Book Review: A Valuable Asset, Chloé Archambault

Book Review: A Valuable Asset, Decoy Series Book 2, Chloé Archambault

A Valuable Asset, Chloé Archambault

Thriller: A Valuable Asset, Decoy Series Book 2, Chloé Archambault

What’s in a name? When you are an orphan, raised by Russian spies in Montreal, found after two
decades of searching by her father–a former Russian spy who defected to the US and is living in Los
Angeles, a name becomes synonymous with a location. Living with her father in LA, she is Rose Ellis,
graduate student in computer science and part-time agent with the US ODNI (Office of the Director of
National Intelligence). Growing up in Montreal she was Nina Palester, (supposed) daughter of two
(supposed) French expatriates. Before she was taken from her father and placed in a Russian
orphanage she was Sofia Belinski. In the orphanage, though, she was Ekaterina Yegorova. That was a
name she had left behind years before.

That was not a name that a Russian special forces operator in Florida should have known to call her.
That brief encounter, which almost took her life, let her know that her past and her father’s past had
caught up to them.

Rose/Nina/Ekaterina/Sofia flies back to LA and finds her father lying on the floor of their house, vomiting
and struggling to breathe. He had been poisoned. Rose is also hospitalized as a precautionary measure,
since even a trace of the poison could have killed her. Then, a CIA interrogator aggressively questions
her, insinuating that she is a Russian double-agent.

With the Russians having found them and the CIA suspecting her, Rose decides to become Nina again
and hide in Montreal. But the ghosts of the past are closer than ever, and even hiding off the grid in the
city she knows best is no guarantee for safety. Someone wants her dead, someone has betrayed her
and her father, and she is being played for a pawn in the games of others.

But she is no pawn. This Rose, even by any other name, is just as fierce as the daughter of a spy (and
the adopted daughter of two other spies) should be. This Rose has thorns, and she will not go quietly.

Chloé Archambault is not a name I had heard before. That is my loss! This book grabbed me from the first page and did not let me go until the end. Rose/Nina/Ekaterina/Sofia is smart, tough, and very self-aware. She was trained to be a spy. She was raised by spies. Lying is what they do. But Rose recognizes that lies have consequences. Relationships built on lies are sand castles when the truth washes over them. She may have no choice but to lie to protect herself and others. When the consequences of those lies come, she accepts them and hates them.

The plot is fast paced, the characters are brilliantly drawn, the settings are places in Miami and LA and
Montreal. The internal dialog of the protagonist is sometimes painfully vulnerable and sometimes
sarcastically funny. Her observations of things can be delightful, like when she is standing under a
shower and thinks to herself, “Whoever had invented the shower jet system was an unrecognized
genius.” Truly one of the best characters I have encountered in my reading this year.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC, and to The Book Whisperer for inviting me to read it.
I enthusiastically recommend this book, and have already acquired the previous book in the series.


A Valuable Asset, Chloé Archambault

Book Review: A Valuable Asset, Decoy Series Book 2, Chloé Archambault

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.