Set back in the early 80's the hero is a cryptologist working for the CIA when his fiance gets killed by a terrorist. Charlie wants revenge, but mysteriously the CIA wants to sit on their hands. Taking matters into his own hands, he sets out to do the job himself. Charlie pulls out all the stops and goes so far as to blackmail the CIA into helping him. He is an amateur that remains just one step ahead of the CIA and others by learning quickly and a healthy dose of pure luck. The book is clearly fictional, but threads of the real story are woven into this fictional account of what might have happened in real life. An exceptional book and I can't wait to start another by the same author.
I read a book late in the Scott Harvath series and decided to go back to the beginning and listen to book one. The way things change in the world so quickly, you never really know how applicable some of the stuff will be for today, however I was not disappointed.
The Lions of Lucerne is a masterpiece from beginning to end, and it's non-stop twists and turns from beginning to end. You really cannot figure this book out until the end, and there is no lack of action either. Another great thing about this book is that it sticks with the main character and doesn't get bogged down trying to explain everything from everyone else's perspective. So many books get caught up explaining everything and the hero sort of steps in every third chapter to do something, but this book sticks with Harvath almost exclusively.
You can really tell when an author puts in the extra time, and this novel is a fitting first novel to kick off the series. Thor wasn't just throwing something at the wall and seeing if it would stick, he was taking aim and put the bullet right through the center of the target. In short, this book is everything a book of the genre should be. I cannot wait to start the next book.
Scott Harvath is back and kicking terrorist ass, but not until after the terrorists do some damage just to get the blood boiling. This novel is one of the best of the series, and doesn't disappoint.
The thing about a book like this is, you know it's good when the plot seems absolutely plausible even though it's outrageous on the surface. The plot in this book is more or less completely plausible, some parts more than others but it's truly not much of a stretch. This book never strays into unbelievable land and keeps things interesting with individual plots that intersect and weave together.
James Standing is the perfect villain and Thor does a wonderful job explaining what makes this man the way he is. I especially like the interview Standing has with a reporter and their verbal sparing over political ideas. The ideas are pretty much old hat for me, but I enjoyed the presentation anyway. It gets so heated that you wish you could jump in and make a point yourself.
Bottom line: I loved the book and can't wait to start the next Brad Thor novel.
Mark Greaney brings the Gray Man back for another adventure and this time he's up against someone who thinks and acts precisely the same way he does. I love these books and can't say enough good things about them. The story twists and turns and surprises you, all the while keeping up the action and the suspense.
One thing that bothers me about this book and the ones before it. The Gray Man never knows what he did or what happened to get the CIA on his butt and trying to kill him. It's been 4 books now! Please spill the beans and reveal the mystery! How long can this go on? We need the answers. Each book seems to bring us closer to the answers, but just when we think we are getting close the prize is pulled away.
I enjoyed the book, and I think this is one of the better John Wells books. It seemed like there wasn't a lot of action though, and that's why I gave it four stars and not five.
One thing that drives me crazy is the concurrent stories that hopefully mesh together to tell the complete story. The concurrent story here was what was happening at the torture facility back a year before. It just wasn't all that relevant until the end of the story and then I was like, yeah that makes sense but why did the author take that approach? The concurrent story could have been cut down considerably.
There is just something about the book that bugs me, but I cannot figure out what exactly it is. Maybe it's all the hard luck stories. Everyone from Wells to the killer to one of the people at the Midnight House is a hard luck story. Maybe it's just that I want the book to be better, but it isn't. It's good, but somehow it misses being great.
The book is good but not the best of the genre. Let's start with what is right with the book, good action, good story, good realism, a lot of personal touches that make most of the characters come to life. One more point is that it doesn't go into mindless and useless detail like so many books can. The detail level stays manageable and it doesn't give you fifty different characters that are completely useless. The book avoids most of the problems that drag down so many other books.
What didn't I like then? John Wells is difficult to relate to. He went Muslim while spending years living in the desert and sort of ignored the fact that he had a son. If it makes Wells real, then it also makes him an A-hole. One could understand not being around much, but completely missing for years? And he wasn't even under orders to be absent. There is a reason no other writer went there and that is because it's a bad idea, plain and simple.
The way Well's went Muslim makes it seem not too bad. He's out there doing the stuff everyday and he just sort of starts believing it. Sadly, this scenario is actually closer to reality than not. I still don't like it though. It just seems stupid and unnecessary.
But what if you get past the hangups? It's good but just not as compelling as some other books. I never felt like I couldn't stop listening. It's hard to say precisely what it is that makes it unremarkable, but that is what it is. It is a good book and I will listen to more John Well's.
I'm running out of books from my favorite authors and discovered this book which I was pleasantly surprised to read. The plot is fairly straightforward and John Wells is the hero who is half detective, and full on kick ass commando. Not too many meaningless and unnecessary threads like some books. I wasn't into the John Wells is a Muslim thing, it just doesn't work and frankly feels pointless and preachy.
