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Just for a change (and in support of a few authors whose work I have been enjoying) I thought that I’d post a review a day for a week. Hopefully something might take your fancy!

Don’t Fear the Reaper by Andrew S French

‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ is a well-paced, exciting and engaging mystery-thriller which takes the reader into a world of murky, dangerous and hidden government agencies. Original and skillfully written it is full of the grit that one might expect without the glamour that is so often portrayed elsewhere. Yes, there are several references made to cities more ‘associated’ with espionage and subversive activities such as Berlin, Prague and Vienna, but most of the action takes place in and around London and the (unassuming) South and South-East of England. And this results in the story being both more realistic and more relatable.
An intriguing opening introduces the reader to the lead character who is, refreshingly, female. Astrid is a strong, but ultimately flawed, woman whose backstory is unveiled in a series of flashback memories. It is, indeed, these flaws that engage the reader and give her character depth and realism in what is (action aside) a very character-led story.
The story itself is complex but not complicated and, as it progressed, I found myself being more and more drawn in by it. It is full of twists and turns (some of them unexpected) right up until its gripping conclusion, where the reader is left wanting more – fitting, really, as this is the first of a series of books featuring the protagonist. 
One feature of this book which I think French employs with particular success is the use of double narrative: the bulk of the writing carries the story in the third person, but a second narrator (the antagonist) tell events from their perspective which adds an extra level of interest.
Oh, and did I mention the great musical references that run through the story?
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys not only thrillers and mystery stories but also readers with a penchant for stories featuring a strong female lead