Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: The Thyssen Affair by Mozelle Richardson

The Thyssen Affair
by Mozelle Richardson
2009 Mountain West Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-6165-82449
Softcover Edition; 460 Pages
Genre: Thriller
Source: Review Copy from Cadence Group

3.5 / 5 Stars

Cane Eliot is a Colorado rancher who is asked to go to Germany to complete a delicate mission for the CIA.  Cane was once a spy for the U.S. during World War II and with a German background, can easily fit into Munich.  The CIA would like to discover why the Russians, in particular the KGB, would go to the trouble of digging up the grave of a former Nazi in Fort Reno, Oklahoma and in particular, want the skull so badly.  After intercepting the skull, they are left with a puzzle that can only be solved in Munich and Cane is recruited for the job.  Along the way he is tailed by several people who want the skull very badly, including a beautiful spy for the KGB and an Israeli agent.  Both are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the skull and the secrets it may hold.  But Cane discovers the skull may not be who it is supposed to be and his travels take him around Europe, until the final confrontation in Italy finally reveals the shocking secrets of the skull. 

My Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel and although I was somewhat confused at first, it didn't take me long to settle in and become hooked by the events and the characters.  It wasn't about the technological gadgets or the guns or the big hunts, but was a more human story about a former spy with a mission using his own ingenuity to get himself out of some tricky situations and I liked that.

The novel is fast-paced, moving from scene to scene very quickly.  I enjoyed the writing style and the way Cane Eliot got himself out of some tricky situations using his brain rather than his brawn.  I also love his confusion when he walked into some situations he wasn't expecting and had to figure out how they happened.  There were some pretty interesting moments where I wondered what he was going to do next and I enjoy being surprised as for the most part, the novel was pretty predictable.  I also liked the more human aspect of the novel where the main character has some emotional moments and doesn't seem "super-human".  I would have liked to have seen more of them though with regards to Peter as I feel this was sort of glossed over in the novel, especially in light of what happened to him.   Canyon Eliot was a mixture of ruthless and sensitive that was fascinating, as one moment he could kill by pushing people over a cliff and the next moment, he could be all tenderness.  It was an interesting combination and I was left pondering the personality of someone who could do that or had to do that and the effect this could have on someone's life.  It was rather nice to have a protagonist who was older and can still kick butt though; I rather enjoyed that scenario.

I was not crazy about the ending however, as I felt it was rushed and it didn't really have the climax I was expecting.  After everything that happened, it was a bit of a letdown.

This was a light, enjoyable read with enough plot twists and turns to make it interesting and not make it too predictable.  Fans of cold war novels will enjoy a novel where the hero uses his brain and ingenuity rather than technology to solve problems and get himself out of difficult situations.  I would love to read more novels from this author.


  1. Sounds interesting - I hadn't heard of this author or this book before. Thanks for the review!