Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Velvet is the Real Deal!!!
I picked this up because I have enjoyed other volumes by Brubaker. He definitely has the noir, crime story vibe down. This book is about a woman who everyone has been overlooked because she's the Moneypenny (as in Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond series). Nice to flirt with, make travel arrangements, and take notes in the meetings for her Director. She holds the keys to the kingdom in that way that Executive Assistants often do, but not who you would consider a field agent. Well, they learn quite to their surprise that still waters run deep. This woman is a serious bad*ss! When one of the field agents get killed and the frame starts to fit Velvet Templeton, she goes off the reservation and puts herself back into active service. It turns out she's one of the most lethal agents her agency ever ran.
I'm a huge spy fan. I especially love action-oriented spy stories. While I will occasionally sit down and watch a movie like "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (admittedly for Benedict Cumberbatch), I prefer spy stories with lots and lots of action. This one doesn't disappoint. And I love that the beginning is a bit of a misdirection. You think this is about the boys, but nope. This woman gives the boys a run for their number. Keep reading and you realize exactly why this is called "Velvet."
I loved this book. It's violent and has some sexual content, but nothing I couldn't handle. I'm giving Velvet a high-five. She's definitely a Grade A Kickbutt Artist, and she knows her spycraft just as well as James Bond. If things had went differently, perhaps Sydney Bristow might have ended up like Velvet. I'm reading Volume 2 right now and it's probably even better!
This so needs to be a movie one day!
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
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