The Exphoria Code

Written by Antony Johnston

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


The Exphoria Code
Lightning Books
RRP: £8.99
Released: December 14 2017
PBK

The murder of a man (found floating in the Thames) is linked to Exphoria, an Anglo/French defence project. Tasked with uncovering a mole who may have leaked vital information to a hostile power cyber expert and former MI6 field agent Brigitte Sharp must confront dangers in both the real and virtual worlds to prevent a terror attack on London.

Anthony Johnston’s novel is one that could help to redefine the espionage thriller as a literary genre. All the familiar elements are present and correct; including action ranging across more than one continent and a McGuffin for the characters to chase after.

He adds to this twenty-first century concerns such as artificial intelligence, the possibility of drones being used to mount a terrorist attack and the dangers lurking in the outer reaches of the internet. Added to this is an interesting depiction of the role of a secret service that isn’t really secret anymore and is forever playing catch up as the enemies (it is supposed to be protecting us from) mutate faster than bacteria.

In Brigitte Sharp, he has created the perfect, if reluctant, spy for this troubled modern age. Though undeniably ballsy she is no invincible Bond style stereotype. Instead she is a flawed and frequently vulnerable human being thrown into extreme situations from which she emerges with physical and mental scars.

 

Like Mick Herron’s books about Jackson Lamb and his team of slow horses this first in a projected series of novels moves the spy story into new territory. Dumping along the way the baggage of cliché in favour of a grittier and more troubling realism.



Home
Book Reviews
Features
Interviews
News
Columns
Authors
Competitions
Blog
Shop
About Us
Contact Us

Privacy Policy | Contact Shots Editor

THIS WEBSITE IS © SHOTS COLLECTIVE. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED ELECTRONICALLY EITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE EDITOR.