There is a feeling readers get when they know they are in the hands of one of their favorite consummate storytellers. It is a bond built on trust influenced by past success. So even if the current novel is quite different from what has come before, the end result of a satisfying reading experience is practically guaranteed. This is what fans will find when they open The Spy Coast, Tess Gerritsen’s latest novel—the launch of “The Martini Club” series. While it does not feature her beloved heroines Rizzoli and Isles or feature a plot that centers around the medical community Gerritsen knows so well, at it’s core The Spy Coast is every bit as gripping and unforgettable as anything she has written before—it will surely please her fanbase, while also bringing new readers into the fold.

As the title implies, The Spy Coast is very much an espionage novel, but in a way that only Tess Gerritsen could have imagined. Like Mick Herron has done with his “Slough House” novels, Tess Gerritsen manages to make the spy genre vital and unpredictable once again.

The small seaside village of Purity, Maine has organically become a haven for retired government employees—specifically former spies. But when the past arrives in their tranquil refuge, these retirees are more than ready to prove they still have the skills needed to see that justice is served. Maggie Bird is the most recent resident to Purity. While she can never forget her past, a few years in this quaint town have allowed her to regain some sense of normalcy. That is until the body of an unknown woman turns up in her driveway. This is the moment Maggie has been dreading—the moment when her past catches up with her.

Her neighbors—some of whom are also former spies—jump in to help Maggie, but doing so requires that she open up doors she’s not sure she is ready to explore. This structure allows Tess Gerritsen to present some extended flashback sequences which depict Maggie in the midst of a covert operation that takes her from Bangkok to London and Malta. It is through these memories that readers truly bond with Maggie and as Gerritsen weaves in the present-day action, the tension starts to increase to the point that Maggie’s life is literally in imminent danger.

Meanwhile, local acting police chief Jo Thibodeau is looking to make a name for herself and feels that this unusual murder case could be her ticket to permanent employment. But with the elderly residents of Purity seemingly always one step ahead of her, Thibodeau begins to suspect there is more going on under the surface—not only in this particular murder investigation, but in the lives of her constituents. Can she convince Maggie to open up to her in time to prevent another tragedy?

The Spy Coast reads at a swift pace. The romance between Maggie Bird and Danny Gallagher is the perfect blend of a rom-com and Mission Impossible—familiar and yet fresh. Each exotic location is brought to life with just enough detail without overcrowding the reader’s mind with unnecessary information. And the group of retired spies is varied enough to keep things interesting, but also leaves much room for further expansion as the series proceeds.

Readers will reach the exciting conclusion hoping for another book in the series very soon. The Spy Coast resolves the core case but leaves plenty of dangling threads to fuel The Martini Club for several more globetrotting adventures. No question about it, Tess Gerritsen knows how to tell a compelling story with characters readers are happy to invest in and The Spy Coast is exhibit A.

BUY LINKS: The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen

Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.