Friday, July 17, 2020

"The Malleville Conspiracy" by H. L. Roethle

This was a fast-paced spy story, quite a change of pace from the classics and hard-boiled mysteries I've been reading a lot of lately.  It's H. L. Roethle's debut novel, and a nice first effort.  Imagine a teen joining the Mission: Impossible gang, but also imagine they're all Christians.  And very nerdy, prone to referencing every imaginable nerdy fandom at some point.  And also baroque music.

Its premise is fun, if a credulity-stretcher: an 18-yr-old gets to join a secret spy organization because his uncle is the head of it.  He then gets into various scrapes, helps out a bit here and there, and the adults wisely leave him home when it comes time for the big finale.  That last was sensible and realistic, though I did come away feeling a bit like, if I was going to suspend my disbelief for the rest of the book anyway, they might as well have full-on let him do the dangerous stuff too.

I definitely enjoyed the interaction between the characters, and I thought the action scenes read very smoothly.  I have some issues with some of the theology presented, as so often happens when I read Christian fiction, which is part of why I often shy away from it.  However, that didn't detract enough to change my enjoyment level, so it wasn't a huge issue.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for violence and scenes of peril.

This is my 25th book read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2020.

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