Khaled Talib’s novel, Smokescreen, is the launch title for Lightning Originals, a publishing line from Hong Kong-based Typhoon Media
"Smokescreen draws a variety of inspiration, from the infamous Lavon Affair (“Operation Susannah”), a failed Israeli covert operation in Egypt, the Jewish state’s role in shaping Singapore’s army to the bombing of the island’s oil refinery by a Palestinian group, and the United States’ position on the question of Palestine." - Press Release, Typhoon Media
Born and raised in Singapore, author Khaled Talib is a Public Relations Practitioner who began his writing career in journalism. He has written for magazines, newspapers and news syndications. His career also took him to Cairo, Egypt where he reported for Egypt Today before becoming editor of Cairo’s Community Times.
is a captivating story leading readers into the genre of espionage noir, revealing a rich and colourful tale of political deception across countries and continents. The author takes the time to paint enough background for each of the main characters and then weaves the story, cutting from different perspectives like a fast paced action movie. It felt like watching a Jason Bourne film as I flipped page after page following Jet West, a journalist whose life turns upside down when secret underground organizations target him to be the scape goat as they instigate a sinister plot to assassinate the Israeli Prime Minister.
"Singapore, a magazine journalist is framed for murder and he is drawn into a web of deception and intrigue involving officials from the Singaporean, Israeli, and American governments, each with a complex, competing, and potentially deadly agenda." - Press Release, Typhoon Media
Talib vividly paints the surroundings making it easy to picture each scene such as the opening scene where the secret political meeting takes place in a quaint cafe in Cairo. Talib's use of authentic local cultural behaviours and colloquialisms make the characters come to life. The storyline is fresh and bold and the characters' protagonists and antagonists are entertaining and intriguing.
What I thoroughly enjoyed was Talib's subtle tongue-in-cheek underlying commentary throughout the story which pokes fun at the spy world and the different cultural idiosyncrasies between the characters. If you have some familiarity with the cultures portrayed in the story, you may find yourself chuckling from time to time as I did. I felt like it was a hidden story within a story making it an even richer experience reading it.
An espionage thriller injected with splashes of humour and insight makes Smokescreen
, a must read for 2014.
My rating is an easy 5/5 stars.
For more information, contact:
Twitter handle @KhaledTalib
Publisher, Typhoon Media Ltd