Title: Deceptive Cadence
Series: The Virtuosic Spy, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Guare
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Publication Date: March 11, 2016
From the author—
Meet Conor McBride. He’s even more interesting than the trouble he gets into. A talented Irish musician reluctantly reinvents himself, disappearing into an undercover identity to search for the man who ruined his career: his own brother. On a journey from the west of Ireland to the tumultuous city of Mumbai, Conor McBride’s only goal is to redeem the brother who betrayed him. But he’s becoming a virtuoso of a different kind in a dangerous game where the rules keep changing–and where the allies he trusted to help him may be the people he should fear the most.
Deceptive Cadence is a book that in itself is a bit deceptive, pun intended. Certainly you wouldn’t expect MI6 to recruit a musician/farmer to take on a bit of espionage, would you? The way they approach Conor is also odd, with a total stranger essentially making himself at home in Conor’s farmhouse and calling him “Conor” without any sort of introduction, not at all what I would expect from a British suit. It seems strange that MI6 would entrust what they consider a major operation to a civilian just because he’s the target’s brother.
Such oddities make this book appealing in its very peculiarity as it is clearly not your run of the mill spy thriller. In fact, I’m not sure I would call it a thriller because there is a good deal of introspection and backstory woven into the action scenes. That, again, is an element that separates Deceptive Cadence from the pack and perhaps makes it more interesting but the pace suffers for it. I anticipate a spy story to have a lot of excitement, chases, shoot-em-ups, etc., and those are present here but in a milder sort of way. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book; I just think it was a little too slowmoving for its subgenre.
Wayne Farrell is an excellent narrator with a pleasing tone and an ability to vocalize different characters in a way to make them clearly recognizable. In a way, his voice is also a little deceptive in that I would fall into a listening pattern and then, in seconds, the mood would change and that’s an effective way to tell a story. There were occasions when I found myself drifting but that was due to the pacing of the story, not the narrator.
All in all, Ms. Guare has come up with an interesting take on the old black ops tale with an exciting and dramatic ending. I’m curious now to see what happens with Conor as he continues his new career—there are two more books so far and I suspect I’m going to get hooked.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2017.
About the Author
Kathryn Guare lives in the Vermont town where she grew up, part of the third generation of her family to call the tiny capital city of Montpelier home. She spent ten years as an executive with a global health membership and advocacy organization, worked as a tour coordinator in a travel agency, and has traveled extensively in Europe and India. She has a passion for Classical music, all things Celtic, and loves exploring ethnic foods and diverse cultures. Her first novel, Deceptive Cadence was awarded the Audiobook Gold Medal in the Readers Favorite Awards.
About the Narrator
Internationally acclaimed voice actor Wayne Farrell began his professional career at The National Theatre of Ireland, where he met the legendary Irish seanachai Eamon Kelly and became fascinated with the art of storytelling. Using skills learned during this time, Farrell has worked extensively in both documentary and audiobook narration and is widely admired for the rich clarity and versatility of his voice. His credits include award-winning authors such as Donal Ryan, whose debut novel The Spinning Heart won The Guardian’s First Book Award as well as Irish Book of the Year; and New York Times and USA Today bestsellers such as Morgan Rice, author of the fantasy epic The Sorcerer’s Ring.
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