In Liars & Thieves, he's sent to post guard duty at a farmhouse in Virginia's remote Blue Ridge Mountains, where top government operatives are debriefing a star defector: the ultimate KGB insider, a man with records on every operation and every dirty trick the shadowy intelligence agency has ever run, from Lenin to Putin.
Carmellini arrives to find the guards shot dead, and a ruthless team of commandos - American commandos - slaughtering everyone in sight, then setting the house on fire. He escapes a hail of bullets and a deadly mountain car chase with what seems to be the sole survivor, a beautiful and mysterious translator who steals his car and leaves him for dead at the first chance.
What secrets did the defector know? Who would have killed to prevent him from talking? And how could a hit team act so fast, so efficiently, and so murderously without intimate, inside knowledge of the debriefing?
Smart money says someone in the U.S. government is behind the massacre and is now after Carmellini. And that begs the biggest question of all: in a world where nothing is as it seems and no one is who he pretends to be, who can Carmellini trust?
Finding out will be terrifying. The answer may be deadly.
©2004 Stephen Coonts; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
"Tommy is smart, brave, skilled and possessed of enough self-deprecating, wisecracking wit to endear him to readers. Jake Grafton makes an appearance to help save the day, but Tommy proves himself more than capable of saving the world on his own." (Publishers Weekly)
"Barry is adept at accents and offbeat characters, and the story gives him a lot to work with." (AudioFile)
Right from the first few minutes this book held my attention. The story always moved along. CIA thief Tommy Carmellini is quite an interesting character. Sometime I had to laugh a the character...
The plot although pure fiction is based on a historical defection.
If you like Thommy Cormellini character, you will probably like books by Lee Child (main character Jack Reacher) and books by Vince Flynn (character Mitch Rapp, et al.).
I like the Tommy Carmelini character in these books. Some say that Jake Grafton should be front & center. Not ever having read one where Grafton was THE character, I really enjoyed this. I love Carmelini's sarcasm and sense of humor.
Really enjoyed this...nice humor, twisted plot lines, good characters. Reader has excellent command of voices and conveys the humor and drama in excellent fashion (though wish he would pause briefly at "change of scene!" Carmellini is a very promising character...
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Kept me guessing . . . this is the kind of book that keeps you listening until the very end . . . government spies . . . KGB . . . CIA . . . who can you trust??? Stephen Coonts is an excellent writer, the narration is great . . . and you thought the cold war was over??? Think again . . .
Normally I have 3-4 Audible stories going at any given time; that is, I may listen to one story for awhile, then the next time I listen I may choose to listen to a different one. It's a little like channel surfing. But this story is different. It held me from start to finish, and it was fun throughout. It is one of those stories that, as you turn your listening device back on following an interruption, you say to yourself, "Oh, Boy!," and away you go as the roller coaster ride resumes. I did not listen to any other title until this story ended. (Vince Flynn novels also have this effect.) The narration is competent and transparent, which is as it should be.
Coonts started as a naval aviator, and wrote about what he knew, with his first hit, *Flight of the Intruder.* Who would have imagined then that he could write such a tight, excellent tale about a completely non-flying subject? Well, he can, and this novel is superb!
I liked the whole Grafton series and I like the new lead in Tommy. The story was exciting and kept you guessing who was the good guy and bad guy until almost the end - and some of them you love to hate.
Tommy, the accidental hero, works for Grafton and Grafton still has it too, even at his advancing age. It's quite fun.
The narration is OK, but there's much better out there. Since much of the book is in the first person, when there's little or no change when looking at other characters points of view it can sometimes be a bit confusing and I had to rewind a number of times to understand where the story was. But don't let that keep you from listening, because this sets the tone for Tommy's future stories and is worth the time.
I admit that I had no clue where this story was going. I thought the narrator did a great job, and the story itself moved along nicely.
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