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Review of Dirty Deals by D.D. Marks

August 17, 2013

Review of Dirty Deals by D.D. Marks

Firstly let me say that Dirty Deals is somewhat outside of my normal sphere of reading; a female agent, in the employ of a covert organisation, who will use every ‘asset’ at her disposal to get the job done. However, now that I’ve finished this, the first in the Olesia Anderson series by D.D. Marks, I have to say that said reading sphere needs expanding.

From the outset the magnetic characters, both heroes and villains, are drawn out expertly and I found myself immediately attached to their torments. In fact, I was so drawn to the development of the main players that I didn’t notice the plot sneaking up on me, which in a nutshell comprises some stolen military files and the shadowy identity of the culprits, a mysterious criminal organisation called Zero Error and a host of characters, none of whom are what they seem. There’s a nice little twist in the end but I won’t say anything more on that!

The technical content is very competently handled – there’s all the software (and military hardware) you could want in a novella, but it’s dished out in such a way as to be comprehensive to even the most IT-inept of us (yes, that’s me).

But never mind all that; here is a story that will pick you up from the first line and hold your attention till the last, with some hilarious spikes along the way. In particular the line, ‘Rostam, your ass is mine’, which, taken in context, is a laugh out loud moment (trust me). The protagonist, Olesia Anderson, is compellingly flawed in much the same way as a female James Bond might be (I know, I can see I’m not the first to draw that comparison). And I’m talking about the character in the books, with all the gritty failings and scars, as opposed to the too-cool, suave spy of the silver screen. Some might label Olesia as a whore, a slut, a tramp, but that really is an insult to female fiction characters, because she goes no further in her methods than the aforementioned hero in Ian Fleming’s works. That’s about as far as you can go with the comparisons though: D.D. Marks’s writing is modern, sharp, witty, and, within the bounds of my bookshelf at least, original. If you like techno thrillers, spy thrillers, military conspiracy, shady government stuff, you’ll like Dirty Deals, but to be honest, even if you don’t – you’ll probably still like this book.

I’ll be reading the next instalment very soon!

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