The Boomslang Beauty book review Joseph C. Reiss
book review

Book Review: The Boomslang Beauty

THE BOOMSLANG BEAUTY by Joseph C. Reiss follows an undercover agent's harrowing race to stop a new biological weapon. Check out what Genevieve Hartman has to say in her book review of this indie thriller novel.

The Boomslang Beauty

by Joseph C. Reiss

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Espionage

Print Length: 224 pages

Reviewed by Genevieve Hartman

Join undercover agent Nathan Frost in a harrowing race to stop a new biological weapon.

Second in The Incediary Agent thriller series by Joseph C. Reiss, The Boomslang Beauty follows Nathan Frost, a CIA agent working undercover in the US, who stumbles into a disconcerting new threat to the country while in the Floria Keys.

Nathan Frost is patronizing an upscale hotel and illicit massage parlor when a scream sounds from the hallway—a fellow customer has gotten more than he paid for from Christine Davis, one of the spa’s on-staff sex workers. Davis and her customer will soon die of a deadly yet unknown disease quickly dubbed the Boomslang virus, after a snake whose venom causes the same bloody and fast-acting symptoms. 

Frost calls for back-up in the form of fellow CIA SAD members Dr. Kerwin Chan and lawyer Diana Calabrese. Teaming up with madam Kate Griffin and her right-hand man John Masterson, the contact tracing process begins. It will lead Frost and his crew from Miami, FL to rural Vermont, from NYC to top-secret locations overseas, all in an attempt to uncover the source of the disease and save one of our heroes—and the world—from the deadly jaws of the Boomslang virus.

The Boomslang Beauty is a fast-paced novel with a fierce but likable protagonist. Nathan Frost is a bit of an unconventional hero: he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, often asking forgiveness rather than permission, even when life and death is on the line. He certainly gets the job done. Frost is a well-voiced character, with a jaded perspective and a sardonic humor that surfaces throughout the book in sentiments such as “[Boomslang antigen tests] work like pregnancy tests: you look into a little plastic box, and if you see two lines, you’re screwed,” or referring to the Russian government, “It must be nice, if authoritarianism is your thing.”

The book maintains interest not only through the overhanging threat of the virus, but also because of the sustained high energy. Just as the team makes a breakthrough or finds a moment of safety, the latest update provides some new danger or a new lead to suss out. Yet despite the lack of downtime, the plot remains within the realm of easy reading, with enough to keep readers invested and not so much as to leave us confused or unable to follow the storyline.

In The Boomslang Beauty, Reiss has created an entertaining, gritty thriller that fits effortlessly into the canon of spy novels. For fans of the genre, expect a quick and enjoyable read with an intriguing new spy, as well as a series to look for new installments of.

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