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The Coil is Gayle Lynds fourth solo novel (she has also written three others with Robert Ludlum). The Coil is the sequel to Masquerade and features Liz Sansborough as the protagonist. This novel takes place approximately five years after Masquerade , and Liz Sansborough is now a college professor teaching out in California. She is a former CIA agent who was deemed far too compromised as an agent to ever be allowed to return. Liz is the daughter of the notorious assassin, The Carnivore, and it is because of this connection that she was unable to return to the CIA.

Liz teaches a course on the psychology of violence and now views violence as one of the great evils of society and that violence should be avoided at all costs, even in self defense. This is who Liz is, but the novel opens with Liz s friend, Sarah Walker, being kidnapped while on vacation and Sarah s husband being shot during the kidnapping. The kidnapper tells Asher (Sarah s husband) to get The Carnivore s files. At the same time this is happening, Liz is attacked and almost killed when she is out running. Liz is eventually contacted by the CIA to help them find her father s files and to save Sarah. This pushes Liz across two continents in a race to find the files before the kidnappers and to rescue Sarah Walker.

The first thing that I appreciated about this novel is that it wasn t necessary to have read Masquerade to understand who Liz Sansborough is or what is going on. Gayle Lynds does an excellent job in setting up the story that all the necessary background is provided in a way that does not feel like it is just dropped into the novel in a big chunk. Rather, the background info is revealed to us in bits and pieces in such a manner that it is appropriate to the story that is being told. Another thing that I liked was how fast paced the story was. I have not read many espionage novels, but the image of what they were like was dispelled by The Coil . This story moved! There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, and I was never entirely sure where the story was going. Lynds also kept the body count high enough that I didn t know who was going to live and who was going to die, and this kept up the tension and suspense. Not having read any of Gayle Lynds work, I had no idea what to expect going into The Coil. I was pleasantly surprised. One of the higher compliments I can give is by saying that The Coil was good enough that it made me want to read her other novels (specifically Masquerade ).


This is the novel that the author had the kindness to mail me a copy of. Unfortunately, as "The Coil" will not be published until April, is not accepting any reviews of the book until that time. :(