Morning, everyone! I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Adam LeBor's The Geneva Option today.
Yael Azoulay has made a name for herself with the UN by handling some of their toughest negotiations. Her latest job sends her to eastern Congo to negotiate with a warlord named Jean-Pierre Hakizimani, who has led a campaign of mass genocide against the Tutsi. The seriousness of his crimes is not in question, but his connection to the region and the availability of certain resources means that Hakizimani has a bargaining chip that will save his life. Upon her return, Yael discovers that a private correspondence outlining terms of the agreement, sent directly from her to her boss at the UN, has been leaked and is now front page news. The news means the end of Yael's career at the UN but also leaves her reputation in question and could possibly threaten her safety. As she wonders who could have leaked the info, she also becomes privy to some frightening and highly classified intel sent by an anonymous source, the ramifications of which are too serious to let go. But what can a now former UN staffer do, especially when some of the highest ranking people in the UN are implicated?
I often find that espionage thrillers can be broken down into three categories:
1. The type seem to require an advanced education in political science to understand. These are generally over my head and therefore almost impossible for me to enjoy.
2. The oversimplified sort of cookie cutter Mad Lib thrillers that can be in just about any setting and concern just about any subject - sometimes fun but never overly cerebral.
3. And those that fall in between. Smart and complex but not so much so that the average reader can't still grasp and enjoy the story.
Adam LeBor's The Geneva Option falls in that third category. It could, in all honesty, very easily fall in the first category but for the simple fact that LeBor spends what feels like an adequate (and appropriate since it doesn't really take away from the overall flow of the narrative) amount time explaining the UN and its functions, its various departments, and history that pertains to the story.
I loved the various cast of characters here - even beyond Yael who has a history that's intriguing and hopefully will come to the forefront more in future installments. Sami and Joe-Don, Najwa and the other peripheral reporters, and even poor Olivia flesh out the story in a great way. And that list doesn't even include most of the big bads mentioned throughout.
The Geneva Option is a smart espionage thriller and - I believe - the first in a new series!
To see what others on the tour though, check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Adam LeBor and his work, visit his official website here. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
As an added bonus, you can also download The Istanbul Exchange, a free Yael Azoulay e read from LeBor and HarperCollins, here. It's a short that includes an excerpt for The Geneva Option.