Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Black Sun by James Twining

The Black Sun is James Twining's second novel. Tom Kirk, from Twining's first novel The Double Eagle, is back - and so is the FBI - but not Jennifer Browne, though she is mentioned a couple of times. The FBI is investigating the theft of an Enigma machine from an NSA museum; and Tom, along with his partner Archie and Tom's assistant Dom, is investigating a stolen art print.

Plots intertwine again and everything is related in the end. Some nice misdirection comes up during the story, keeping the suprises coming. Characters weave in and out of the story, sometimes seemingly unrelated at first, only to show up later to move the story along.

The story involves that stolen Enigma machine, stolen Jewish art, a Nazi cabal, a Russian crime boss, and so much more.

I think my favorite scene in the book is when Archie is snatched by the FBI in Russia. To me, reading it, it seemed a "wait, what? did that just happen?" kind of moment, and it made me laugh out loud.

I like the character of Tom Kirk - while he is amazingly smart and a world-traveler, he's not indestructible, but like any "everyman" action hero, he pulls through when needed. He's not an all-capable action hero like Dirk Pitt; Tom Kirk is more of an art-world Jack Ryan - the reluctant hero. He's got his sidekicks in Archie and Dominique, both with qualities of their own. And we get to know both of them much better in this outing.

As for FBI Agent Jennifer Browne, while she was only mentioned couple of times in this book, it looks like she's back for more adventure in the next Tom Kirk novel, The Guilded Seal (which I've got to find!).


  1. Kev - thanks for this review and for the one on Double Eagle. I really appreciate you buying the books, reading them and then taking the time to share your thoughts - obviously, it's even better that you liked them! You may struggle to find the Gilded Seal in the US I'm afraid, unless you're prepared to ship one in from Amazon in Canada or the UK, as it's not due to be published there until the Fall I think.

    Best wishes

    James Twining

  2. You're very welcome! Thanks for visting and commenting.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed on finding The Guilded Seal here!


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