The new novel by Jonathan Pestle reached the bookshops today, to the accompaniment of a mighty fanfare. Critics’ opinions vary, as shown by the two reviews below:
Three years we have waited, and this masterly effort is worth every minute. The second adventure featuring Mr Pestle’s peerless hero Nigel Blaike is, almost unbelievably, even more deeply satisfying than the first. Holding no official position, but on first-name terms with everyone who matters at the top levels of society in a score of countries, Blaike has a unique range of talents, here employed to recover the fabulous Brazov diamonds, stolen while on exhibition in the UK. This meticulously researched humdinger has everything. Adventure doesn’t come any higher. We are whisked at breakneck pace from London to Paris to Prague to Bucharest and to Samarkand before reaching a stupendous climax in New York. This time, Blaike is accompanied by the Magyar Countess Greta Szabo, a stunning package of pulchritude, and as well-connected as her escort.
The abundant steamy scenes are interspersed with stirring deeds, performed at levels ranging from a French dungeon to a snow-clad Transylvanian peak. This is a breathtaking eight-hundred-page feast of intrigue and dazzling action, and a truly electrifying effort from arguably the greatest of today’s British thriller writers, at the height of his perhaps unprecedented powers. Rumour has it that Mr Pestle received an advance of £1mn for this book. If that is true, his publisher need have no fears. It is a privilege to comment on this literary triumph. Cancel your engagements, disconnect the phone and jump in.