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This, however, comes with repercussions

Shannon Condon Author Interview

Spider’s Web follows Maggie as she reenters the field and finds that enemies from her past have caught up with her. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting novel?

Three years ago, in The Brotherhood, Maggie went undercover enabling her team to bring down an international clandestine organization. When the criminal syndicate imploded, some of the world’s most dangerous men lost everything. This put a permanent target on Maggie’s back. She was severely injured trying to capture the head of the Brotherhood. After three years in hiding, Maggie has developed a false sense of security and is ready to get back into action. She has an overwhelming need to prove herself. It becomes unbearable for her to be in the safety of the team’s basement office, running logistics, while the rest of her team is out on missions and in harm’s way without her. Particularly, when the team contains Maggie’s husband and adopted father, Shep. She soon learns her enemies have a long memory and have been searching for her while she’s been off the grid.

Maggie is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

In the first book of the series, Finding Magdalena, Maggie is fifteen when both her parents die in a car accident, making her an orphan. Maggie begins to suffer anxiety and panic attacks which continue into adulthood. With the loss of her family, she must find a way to cope and move on. She has no control over her life, so she seeks to control the only thing she can-herself. Maggie pushes herself to excel at everything she does. If she can keep her life orderly and stay busy, she can lock her problems away in little rooms in her mind. As she gets older, her best friend Graham’s stepfather, Shep, offers her a position on his black ops team. With her precision and drive to succeed, Maggie is soon fully ensconced as a trained assassin. She can separate her professional life from her growing family life. This, however, comes with repercussions. Maggie at times struggles with her anxiety, religion, her young family and what her parents would think of her career choice. In professional mode, she is on point but when she returns home, her actions haunt her.

I enjoyed all the twists and turns in this novel. Was this planned before writing or did it develop while writing?

The answer is both! I begin with an outline in my head of all the key moments in the book. Once I begin writing, some ideas seem superfluous or obvious and new ideas come to mind. I find the characters themselves also drive the story. With this being the third book in the Magdalena series, the characters are well developed and intertwined. It seemed natural, after years of unanswered questions that Maggie, left to her own devices, would start to fit the pieces of her life’s puzzle together, creating new twists and turns.

This is the third book in the Magdalena Series. What can readers expect in book four?

Subterfuge (Magdalena #4) again finds Maggie and her team undercover. This time Maggie is hunting a Russian crime boss who previously had a contract on her life. Along with a mission that has enough twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of his seat, this is a pivotal point in Maggie’s character development. She is now twenty-six and her missions are taking a deeper toll on her psyche. The black ops world and her enemies have a firm grip on her but the price she is paying is rising.

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Another ghost returns when Maggie and her team are ordered to assassinate Russian crime boss Valdev Belevich, the man who took out a contract on Maggie’s life nearly two years ago. The team must go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Once there, the landscape quickly changes, and Maggie finds herself making a promise she should never keep.

Subterfuge

Subterfuge (The Magdalena Series Book 4) by [Shannon Condon]

Subterfuge, by Shannon Condon, the fourth book in her action thriller series, is a story about deceit and betrayal. It is the story about Magdalena, a member of a black ops unit, who together with her team, is on an assignment to assassinate a Russian crime lord. However, soon they realize they are working for the enemy, and it is not a government contract as they were led to believe.

The narration is straightforward yet sufficiently descriptive to create vivid imagery. The author takes you on a visual journey with the characters and whatever they are doing. Also, I felt that there was a good balance between narration and dialogue between the characters. So, you get to see what they are saying and the emotions they are expressing while saying it.

The story is engaging and fast paced, with each chapter ending in some kind of suspense that will nudge you to read the next. A good author knows when, and how, to end a chapter.

What I liked most about the book is just when you think everything is going well, the author surprises you with an unexpected twist to the plot. At first, everything goes according to plan, almost too perfect. But this is a story about deception, so nothing is really as it seems.

Another thing I liked about this book is that you need not have read the other three that precede it in the series to understand it. The author provides flashbacks to help you understand the series arc in summary and gives a bit of background to each character. The interpersonal relationships between the characters also make the book much more enjoyable.

Subterfuge is a fast-paced story with twists that are rarely, if ever, expected. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Pages: 164 | ASIN: B08D3VB9HS

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Spider’s Web

Spider's Web (Magdalena Series Book 3) by [Shannon Condon]

The third book in Shannon Condon’s popular Magdalena series, Spider’s Web follows the titular character Maggie and her team of special ops, as they take on new missions from the safety of the Grid. Three years have passed since Maggie’s near fatal injury, but the memories and the scars still haunt her. Unfulfilled and depressed at home, Maggie is determined to reenter the field, whatever the cost. But she’s unsure of who to trust, and equally as unsure of the real world she’s kept herself away from. Before she even has time to plan her next move, Maggie finds herself kidnapped by an unknown foe while on holiday. With old enemies lurking at every turn, will she ever be able to escape the deadly web of her own making?

With plenty of twists, turns, and double crosses that will keep any reader guessing, Spider’s Web is a fast paced novel, part spy thriller, part crime fiction, and part character-driven drama. There’s enough action and adventure to keep mystery enthusiasts happy, and enough turmoil to keep contemporary fiction readers turning the pages. As much about Maggie as it is her kidnapping and the odyssey that follows, the Magdalena series’ third chapter proves Condon’s ability to entertain and enthrall, drawing us into the characters and the world she’s created. 

Peripherally, Spider’s Web is a spy thriller, but Maggie is the core of the story. We learn more about her past, her family, and how all the pieces come together for her. Described as female James Bond, Maggie is an intriguing and complex character, whose hardened interior hides a soft, vulnerable core. Whether her anxieties and her panic attacks humanize her or isolate her, depends very much on the reader. For those that like their characters well rounded, if not flawed, Maggie will be a welcome relief from stock action heroes. But those uninterested in bouts of melancholic wallowing, may find that the heavy dialogue bogs down the storytelling at times. Less of a flaw than a marmite situation, Maggie makes or breaks the work, depending on which side of the fence you sit on. 

Spider’s Web contains an involving story and some fine writing that is a satisfying read.

Pages: 406 | ASIN: B089QKY87S

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Subterfuge – Trailer

Another ghost returns when Maggie and her team are ordered to assassinate Russian crime boss Valdev Belevich, the man who took out a contract on Maggie’s life nearly two years ago. The team must go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Once there, the landscape quickly changes, and Maggie finds herself making a promise she should never keep.

Buy Now From B&N.com

Spider’s Web – Trailer

Over three years have passed since Maggie’s near fatal injury. She is restless running the team’s special ops missions from the safety of the Grid. No sooner does she re-enter the real world when her past finds her. In an instant, Maggie’s life is forever changed. Unsure who to trust, Maggie tries to navigate her new reality. Will she be able to choose her future, or will she remain trapped in the web of enemies she created?

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