Subterfuge finds Maggie and her team hunting a Russian crime boss who took a contract out on her two years ago. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Maggie is given the unique opportunity to assassinate the very person who ordered her death two years ago. Valdev Belevich, the Russian crime boss, has never seen Maggie, which gives her an advantage. Still, because of the nature of casinos, the criminal element they attract, and facial recognition software, she must change her physical appearance as much as possible. The team is acutely aware the longer this mission takes, the longer Maggie is in danger of being recognized. Shep’s government contact told him the mission is not an option, it is a demand and they don’t want to know details. For Maggie, this is a personal job. Not only was she Belevich’s target two years ago, a hit he believes was successful, but he is the last link to the murder of a loved one. She is seeking revenge. It isn’t long upon the team’s arrival that Maggie finds the mission is more intricate than originally thought. It turns into a life changing event for her and Shep.
Maggie continues to be an intriguing character. What were some new angles you wanted to explore about her character in this book?
At 26, Maggie is now an adult and the mother of two children. Prior to this mission, she had re-enrolled at a university to finish her music degree. Her life is going in a positive direction until the assassination orders come down from Shep’s government contact and she must rejoin the team to go undercover. I wanted readers to see more of Maggie’s fragile side in this book. She has been through tremendous trauma in the previous books which were never fully resolved. As a black ops assassin, Maggie could always get through a mission with emotions in check. Because of the personal nature of this assignment and her driving need for revenge, it takes a toll on her emotionally. I wanted readers to see what happens when Maggie’s two worlds collide and how she copes with it.
The team go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Why did you choose this location for your novel?
By locating the casino near Oviedo, in Northern Spain, it adds an extra level of stress and melancholy for Maggie. Her mother’s birthplace, Malaga, in Southern Spain, is where Maggie found her extended family and where she lived for over a year and a half. Because she and her team brought down the Brotherhood, she had to cut all contact with her mother’s family. It also creates another level of danger for her being back in Spain, a country that is no longer welcoming to her. From a logistic standpoint, it made sense geographically for Belevich’s drug route to pass through the Oviedo area on its way to the Bay of Biscay. This ties him to the largest criminal family in Spain, the head of which resides in Oviedo.
What can readers expect in book five in the Magdalena series?
Without giving away the ending to Subterfuge, Maggie encounters a man more evil and more dangerous than any previous foe. He is relentless and it will not be easy for her or Shep to escape him. Book five will find Maggie pitted against him. What he wants from her and what she discovers will be at the center of the plot.
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.
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
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
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.
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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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Tags: action, action fiction, author, book, book review, book trailer, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, shannon condon, spiders web, story, suspense, technothriller, thriller, trailer, writer, writing