Matthew Dunn spent years as an MI6 field operative working on some of the West’s most clandestine missions. He recruited and ran agents, planned and participated in special operations, and operated deep undercover throughout the world. In Spycatcher he draws on this fascinating experience to breathe urgent, dynamic new life into the contemporary spy novel.
Featuring deft and daring superspy Will Cochrane, Dunn paints a nerve-jangling, bracingly authentic picture of today’s secret world. It is a place where trust is precious and betrayal is cheap - and where violent death is the reward for being outplayed by your enemy.
Will Cochrane, the CIA’s and MI6’s most prized asset and deadliest weapon, has known little outside this world since childhood. And he’s never been outplayed. So far....
Will’s controllers task him with finding and neutralizing one of today’s most wanted terrorist masterminds, a man believed to be an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general. Intending to use someone from the man’s past to flush him out of the shadows, Will believes he has the perfect plan, but he soon discovers, in a frantic chase from the capitals of Europe to New York City, that his adversary has more surprises in store and is much more treacherous than anyone he has ever faced - and survived - up to now.
©2011 Matthew Dunn (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
Pretty silly "spy" story: Guy gets shot lots of times (stomach, brain, through the ears, kneecaps) but never misses a day's work, and saves the world. (YAWN)
This is a simplistic and at times nonsensical and contradictory novel.
First all characters not only seem one dimensional, but they are the same dimension. Good guys, bad guys, men, women, old and young all seem to be the same person. You can only tell them apart by the different over acted voices. I cannot blame the reader for that however, because the dialogue was so bad.
"I AM SPARTAN"
"I AM MAGEEDO"
"I HAVE COME HERE TO KILL YOU"
"I WILL STOP YOU",
The main character was not just unbelievable, he was annoying also. Very early the story pointed out how the SPARTAN was so special. If this is the best in MI-6, they have problems. At one time he chose not to kill an innocent person who came between him and his objective. Yet he killed four allies earlier for the same reason earlier.
In the second half, I had a hard time keeping my mind focused on the story.
Will Cochrane, code named Spartan, was the best of the best in the British intelligence service. After being wounded in Central Park during an operation gone bad in which he lost the informant he swore to protect, Will was rescued and subsequently treated by members of the US Central Intelligence Agency. Will discovers that the CIA man who interrogates him, Patrick, had dealings with his handler Alistair as well as his father, a CIA operative killed in the line of duty. Patrick tells Will that the NSA has intercepted communications implicating Iran in a major terrorist operation to take place either in Great Britain or the United States and asks for Will's help in thwarting it.
An Iranian operative, code named Megiddo, is responsible for planning and carrying out the attack. Megiddo is very good, perhaps the equal of Spartan, and no photographs have ever been taken of him. However, Megiddo was active in the Balkans during the war in the 90's, so Will travels there to meet with the current MI6 station chief for help. Ewan, head of Sarajevo station, met with Will and filled him in on his agent Harry Solberg, code named Lace. Harry had worked with MI6 since the early 90's and had a pretty wide intelligence network, often gaining intel that would be almost impossible for other British sources to garner. Better yet, he had been around when Megiddo was operating in Bosnia and was Will's best avenue for identifying and capturing him. Harry tells the two British intelligence officers of a woman named Lana, now living in Paris, who was rumored to have had a love affair with the Iranian. Minutes after meeting with Harry, Ewan is gunned down on the streets of Sarajevo, the victim of a sniper's bullet.
Will travels to Paris in order to recruit Lana, and is immediately struck by her beauty. Even though she had to be in her 40's, Lana still possessed the elegance and beauty of a much younger woman. Finding out that Lana was a jilted lover and out for revenge on the man who had unceremoniously left her without so much as a good-bye, Lana agrees to help Will find and identify Megiddo. Will is encouraged because Lana may be one of the only non-Iranians alive that could identify Megiddo. With the operation in place, Will returns to Bosnia and sets up Lana as the bait. All that remained was for Megiddo to take the bait and fall into Will's clutches.
No operations ever go entirely as planned. Add to that Will's increasing feelings for Lana and concern for her safety and Will is left scrambling to keep up with Megiddo. In fact, it seems Megiddo is always one step ahead of Spartan, Britain's top spy.Also, Will learns that he and Megiddo share a part of the past previously unknown to him, giving Spartan even more incentive to bring Megiddo down. With the bodies piling up from Bosnia to Germany to New York, Will comes ever closer to Megiddo and his lunatic plan of genocide.
Matthew Dunn brings his considerable knowledge of espionage to bear in this thrilling novel. Filled with twists and turns, heroism and betrayals, "Spycatcher" brings to the forefront the old adage that "it takes a spy to catch a spy." A first rate novel. If you enjoy espionage and thrillers, you simply must read this offering from Matthew Dunn.
I don't normally write reviews. The narration and voice characterizations were good, if not great, considering the caliber of the writing. However, there is the writing - it seemed stilted and awkward at times and repetitive as in: he decided this, he decided that, then he decided this. I understand this is fiction, but some aspects just seem absolutely outlandish - how could someone get shot in the torso 3 times, and basically be up and fully functional in a few days, get shot in the shoulder, a bullet grazed his head - all within 5-6 weeks and ignore pain, be so in control of his body and emotions, but kick the ground in frustration and anger when he gets some bad news here & there towards the last third of the book. I'm reluctant to venture into book 2 of the series. The story was interesting, but the writing seemed to get in the way or muddy it up - thank you very much to Rich Orlow and his narration work.
