There are two things you will learn about in this post: I absolutely adore spy novels and I am incredibly jealous of author Christopher Reich.
I first saw Reich’s novel Rules of Vengeance last December when I was home for Christmas break. After all, how could I fail to notice a book with such a simple, yet fabulous cover? I was too cheap to buy it, though, and I forgot about it, until last night. Last night, I remembered that I have a $40 credit on my Amazon account, thanks to Amazon trade-ins (I got rid of three course books I despised when I traded them in), and I decided to buy Rules of Vengeance on my Kindle. (It was only $7.99!)
I loved the book and I devoured it in a day. I liked the plot’s twists and turns and all the little surprises that crept up on me. Apparently it’s the second book in a series, but it can stand alone, too. I loved the characters and found them quite realistic – my only complaint is there were some relationships between them that could have been elaborated on a bit more.
My only real complaint with this book are some of the Russian characters’ names. As a Russian speaker, many of the names did not ring true as being fully Russian. For example, two Russian characters mentioned in passing are Witte and Kerensky. As a history major who did her best to specialize in Russian history, I immediately recognized these as the names of famous historical figures: Sergei Witte, the minister under Nicholas II who helped industrialize the Russian Empire, and Aleksandr Kerensky, head of the Provisional Government who was eventually forced into exile. (For the record, Witte is not a Russian name. If I remember correctly, Sergei Witte was a Baltic German.) And yes, I know this is a very small detail, but it’s the small details that really make the book.
Anyway, I would give Rules of Vengeance 4 out of 5 stars. It would have been 5 out of 5 if not for the previously-mentioned faux pas concerning names, and for a certain plot twist I do not wish to name, as it will spoil the entire story.
Oh, and concerning my jealousy of Christopher Reich: he is a dual Swiss-American citizen, he went to the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and he worked as an investment banker in Switzerland. I think that sounds so very fabulous and amazing.