Blog Tour: Red Corona by Tim Glister

It’s 1961 and the white heat of the Space Race is making the Cold War even colder.

Richard Knox is a secret agent in big trouble. He’s been hung out to dry by a traitor in MI5, and the only way to clear his name could destroy him.

Meanwhile in a secret Russian city, brilliant scientist Irina Valera makes a discovery that will change the world, and hand the KGB unimaginable power.

Desperate for a way back into MI5, Knox finds an unlikely ally in Abey Bennett, a CIA recruit who’s determined to prove herself whatever the cost…

As the age of global surveillance dawns, three powers will battle for dominance, and three people will fight to survive…

What I Thought:

Never fear! Red Corona is NOT about the pandemic. I for one don’t think I could stomach a novel about coronavirus quite this soon, but rest assured that if you pick up this book, you’ll be whisked away from “all this’ and into cold war-era London.

There’s something rotten at the heart of MI5 and Richard Knox is the man appointed to find out the truth, just as an important International conference – with lots of potential for snooping – is set to take place in London. But is Knox being double-crossed? Only a determined CIA recruit can help him find the answers to professional and personal questions…

Don’t you just love an honest-to-goodness spy novel? There are so many books written these days about modern threats to our country, but the cold war is still a rich seam to mine from. To continue my terrible analogy, Tim Glister has certainly mined deeply to create a vivid and detailed novel that will stand up against any of the best in the spy genre.

The 1960s period is often these days portrayed only for its positive points, so it’s great here to see the realities of a London that is still marked with bomb craters and MI5 still mired in the class system – Knox is looked down on for being an East-End orphan and not an old Etonian. Nostalgia is great, but taking the rose-tinted glasses off once in a while is a good thing!

What stuck out for me most in the book is that, while many novels of this genre are firmly set up as ‘the old boys club’, two of the most prominent characters of Red Corona are women – and intelligent, resourceful women at that! That’s great to see, and I felt that Adey Bennett would be good character to follow in a future novel. Her personal battles are being fought on several fronts – on gender lines and racial lines – but she is like a dog with a bone and I really took to her.

The most important part of Red Corona – the mystery – was excellent. There are several layers to it, involving poisoning, murder, unsanctioned operations and a potential conspiracy to the highest levels of MI5 but Knox first has to work out if his suspicions are true, or whether the chip on his shoulder is leading him towards the wrong conclusions. Finding out the answers leads to that most overused of phrases – a book I really couldn’t put down!

Red Corona is published by Point Blank Books.

For more information about Tim Glister, you can check out his website, or why not connect with him on Twitter?

This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the publication of Red Corona. For more reviews and exclusive content, why not check out the blogs listed here?

Please note: I was sent this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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