Revenge is a Dish Best Served on the Mongolian Steppe: A Furtive Khan thriller
Intikam is thrilled to hear that he’s been assigned a jaunt–the Furtive Khan term for an active assignment. He’s less thrilled to find out that he’s been posted to Mongolia, and his first impression of Ulaanbaatar reinforces it; all-encompassing clouds of fog, vodka that would strip paint, and food where the principal flavouring is mutton fat. However, when his contact’s husband abruptly dies under suspicious circumstances, an information-gathering run rapidly turns into a deadly minefield involving the intelligence communities of no fewer than three countries, and Intikam finds himself facing permanent consequences at almost every turn.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served on the Mongolian Steppe is an original type of spy thriller, set in a vividly-evoked setting of one of the world’s most remote countries. Author Kent Babin brings a clear love of travel and new cultures to his writing, which lends a wealth of reality to the locations. While I found that some of the situations Intikam ends up in could have been simply avoided with the application of a little less vodka, and the level of luck involved in his survival a little incredible, overall he makes a strong, relatable protagonist, especially in the setting of Furtive Khan, which is in itself something of a deliberate mockery of governmental intelligence agencies. This was an entertaining read, and if I wouldn’t necessarily re-read it until the covers fell off, I would definitely pick up the sequel.