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Burned - Valerie Plame, Sarah Lovett I got a free copy of this ebook from Penguin's First to Read program.

As a genre book, this was a fun read. When I rate a mystery book, there are two main points I look at: the plot and the characters. The plot in this one was pretty good; the down side was that there was really only one suspect for the bad guy, and he turned out to be the bad guy, so there was no major twist anywhere that really left me (or the characters) guessing. But I really liked the characters. There were several of them. An international collaboration (American, French), team effort, with all the challenges that come with team efforts and personality clashes, made it feel more realistic. Inevitably, at times it was a little more confusing than most books like this. Because there were a reasonable number of people on the team, some of them didn't get fleshed out. But I liked and trusted (believed) the characters. It felt like a solid description of how something like this could be handled.

I never know with these books by famous folks who aren't famous for writing how it will go. It could have been a disaster. But Plame added some realism, I think, and her co-author must have contributed enough to really make it work as a book. Another downside for some may be that it didn't have a happy ending where everything got wrapped up nicely. But I actually appreciated that as another aspect of realism.