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When I was asked to review this piece, I jumped on it for two reasons: first it was fiction and most of what I receive is non-fiction, and second a spy novel sounded intriguing. Mitchell does a strong job of keeping up the mystery, blowing up her CIA operative in the opening pages (he’s fine almost the next day minus some burns) and plunging him into an investigation riddled with action, mystery, and murder. While Bai endures a high degree or trauma, he survives on, gets to the crux of the dangerous plot,
When one reads a spy novel, a certain sense of reality must be abandoned, but Mitchell executes the premise fairly well. It is not unbelievable that a school full of uber elite children may have spies and body guards embedded with them, nor is it beyond a stretch of the imagination that someone would try to infiltrate the school. That said, how such a school would stay in business after multiple employees were murdered and a student was kidnapped is another story. Realism aside, Alan Broccoli (Bai’s alias) works hard to thwart and solve the problem and protect his assets. Mitchell is at her best when she focuses on the game plan of her mystery and pushes forward.
Things go wrong for Bai, but Bai is a spy, a hero of sorts, and will thus succeed. The reader, knowing that success is imminent need not fret over survival, but rather become enraptured as to how and why. Mitchell executes this plan and in doing so creates a satisfying read for those looking for a fun, quick novel.