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Spider's Web (Magdalena Series) Paperback – November 30, 2018
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"The third book in Shannon Condon's popular Magdalena series, Spider's Web follows the titular character Maggie and her team of special ops, as they take on new missions from the safety of the Grid. Three years have passed since Maggie's near fatal injury, but the memories and the scars still haunt her. Unfulfilled and depressed at home, Maggie is determined to reenter the field, whatever the cost. But she's unsure of who to trust, and equally as unsure of the real world she's kept herself away from. Before she even has time to plan her next move, Maggie finds herself kidnapped by an unknown foe while on holiday. With old enemies lurking at every turn, will she ever be able to escape the deadly web of her own making?
With plenty of twists, turns, and double crosses that will keep any reader guessing, Spider's Web is a fast paced novel, part spy thriller, part crime fiction, and part character-driven drama. There's enough action and adventure to keep mystery enthusiasts happy, and enough turmoil to keep contemporary fiction readers turning the pages. As much about Maggie as it is her kidnapping and the odyssey that follows, the Magdalena series' third chapter proves Condon's ability to entertain and enthrall, drawing us into the characters and the world she's created.
Peripherally, Spider's Web is a spy thriller, but Maggie is the core of the story. We learn more about her past, her family, and how all the pieces come together for her. Described as female James Bond, Maggie is an intriguing and complex character, whose hardened interior hides a soft, vulnerable core. Whether her anxieties and her panic attacks humanize her or isolate her, depends very much on the reader. For those that like their characters well rounded, if not flawed, Maggie will be a welcome relief from stock action heroes. But those uninterested in bouts of melancholic wallowing, may find that the heavy dialogue bogs down the storytelling at times. Less of a flaw than a marmite situation, Maggie makes or breaks the work, depending on which side of the fence you sit on.
Spider's Web contains an involving story and some fine writing that is a satisfying read."
Pages: 406 | ASIN: B089QKY87S
LITERARY TITAN ★★★★
"Events in the tragic past and dangerous present spectacularly collide in Condon's fast-paced second Magdalena thriller. After a brush with death three years before, special ops agent Magdalena "Maggie" Curran is now helping covert missions succeed from the safety of her basement operations center in a quiet Virginia town. Restless from being sidelined with "safe" duties, Maggie longs to get back in the field despite the danger and the family she loves. She struggles to reconcile this urge with her desires to continue her musical training and her difficulty conceiving a second child with her husband, fellow agent Bernardo. When the son of an old enemy with ties to the Russians reappears and past truths are revealed, Maggie must uncover subterfuge, betrayal, heartbreaking losses, and danger to reclaim her life."
"Finding Magdalena introduced Maggie as a teenager in a harrowing tale of love and loss. Now readers get to appreciate Maggie as an adult: agent, singer, mother, and wife. The dialogue can sometimes be stilted or trite ("I need to remember that a lot of women don't even get one baby"),but the emotions underneath it are real. Domestic issues including fertility problems, jealousy, and mental illness intertwine and juxtapose with dangerous enemies including the mysterious group known as the Brotherhood, and loved ones become collateral damage when covert operations go terribly wrong, showing the tragic humanity in the espionage world. Condon's wonderful heroine is a survivor above all else. The story boasts a rare mix of daring spycraft and the domestic life of an extended family, though this sometimes leads to uneven pacing and an overextended plot. There's much to enjoy as Maggie outwits kidnappers and Russian operatives while facing her own fears and demons. Both new and returning readers will appreciate the promise of this unique series and be eager to follow Maggie wherever her dangerous, fulfilling life takes her next."
"Takeaway: A tough heroine with strong family ties brings adventures galore to thriller readers wishing their ordinary lives could be just a little more exciting."
Great for fans of David Baldacci's King & Maxwell series, Dan Fesperman's Safe Houses.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+
About the Author
Shannon is a mom to three amazing boys and after living in different parts of the country has been in North Carolina for twenty years. Watching her sons live their dreams is a constant inspiration for her.
- Item Weight : 15.5 ounces
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1911569902
- ISBN-13 : 978-1911569909
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.92 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Rowanvale Books (November 30, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,209,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is very many things on top of each other, spy thriller, crime mystery, family drama. It’s a big all-in-one. To give you a hint of the plot, we’re thrown straight into it when Maggie is kidnapped. Where will she be taken, who’s her kidnappers and why do they want her, and will her team get to her in time? This is what’s at stake for Maggie, and though she’s quite a capable special ops agent in her own right, she can’t do it all by herself – she’s going to need her friends to help her.
The characters are beautiful and well-written, and I love how fleshed-out they all are. There’s so much background, so much history behind them making them come so very much alive. I particularly liked Maggie at the center of it all; on one side she’s woman with a tough, hard exterior who can handle anything; but on the inside she’s has a vulnerable, soft core of emotions. Watching her battle her anxiety and panic attacks made her especially interesting to me.
