Who has ever heard of Equatorial Myene? Certainly not David Trevellyan, an agent for the Royal Navy Intelligence. But people will hear of it soon, for there is a coup brewing in this tiny African country, and some vicious dissidents want to purchase a quantity of something called Spektra, a nasty gas that kills people in vile and hideous ways.
Trevellyan is back, this time on the treacherous streets of Chicago, having left behind a rather dicey situation in New York City. It will be a while before the authorities in the Big Apple forget Trevellyan --- or even allow him back into their fine city. He thought he would be going directly to the agency headquarters in London, but he’s been summoned to do a quick assignment before he leaves the States. And it sounds like this time he’s dealing with a traitor in their midst.
“There’s one word in navy intelligence that no one likes to speak out loud. Traitor. No one makes jokes on the subject. No one gossips about it. And on the rare occasion that one is unmasked, no one talks about it.” A traitor is the worst sort of scum, if you ask Trevellyan. He has dealt with several, and, if he does unmask this one, he will be certain to take care of him in a way that will leave no doubt about the man’s allegiance. And will leave him bearing the ultimate shame for all eternity.
This particular traitor has sold his soul to terrorists who want to get their hands on Spektra. He couldn’t resist; there was just too much money involved to turn them down. But Trevellyan cares about honor over money, and if the rumors of a revolution in Myene are true, the gas could annihilate a large percentage of its population. That by itself might be enough to tweak Trevellyan’s interest, and he knows, with a rogue in the midst of the Royal Navy Intelligence, that it’s bound to be an exciting job. He needs to stop the deal from going down and recover the gas. All of it, because it’s very nasty stuff. And where he finds it will leave you trembling.
Author Andrew Grant has created an irresistible protagonist in David Trevellyan. For starters, danger doesn’t faze him. It almost seems like he welcomes it. If not for danger, he quickly grows bored. And his approach to peril is somewhat cavalier; he almost dares his opponents to come get him. In fact, he can’t seem to keep himself from taunting them. Because of that attitude, nothing stands in his way when tackling thorny problems. In DIE TWICE, thorny problems are the order of the day. Just when Trevellyan thinks he has his hands on the gas canisters, they slip through his fingers. And chasing the elusive traitor gets him wondering: Has the man really gone to the wrong side?
The pacing is so fast in this thriller that you likely will be finished before you realize it. You can’t help but love any novel with David Trevellyan at the heart of it.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 29, 2010