Friday, July 8, 2011

Moms of small children have tough enough jobs just keeping up with day to day life.  Imagine how much more difficult it would be to balance your hectic family life when you are always looking over your shoulder for murderous assassins from your past.  This is the situation that faces Lucy Hamilton, former spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction) in the novel Original Sin by Beth McMullen.

When the story begins, Lucy (not her real name, but we're never told her real name) is a stay-at-home mom to 4 year old Theo.  She and her family (including husband Will) live in San Francisco.  She retired (although no one can ever officially "retire") from the USAWMD when she decided to marry and settle down.  Her husband has no idea that she was formerly a spy.

Lucy goes about her days of play dates and visits to the park while always keeping one eye open for possible trouble from her past.  It doesn't take long for problems to surface in this novel as her former boss Simon shows up asking for her help.  A rouge agent, Ian Blackford, who was presumed dead, has re-surfaced and is up to no good.  Since Blackford had previously kidnapped Lucy (known then by her secret agent name of Sally Sin) without actually killing her, Simon assumes that Lucy can be used to lure out Blackford.  Lucy really has no interest in participating, but she does eventually decide to try to figure out what Blackford is up to.  In the meantime, she has to keep her spy skills and background secret from her husband.

This book is obviously meant to be the first in a series of books about Lucy/Sally.  Many things are mentioned but not really followed up on.  For instance, Lucy has early childhood memories of speaking Russian, her "parents" were mysteriously killed and she was sent to live with "relatives" but has no connection to anyone, a mysterious man visited her parents and discussed her while she was a child, etc.  I'm sure more things will be revealed in subsequent books.

Lucy/Sally is portrayed as somewhat of a slacker who had no special talent or direction in college, but miraculously after taking a "test" it was discovered that she could instantly speak any foreign language.  She is also (naturally) a weapons and marital arts expert.  Of course the story is very far-fetched, but it's an interesting enough story to keep your interest.  I will probably check out the next installment in the series to see what Lucy is up to!

Final verdict for Original Sin Three Gherkins, for being an amusing look at the day to day life of a former spy


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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4gherkinsb Good, innit?

3gherkinsb Fair to middlin'

2gherkinsb Has some good points

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