Red Cell follows Kyra Stryker and Jonathan Burke, two outcasts in the Agency who are brought together in the Red Cell, the agency’s out-of-the-box think tank. Stryker is a young and beautiful agent who’s struggling to recover from a job gone bad during her first assignment in Venezuela, while Burke is a straight-laced analyst who’s pissed off all his colleagues with his knack for always being right, political consequences be damned.
When a raid on Chinese spies in Taiwan ends in a shootout, CIA Director Cooke turns to the Red Cell to figure out why China is ready to invade the island nation without any fear of reprisal from the U.S. Navy. Stryker and Burke’s only lead is the top CIA informant in China, codenamed Pioneer, and they’re tasked with extracting him before the Chinese can get to him.
From the White House to a Navy battleship in the South China Sea, Henshaw takes listeners on a whirlwind race against time as Stryker and Burke try to save Pioneer and discover the hidden threat to America’s power and keeping the peace: China’s top secret weapon, the Assassin’s Mace.
©2012 Mark Henshaw (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
The story was fast-paced and consistently engaging. The author creatively describes emotions. He possesses an expansive knowledge of technical topics such as weaponry, espionage, aviation and wields it well. Excellent character development. perhaps my favorite facet of this author's writing is the conspicuous absence of profanity which is typically littered throughout books of this genre. I found that very refreshing. Instead, he obliquely but vividly describes how the character used the profanity sparing the reader from tiring exposure to vulgarity. I listened to book number two from this series prior to this one and I think they could be read in any order. I'm going to get number three now. Goodbye.
All too often a good story is ruined due to a lack of understanding, not so with this one. Not only is the story plausible, the author took the time to research his facts. You won't want to pause this one!
Feel bad for the narrator of this one... he is clearly in the wrong business. It's a tribute to the quality of the story that it compelled me to endure the reader's tonally flat (except for a couple of oddly incongruous moments) and choppy delivery. Why would... anyone ... think... that ... it makes .... sense to... read... sentences... like ... this?
Given how good the sequel is, I think it would be worth exploring a new audio production of Red Cell. Haven't read the third book yet, but this shows signs of being a strong series.(Book 2 has a different narrator.)
Fast moving and exciting. The characters were believable and well developed. Can't wait for the next assignment for John and Kiera! The narration, however, was horrible. Patterson's reading was like a robot. It was both monotone and choppy. It diminished the experience of the whole story.
As many have said the narration isn't the best but not bad enough not to listen. The narrator didn't handle dialog well; ok he sucked at dialog sections, but luckily there isn't much back and forth dialog. While this isn't the strongest book it is a good start and I can see potential. I have listened to the second in the series and the author has tightened up his writing and there is a different narrator. While you don't need to listen to this book before the second book, I do recommend it.
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The story was interesting
Great action sequences
Performance was horrible - sounded low budget. Every voice was exactly the same, which made following the story difficult at times.
This is one occasion when I would probably recommend the print book over the audio book.
I was not fond of the narrator of this book. He often sounded distant and uninterested in the material he was reading. There did not seem to be any enjoyment, warmth or character to his reading of the book. The conversation between the characters felt flat, emotionless and distant. The whole performance was more like listening to a court reporter and less like a well written novel.
I really enjoyed the book and think a better narrator would have only made it more enjoyable.
The Gray Man
The writing didn't let the performer to perform
Maybe I'm unfair since I couldn't get passed the first hour.
Worthwhile read but performance by Rob Patterson was flat and boring. There were also gaps and repeated words and phrases in the recording.
No, there are much better readers out there.
A truly excellent first effort from an "insider's" perspective (Henshaw was a former CIA analyst). Also adds some Tom-Clancy-like military action.
Choppy reading in places; poor transitions (e.g., often provides no audible pause when scenes change.)
(Sorry...three words just didn't work!)
No, but it gave me goosebumps a few times -- some of the scenarios were way too plausible!
Reallly looking forward to Henshaws next effort. I'll buy it for sure!
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