Member Reviews

Another great book from Tess Gerritsen centred around former CIA operative Maggie Bird. This story appears to be an excellent start to a brilliant series of books!

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Purity, a small seaside village in Maine, is home to a group of retired CIA agents including Maggie Bird, who has been enjoying a quiet life with her chickens following a long career that ended with a mission gone wrong. She, as well as several other former agents, are thrust back into an old operation when a dead body turns up on Maggie’s driveway. Complicating matters is Jo Thibodeau, Purity’s acting police chief, who is unused to homicide investigations and cannot understand why the group won’t answer her questions but seems to know more than she does about the murder. The maturity of the well-developed characters as well as the spy aspects of the tale combine to make The Spy Coast a standout. This is the start of a series, and I am eagerly awaiting book 2.

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This was a very enjoyable start to a new series. I liked and cared about Maggie and her friends and neighbors. The story moved along at a good pace and was very intriguing moving back and forth between past and present. I will definitely read the next book in the series.

The audiobook book narrators did a great job.

**Thanks to the author and publisher for the e-ARC I received via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I also listened to the audiobook from Audible.**

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I enjoyed The Spy Coast very much and invited Ms. Gerritsen for an interview on my podcast. She came by, we had a great talk, and I used the book as an occasion to go through some of her earlier titles. It was great to pick apart her development as an author, and Spy Coast marks a culmination of some of her sharpest talents: swift pacing, intrigue, and action.

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The Spy Coast was a great with a plot that is brilliantly paced. This book is about a former spy Maggie Bird who came to a seaside village in Purity Maine and is eager to put the past behind her after a mission went wrong. The author wrote this book so well with great characters and one that had me turning pages till the end. I highly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend this book to others especially if you love a good spy book. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this book in exchange of my honest review of The Spy Coast.

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I enjoyed this story of retired spies and lots of intrigue. I felt it was a little slow in the first chapters but I had a hard time putting the book down by the middle of the book. I loved Maggie and her friends in the Martini Club. I liked Jo. I enjoyed the action.

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What a great book! What's not to like about a group of retired spies coming together when one's past comes to find her? The story alternates between the present and the past as Maggie Bird tries to figure out who or what from her past is disrupting her quiet life. The plot moves along with plenty of twists and turns, and I loved the relationship between the retired spies. I'm glad to know there's at least one other book planned for this series.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #Thomas&Mercer for a free copy of #TheSpyCoast by Tess Gerritsen. All opinions are my own.

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I have been a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen for years, since reading The Surgeon, her first Rizzoli and Isles' book back in 2001. When I saw that she was starting a new series about retired spies working with a local police detective, I jumped on it. This was such a great book. It is a spy thriller in the sense that the murders occurring in the present are tied to a case from years ago, a mystery to determine who and why the killings are happening, a story of friendship as well as grief and remorse. Former spy Maggie Bird is living in the small town of Purity, Maine, along with a few others she worked with. They have formed a group of friends trying to live happily in their retirement. When Maggie is visited by a young woman asking for her help to find a former operative, Maggie refuses and the woman turns up dead in her driveway. Maggie is next on the killer's list, so she takes to the offensive to try and find the woman they were originally looking for. This takes us back to Maggie's story of a romance and cases she worked for the CIA. She is sure she knows which case has put her on a killer's radar, but can she figure out who is after her before anymore people, including herself, end up dead.

This was a great story, with lots of twists and suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know what happened to her husband, if they caught the Russian they had been after years ago, and who had resurfaced to try and kill them all. Her group of friends, calling themselves "The Martini Club” were like a found family. They spent time together and trying to dispel boredom, came out of retirement (unofficially) to help Maggie. Purity’s acting police chief, Jo Thibodeau, is also on the case and she is a smart cookie. It doesn't take her long to figure out that this group of retirees is more than they seem. She does get frustrated when they find things before she does. I chuckled when she came into their group dinner and asked "Who are you people" in exasperation. Although this is a dual timeline story, it meshed together so well, that both storylines grabbed me equally. If you enjoy a good mystery, thriller and spy story, then I definitely recommend The Spy Coast. I am already looking forward to the next book in this series. I did a read/listen, and loved the audiobook narrated by two of my favourites, Hillary Huber and Brittany Pressley. They brought this story to life with great voices, expression, tone and pacing. If you enjoy this format, I recommend you give the audiobook a try.