Condon’s writing is beautifully phrased and delicately constructed, with just enough mix of narrative and dialogue according to my taste. She never drones on, and she describes just enough to give you a taste of the world she’s created, letting you imagine everything else.
I felt perhaps the book lost a bit of it’s pace around the halfway mark, slacking off a bit toward the end, but as I said, this isn’t just a thriller or a mystery, this is a delicately interwoven story of action, love, and family, and at times it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
"Spider's Web" is the first Shannon Condon book that I've read so far. It is the third installment in her Magdalena Series. I don't often read series installments out of order. That can be confusing and take away from the intended message, but, this was written well enough for me to finish it without major moments of confusion. The underlying message is about close-knit families and protecting the ones you love with whatever it takes.
"Spider's Web" doesn't fit into one category. Condon gave her readers a spy thriller, crime mystery with a few handfuls of family drama. Maggie (Magdalena Murano) has been through a lot. She is still physically and emotionally recovering from some serious trauma. As a young woman with a great husband (Bernardo) and a beautiful three-year-old daughter (Francesca), Maggie wants to be happy. She's restless. Running the family team's special ops missions close to home is not what Maggie wants. When she reconnects with the real world for a getaway weekend; everything goes haywire. The apt title says it all. Spider webs can be very intricate, very messy and very binding. After everything that she's been through, who is coming after her now? Who orchestrated her kidnapping? What does that person want with her? Maggie has to use her wits, charm, and military training to stay alive while her family does everything they can on their end. Just when I thought that the struggle was over and done with, I was wrong.
The fast-paced momentum slows down a bit in the second half. Overall, Condon's plot twists made this an enjoyable read. Along with her writing style and commitment to detail. Good stories need details, especially ones that fit into more than one literary category. So I would definitely consider reading any of her future and past works.
As with any book, a little light editing would not hurt. There is some slight, not graphic, sexual content. It is pretty close to mild. I think the military theme and violence level also deserve a relatively mild rating. For anyone who is looking for clean fiction, I haven't noticed any major curse words either. Considering its topic, this is a clean piece of literature. I recommend it to readers who like thrillers and/or action-packed family dramas.
I hope this review was useful. Have a great day.
**** SPOILER ALERT *** SPOILER ALERT*** SPOILER ALERT *** SPOILER ALERT ***
Like I've said in some of my previous reviews, every good plotline needs a great villain. Shannon Condon created multiple villains. All of them are worth loathing in their own special ways. From the extremely creepy old man who would kidnap a young woman and stow her away like a collectible item. To his conniving son who plays the victim, criminal against my will card. Plus all of the levels in between. Here are some evil characters worth mentioning.
Ricardo and Nico, father and son. Ricardo Antonelli would like to have Maggie. An adult man who is more than twenty years Maggies senior wants her to love him. He's connected to The Brotherhood and the death of her parents. His son Nico is just as evil. Only, he's a far better liar. He convinces Maggie that he doesn't know anything about the ins and outs of the organization. The only thing that he is good at is keeping track of the finances. In the latter half of "Spider's
Web", Maggie realizes that most of what he told her was a lie;
Nico fooled her very well.
Pavlos and Sam are two men who watch Maggie like a hawk, sort of. There is a lot that they miss, mostly because they underestimate her and don't take her seriously. One of these men is a mole for the Russians and one of them wants to fight her. The latter being an interesting idea since he isn't a very athletic man.
Shep and Celeste are Maggie's adoptive parents. As the head of the team, Shep takes care of his family with steady precision from everyday things to dangerous missions. He is always focused and planning what needs to get done. Celeste isn't involved in the military side of things. She's a sweet lady that adores her family. In a different set of ways, she would fight for the people she loves without hesitation.
Graham is their biological son.
The idea of Graham and the nannies that Maggie hires bothers me. Maybe its because I haven't delved into the previous books, so I missed something. The nanny that she had for her daughter ends up marrying Graham. Which is fine, I had no initial issues with that. It was the idea of Maggie looking for a nanny that was the right kind of person for her, but, also a good fit for Graham that got me. I can understand, somewhat, Graham's opinion while the family was on vacation.
When I first read about Maggie, I was not sure I was going to like her. She whined and good bit and that got on my nerves. But, as the story unfolded she got her backbone and turned into a great character. As a matter fact, she is a person not to be messed with. Her "smarts" keep her alive and kicking.
This is a quick, enjoyable, edge of your seat read. I love all the twists and turns. Maggie has no clue who is to be trusted. The web of lies and deceit really keep you guessing.
I have not read the other books in this series, so this one can be picked up and read alone. I will go back and get the others, of course. You can never have too many good books!