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.).
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 . . .
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Liars & Thieves in Book 1 in the Tommy Carmellini series, but of course Tommy Carmellini is a major character in many of the novels in the Jake Grafton series. And Jake Grafton plays a major role in this novel. The mystery of who are the bad guys is not resolved until near the end of Liars & Thieves. Author Stephen Coonts does a nice job building suspense while keeping the action and fun going with this novel.
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...
This was my first book by Coonts and also the first time I've heard Guerin Barry. Barry did an adequate job as narrator, but it's hard to shine when the material you're reading is so cheesy. Coonts' writing style was difficult to listen to. It sounded like a dime store detective novel. It lacked the sophistication of Preston & Childs and the plot twists of Harlan Coben. I plodded through to the end, but I won't make the effort in the future.
Was this written for teenage boys? The dialog was juvenile ...teen male hero stuff with too much unbelievable gun play. Just the kind of macho action that would make the perfect summer movie for teen/young men. The hero is definitely a misogynist and the women all need rescuing. Ugh.
Somewhere in that mess was a pretty good story line but it was hard to stick with it long enough to see it through.
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