WARNING: You will not be able to let it go until you listen to the very last minute.
From Best-selling Amazon author Lars Guignard comes the number-one turbo-charged, action spy thriller Lethal Circuit.
A Chinese satellite is on a crash course with Earth. It contains enough plutonium to irradiate a large city. And that's the good news....
Michael Chase is a 26-year-old backpacker, a recent college graduate, an amateur. He flew to Hong Kong to find his missing father. Four hours later, he's running for his life. The Chinese secret police want him dead. The Conspiracy wants him dead. And the one person who he thinks is on his side, may want him dead too. If Michael is going to live, he'll need to find a hidden piece of Nazi technology lost since World War II. And he'll have to do it before anyone else. Because if he doesn't, a little plutonium is going to be the least of his problems. Can Michael Chase team up with a beautiful but deadly MI6 agent to locate a lethal piece of Nazi technology that will save the world?
If you can't get enough of the action of Lee Child and Vince Flynn, the intrigue of Robert Ludlum, and the adventure of Clive Cussler and James Rollins, you are going to love Lethal Circuit!
©2011, 2012 Lars Guignard (P)2013 Lars Guignard
It’s quite hard to discuss the plot without spoiling anything, but I will say there was never a shortage of action, and I enjoyed watching Michael travel across China as he uncovers clues about his father’s disappearance. One of the reasons I adore these sorts of globe-trotting espionage stories is because it allows me to be a virtual tourist, and with Lethal Circuit, the sights and sounds of China came alive for me. As with any spy novel, I was prepared to be double crossed by any character, so I didn’t trust anyone, but there were still a few surprises I didn’t see coming, which was lovely.
Michael. He is full of surprises!
The narration of the audiobook by Ben Sullivan was wonderful. There are flashbacks of Michael learning life lessons from his father, and he made sure to change his voice for those, and his accents were quite convincing. The pace was quick and lively, and I breezed right through the book, unable to stop it unless absolutely necessary.
The scenes between Michael and his father.
Although Michael’s father is a businessman who was mostly absent during his childhood, he raised Michael lovingly and they are, even in Michael’s adulthood, very close. So when his father suddenly goes missing somewhere in China, Michael is devastated, until he learns, several months late, that his father might just be alive after all. Upon receiving the news and the video to confirm it, Michael packs his bags and travels to Asia to locate his dad. But what awaits him in this foreign and often hostile country is more danger than he’d anticipated and quite a few surprises along the way.
The story is told mostly from Michael’s perspective, but Guignard included short chapters that focus on Michael’s pursuers. I must admit I found those chapters somewhat disruptive, especially since there was very little to indicate the change in perspectives. I’m not a fan of multiple points of view at best of times, but at least these chapters were short. While I could have done without them, they didn’t bother me nearly as much as I’d assumed when the first one started.
I quite liked Michael. There’s certain calmness in him that was reflected perfectly in Ben Sullivan’s excellent narration. Some might consider it dry at times, but he never slipped into an overly dramatic mode, which was especially important during the action scenes.
Reviewing a book like Lethal Circuit is extremely tricky. Everything I write or even hint at is potentially a spoiler, and I’d like to avoid those at all costs. I enjoyed every curveball this book threw at me and I wouldn’t want to rob you of the same experience. Suffice it to say that nothing is as it seems in Michael’s life. If you decide to read this, and you should, be ready for quite a few surprises.
I received a code for this audiobook for free in exchange for my honest review.
Wow, what a rush! Lethal Circuit by Lars Guignard is an intense ride that never stops. The mystery and the thrill of the story kept me on the edge of my seat. Since I was listening to the story, rather than actually holding a book or my Kindle, my hands were anxious to be busy. :) I was urging the narrator to read faster, to get me to the next part! I enjoyed the story…there was a lot going on and I just wanted things to work out for Michael. It felt like I was watching a TV show~there was so much action and excitement! For lovers of mysteries, thrillers, and spy stories, you shouldn’t miss Lethal Circuit by Lars Guignard!
It didn’t start off with a bang, nor did it crawl at the beginning. Instead I simply settled in a listened carefully to everything that was happening. The pace throughout the book was very solid. Yes there was a few slow spots however these were always followed up with something unexpected happening that propelled the story forward once more and made me suddenly forget that the slow spot ever happened. Along the way I found that clues were expertly woven into the story, so much so that I actually missed a number of them initially and it wasn’t until something happened as a result of that clue that I realized what I had missed and it made me wonder what other subtleties I have overlooked along the way.
Though I never felt a full connection to any of the characters in this book I wasn’t bothered by this fact. Normally if I don’t have a connection to the characters than the story is harder to get into. However in the case of Lethal Circuit I found that the story itself was more important to me than the characters, they were simply there to propel things forward and to add some insight to events. There were some characters that stood out, especially among the minor roles, but with how well things were hidden within the story I couldn’t guess how important their roles would become or what their connections to events would be.
There comes a time when every reader finds that one book that takes them by surprise. Lethal Circuit was that book to me. When I started listening to it I found that it was good, not great, but good. Interesting? Yes. Intriguing? Absolutely! But it hadn’t blown me away instantly. However I wasn’t fooled. I could feel that things were building up, it might take a little while, but at some point I would suddenly be blown away by what was happening in the story. I am happy to say that that is exactly what happened.
