March 24, 2024

Book Review


reviewed by Carolyn Scott


This contemporary spy thriller opens with a cinematic scene worthy of a James Bond movie. Half way up the slopes of the Matterhorn, in a small hut, an American agent is meeting with a Russian double agent, who is passes him a USB stick containing plans for a new weapon of mass destruction.

Codenamed Hercules, Russia is planning to test it in a terrorist attack on a sovereign country. Their meeting is interrupted by the arrival of Russian agents, demanding the American hand over the plans. The stand-off ends with two agents dead and the mysterious disappearance of the plans. Now Russian and American agents in Switzerland are pitted against each other in a deadly race against time to find the missing plans before it’s too late to prevent Hercules going ahead.

For the last eight years Robbie Steinhardt has led a peaceful life in the Swiss Alps, tending cattle and keeping to himself, but now he has to leave that life behind and come in out of the cold and return to his former identity as Mac Dekker, ex-CIA agent. Eight years ago Mac was framed as a double agent and forced to disappear. Now in his fifties, he wants revenge for the death of someone close to him who died on Matterhorn and the only way to do that is to find out who is behind Hercules and stop them using the new weapon.

Mac’s former best friend and long-time mountain climbing partner, Ilya Ivashaka, an American born Russian and CIA colleague, now working for the Russians, failed to recover the stolen Hercules files on Matterhorn. He will do whatever it takes to find them before they get into the hands of the Americans. Even if it means killing his old friend Mac.

Once the race to find the files and uncover the plot is on, the action becomes intense and never stops in this modern-day spy thriller set in the peaceful towns and villages of Switzerland. Despite his age, Mac has kept fit, living and hiking in the Alps and has forgotten none of his spy craft. The local regional American CIA agents are also investigating the death of their agent and his contact on Matterhorn in order to find out what went wrong. Also caught up in all of this is a three-year-old girl called Katya living in Russia. She never met her American father but her Russian mother has been killed and she must get to a safe country if she is to live.

The multiple plot lines are handled well in a fairly straightforward, but entertaining way, with plenty of suspense, car chases, shooting and double agents. The novel is sure to appeal to those readers who enjoy an exciting, fast paced spy novel with plenty of action.

With thanks to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for a copy to read. 

Matterhorn is available at:

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