Series: 7&7 Anthology
Publisher: DSP Publications (May 2016)
Bonus: Free on publisher’s site
Rating: 3.75 stars (out of 5)
DSP Publication’s anthology covers 7 virtues and 7 vices, and the theme of Clare London’s short story is the virtue of fortitude.
British intelligence officer Aiden is sent to interrogate a recently recaptured traitor, who also happens to be his ex-lover. As if the situation was not bad enough, he must conduct the “interview” in the midst of his old unit that had expelled and demoted him not too long before. Facing his former boss and seeing the depredations suffered by his traitorous ex make the cross-examination even more challenging. How does the most skilled interrogator keep his own emotions in check to get to the bottom of his former friend’s dubious deeds?
This entry is difficult to rate, as the spy genre is not particularly enticing to me, interrogation and psychological one-upsmanship are not normally particularly my cup of tea. Still, the characters and setting were certainly intriguing and kept my steady interest throughout the narrative. The physical intimidation discussed and displayed was just one piece for characters who were seasoned agents yet also struggled a bit to keep their personal feelings in check, a nice counterpoint making an already tense situation worse. The psychological thrill of the personal, professional, and political conflict was certainly present and explored efficiently and quickly in this short story, as their past intimacy spilled forth and affected the story in unexpected ways.