An assassin takes aim at a Presidential candidate during a primary stump speech. The instant he pulls the trigger, the outcome of the election is irrevocably changed. But Democrat Teddy Lodge, an upcoming media sweetheart, isn't killed. His wife is. As a result, Lodge emerges as the man to beat and the greatest threat to the incumbent President, Morgan Taylor.
Under a specific directive from the President, Special Service Agent Scott Roarke delves into the case and begins to unravel a deadly plot that incubated for more than 30 years; designed to alter America's allegiances in the Middle East. From the first few seconds, Executive Actions culls events from today's headlines intersecting with a scenario that's shockingly real: An insidious plot hatched in the old days of the Soviet Union continues to grow to fruition in the hands of a power hungry Middle East heir to the throne. At its core, a sleeper is awakened to take a prominent role in American Life. Executive Actions is a tense political thriller; an election year page-turner, where both the Presidency and the Constitution are at stake.
©2012 Gary Grossman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"The best political thriller I have read in a long time, right up there with the very best of David Baldacci." (Michael Palmer, bestselling author of The Society)
"Grossman has done a lot of research on everything from political infighting to clandestine military operations, and he manages to hold reader interest right up to the inevitable conclusion." (Publisher's Weekly)
Intriguing plot, attractive heroes readers can identify with, credible villains and an assassin who makes "Carlos the Jackal" (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) look like a girl scout selling cookies. The timing of events at the end is a bit rushed as the action becomes more and more fantastical. The climax is believable but only if one can accept an excess of literary license with the competence of the Washington D.C. Capitol Police. Listening to this audiobook felt like playing a game of Jenga that thankfully ends before the author can remove one more block.
I had to stop after the first third. The narrator is so bad that I laughed out loud at first. He reads in a strange rhythm that I suppose he thinks feigns intensity, but every sentence uses the same wooden pattern — think Jeff Bridges in Starman. But I stuck with it for some reason, until I realized that this was also probably the dullest story I have ever listened to. The author buries you in meaningless detail about everything. I always wonder when I read/listen to a book like this, are there no editors anymore? Is there no one who can say, this would be OK but only if it was 60% as long? And speaking of editors, was there no producer who could play this recording back to the reader and suggest, how about speaking like a human? Don't waste a credit.
I loved the story. If you go into the story, without too much scrutiny and allow the author a bit of room, then its an entertaining well paced exciting story.
If you don't allow the author some licence then I think it would be easy to dislike this book, particularly toward the end. If you love well constructed plausible plot lines keep away from this book. If you are willing to let the author string you along and don't think too deeply about the plausibility of the plot and the actions of some of the characters this is a cracking book.
I have mixed thoughts about the narrator, the deepness of his voice is off the scale and at first listen he sounds totally pretentious. I have a fairly high end car stereo, I had to turn down the bass to stop the car from shaking when the narrator spoke. Seriously!
When I first starting listening to this book, I hated the narration. I considered giving up on this book and returning it. The narrator quickly started to grow on me, particularly after turning down the bass on my car stereo. As I got used to the narrator and I also think he toned down some of the pretension after the first few chapters, I actually started to enjoy the book much more. On the positive side the narrator's pacing is quite good and the main character is noted in the story as having a distinctive voice.
I am off to buy the next book in the executive series.
A great premise that was, for the most part, very well written. There are some cringe inducing passages (I found myself laughing my head off as well) when the author describes the characters' amorous encounters and there seem to be times when the author is merely 'filling pages' with irrelevant details but overall this is a fun summer read. The only negative is the narrator whom I can only describe as the teacher from Ferris Bueller saying Bueller...Bueller over and over again. Complete monotone except when he tries to do female voices and then he's just down right bad.
Espionage and spy novels almost always reflect the politics of their authors. I'm not complaining since I happen to worship at the altar of Brad Thor, Vince Flynn and Ben Coes, but their politics come through loud and clear. Not so with this novel or its successor novels. About halfway through the second of the three novels, I figured out the author's politics (and interestingly agreed with the author's critique of the actions of talk radio hosts) and by then I was HOOKED on this story.
I refuse to give the spoilers that any sort of substantive review would reveal. The theme of the story is that the wife of a candidate for President is accidentally assassinated during a speech the candidate is giving the latter part of a primary season. As the investigation progresses, many more deaths take place, seemingly unrelated. The lead character, a specially-assigned Secret Service agent, is left to track the assassin and to link the deaths. The novel is beautifully written and I listened very late into the night to go through the story and to find out what happens. I'd call it a "page turner" if I was reading in book form.
The only minor negative was the way in which the narrator performed a couple of the female voices; really snarky and crass and not how I "hear" the character speaking. The other warning that I have to give is that the author attempts to add bold sexuality and is unsuccessful. The sex scenes almost appear to be plugged in to fill in some sort of formula and the writing of the sexual scenes is not necessary to the story. Many other authors can allude to the sex without actually writing it. I'm not a prude, but the sex scenes are such that I can't let my teenager read a book that he would otherwise LOVE.
Immediately after finishing the first novel, I downloaded the second and then the third novels in the series. I simply could not stop listening to this series and cannot wait for another addition. Love the characters. Love the story. LOVE the lack of political in-your-face opinions. This is a great book.
I struggled with this one as the narrator was challenging to listen to. Deep, almost nasally sound at times. He doesn't change voices well, especially to female characters.
I think I would have enjoyed the story more if the narrator was better.
It's an ok story line. Keeps your interest with the characters, but a challenge to listen to.
A refreshing and exciting thriller - unlike many of the newer political thrillers, I found this one to be an "edge of the seat" read - can't wait to start the next one by Grossman! A great listen!
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