The Chase by Ava Glass is published by Penguin on 16th February

In a city full of cameras … where can you hide?

Book blurb


These are the instructions sent to new operative Emma Makepeace.

She’s been assigned to track down a man wanted by the Russians and bring him into MI5.

It should be easy. But the Russians have eyes everywhere.

Emma knows that if spotted she and her target will be killed.

What follows is a perilous chase through London’s night-time streets.

But in a city full of cameras, where can you hide?

My thoughts

Emma Makepeace is working undercover in North London gathering information on a group which has received Russian funding when she is called in to HQ.

It seems that the Russians are tracking down and killing agents who betrayed their country and had managed to flee to the U.K. The link between those that have been killed is another ex-Russian agent. Popolov and her husband have been taken into hiding but their son, Michael, has refused to go. He is a doctor specialising in paediatric oncology who is determined to stay in London and continue his work. The Russians want revenge for something that happened decades before and are willing to do anything to get Popolov. Even taking her son to use as bait.

Emma is tasked with persuading him to come in and join his parents before it’s too late and he is taken. Michael doesn’t believe there is any danger. Others have tried to bring him in and failed. Can Emma succeed? On a first encounter he refuses. Emma realises Michael is being watched. It’s only a matter of time before they make their move. Can Emma get Michael to understand the immediate danger he is in? Can she get him to go with her to safety? If he agrees to go will she be able to get him to safety before the Russians can snatch him?

Time is as much of an enemy as the agents that are after Michael. These agents are backed up with sophisticated information and it seems that they have hacked the network of cameras across London. When Emma calls for retrieval she is refused. Her boss, Ripley, has gone off the radar and his deputy is being unhelpful to say the least. And the Russians keep finding them! What is happening? Why after all this time does Russia want Michael’s mother? Do the Russians have more than cameras helping them track Emma and Michaels movements? Is there a mole working with the Russians? In a cryptic clue Emma finds a way forward but will it work? And why is she directed to take Michael to another government agency not her own?

The chase is on and not everyone will live through it! It’s going to be a long night and Emma will need Michael as much as he needs her to get to safety. After all the deaths, the political intrigue being played out and the deadly chase will the reason for it all and who is responsible emerge? What will the British agencies do?

Emma is a rookie in the world of spies and during the storyline we find out what motivated her to become a spy and how she became a spy. We are introduced to her colleagues – spies, spymaster, disguise artist, members of other agencies – we learn about her family history, her father, her mother.

The story takes place in London over a matter of weeks, we hear of things that happened in Russia over two decades before and the main action, of saving Michael from falling into Russian hands, plays out in less than a day. The final denouement is nicely handled in Paris and whilst we get closures there are still plenty of questions to be answered. What will happen to Emma, Ripley and the agency? It all adds up to a great basis for further books.

The Chase by Ava Glass is a terrific first book, it’s a compelling, enjoyable and riveting read. The Chase is the first of the Alias Emma series so easily read as a standalone. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a thrilling spy adventure with more stories to come. For those who like to grow along with a main character who, in this case, is at the beginning of her life as a spy this is a definite winner.

‘A thrilling read … I could not have loved it more!’


Thanks: With many thanks to Amanda, Moonflower Books for the invitation to read and share my thoughts on The Chase. Also, many thanks to Penguin Books for an eCopy of The Chase by Ava Glass.

‘Totally addictive … Once you start reading, you won’t stop.’



Published: The Chase by Ava Glass is published by Penguin on 16th February, £9.99, available from Penguin Books | Cornerstone (16 February 2023) | English | Paperback | EAN/UPC 9781529158779

Buy: Penguin Books | Your favourite bookseller | Your local library

Author: AVA GLASS is a former crime reporter and civil servant. Her time working for the government introduced her to the world of spies, and she’s been fascinated by them ever since. She lives in the south of England.

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