If you pick up a Van Hamme book you’re guaranteed to get a smartly written thriller, whatever the genre he’s writing for. With Lady S it’s a contemporary mix of crime and espionage, suffused with twists and double-crosses.
Lady S, or Shania, is unwittingly thrown into the path of French Intelligence by her aggrieved father. Angry at the Russian scientist who procured his work, Shania’s father breaks cover and attempts to assassinate him at a global conference. It’s a dumb move that exposes the fact he’s still alive and puts his own daughter into danger. Compromised, Shania is forced to do the bidding of French Intelligence, posing as an envoy of the Russian mafia to a Corsican crime lord in an attempt to expose him. It’s a dangerous play, and one that almost instantly goes awry. The body count, inevitably, begins to mount, and Shania is caught in the middle of it all.
There are precious few female characters penned for this sort of role, usually reserved for macho, silent males. Van Hamme has a gift for taking the tropes of a genre and turning them on their heads, delivering surprises along the way. And let’s face it, those are the most entertaining stories.
Aymond brings the whole thing to life with a clean and detailed illustrative style that suits the adventurous narrative perfectly. Tense drama, action sequences and moments of reflection are given the weight they need to carry the emotion and the story forward.
If you’ve not discovered Van Hamme’s books yet there’s an outstanding wealth of stories to discover. Do take the trouble to pick one up.
And if you liked that: Book 7 on its way…