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4.5 stars rounded up.

This was such a fun read! Which might seem a weird thing to say about a thriller taking place in the world of espionage where people are killed left and right, sometimes heartbreakingly so, but let‘s just say there were definitely some „Thursday Murder Club“ vibes that made this thoroughly enjoyable.

As for the - very well-written - story, which I devoured in a day: gang of retired CIA agents who all ended up in the same quiet Maine town gets back to business when one of their own‘s past shows up on their doorstep, followed by a dead body shortly after.

Which is really quite intriguing, and the book moves along nicely. The only thing that dragged a bit was the very drawn-out backstory / love story, which felt very sweet and authentic at first and suddenly very contrived (for one thing, Maggie said yes wholeheartedly, yet seems to doubt even her own motives, not to mention her relationship, in hindsight, which felt inorganic and out of character). Finally, the conclusion to the whole story was not entirely surprising, but satisfying enough.

The real highlight, though, was the dynamic between the five former agents. The underestimated elderly - and their squabbles with the also highly competent chief of police - were endearing and sometimes lough-out-loud funny. Kudos to the author for choosing unlikely heroes as her protagonists. I would love to read more about their adventures!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I was not able to finish the book and therefore do not feel that I can give an unbiased review about the book, its plot, characters, or the author's work. I might revisit this book at a later time and finish it then, but not right now.

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Ebook/Thriller/DND: I got 75% through and didn't want to open the book again. I have read this plot before, some better, some worse, about a retire 007 living off the grid and "the agency" trying to suck the person back in.
The book is well written and the characters are okay. The setting is somewhat believable. The plot was the issue.

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This book was amazing!!!! I absolutely fell in love with all of these characters!! There definitely has to be more coming from The Martini club!! Or there should be! This was the absolute best mystery I've read this year! If you love the Thursday Murder Club then this is the book for you!!!! 6 out of 5 stars of I could!!
I just reviewed The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen. #TheSpyCoast #NetGalley
[NetGalley URL]

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For Maggie Bird, retired life is about keeping her chickens safe. A far cry from what she used to do for a living.

See Maggie is one of a handful of retired CIA agents who now call the small town of Purity, Maine home. But her quiet retirement is about to come falling down around her.

A woman has shown up telling Maggie that a fellow operative has gone missing. What's more, details of an op they worked together have been leaked. Which means Maggie's cover has been leaked. Later that same day, the woman is found murdered in Maggie's drive.

Now Maggie will have to try and figure out who's behind it all, with the help of her fellow retirees. But as they run their own internal investigation, the local sheriff's department is also on the case. And sitting Sheriff Jo Thibodeau is starting to think there's something fishy about her town's newest residents.

This first in a new series from Gerritsen is a bit of a change from her longtime Rizzoli and Isles series. And it is exceptional!

The Spy Coast introduces readers to Maggie Bird. And boy has she led a fascinating life!

While on vacation in Bangkok, decades ago, Maggie met and fell in love with Danny. A doctor traveling overseas, he's doing one last grand tour before returning to the UK where a steady job will offer him a chance to help his mother.

But what begins as a benign, everyday life experience—meeting and falling in love—kicks a series of events into motion that has repercussions way down the line.

A retired spy offers, I think, so many story possibilities! Not only do I hope we'll get more adventures from Maggie and her cohorts, but I absolutely love the idea of main characters outside the "normal" range we see. I was immediately drawn to this story simply because of the premise of following a former spy in their sixties! (And of course because it was Tess Gerritsen.)

The Spy Coast is a new favorite for me! I hope we get more of The Martini Club and would LOVE to see this get picked up for adaptation as well! Give me more!

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A more serious group of seniors than those in The Thursday Murder Club series. It’s refreshing to see that one is not considered mentally incompetent just because they are 60+. Every thing I like in a thriller book is here. Likable characters and a plot that keeps moving. I would be open to this being a series. Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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A pitch-perfect spy thriller - so well-written, evocative, and gripping that this reader could literally not put it down. (My first by this very prolific author, and I cannot wait to read more).

