Daily Review: Crate of Lies by Ray Stone
July 31, 2017
Crate of Lies is a complex mystery surrounding lost artifacts from the second world war and modern day arms smugglers.
Harry Cohen is ‘London Desk’ for the Mossad. The success of a Middle East peace deal he has been part of relies on everyone keeping a big secret for two years but Moscow can’t be trusted. Harry has found a clue to finding the lost Russian Amber Room and keeping Moscow quiet.
With the aid of his trusted agent, Raithe Ravelle, he must trace the secret route the room travelled by exposing an arms smuggling ring supplying Arab terrorists. The smugglers are using an ingenious false document and railway route system across Europe, originally devised by SS General Wilheim Rienecke.
When Moscow learns of Harry’s plans, ex Stasi agent Heinrich Liebermann is hired to find the room first and eliminate Harry and Raithe. The race is on as the men follow the smugglers rail network from Vladivostok to Moscow and through Minsk, Warsaw, Prague and Berlin.
Deadly danger is one step behind them as Harry and Raithe stay one step ahead of Liebermann to recover the stolen arms and rescue the Amber Room. In this chase thriller nothing is what it seems until the final page.
By Roses are Amber
Crate of Lies is a complex mystery surrounding lost artifacts from the second world war and modern day arms smugglers. Both stories become interlinked by those greedy for money and power and those dedicated to fight for peace.
During the second world war many priceless pieces of art were stolen by the Nazi members, and this story follows the journey of The Amber Room, Baroque art given to Peter the Great by a Prussian King and later lost by the Germans in 1945. Or was it? In 1952 a set of mysterious events took place in Broken Mountain, Sachsen- Anhalt, a pit was discovered with soldiers bodies.
Hienrich Liebermann is heavily involved with a very lucrative arms smuggling ring, but he also believes he can get possession of the long lost Amber Room and sell it back to the Russians. The thorn in his side is Harry Cohen, fine arts dealer on the outside, Mossad agent behind the façade.
The Americans have lost some serious rockets which they believe are on their way to the Middle East via a well organised smuggling pipeline. Harry and his team are brought in to work on stopping the rockets getting to their destination.
This is a very action packed storyline with a lot of characters to keep the reader on their toes. Everyone seems to have their own agenda, which leads to plenty of twists and turns and a trail of dead bodies. I struggled to keep up with the action at times and was glad of break points where Harry explained the details through dialogue to his assistant Raith Ravelle. Now I just need to decide who won? Who lost? And who double-crossed whom?
Crate of Lies is an espionage and suspense novel by Ray Stone. This is his fourth novel in the genre. The first chapter sets up the scene with a 1952 event, which is beautifully crafted. The reader feels he or she is almost part of the scene with vivid descriptions of a snowstorm. The nub of the novel is in the truck’s freight – highly valuable icons stolen by the Nazis.
The novel then launches in 2016 in the Bering Strait. Something is definitely not right. The crew on the Valerie Nintz are very agitated as the Coastguard demands to inspect the Valerie Nintz, a trawler which is carrying some very interesting crates and is not in its reported location. When it off loads its illegal cargo it explodes and the sea swallows up all record of what it carried.
Then we meet Harry Cohen, London desk for the Mossad and a leading English dealer in fine arts and rare stones. This is Raithe Ravelle’s boss. He is part of an allied group masterminding a peace agreement in the Middle East.
Authorities agree to complex deals but are afraid of broken promises. Nothing is as it seems and we soon discover that terrorist organisations have infiltrated legitimate government agencies. People who claim to be working towards an agreement between enemies are in fact, out to thwart the hero; Raithe’s efforts to get the Amber Room into the right hands and the peace negotiations resolved.
There are narrow escapes, as one would expect in a novel of this genre, and there are several frenetic chases across continents. An unexpected love interest that seems to throw the hero off course, appears. Then she makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Raithe. He dusts himself off and resumes the chase across continents to ensure that the secret of the Amber Room does not get into the wrong hands.
Every narrow escape adds to the mounting head count until the hero and anti-hero meet and there is a final shoot out.
The story line is frenetic. There are moments of brilliance in this story and these are to be savoured and enjoyed.
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