Ace: Berkley. (Cold War Magic, Bk. 2). Nov. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9780451491053. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780451491060. FANTASY
In the 1950s during the height of the Cold War, a former colleague contacts Karen O’Neil, a researcher for the Office of Magical Research and Development, with concerns about a discovery he made for his boss, the billionaire owner of Magnus Industries. After her friend is murdered en route to his home in Cuba, Karen and her colleagues travel to Havana to discover what was so important. There they encounter beautiful American actresses, corrupt government officials, rebels, Soviet spies, and mobsters obsessed with magic. Karen becomes entangled in the search for a missing girl who is connected to the deadly magic being harnessed by Magnus Industries, which must not fall into the wrong hands.
VERDICT This supernatural spy thriller, sequel to Breach, can easily be read as a stand-alone and hits all the right notes. The fun and thrilling fantasy/thriller mashup will remind readers of Jim Butcher or Lev Grossman with a little Robert Ludlum or John le Carré thrown in.

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