**** 4 out of 5 stars
Review by: Mark Palm
When asked if she would like to play a Bond girl in a installment of the famous film franchise Angelina Jolie was quoted as saying “Actually, I’d refer to play him; I’d rather be Bond.” The same thing could be said, in the best way possible, about the eponymous hero of Jane. D. Everly’s novel Havelock.
It’s taken me months to finish this novel, because it was published in serial form. When I received the final installment and read it, then re-read the entire book, and it works well either way. Whether Ms. Everly wrote it in installments or not has no effect on the finished product. And it’s a fun, fast paced product, in case you are wondering.
Since I gave you the basic synopsis in the first review I will keep it brief; Havelock is the story of Eliana Havelock, an enigmatic adventuress who infiltrates MI-6 to stop Mason Treadik, a super-rich evil genius who wants to corner the contract-killer market for the entire world by creating the ultimate assassins. The story unfolds in alternating first and third person chapters, and while the third-person sections are important the first-person chapters, from the point-of-view of our heroine, are the ones that really make this book a blast.
The characters are solid if unspectacular, except for Eliana, and she’s the one the matters. That her mission has a personal reason, which is hinted but not spelled-out, gives her story a bit more urgency than many spy thrillers, and Ms. Everly gives us just enough to sate us, but leaves enough mystery to make us want to come back. I got a particular kick out of Ms. Everly’s take on Treadik’s end-game, which was a real nod to the classic British spy genre, and her handling of her heroine’s sexuality, which was a reversal of the same. Ms. Everly even gives us an evil organization with a catchy names, and if this wasn’t an ARC I would quote her homage to a classic line from the Bond canon. All in all Havelock is a fast-moving clever thriller that left me me waiting for the next installment.