Winch’s old friend Simon Ovronnaz has been hired to play Mike Shadow in a new TV series called Golden Gate, a series that is being made by one of the W Group’s companies. However Ovronnaz isn’t a great actor and the series is phenomenally expensive which leads the W Group to believe that it is a cover for money laundering and they send in a financial investigator, Sarah Washington, who quickly goes missing. With the series being bankrolled from the gambling den of Reno, Winch sets off meet his old friend, find the missing Sarah and get to the bottom of just what is going on.
Jean Van Hamme is so good at writing modern thrillers that it is virtually a foregone conclusion that any Largo Winch story will be both intriguing and action-packed and, with the luxury of being spread over two books, the reader is given time to get to know the characters and situations a little better before the climax. Golden Gate and Shadow are no different and we are taken on a roller coaster ride of money laundering, kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling and snuff movies all told at the sort of non-stop pace that we have become used to from Largo Winch books. Yet despite the frantic pace the story does takes long enough to play out to allow Winch to be arrested and imprisoned (as the cover of the second book reveals) as well as finding himself literally up to his neck in trouble in the Nevada desert.
Philippe Francq’s artwork rides the same roller coaster with 1930s style car chases (as part of the TV series), modern day motorbike chases, helicopter chases and even horseback riders chasing a train and he covers it all with his usual accuracy and eye for a pretty lady.
Largo Winch books are always great entertainment and there is almost a danger when reviewing them of getting complacent – I expect them to be a great read and they always are but how can the next story top the last? Yet, having said that, Golden Gate and Shadow continue the series trend of cracking Bond-like adventure and leave me hankering for the next pair to be published.
There are more details of the English language Largo Winch books at the Cinebook website.
There are more details about the Largo Winch series of books as well as the films at the official Largo Winch website (in English).