Yuri Kirov has finally adapted to a domestic life, living with Laura Newman and her child in America. He’s happy, quite possibly for the first time ever. But when scientists discover a large amount of oil in the Arctic Ocean, Yuri’s life is suddenly turned upside-down.
As questions about Yuri’s past, most notably his career in the Russian Navy, surface, he’s strong-armed into taking a dangerous mission. Sent to investigate the oil in his sophisticated submarine, Deep Explorer, Yuri soon discovers that there is much more to his mission than meets the eye. Worse, once he finds out that his loved ones are in danger, with their safety directly linked to his mission, there’s no way for him to back out.
While the plot itself is interesting, those who jump into this story without reading the first book will feel lost. Worse, they will likely feel unattached and unsure of how they’re supposed to feel about Yuri and his situation. Little backstory and character development is the problem, made worse by clunky dialogue and choppy pacing.
Layton’s writing style is fine, but missed opportunities and below-average execution bog down a promising plot. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, which takes from the overall suspense that the story flashes here and there but fails to sustain. On the plus side, Layton is at his best describing the high-tech submarine that Yuri is forced to navigate. He also gets points for originality, and it’s clear the author isn’t trying to impersonate anyone’s prose, but writes with his own voice.
There’s plenty to build on moving forward, and fans of slow-burn espionage thrillers should absolutely put The Forever Spy on their to-read list. But action-seekers who like larger-than-life characters and fast-paced shootouts probably won’t take to this story.
Author: Jeffrey Layton
Series: Yuri Kirov #2
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Release Date: April 25, 2017 (Order Now!)