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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
It’s not always the magnitude of the crisis that makes a novel great, but how it is handled and Paul Shadinger shows incredible skill in conflict development in this novel. The first book I read from this author was Code Name: Crescent and, seduced by the writing, I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on other books by him. So, I picked up The Gypsy Queen and it has been a great delight, a masterly entry in the Matt Preston novels. Again, helping one of his friends from the poker game, he quickly discovers that he is in a dangerous game and will have to fight to stay alive while pursuing a notorious international hacker simply known as the Gypsy Queen. Can Matt’s undercover skills and military background help him this time?
The Gypsy Queen is one of those rare books I have had to read nonstop, thanks to the author’s unique and clear narrative voice. It is compelling and it rings with originality. The second thing that captivated me was the deft handling of character. The protagonist is a very interesting character, a man with a disturbing penchant for poker, a lover, and a very gifted investigator. He isn’t perfect; he is flawed in many ways and readers will find him very intriguing and genuine. While the characters are compelling, this novel focuses on plot and the author succeeds in handling the conflict in a way that contributes to the pacing and keeps the reader’s interest. This novel is engaging, and Paul Shadinger makes the reading experience even more enjoyable by imbuing the work with great humor.