Reviewed by Madeline Barbush
A glamorous and grimy international thriller that creeps into chaos
No one can do what Izzy Stone does. And even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to do it like her. She’s a Secret Service agent, familiar with saving lives and experienced in many fields, including cyberterrorism. She is a lover, a daughter, and a sister. She is glamorous, badass, and gifted.
When Izzy is newly appointed to a special assignment which could decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of lives, all of these aspects of her person will be put to the test. While I struggle with staying on top of my taxes, Izzy Stone juggles multiple lives while also being the chicest woman out there.
Joseph Aragon, author of the international thriller Chatelet, is the creator of said beauty spy queen. It delights me to say that with Izzy Stone he manages to produce a 3D character living in a 3D world–a convincingly real woman, with real decisions to face, and a past which influences her greatly. She is neither superhuman nor super sexy, but rather follows her intuition as both a woman and an agent.
As insanely crucial as Izzy’s decisions are in the novel, Aragon grounds them in a reality which has everything to do with his stronghold on human behavior. He creates a push and pull between Izzy’s personal and professional life which makes her a fathomable character rather than a gross exaggeration of what we could reasonably deem a strong leading woman.
Chatelet is no doubt the result of copious amounts of research conducted by Aragon, which of course lends to its overall success as a thriller novel. But what makes Chatelet so chilling is how Aragon exhibits an omniscient quality in his writing. He has a clear vision of how we as a society would react and behave in situations of terror similar to the one he creates in his novel: a cyberterrorist hellbent on nuclear mass murder. He knows how to set chaos in motion with the threat of radiation poisoning creeping up slowly and steadily, and then disaster crashing down on the poor characters of Chatelet all at once.
Joseph Aragon knows his way around an international thriller. He causes pandemonium through an ingenious weaving of multiple narratives all leading back to the amazing Izzy Stone. With Izzy we are able to indulge in all of the glamor Paris has to offer above ground, and then slink down to the underground where we see her being her strongest and smartest. We even dabble in the dark web and the evildoings of those individuals whom Izzy needs to stop in order to protect the lives they so desire to destroy. Whether Izzy foils their plan or not, Chatelet proves second to none.
Genre: Thriller / International
Print Length: 405 pages
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