Book Review: Bishop’s Endgame
Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha
Beckner expertly weaves a political crisis, failed intelligence operations, and terrorism into a gripping spy novel.
Bishop’s Endgame is a spy thriller set in the heart of a political crisis. The story begins with the murder of a mythology professor and CIA veteran, Nathan Muir. His own son, Tom Bishop, is the prime suspect. However, the crisis escalates when Muir’s spy network is compromised, leaving the CIA in a fix. It is now up to Russell Aiken to locate Bishop and establish contact with the last remaining agent in Muir’s spy network, Dand van Eijk.
The quest for Van Eijk pits Aiken and Bishop against each other. The realization of Aiken’s much-coveted dream of becoming a field agent comes at the cost of an intense emotional conflict. He is torn between his dedication to Muir and his friendship with Bishop. This is precisely what Jeremy Harker, acting director of the CIA, planned to achieve.
However, a rendezvous between Tom Bishop and Van Eijk’s daughter Lara unearths several unexpected revelations. Fighting their past demons, Tom and Russell battle for survival in crisis-ridden Malaysia. Fortunately, the adversity brings out the best in the two.
First and foremost, this novel has a well-developed plot structure. It provides a deep understanding of the character’s disposition, and the story is constantly moving. The writer also includes historical incidents, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, giving a touch of global realism to the story.
The author makes several poignant observations about communal conflicts in here.“The corruption of religion by men had withstood the test of time. It had and continued to infect every religion in humankind’s soulless desire for power, wealth, and domination. The devil, operates at his evil best against God and humanity in the disguise of promoting the faith and the faithful he wants most to destroy.” This statement makes us realize the futility of antagonism between communities when religions teach peace and brotherhood.
Character development is another strong point of this novel. The reader gets to see the humane side of Bishop and Aiken. We learn that Tom Bishop is not a cold-hearted Intelligence Agent; he has a devoted and caring side too. Likewise, Aiken is revealed to be a loyal friend and a loving father. Even the romantic relationship between Bishop and Lara is heartwarming. Their love and its contrast with the hostile political atmosphere of Malaysia are both beautifully portrayed.
The story also has a well-written conclusion. It answers all the mysteries posed throughout the story and gives the reader a sense of closure. Sometimes the timelines of the narrative become a bit blurred, as it has some abrupt flashbacks interspersed with the linear narrative. It can take the reader some time to figure out this change, but it doesn’t get too in the way of the enjoyment of the narrative.
Bishop’s Endgame is thrilling and unforgettable. It has suspense, romance, and drama—there’s always an excuse to stay engaged. People wishing to read an espionage story with real-world incidents should give this one a shot.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Espionage
Print Length: 506 pages
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