George Guidall is a pleasure to listen to. He could probably read a cook book and still keep it interesting, he's that good.
Overall it's excellent, but I just couldn't give it a full 5 stars. I would give it 4.5 stars if possible. I'm sort of conflicted over the issue because it's not nearly the best of the genre in my opinion, yet 4 stars doesn't quite do it justice either.
It would have been nice to hear about some reconciliation between Wells and his son after the mission. Then again I guess it doesn't really matter. Thankfully the whole hostage thing was handled nicely and the reader (me) didn't have to feel agonized and tortured like so many hostage situations in books and movies make you feel.
Bottom line, it's a great book and I will be listening to more in the series.
My biggest problem with this book is the fact that Ariely keeps saying interesting things about people's irrationality and this somehow invalidates economics 101. I'm a student of economics and this just isn't true. I can almost hear a hesitancy in his voice to suggest that what he found has vast implications for economics, as if a part of him knows it isn't true.
Aside from the economics, the book is pretty good. I really want to give it 1 star to be vain and vindictive in a small and meaningless way but I will rise above that and give it what I feel it deserves based on the material presented and ignore what Ariely says about economics.
Lots of interesting facts. The connections and implications drawn are tenuous at best.
To tell the truth, this is my first real conspiracy theory book and I'm not impressed. He really fails to prove the 4th Reich is rising or even exists at all. About the only people who Marr's doesn't implicate are communists and liberals.
Well if there is a conspiracy I would like to know how Obama fits into a 4th Reich, because it's hard for me to imagine how a prolonged recession and a move away from capitalism could be a part of a plan to make a lot of money. Or maybe this 4th Reich isn't quite as omnipotent as Marr's makes it out to be. You run into real problems when a lack of evidence becomes evidence itself, and this book has plenty of problems and little "connect the dots" evidence. I don't doubt that most of the facts are true, it's what you make of those facts that's important. Does the Bilderberg group meet? Yes. Does it mean there is a conspiracy to start a new world order? Maybe, but probably not. Marr's goes into a vast assortment of facts ranging back to the Bulshivic revolution being financed in part by wealthy capitalists. To him this hints at corporations controlling the world, but maybe it's just a bunch of rich assholes playing God with peoples lives while trying to make a buck? Does he offer this as an explanation? No, it's always the work of some super secret Illuminiti group or something. I was surprised that he didn't notice the connection between the Nazi SS deaths head and other groups that use a skull for a symbol.
Read this book for facts only and draw your own conclusions. The book starts out sort of interesting and devolves into a rant about George Bush 41, George Bush 43, Bush's maternal grandfather Herbert Walker and the original George Bush otherwise known as Cain (sorry, I made that up but it sort of makes my point). It's almost like Marr's started writing the book and someone else finished it for him. It's that different from the start to the finish.
It's up there, but ranking stuff becomes problematic.
Ben Coes other Dewey Andreas novel's come to mind.
He is dead on with the right vocal cues and everything all the time. Probably the biggest thing is not just talent but he has a voice you can listen to. Not everyone has that quality and you really appreciate it when you hear a book who's narrator just grates on your nerves. Hermann is excellent though and I could listen to him for days on end.
I would say there were a lot of times when I was disappointed that my drive wasn't a little bit longer.
The nuclear bomb thing is getting a little tired and old as far as books and movies go. Ironically it is probably becoming a bigger threat in real life, but I'll try to stick to reviewing the book.
A lot of the book has a gritty real feeling that makes you appreciate not living in a country like Iran. The bad guys this time are Iranians who want to nuke Israel and nearly accomplish it. Everything comes together fairly well and it works, although the cumulative effect of thinking about a guy being held in Iran and tortured wears on me. I don't want to give anything away, but someone Dewey knows is kidnapped and held for most of the book. I want him to escape or something sooner than later. I think it's a structural flaw that you either like or don't.
Despite all that, and I'm trying hard to come up with flaws, the book is a masterpiece.
The character of Dewey Andreas gets more developed.
There are other books in the genre, but Dewey Andreas has carved out his own niche that sets him apart from other main characters like James Bond, Jack Reacher or Mitch Rapp. He is unique and it's not just his name.
Many different scenes, but playing hockey with the President is something that sort of sticks with you and it's really not that hard to imagine it happening in real life.
For some reason the death of a really minor character Annastasia sticks with me. It's strange how some things are more memorable than others for no particular reason that you can identify.
I could see the death of one of the characters coming a mile away. It's like the scene in a movie where a cop retires. You know what is going to happen next.
Anyway it doesn't ruin the book, I just hate it when I already know what's going to happen. Maybe other people aren't as in tune to these things as me, I'm really not sure.
The main character does some incredible things, but the book never loses it's real quality. What I mean is, aside from dodging a few more bullets than humanly possible, the characters and events have a genuine quality that you don't get out of every book. You know it is fiction, but you believe it represents a realistic vision of how it could be.
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