This is fascinating stuff, with obvious connections to the headlines of the day, but all the keyboard pounding by Eliot and others gets a bit abstruse; still, there is a dynamite finale, in which bytes morph into bombs, and a tragic love story in which the lovers, like so many spies before them, can’t come in from the cold.
Harris, acclaimed for detective thrillers...makes a masterful entry into spy fiction. This may be the deepest a contemporary spy novel has penetrated the cold new world of dark web intelligence and cellphone surveillance and the intellectual as well as pragmatic life of a spook ... At the same time, the frozen landscape asserts itself in a profound way, never more than when Kane is speeding across the salt flats on his way to the worst possible dead end. There's a lot to absorb in this book of many names and associations, but the reader's commitment is amply rewarded ... An absorbing, superbly written novel likely to stand as one of the best spy novels of the year.
...dark, convoluted... Stunning bursts of violence, restrained glimpses into the world of spycraft, and lean, savvy dialogue, however, are all too often lost amid complex plot twists and an ever-increasing cast. A deflating ending doesn’t help. Still, Harris shows enough potential to suggest he can more than hold his own in the espionage genre.