Adam Bromley’s Unknown Unknowns is a spy thriller set in a non-existent land and featuring a feisty female protagonist. It has the usual cast of educated gentlemanly service head, fanatically loyal killing machine sidekick and a clutch of suitably villainous baddies.
But, it is written with humour and doesn’t take itself seriously. The story is well structured and carries enough detail for credibility without boring the reader with the usual fine points about guns, plots etc. It is different. The pacing is good and much of the story believable. The barriers placed in the way of success are difficult and challenging without being impossible.
Unusually, for a spy thriller, the characters, in spite of fitting the usual profiles, are drawn with care and given depth so that the reader actually cares about what happens.
The plot, involving a secret weapon of immense danger to the world in general, a soviet-based antihero and those who wish to illuminate him, and a rogue CIA man on a mission to save the world, is entertaining and gripping. I read the book in a couple of sittings. The final half holding my attention so well that I completed that in one go. The denouement is satisfying but leaves the reader wondering just enough.
For lovers of thrillers, this is a must read. For those who generally find such works uninviting, I suggest you give this one a try; you might be pleasantly surprised. I was. As a reader who tends to avoid thrillers, I was entertained, surprised and amused by this one.