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Monday, 2 April 2018

‘The Exphoria Code’ by Anthony Johnston


Published by Lightning Books,
7 December 2017.
ISBN 9781785630613

Brigitte Sharp is a hacker with a goth background who works for MI6.  Following the death of a colleague on a mission, she has been experiencing PTSD and has been office-based, but her boss and, indeed, her therapist feel she is ready to go back to active service- she is not convinced. Then an on-line goth friend is found dead.   In her efforts to find out what happened to him, she decodes encrypted online messages which suggest that a mole is leaking information about a top-secret Anglo-French military drone project. She finds herself back in the field and her attempts to discover what is going on put her and her family in danger. 

A new spy novel is always welcome and it’s good to see a female protagonist.  Brigitte is an interesting character with an unusual background and impressive skills and the author writes convincingly about the goth underworld, hacking, drones, and technology in general.  The main story line moves at a good speed, mixing old-fashioned spy craft and modern technology, demonstrating the pace at which the world is changing.  By the end of the story Brigitte is being offered a potentially-leading role in a new task force, so anticipate more action.
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Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author include:  The Fuse, Daredevil, Julius

Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling graphic novelist, author, and games writer with more than fifty published titles. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel The Coldest City. His epic series Wasteland is one of only a handful of such longform achievements in comics. His first video game, Dead Space, redefined a genre.  Antony’s other books and graphic novels include The Exphoria Code, The Fuse, Daredevil, Julius, the Alex Rider graphic novels, Dead Space transmedia comics, and the adaptation of Alan Moore's 'lost screenplay' Fashion Beast.  His video games include Shadow of Mordor, Blackwood Crossing, The Assembly, Dead Space Extraction, Zombiu, and more.  He lives and works in England.
  
Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.




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