still going strong--but I'll be honest, the Spy Thriller genre is one I love returning to so much, that I have to stay pretty lenient when it comes to books seeming rather similar to the many other books I've already read. I mean, they do kind of blend together, but it does sort of represent the idea that one may be returning to a favorite thing, precisely because it has some familiar pleasures. in terms of this book actually offering anything unique--well, yes, what the villains are up to is very odd and obviously too clever for me to figure out, and some of the dynamics created between characters have a fresh flavour. but, in the end, you can't muck around with how competent spycraft is enacted, so it all sort of feels the same book after book. and the basic underpinnings of these plots are not really all that groundbreaking, except in rare cases where the book has decided to be weird or nonconformist. if I like this one more than some, it's that the style is intelligent but also a breeze to read. so we're doing about as well as we always do when one of these is fun.