Really the only thing I can say that I didn’t one hundred percent care about with this book was the narrator, Ben Sullivan. Overall he was pretty good. What bothered me was how he would use different voices to describe things such as what a certain character was seeing, their thoughts, describing certain events and especially when he spoke of things from Michael’s past, such as what his father had taught him as a child. I would have preferred to have him stick to his regular voice at these times and only use different voices when dealing with narrative from the various characters. In fact it was this that made me give the book four and a half stars instead of five stars.
Because of the way the story progresses I feel that I can’t go into much detail about what I truly liked with this book without giving away too much. The ending caught me somewhat by surprise and afterwards I wanted to listen to the audiobook again so that I could catch all the little things I had missed along the way. This was a truly well written and thought out book. The way that things were presented, clues hidden while others were put out in the open, characters playing varied roles while often keeping their true intentions locked away and most importantly the ending the sneaks up on the reader and proves that even if all the clues are caught that the answer may not be as easy or as obvious as it had seemed.
I would certainly recommend this book not just to those that enjoy audiobooks but also to those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers and those who are looking to get into that genre.
I will definitely be checking out the second book in the series, Blown Circuit, as I am looking forward to what adventures Michael has next.
The thing that stands out the most to me is definitely the writing and how this book was written. I love how the author decided to include flashback chapters. They really brought the story to life with all the extra background. There were lots of metaphors and other fancy writing techniques that strengthened the writing.
There were stories within stories and everything was woven together really nicely. The story lines maximized the effect of the cliffhangers. The suspense build up was totally crazy and awesome. I just love how action packed this story was and how there was always something going on. At least for me, the book never really slowed down and just kept a moderate-fast pace.
My only issues include the beginning being a little confusing. I wasn't really sure what was happening but after about a chapter or two, I got a hold of the situation. And about the audiobook itself, I felt like the reading was a bit slow. It's okay though because I just listened to the whole thing on 1.25x. Overall it was nice reading.
This is an interesting story and the narrator did a great job of making the characters stand out from one another -- which helped the listener follow the story and stay engaged.
This is my first Lars Guignard book, but I am interested in checking out his other work and seeing what his other books have to offer!
Mr. Sullivan is a really good narrator and had a knack for providing ample inflection for the listener to be able to tell the characters apart.
If I were consuming the book on a car ride, I would definitely enjoy listening to it straight through. Listening to it at home, it worked well having the opportunity to break it up into sections (but I was glad to get back to it to see what happened next!)
Definitely worth a listen. A strong thriller with a really good narrator who knows what he's doing! Will look to see what else Lars Guignard has out in the world!
Candace's Book Blog
I didn't read the print version, but since I don't read many spy thrillers I think I enjoyed it more as an audio then I would have reading it myself.
Well, the ending was since it was all so unexpected. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
I felt like his voice really fit the story and Michael and in my head, reading it, it wouldn't have been the same.
I'm not sure. Maybe toward the end when Michael found out some new information.
This is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. The basic plot is this: Michael Chase, a man in his mid-twenties, packs his bags and heads to China to investigate the death of his father. Along the way, he finds himself caught up in a plot to uncover a fusion reactor created by the Nazis and hidden in a remote area of China for safekeeping during WWII.
The strength of this novel is its setting, pacing, and plot. The story takes off at break-neck speed in chapter one and does not slow down until the end. The author did an excellent job making me feel like I was actually in China while I was reading. I love books that can transport me to another place.
The overall feel is the larger-than-life plot you see in action/thriller movies like Die Hard, 007, and Indiana Jones. I happen to be a fan of stories with far-fetched, fantastically imagined plots, so I had no trouble getting into this book. If you tend to like your thrillers a bit more on the realistic side, I'm not sure this would appeal as much.
I ended up giving this book a 4 stars. It was a 5 star up until the very end. I don't want to give away the ending, but let's just say the reader is duped from the very beginning. Since the majority of the story was written from the perspective of Michael Chase, the secret being withheld from the audience doesn't play well. But it doesn't diminish the overall fun of this story.
Over all this was a great read. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
My second favorite. My favorite is still Sissy Spacek's narration of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Yes! It was unpredictable, I kept trying to figure out what would happen next and never got it quite right. Great cliffhangers at the end of chapters and love how the author interspersed chapters from Michael's childhood amidst all the action.
While I enjoyed his portrayal of Michael Chase, the main character, I was amazed that the same voice narrated Ester, a young Chinese woman. So his portrayal of Ester was my favorite because I completely bought into the character and didn't suspect that it was a male portrayal of a female character.
I found myself with mouth gaping open on several of the action sequences and the ending tore my heart out. Though I didn't openly weep, I did have a major lump in my throat listening to Michael's relationship with his father and how desperately he wants to find him.
Depending on the genre you choose to read/listen to; absolutely. Anyone that loves action, spy's and a complicated twisty plot will love this!
What really shocked and awed me (and honestly, I am still thinking about) is the ending. The last 2 hours was non stop action and everything really starting to click in place. Not to mention, the last few chapters really threw me for a loop.
Yes, to look between the lines and not trust anyone!
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