Penny Kessler, a young intern at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, is wanted by both the CIA and Turkish forces after a viral photograph of her at the scene of a terrorist attack turns her into an unwitting pawn in international gamesmanship.
Ms. Thomas, an American who has studied in Turkey, does local color well and danger sequences even better. As Penny and Connor go off the grid and into the terrorist underground in search of Zach, Liar’s Candle blends the infinity-of-mirrors intrigue of an espionage page-turner with the thrills of an adventure movie. And who could resist the appeal of a determined heroine who, when challenged with 'The guards up there have semiautomatics. What have we got?' answers: 'Nothing to lose.'
August Thomas, using vibrant descriptions and careful wording, takes readers into Turkey from the comfort of their reading chair. Her careful attention to detail really does place the reader in theater with Penny, creating a level of excitement but also making the story more tension-filled ... Parts of the plot might seem a tad over-the-top at times, but Thomas does a terrific job reigning things back in, and her strong prose is enough to persuade any reader to suspend their disbelief for the sake of the story ... exciting, complex and full of intrigue.
Thomas weaves together disparate strands of intrigue as the State Department and CIA battle it out to discover the identity of the bomber and the motive behind the attack ... As the story bounces between Langley, D.C., and Ankara, the languages of spies, statesmen, and everyday Turks are peppered throughout this political thriller with a street-level view of modern Turkey.