Book Reviews

Book Review: The Gryphon Heist

by James R. Hannibal

publisher’s synopsis

Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them.

With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere.

Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes?

In this Ocean’s Eleven – meets –Mission Impossible thriller, former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James R. Hannibal offers you a nonstop thrill ride through the most daring heist ever conceived.

The Gryphon Heist follows Talia Inger, a new CIA operative, as she embarks on her first case–which soon turns out to be more complicated than she thought.

The plot follows the “standard” heist story beats: forming a team, preparations, and execution. But don’t think that the story is predictable. Hannibal has plot twists pop up all throughout the novel. And I won’t say any more about the plot to avoid giving anything away.

The characters were fun. Talia, Eddie, and Tyler were the most developed of the group, but the others had enough characterization. They each had their own character voice.

I thought that Hannibal did a nice job with the Christian themes in The Gryphon Heist. A lot of the time, stories run the risk of feeling preachy or inauthentic. I felt that The Gryphon Heist avoided both problems.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator did a nice job. Her Australian accent for Finn felt a little off to me, but I might be familiar with the accent of a different region, rather than Melbourne.

If you’re looking for an action/heist novel that will keep you turning pages, consider picking up The Gryphon Heist.

Content warnings: light romance; one kiss; non-graphic, brief heavy violence

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