I can't think of anything that could change my opinion of this book ever reaching a 4/5 star experience.
I'm always on the lookout for a series of books with good story lines and characters that develop over a period of time. I like realistic believable characters with flaws just like real life. This book contained no such character although some did poses super human strengths with fantastic healing powers that could go on for vast days without sleep, food or drink. I think Matthew Dunn has two other books in this series of which I will never purchase.
The narration was totally amateurish and unbelievable. His attempt at using different speech patterns to represent different characters was pathetic which caused me to dislike them even more than the author’s depiction.
Both anger and disappointment equally.
I will be asking for a credit for the purchase of this presentation.
yes, it's great listening when driven long distant.
no, first time
crazy ending, did not expect it.
It's a spy thriller, for crying out loud. It isn't supposed to be anything except a no-brainer, "bubble-gum for the mind" story with larger-than-life characters. If you are looking for classic literature, this isn't the book for you. The story is engaging and the narration is quite entertaining if you allow it to be the kind of story that it is.
If some action took place besides the main character talking with other charcters. This a book about a MI 6 top operator who does nothing but fly back and forth to meet and talk with people for the first five hours of the book.
If the chin music and recalling the past was replaced with action written in the present tense. If the dialogue actually resembled conversation between people and was not stilted and boring.
The first scene where some action took place in the present.
All the boring discussion between Will and everyone he meets that the author attempt to use as exposition.
The narrator did a good job with bad material.
Non Fiction Reader
I rarely read fiction and after reading this book it may be years before I pick up another contemporary work of fiction. The plot, action, dialogue and characters are ridiculous. It is evident the author has never held, let alone shot, a gun. Nor, I would venture, been out of an urban environment.
We are to beleive the "hero" has been shot three times in the stomach and within a few days he is on a plane to England (having a meal and drinks) and the next day on the way to Serbia (to save the world). In all (I think) the transformed "super-hero" is shot 4 times (once in the head), hit with the butt of a rifle and almost burned alive and he just pops right up to fight the demons against the West. In the meantime he travels all over Europe and the U.S.
The author seeks to bring ligitamacy to this book by relating street names and directions, which I might add, appears to be the only quasi research he may have done for this novel. On this subject, we are to believe the "hero" (a U.K. citizen), or his CIA. SEAL. Delta team, are intimately familiar with every street and street direction in every European and American city they set down in. The book is a writen version of a video game (I did not say "literary" version; that would give too much credit to the author).
I can't imagine that someone would even concoct such a miasma of idiodicy and beleive that a listener would fall for it. I listened to the book on a long vacation trip drive and it kept me awake and laughing picking out the inconsistencies, unbelievable dialogue, action and pure poppycock. We are to beleive, after being beaten and hit in the head with a rifle, not to mention having recently been shot three times in the stomach, once in the shoulder (a few days before) and once in the head, and I might add, been in freezing water where he swam over 100 meters underwater, that the hero can stand erect and fire a handgun at a man 150 meters away and hit him in the head. I know people that can't do that with a scoped rifle while lying prone on a blanket. Then there is the NYC adventure. We are told he just spent $1,500 for new clothes (Hugo Boss, I beleive) and then is afraid he might be "out of place" at an evening childrens' concert at Lincoln Center. The concert is being attended by the wives of leaders of nearly every major country and we are to beleive that the combined, NYPD, FBI, Secret Service, etc. has not checked the basement for bombs and a bomber or posted guards at service doors.
Then our (now) uber hero talks his false love (she did him dirty) out of setting off the bombs by saying she is "naive". That's just before he shoots the love of his life (same woman), the woman who will transform him into a peace-loving citizen...probably on the British dole...in the head.
Lastly, he walks around with a large automatic pistol, with an attached silencer in his jacket, pants or suit pocket. Obviously, the author never measured how long (about 15" to 18") and how heavy this armament would be: about 3+ lbs. And, of course, no one is the wiser or notices that his pocket is sagging or his pants are about to fall down.
The reader is oficious and makes the "hero" sound like an unsympathetic prig.
If you want to read a comedy, in the guise of a "serious" novel, then this is for you. Frankly, I wouldn't waste my time, money or credits.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
A good 1st novel for experienced MI6 operative Matthew Dunn. He writes his super-hero spy with "can-do all" attitude & physical abilities that leads the reader to suspect that the boundaries of reality should be expanded. At the beginning, I thought the writer intended to write a super-action hero spy novel then towards the middle I caught a change in tone toward more serious espionage/terrorism.
Before the novel was published in Britain (as "Spartan") it had to be approved by MI6. During an interview, Matthew Dunn says his intention was never to reveal or jeopardize Western espionage operations nor its capabilities. This is a fair goal. With this goal in mind, Dunn told a good story of today's Islamic extremists vs Western values, past atrocities, & human frailties. A easy rating of PG-14 with violence but little graphic details.
The narrator matched the charactors' voices & did a good job.
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