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Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Original Sin by Beth McMullen

: Original Sin

Author: Beth McMullen
Series: Sally Sin, book 1
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground and to the zoo. She feeds him organic applesauce and free-range chicken. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that's just the way she wants to keep it - a secret. But when Lucy's nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD's radar, the Agency calls Sally Sin back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. Racing against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her loving family - and, oh right - the world. Hilarious and resonant, ORIGINAL SIN is the story of one woman’s quest to find that most elusive work-life balance in the face of danger, intrigue, and proper recycling habits.”
Original Sin is book one of Sally Sin series by Beth McMullen. 

When Lucy met her husband four years ago she knew he was the man for her and started reevaluating her life and decided she wanted more than just traveling the world and being Sally Sin the spy, nine years was enough of that life. Now four years later, she is a happy housewife (as much as one can be) and a mother of a three-year-old called Theo. Lucy wants to have a “normal” life, but the past doesn’t forget and comes again to knock at her door.
As any good spy she has her nemesis, his name is Ian Blackford and now he literally has come back from the dead. When Lucy retired she was told certain rules to follow (we don’t exist, you never exist and so on) and that if the need arise she would be call back again to serve. Now with Blackford’s return, Lucy’s old handler Simon Still asks her to come out of retirement and help them capture him. The last thing Lucy wants is to be back to her old life, a life secret to all her friends, secret even to her husband, but when Lucy realizes her family might be at risk if she doesn’t do something, she decides (is forced) to do this job.

I liked Lucy since the first pages. She is a very easy character to connect with and to like; she was hilarious, always trying to juggle her mom duties and her spy paranoia. We see many flashbacks from her childhood and her life as a spy, this makes us understand her and know her better. As well as the secondary characters which are part of some those flashbacks.

Lucy nemesis Ian Blackford is dark and sexy; he is good spy turned bad, he was one of the best agents in USAWMD who crossed to the “dark side” and now he is a notorious illegal arms dealer.

Ian and Lucy relationship was a weird and complicate one, they are supposed to be enemies but there are some undercurrents and certain attraction that make it very interesting. Ian has kidnapped Lucy countless times, but had never hurt her. Lucy has had opportunities to kill Ian but has never done it. During Lucy’s recalls of her memories (flashback) I was hoping to read about some smexy time between these two, but it looks their “relationship” was on a more platonic level.
Sadly their relationship was a lot more interesting than Lucy and her husband Will. Will is an eco-friendly man, who cares a little bit too much for the environment and is always doing his best to protect it. Will doesn’t have much scene time, and his relationship with Lucy felt superficial, with not much in common between them, just physical intimacy. Also it was hard for me to understand a man who marries a woman knowing she is keeping many secrets, it felt as if he really didn’t care to know the person he was married with. Also I don’t see how a relationship based in lies can work, because sooner or later the truth is going to come out and then what is going to happen? Is he going to be ok with the kind of woman she was and in certain cases still has to be? Also it felt as if he is more than what he shows. I may be wrong and it was just that Lucy’s paranoia was contagious, I will have to wait and see in future books.

All the other secondary characters complemented really nice the story, they all provided something different and interesting to it. From Lucy handler Simon Still to Lucy friends Avery and Sam, and of course I cannot forget Lucy’s son Theo and the evil Black Monk… weird that I put those two almost in the same category…

Original Sin is a very entertaining book with great and funny characters. In this, her debut novel Mrs. McMullen created a very fast pace, entertaining and captivating story that would have you glue to its pages. Original Sin has a well-developed and complex plot that would have you guessing and wondering about what it is to come page after page. Some secrets are unveiled and other are just brought to the light. The end was not a cliffhanger but anyway it left me running to search when it is the next book in this series going to be available, sadly there is not information yet of a date or a title for next book. I will be stalking, pardon, following Beth McMullen from now on hopping to hear news about book 2 of Sally Sin series.

Original Sin is a funny chick-lit novel with a touch of mystery. It’s perfect for a summer read or whenever you just want to disconnect and read a funny, well-written and entertaining book.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. This sounds like a very refreshing read Marcela! I might need to check it out sometime when I'm having trouble deciding what to read next.

  2. Sounds interesting. I may just be putting this on my "to check out" list. :)

  3. Deanna, It was a fun read. I hope you enjoy it.

    Julie, Let me know if you get to read it.


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