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Shannon Condon
Spider's Web
Over three years have passed since Maggie's near fatal injury. She is restless running the team's special ops missions from the safety of the Grid. No sooner does she re-enter the real world than her past finds her. In an instant, Maggie's life is forever changed. Unsure who to trust, Maggie tries to navigate her new reality. Will she be able to choose her future or will she remain trapped in the web of enemies she has created?
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10


Plot: Condon has crafted an excellent thriller in Spider’s Web. The story is fast-paced and a delight for readers to keep up with. Even though this is the third in the series, it is easy to follow the plot and it can be read as a standalone work.

Prose/Style: The writing is a little choppy, but the story is so engaging that the uneven sentences do not detract from the story.

Originality: This story feels very original in both concept and execution. It combines military spy work with a deeper emotional storyline about anxiety, PTSD, and the loss of a loved one.

Character Development/Execution: The protagonist, Maggie, survives many horrible events that shape her development, and readers visibly see her growth despite these traumas. The reader experiences Maggie’s deep sense of loss after the death of her husband and then witnesses her eventual healing and ability to open up to a new love.

Date Submitted: April 01, 2021

Events in the tragic past and dangerous present spectacularly collide in Condon’s fast-paced second Magdalena thriller. After a brush with death three years before, special ops agent Magdalena “Maggie” Curran is now helping covert missions succeed from the safety of her basement operations center in a quiet Virginia town. Restless from being sidelined with “safe” duties, Maggie longs to get back in the field despite the danger and the family she loves. She struggles to reconcile this urge with her desires to continue her musical training and her difficulty conceiving a second child with her husband, fellow agent Bernardo. When the son of an old enemy with ties to the Russians reappears and past truths are revealed, Maggie must uncover subterfuge, betrayal, heartbreaking losses,and danger to reclaim her life.

Finding Magdalena introduced Maggie as a teenager in a harrowing tale of love and loss. Now readers get to appreciate Maggie as an adult: agent, singer, mother, and wife. The dialogue can sometimes be stilted or trite (“I need to remember that a lot of women don’t even get one baby”), but the emotions underneath it are real. Domestic issues including fertility problems, jealousy, and mental illness intertwine and juxtapose with dangerous enemies including the mysterious group known as the Brotherhood, and loved ones become collateral damage when covert operations go terribly wrong, showing the tragic humanity in the espionage world.

Condon’s wonderful heroine is a survivor above all else. The story boasts a rare mix of daring spycraft and the domestic life of an extended family, though this sometimes leads to uneven pacing and an overextended plot. There’s much to enjoy as Maggie outwits kidnappers and Russian operatives while facing her own fears and demons. Both new and returning readers will appreciate the promise of this unique series and be eager to follow Maggie wherever her dangerous, fulfilling life takes her next.

Takeaway: A tough heroine with strong family ties brings adventures galore to thriller readers wishing their ordinary lives could be just a little more exciting.

Great for fans of David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell series, Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: -
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: B+ Author Lali Love Five Star Rating

“Spider's Web” is the first book I have read as a stand alone in the Author’s Magdalena series and I absolutely loved the writing style! I could not put it down, it is fast paced, suspenseful, dynamic and action packed. I found Author Shannon Condon’s prose, crisp dialogue, and the depth of the characters enthralling. She is a talented writer, captivating her readers throughout the story telling with ease and a sense of foreboding. I was on eggshells as I turned the pages, sensing a surprise about to unfold and the ending did not disappoint! Bravo Author Shannon Condon, I can’t wait to read the first 2 books in the series and the next installment. I recommend this book and I am a huge fan!