#Bookreview – What happened in Vienna, Jack? by Danny Kemp

Book reviews

What Amazon says

A robbery in London. The murder of a priest at the end of World War Two. A genocide in Namibia. The discovery of the remains of Hitler’s secretary.

Something connects all this. Former British spy Jack Price knows the answer, and he’s willing to die to keep the secret. The problem? He’s not the only one who knows.

It’s the lies that are not heard, but kept as secrets, that own us all. Deep in the world of espionage and deception, how far is Jack willing to go to fulfill his mission?

Praise:

★★★★★ – “A great spy novel with plenty of surprises and plot twists.”

★★★★★ – “Reminded me of Robert Ludlum. A very good read.”

My review

What Happened in Vienna, Jack? is a magnificent story of espionage set in Britain and true to that country, its people and reputation down to the very last detail. Daniel Kemp has certainly rivaled Ian Fleming with his brilliant portrayal of the British government’s secret service and his version of James Bond, in the split form of the older veteran, Jack Price, and the younger and debonair Irishman, Patrick West, who together must solve some deeply hidden mysteries of the past that have never been satisfactorily resolved.

Patrick is the innocent who is identified by his superiors for a specific job and is unwittingly drawn into their spiderweb of lies, confusion and cover-ups. He is an idealistic young man who is keen to stretch his wings and take on the burden of unwinding the muddled threads of the past in an effort to achieve his understanding of justice. His character is complex and interesting as the reader follows his journey from youthful naivety to a gradual realisation that their is no perfect justice or resolution in this world. Men are not perfect and their actions are never performed with any pure intent of either good or evil, but are always a mixture, in varying degrees of both purposes.

Jack Price is highly intelligent and has pulled himself up by his proverbial bootstraps, escaping a hand-to-mouth existence to becoming a leading, albeit controversial, figure in Britain’s intelligence forces. The career limitations imposed on him as a result of his background rankle and influence some of his later decisions resulting in his being manipulated, unknowingly, by others in high places. Jack is determined and dedicated to his cause and has identified Patrick as being a man with the right looks and characteristics to eventually take over from him. Before he makes his exit from his career and life, Jack is intent on solving an old crime from the beginning of world war II. It is unfortunate that some of the information he has is flawed.

The author’s command of English and clever descriptions and depictions make this book a fascinating read although it is not a book you can read without a good measure of concentration. There is a large caste of characters, all of whom add insight into the story and its eventual outcome, so you need to keep your reading wits about you to fully appreciate the intricacies of this complex story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will certainly be reading more books by this author.

Purchase What happened in Vienna, Jack?

28 thoughts on “#Bookreview – What happened in Vienna, Jack? by Danny Kemp

  1. The review sounds excellent and I love the title! I just trotted over to check it out on Amazon (but first, I’ll see if my library carries it, of course after they reopen. Sigh).

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  2. Sounds really interesting…thanks for the heads up on the concentration part – the Department Q books I’ve reviewed by Jussi Adler-Olsen are terrific, but also take concentration to keep it all straight – I always say don’t start a book like this if you can’t stay with it consistently!

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    1. Thanks John. I don’t have concentration issues, but I do read reviews where other readers grumble about having to concentrate all the time and my mother sometimes asks me to read bits of her book that she is struggling to understand and explain it to her. She reads heavy fantasy and you have to keep your wits about you reading that stuff.

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      1. The Department Q thrillers are terrific, but they go back and forth in time between the original crime and the cold case team trying to piece together what happened, so you have to stay with it on a consistent basis!

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