There was absolutely no need for any of that. I have read most of Ludlum's novels over the years and I have to say there is indeed a fair bit that is Ludlumesque in Ken Fry's work. I was surprised and satisfied with my reading of The Brodsky Affair. It is an out and out thriller that lives up to its genre name.
The story spans the globe and travels in the upper echelons of the world of fine-art. All the usual suspects were there: the reclusive (misshapen) billionaire art lover who covets his art so badly he is willing to steal, murder or do whatever it takes to gain it; the collection of ex-Soviet Secret Police as henchmen; the honest Russian Copper; and of course, our two heroes Jack and Tamsin. Okay, so maybe it wasn't all that original then, but I'll tell you what it was; it was well written, fast-paced and very easy to read, just like a good Robert Ludlum.
A few things I particularly liked about this story, that lifted it over its competition - 1/ The flashbacks to the painter's life (and death), where we met his family and even his future family. That gave great background context to the story. 2/ The clearly well researched (or visited perhaps) locations for the novel setting and 3/ the excellent relationship the author built between Jack and Tamsin. There was great conflict and also great love and concern between them, often in the same sentences, which I felt was great.
As I only read "indie" authors these days it was refreshing to come across a "big budget" thriller again. Many "indie" authors seem to think it is a genre one step too far for them and best left to the legacy authors. Ken Fry proves them wrong on that front and for that reason plus the excellence of the read, I'm happy to award The Brodsky Affair, the full quota of five stars. Great job Mr Fry - Great story.
I am sure I will be reading more of Ken Fry's work in the months to come - Don't you just love it when you find a new author to follow?