Penumbra (Spook Squad #3) by Keri Arthur

Penumbra: The Spook Squad 3 - Keri Arthur

Sam has finally snapped over working with Gabriel. His insistence of keeping her out of all police work is too much – she needs to work and be effective. She gets a transfer – to a new case as a bodyguard of a politician. A politician who is really a clone and probably working with either the suspicious military scientists at Hopeworth or the sinister secret organisation of Sethanon… or maybe both

Of course, both Hopeworth and Sethanon are extremely interested in Sam and her unique biology – and Stephen may be using her as bait, much to Gabriel’s annoyance


But this is a chance for Sam to finally find some answers – as to what she is, what she wants and why she can’t remember her past. To her that is worth the risk.





This book finally brings together a whole lot of what has been brewing in the last two – Sethanon, Sam’s past, what Sam is, Hopeworth and their experimentation, Joshua who haunts her dreams and the mysterious Joe who has been dropping clues in a very frustrating fashion for so long. At last answers are in the offing.


It’s at the end of a long book of twists and turns, of endless questions and possibilities and with a plot line involving clones to throw up it’s own questions. If I have one criticism about the plotting of the book it’s that, while the overarching questions of the whole series are addressed, the actual plot line of this particular novel is left hanging and confusing. But I think that is a tie in for the next stage in the mystery – Sam’s personal mysteries have finally been addressed, now it’s time to tackle a big overarching plot.


I’m impressed by the writing of this book. We had a huge number of events all kind of smooshed together into something resembling a storyline if you connected the dots – and it worked. Most of the book was questions and new threads and a new plot and it felt like a dozen things in different directions – and it worked. It didn’t get (too) confusing, it maintained a good pacing, there was never a point where I wanted to put the book down: I wanted to know, all the questions it kept bombarding me with and I still wanted to know.

And at the end there are still a lot of unanswered questions as to exactly what the master plan is, what the big antagonist actually hopes to achieve, to say nothing of all the clones, Hopeworth and so much else that has been lurking around. But while there’s a lot of mystery that still badly needs to be uncovered, but we’re now in a position where the mystery has been narrowed down. There’s a lot of conflict potential still, but we’re not overwhelmed with questions any more – we have answers, a direction to move in and a whole lot more to explore; but it is an exploration not a random flail.



There is still one element of this otherwise excellent series that really reduces the enjoyment for me – the romance. It’s not that romance wouldn’t be appropriate, it’s just how convoluted it is. Gabriel has decided, for ridiculously convoluted and superstitious reasons, that he cannot possibly have another work partner. It’s even lampooned how ridiculous his logic is. Because of that he continually freezes Sam out, makes no attempt to use her talents, and generally treats her appallingly and grossly unprofessionally. Sam can’t come close to doing her job, he is actively sabotaging their work and their mission because of his unreasonable hang up.



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