Author: Helena Maeve
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 99 Pages
At a Glance: With each new installment in the Shadow Play series, Helena Maeve makes things just a little more interesting.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Old spies make dangerous hostages.
A prisoner at the tender mercies of the British Secret Intelligence Services, Manuel has to believe that trading freedom for protection was his only hope of avoiding payback for his crimes. Yet his checkered past is neither forgiven nor forgotten. Every day, Manuel is tasked with providing his handlers new intelligence about the bloodthirsty power players he once served. And if he refuses, there are consequences.
In charge of Manuel’s debriefing is Cole, a high-ranking Section officer whose history is intimately intertwined with Manuel’s misdeeds. He has made it his mission to unearth Manuel’s secrets, however long that takes. He will break Manuel because it is necessary. Avenging a broken heart has nothing to do with it.
But time is not on their side. When Manuel’s former employer targets the safe house where he is imprisoned, his usefulness as an asset is called into question. As old passions awaken, both Cole and Manuel discover that letting go of the past may not be as easy as they’d hoped.
Review: Manuel Sosa is being held prisoner, tortured and interrogated by SIS agents at the Cottage. He’s turned himself in to Agent Stephen Cole and the SIS, giving up his freedom to aid Robin (from Price of Freedom). But, not without certain conditions, which Robin lays out to Cole. And, Manuel’s captivity serves a purpose—he doesn’t want to be sent back to Cuba to face the Macias crime syndicate.
Cole is overseeing Manuel’s imprisonment; he’s at the Cottage every day to make sure his end of the bargain with Robin is upheld, because he knows if anything happens to Manuel, Robin can cause major problems for the SIS. Manuel and Cole also have a past that Manuel wants to rekindle, but doubt rears its ugly head—Cole wears a wedding ring now, not to mention he’s also married to the SIS. Even though Manuel has more than a few chances to escape the grip of the SIS, he holds fast—there’s always danger getting in the way. And then, there’s also Cole…
I’ve been following the Shadow Play series since the first book, and with each new installment, Helena Maeve makes things just a little more interesting in this spy vs. agency puzzle. The series is heavy on the espionage, but it’s also about Ms. Maeve giving each new character personality. I really liked Manuel Sosa’s character. He’s not the bad guy that he’s made out to be, but then, neither is Stephen Cole. What I’ve figured out so far is that the agency puts everyone in a bad light. Then, once you meet each character, it changes what you think you know.
Note: Price of Freedom is a must-read, as it leads directly into Splendid Isolation.
You can buy Splendid Isolation here: