatable to many Afrikaners and even twist the guts of many moderates (as Connor himself finds out). It's a great cultural comparison.

There's some wonderful spy craft in evidence with lots of interesting action I just can't spoil. Suffice to say its an action packed, but fast read.

I'd heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a good spy thriller on Kindle, and I'd recommend any of Mr. Quinn's other work as well. He's established a wonderful universe and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.


  1. Glad you liked this story too Matt!

  2. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Matt in this universe!