The Conspirators by G. W. Shaw [8/10]

Young Jacob Meaney, the reluctant hero of “The Conspirators,” is a quiet, smart multilingual translator, keen for a dollar because his girlfriend has issued an ultimatum, so when a mysterious rich person offers him a huge amount to interpret between Russian and Hindi over a few days in a remote Slovenian villa, he jumps at the chance. Quickly it becomes clear that he is in the murkiest of waters, and his situation plunges into fraught mayhem with no way out. A well-traveled ex-journalist, turned mystery and thriller writer, George Shaw is blessed with a cunning grasp of plot, lightness of touch in style, and, especially, it seems, an affinity toward throwing ordinary people into impossible situations that bring out the best in them. The action rips along, with the reader forever guessing the next twist in the plot’s skein, and the climax clocks in perfectly. A bonus is a fascinating peek into the world of book translation. Seeking a one-sitting entertainment spasm? Look no further, The Conspirators will satisfy.

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