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The Coldest Winter by Antony Johnston
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The Coldest Winter

by Antony Johnston

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Antony Johnston's The Coldest Winter is another cold war era spy thriller set in Berlin of the 1980s. Like The Coldest City it is a spy novel which happens to be told, quite effectively, as a graphic novel. As I like to mention in any graphic novel I review I am not well-versed in the nuances of the artwork so am coming at it almost exclusively as a reader of novels who believes graphic novels have earned equal footing and therefore read them as well.

I can't put my finger on it but the artwork here worked much better for me than in The Coldest City. Where the previous work seemed almost claustrophobic throughout this one was more varied depending on where each scene took place. I'm sure there is a good explanation for the difference but it is beyond my knowledge level. What I do know is that the artwork here was a definite addition to the story itself.

The novel aspect was, well, a spy novel. Certain things are expected in these books and this one delivers. There were sufficient plot twists to keep me guessing and the action moved along briskly, aided significantly by much of the artwork. You have the expected espionage taking place between East and West but you also have the internal politics and jockeying for career position within the intelligence community as well.

I would recommend this to readers of graphic novels and espionage thrillers. If you are on the fence about graphic novels I think this would be a wonderful one to read to see just how well image and text can work together to tell a complex story.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via Edelweiss. ( )
  pomo58 | Mar 21, 2017 |
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Eight years befor "The Coldest City" ... Berlin froze. Antony Johnston returns to The Coldest City for a tale even more complex, compelling, and cold than the first! After a string of botched assignments for MI6 in Berlin, David Perceval is being sent home. Even his final mission before leaving -- the defection of a Soviet scientist -- goes badly wrong, as the coldest winter for 30 years descends on Europe. With transport out of Berlin impossible, and the KGB searching everywhere for their lost scientist, Perceval must improvise a deadly game of cat and mouse through the frozen city to keep the Russians at bay, and deliver his own unique brand of revenge!… (more)

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