Monday, March 27, 2023

The Seine Vendetta - Ann Sterzinger

THE SEINE VENDETTA is a fine action/suspense novella by Ann Sterzinger set in Paris, as you’d expect from the title. The protagonist is Lisa LaRoche, an American woman who was deployed to Iraq as a Marine reservist and combat nurse. After a violent incident that left her with an unfair dishonorable discharge, she wound up in Paris where she married a Frenchman and they lived an idyllic life for a short time, before he was senselessly beaten to death by a gang of Muslim refugees, who are caught but given only two years in prison after being convicted of manslaughter. (All this is back-story and is revealed very early on, so I don’t consider it a spoiler.) Lisa descends into the bottle, tracks down a couple of the men responsible for her husband’s death after they get out of prison, and kills them. Even as a drunk, her skills at violence are still pretty good.

Then a British intelligence operative known as The Warlock shows up and offers her a job that will not only prevent a terrorist attack on Paris but also give her the chance to kill the other three men who beat her husband to death. All she has to do is stay sober . . .

The presence of The Warlock is a tip-off that this novella is connected to Jamie Mason’s novella THE NORTH ATLANTIC PROTOCOL and to CERTAIN FURY, a political thriller by Mason and Sean T. Smith that I plan to read soon. I read THE NORTH ATLANTIC PROTOCOL a couple of years ago and really liked it. THE SEINE VENDETTA is a bit of a slow burn at first as the characters and the setting are introduced, but Sterzinger’s writing is excellent and draws the reader on with no problem. Then when the action kicks in and the stakes of this supposedly simple mission get higher and higher, it moves at an absolutely breathless pace that I loved. I couldn’t read fast enough, I was so eager to find out what was going to happen.

In a world of too-fat thrillers, THE SEINE VENDETTA is the proverbial breath of fresh air. I had a great time reading it. It’s set up for a sequel, which I don’t think is written yet, but I hope it’ll be coming along soon. In the meantime, if you’re an action/adventure fan, I give THE SEINE VENDETTA a very high recommendation. It’s available as an e-book from Amazon and also on Kindle Unlimited.


Anonymous said...

Not a bad novel, but the author still has not written the promised sequel.

Lt. Lothar Zogg said...

Got it, read it and enjoyed it.

It reminds me of Mack Bolen style pulp, and I don't mean that in a bad way!