A Lion in the Grass by Mark Zvonkovic follows the life of Raymond Hatcher, a lifelong professional spy. Mr. Zvonkovic is a published author living in California.
- 333 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1735275107
- Publisher : Dos Perro Press
- Language: : English
This was a surprising book, unlike many of the espionage novels I’ve read before. The story takes place over 70+ years in which the protagonist finds himself on the edge of history, like many of us do.
A Lion in the Grass by Mark Zvonkovic shows both the excitement and boredom of espionage work. The novel had wonderful insight into the psychology of its characters and the occupation which they chose for themselves. The protagonist, Raymond Hatcher, grows up before our eyes, from a teenager protégée working during World War II in Yugoslavia, Indochina, Vietnam and more, to a master spy with worldwide contacts. The antagonist, a psychotic French spy is on the outskirts of Raymond’s life and career.
The narrative is uneven, three quarters of it is flowing and interesting, but about a quarter is choppy and I got lost. I trudged through those parts, even though they were not clear, however at the end much of it came together to tell a good story.
This is a smart book, the author really understands the characters, and makes the readers understand their motivations and conflicts. None of the characters are perfect, or super human, quite the opposite as they all have their faults, like the rest of us. Mr. Hatcher says several times in the book that he doesn’t believe in coincidences, but there sure are many coincidences that happen to move the story along. That’s fine, but at times it felt artificial and an overused in a novel which seemed to be proud of its realism.
The novel was very enjoyable, it was a different take on the espionage genre from what I’m used to. The span of the novel, for some many years, was certainly a challenge for the author but he did a wonderful job setting it up and walking the reader through the ups and downs of a life living in the shadows.
Raymond Hatcher is a talented young man with an affinity for languages. Raymond is son to State Department parents and lived in Europe much of his youth. Knowing the landscape, language, and culture made him a very attractive recruit during World War II. Throughout his career in the military, OSS, and CIA, Raymond and his friends are hounded by a psychotic French spy.
Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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