A New Must-Read: “Greco’s Game” By James Houston Turner

James Houston Turner and his Talanov series are definitely one of our favorites. The new book in his spy/thriller series "Greco's Game" was just released earlier this month and it's another wonderful read. What comes next is our take on this novel.

A Brief Summary:

Colonel Aleksandr Talanov — the "ice man" — is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can't, and it's an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experiences: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes. Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction. He  should have been killed, not her.  He was the one whose violent past would not leave them alone.  

Months tick by and Talanov hits rock bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he meets a hooker named Larisa, who drugs and robs him.But in the seedy world of prostitution and human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, this hooker made the big mistake of stealing the ice man's wallet. In it was Talanov's sole possession of value: his wedding photo. Talanov tracks Larisa down to get that photo because it reminds him of everything that should have been but never was, and never would be because an assassin's bullet had mistakenly killed his wife.

Or was it a mistake?

The answer lies in Greco's Game, a chess match played in 1619 that is famous for its Queen sacrifice and checkmate in only eight moves. In an unusual alliance, Talanov and Larisa team up to begin unraveling the mystery of what Talanov's old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?

Our Take:

Greco's Game is one the best books we have reviewed in 2012 and Talanov one of the most memorable characters we've come to know…

In contradiction to many spy thrillers, the hero of this book is a former KGB agent. We were very intrigued while reading this book as Turner is a true master of cliff hanger and the surprising comments at the end of each chapter made us turn the pages from beginning to the end, in one sitting.

Like previous work of Turner, this story also involves various spy agencies, bombings, shootings and car chasing. Overall, this is a must read story as it is not only entertaining but is also a work of style.

Our Rating: 5.0

Like Books By James Houston Turner?

We love Turner's thrillers and I think you will enjoy them too. You can check out the following picks from this author. Click on the images to go to Amazon page for each book.