REVIEW: The Nursery by Asia Mackay (Lex Tyler #2)

Series: Lex Tyler

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: spy thriller, strong female characters, assassin character, dangerous mums, action thriller, UK novel

Quick Review: Fast, fresh and interesting, with a fun, human-feeling cast of characters, and a relentless plot.

***

Lex Tyler is trying to have it all. But being a working mother is so much more difficult when you’re a secret agent for an underground branch of the security services. Platform Eight have been tasked with tracking down and eliminating the traitor in MI6 who has been selling information to the highest bidder through a headhunting website for the criminal underworld that connects intelligence operatives with all manner of bad people with a simple right swipe. Deals get made. Secrets get sold. Missions fail, and agents die.

Lex’s own home life is not much easier. With a husband who rings her in the middle of a gunfight to complain she’s yet again forgotten to pick up his dry-cleaning, and a two-year-old daughter who has a newfound love of biting, surviving both the Terrible Twos and a traitor might just be too much for one exhausted mother to handle.

THE NURSERY is a brand-new thriller from Asia Mackay, following assassin Lex Tyler through another adventure in balancing her very relatable personal life with her action-packed work, and the challenges that arise from juggling the two.

This is the second novel in this series, following KILLING IT, so there are some character relationship dynamics and plot points that you are unaware of if you pick this up without having read the first, but Mackay gets you up to speed quite quickly with enough of a description of the first novel that you don’t feel like you have missed out. There are a few spoilers, but not enough that it will ruin the enjoyment of the novel.

The most wonderful part about this novel and series is the concept. Lex Tyler is a mum, working to keep her daughter safe and happy and her home life normal while she pursues her career. She just happens to also be a professional assassin. The juxtaposition between her duties as a mother and what she gets up to in her work is brilliant, comparable to the idea that James Bond went home to his family at the end of every day.

But in this case, it’s a wonderfully competent, confident woman in the role as trained killer. And even though she has the kit and the skills, she’s not infallible, and her emotional struggles with her family, and her friendships and other relationships, are very grounded and something everyone can relate to. These characters who do unbelievable things are very human, and you can feel that when you read it.

Which is not to say that this novel doesn’t have great action sequences or a twisting plot of a hunt through a pool of suspects to find a traitor, because the plot here is quite satisfying, with lots of twists and turns and red herrings. The combination of the plot plus the cast of characters results in a very fun, fast-paced mix that keeps you turning pages.

THE NURSERY is definitely a great summer read, especially if you are looking for a thriller that feels quick, well-paced and fresh.

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