The epitome of “spook” fiction - with all the undercover terror, subterfuge, violence, duplicity, and psychopathy one would expect - think John Le Carre, but with spies made more homey, emotionally-relatable and reader accessible. For these spies are like us, (sort of),in that they are real people in their sixties and seventies, Americans, retired, living in bucolic northern Maine - and the kind of folks who could very well be your neighbors.

“Five old spies with five lifetimes worth of experience”, - our main protagonists are drawn together by a shared past with the “Agency”, and a now redirected future whose predictability can no longer be assumed.

Maggie Bird, (aka Margaret Porter), our first-person POV narrator, at sixty years old, is the youngest of the group and the true star of this story - an aging, battle-scarred, action-oriented woman, still grieving a past burdened with dark secrets the reader will gradually come to understand. Maggie is the kind of woman - unassuming, straightforward, potentially deadly - you would want to have firmly in your camp, no matter the quandary. Yet Maggie is also fallible, vulnerable, (emotionally and physically) and is clearly suffering deeply from some buried and now re-emerging trauma. It is these characteristics that make the reader fear for her, (fear with her), as she encounters a shadowy enemy from her past and the first (of many) new and horrific murders.

As Maggie becomes a victim of an old plot, resurfaced, it will take the entire team (the help of Maggie’s incredibly competent old-time colleagues, along with a solid effort from the wonderfully earnest acting-Police-Chief Jo Thibodeau) to figure out what is happening and help Maggie emerge unscathed. (Or at least, only somewhat scathed).

As Maggie’s story unfolds across timelines, past and present, and locations spanning Maine, Turkey, Malta, Bangkok and London, a fast-paced and very visceral journey, with terror and twists (and including a heart-tugging love story, ) ensues, laying down a track of pure tension that does not let up until the final dramatic (and very satisfying) ending.

With characters and a literary setup this wonderful, what a joy to see this is to be the first in a series.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of the book. All thoughts presented are my own.

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Fabulous new spy thriller set in a small coastal town in Maine. Multiple points-of-view and a dual timeline kept me engaged - I binged this book in two days. Book 2 comes out in March 2025, and if the author and publisher could speed up that timeline, that would be helpful, thank you very much.

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I had read a few of Tess Gerritsen’s books early in her career. I’m not sure why I didn’t continue, unless it was due to other shiny books attracting me. But wow! I’m so glad I got to read this one!

The idea of Maggie and her friends retiring to a small town in Maine after their careers working for Uncle Sam is interesting, and so is the author’s explanation that this is a real occurrence in her own Maine town. The way the writer moved the story back and forth in time was so effective, and Maggie gave us just enough information to wonder (and also hope) about what the final outcome might be. I loved the descriptions of Turkey and Bangkok! It never occurred to me that the former might be beautiful, but she made it come alive in my mind.

The characters of Bella and Callie were used in the best way, to allow us to get to know more about Maggie and see her softer side. I’m wondering if the door is left open for another story about The Martini Club? even for one or two of the others? Only the writer knows.

Bravo to Ms Gerritsen for a winner! My thanks to the author, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley for the digital ARC of this book. My review is voluntary.

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I love tess books and have read most of her previous ones. I think this is gonna make a very good series. Especially with a few characters that are hiding who they really are even though they help each other out in the book club lol due to there past careers. Can not wait for more to come from this series. Such a good read.

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I received this book from netgalley for an honest review.

I have enjoyed other books by Tess Gerritsen so when I got approved for this book I was excited. It was quite different to her usual thrillers. I still enjoyed it though. It was a little bit confusing with flipping back from past and present but that's a personal preference really. I would definitely carry on with the series.

4 stars

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When a body appears in the driveway of a CIA retiree in small-town Maine, former operative Maggie Bird and her fellow former spies join forces to solve the murder while trying to stay out of the way of the local police's investigation.

The Maine setting is evocative, the writing is excellent, and the storyline intriguing in this mystery book that I'd describe as The Thursday Murder Club meets Killers of a Certain Age. The characters are interesting and the plot fresh enough to keep the reader turning the pages. Recommended for all mystery readers

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