Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Diamonds Are Deadly

Anna Zordan #3: “Diamonds Are Deadly” by James Eastwood. A mystery writer is written a serial for television, 13 episodes detailing the destruction of England by a mysterious terrorist organization. When the network sends the details to the government overseeing such programs, they reject the serial. However, someone steals the manuscripts for the first 12 episodes, and suddenly the program begins in real. Anna is sent to locate the author, and kept him safe until Sarratt can bring him in for interrogation. Unfortunately, the mastermind has his eyes on Anna, and things don’t go as planned. Anna is up against another woman equally as dangerous as she, and things may end badly for our super spy. At first, the plot seems idiotic, but the story really isn’t. This is the final entry in the series, and I think it’s the best. Although the first story reminded me of a play on Femme Nikita, this novel had more similarities to Modesty Blaise (at least a little bit). Maybe, if the series had continued, Anna Zordan would have truly become the super spy the author untended. Following is taken from this book, on Page 138: Names in parentheses are mine.
(Gloria) “You’re supposed to be highly intelligent.”
(Anna) “My IQ is 137.”
(Gloria) “Multilingual.”
(Anna) “Seven languages, including a smattering of Chinese.”
(Gloria) “An expert with weapons.”
(Anna) “Well, shall we say, small arms? I’m no good with the heavy hardware.”
(Gloria) “Unarmed combat.”
(Anna) “Care to try me?”
(Gloria) “You have a knowledge of economics, finance, and politics that enables you to sustain an intelligent conversation in almost any company. You have courage. You drive fast cars.”
(Anna) “A three time winner at Brands Hatch. And a couple of years ago I was within a millimeter of the Ladies Cup in the Monte Carlo Rally.”
(Gloria) “You can fly a plane.”
(Anna) “Simple types. Not jets.”
(Gloria) “And one of your hobbies is parachuting.”
(Anna) “So relaxing.”
(Gloria) “You’ve been an actress.”
(Anna) “Not a very good one. But it paid the rent.”
(Gloria) “You have a good body and an interesting, if not beautiful, face.”
(Anna) “Piquant, perhaps.”
(Gloria) “And sexually you are inventive, uninhibited, and – apparently on occasion – insatiable.”
(Anna) “So they tell me.”

Unfortunately, the one problem with the stories is that they end un-climatically, with a whimper instead of action. That is where the series falls short of ever hoping to compete with Modesty Blaize, and leaves Anna Zordan only moderately a super spy. Still, the stories are a lot of fun, and interesting reading.

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