Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage





Conspiracy in Kiev by Noel Hynd

Reviewed by Katie Hart

"Taking a cue from Clancy and Ludlum, Noel Hynd crafts an action adventure that spans three continents."

FBI Special Agent Alexandria LaDuca has guts, skill, and fluency in five languages. On loan to the Treasury Department, she spends her days tracking down internet scammers and her evenings shooting hoops and relaxing with her Secret Service agent boyfriend.

When the president plans a trip to Kiev, Alex takes a crash course in Ukrainian so she can keep an eye on the area’s most notorious gangster, Yuri Federov. Isolated shootings in Paris and Rome hardly give warning to the violence that erupts in Kiev. Devastated, Alex struggles for a way out of the blackness, and to uncover a conspiracy more extensive than she ever imagined.

Taking a cue from Clancy and Ludlum, Noel Hynd crafts an action adventure that spans three continents. Unfortunately, none of the sparse action in the first half of the novel involves the protagonist. Instead, readers are treated to information dumps about both Alex’s and Yuri’s personal histories in the form of an interview and a dossier. An Italian investigator keeps the story plodding along, but the novel is more of a cerebral exercise than a powerful emotional experience.

The story improves from the fast-paced central scenes onward. Alex’s pain and slowly emerging hope are shown through her actions, and random pieces of plot begin to make sense. Vivid description adds interest even to ordinary events. Violence, alcohol, and mild innuendo make this an edgy read, but faith also weaves through the story like a delicate but strong thread.

Mr. Hynd’s style seems more suited for male readers, but a female protagonist may cause some to shy away. While the loosely-connected plot and distant characters made reading this book a bit difficult for me, international intrigue fans looking for new perspectives on the Ukraine and Venezuela should enjoy it.

Katie Hart loves the written word. She's published several articles, poems, and nearly 200 reviews in magazines and websites such as Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Infuze Magazine, Christian Library Journal, and ChristianBookPreviews.com. She's written two novels and is working on her third, a fantasy. Also a Christian music fan, she helps out regularly with concerts at her church and strives to promote the artists and bands she enjoys. Visit her online at her blog.