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June 19, 2023

The Bucharest Legacy by William Maz ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Bill Helfin has retired from the CIA. He is now married and has a baby boy. But once a spy always a spy and soon Bill finds himself dragged back into the cloaked world of post-Cold War espionage.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an hones review.

book cover of spy thriller The Bucharest Legacy by William Maz
June 2023; Oceanview Publishing; 978-1608095681
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); crime fiction

The Bucharest Legacy
 is the sequel to Maz's The Bucharest Dossier. When I reviewed The Bucharest Dossier last year, I called it one of the best Cold War-era espionage novels. While this follow up novel is good, it lacked something that the first novel had. What exactly? I'm not sure.  

If you haven't read the first book you can read this novel first. The backstory covered in the first book is provided in broad strokes. 

I have been fascinated with Romania since I was pretty young so I love reading novels set there. Cold War-era spy thrillers are my almost favorite genre to read. The Bucharest Legacy is set in the early 1990s, just after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Bill is a Romanian whose family immigrated to the U.S. when he was still a child. In the first book, he was there to witness the revolution that ended communism in Romania. Now he has a number of charities to help orphans and pensioners. 

On one of his trips, he is asked by the CIA to escort a KGB defector but when what was supposed to be a routine operation goes sideways Bill finds himself in the middle of a mole hunt - a hunt in which he is the prime suspect. 

I love this time period for a spy thriller because everything is pretty low-tech. There is no internet, though there are computers, and if you need to make a phone call you use a pay phone. This meant that successful agents had to live by their wits and hone their spycraft to perfection. It is so much more fun to read when the characters don't have information at their fingertips or can't easily call for extraction.

I like the main character. He really tries to see the world in black and white though he very much operates in the gray areas. 

While there is some danger, I thought this one last some of the suspense of the first book. And the reveal at the end wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped. Even so, I enjoyed the novel. I wish I could have sat down and read big chunks at a time. I think having to snatch a page here and there as I had time interrupted the flow of the story.

If you are looking for a story you can lose yourself in, then pick up this novel.

Buy The Bucharest Legacy at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. 

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