Aboard the Star of Shanghai in the south of France, an American spy is held captive. He possesses vital, explosive intelligence linking two nations and one horrifying plot. If he is not rescued, he faces certain torture and inevitable death.
Nearby, in a seaside hotel, a man still haunted by the loss of his wife two years earlier finds comfort in the arms of a beautiful Chinese actress - but is she to be trusted?
So begins Pirate, an electrifying thriller marking the return of international counterterrorist Alex Hawke.
In Paris, a ruthless descendant of Napoleon has risen to power, hell-bent on restoring France's former glory. His fiery ambitions are cynically stoked by a coterie of cold-blooded Mandarins, plotting behind the gates of Beijing's Forbidden City. Cloaked in secrecy, this unholy alliance devises a twisted global plan, backed by China's growing nuclear arsenal, that will send America and the world to the brink of a gut-wrenching showdown.
With the aid of his old friend,and former Navy SEAL,Stokely Jones, Hawke sets out to investigate the deadly connections that bind the French-Chinese axis. Together, they discover that a powerful German industrialist may hold the key, somewhere inside the walls of his Bavarian mountain lair.
Meanwhile, clues to an old and gruesome murder in Paris lead to New York City, where horrifying evidence could finally bring a madman to his knees. In the end, as American and British forces prepare to defend a sovereign and oil-rich Gulf nation against unwilling occupation, the terror is all too real. The world is once more balanced on the knife-edge of a full-blown nuclear confrontation.
Take another thrill ride with Alex Hawke.
©2005 Theodore A. Bell; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Ted Bell can really, really write." (James Patterson)
"Very Bondlike." (The New York Times)
Tomcat FA-18 Superhornets? A 660,000 ton aircraft carrier? The deck area of this monstrous carrier is just four and a half acres! It's more than six times the weight of a regular carrier but no bigger as to deck area. What, it extends three hundred feet down into the water? This story is Mr. Bell's attempt to write a Clancy-type thriller (he even takes Clancy's name in vain!) but the problem is he has none of Clancy's knowledge of his subject. Remember the movie ... Hidden Dragon? The characters in this silly story can do similar stunts. No, Really! And all the goofiness of the 007 movies? That is all here, too. The only good thing about this story is that the narrator is very good. He just needs a better story to narrate.
This is enormous fun -- the same ambience and larger-than-life heroes and villains as Ian Fleming's James Bond, but set in today's times and with more circumstantial detail than Fleming usually provided. The plot twists and turns agreeably. A big part of the success of this audiobook is its superb narrator, whose pace, varied repertoire of dead-on accents and dialects, and nuance would be hard to excel. I'm really glad that there are more of these books.
A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.
Pirate is a James Bond like epic replete with international intrigue, historical references, yacht chases and much more. The story line is intricate and hard to hold onto in places. But it was kind of fun piecing the characters together with the right settings; and I didn't feel cheated making the effort -- I felt it was worth it. Throughout the book, however,with all the many characters, there was not a one who I identified with or who I cared about. That made the story a bit harder to get through.
Thought provoking plot; likeable characters; quick pace; suffcient drama, action, intrigue and romance ... all in all a delightful additon and certainly an author and series from whom I want and expect more good things.
The story line is non-stop and the characters are interesting. The narrator is fantastic - I can't believe I haven't come across him before. His narration makes the story leap from the page, so to speak.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I have read other books in this series in paperback and did not like them very much - found they were hard to get into, and hard to get through. This was the only one I listened to in audio and I think that made it much more enjoyable: the narrator did some great accents and the characters were quite distinct. I think hearing someone read with a (mostly) correct accent is easier than trying to read the accent into the words you're looking at...
I found that Alex Hawke not being the only main character was a good thing - the other "main" characters were quite entertaining (Stokely) and interesting to find out about (Jet). I wasn't a huge fan of Ambrose, but he did have a role to play. And the Chinese assassin was also quite interesting.
The book is long but is action packed, and the "good guys" save the day by dint of their being so excellent (James Bond anyone)... but this makes for great entertainment. I'd give it 3.5 stars because of how the narration brought the story to life.
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