Winter in Venice and a killing frost has cut deep into CIA cleaner Micah Dalton's heart as he heads out into the night to erase the last members of the Serbian gang who shot his lover, a hand-to-hand vendetta Dalton does not intend to survive. And he might not have, if a mysterious jade box containing a stainless steel glasscutter had not arrived at his villa. The glasscutter has powerful meaning for only a select few people high up inside the American intelligence establishment.
The box, and the dangerous message it contains, triggers a global search for a possible mole within the upper echelons of the CIA itself, a pursuit that takes Dalton from Venice to Santorini to Istanbul, where he collides with a shadowy group of spies determined to prevent the discovery of a plot that could paralyze America's most critical intelligence operations around the world.Through airborne firefights above the Sea of Marmora, a harrowing sea chase up the Straits of the Bosphorus, and then halfway across the globe to a violent confrontation in the mangrove swamps of Florida's Emerald Coast, Dalton and his associate - the half-American, half-English aristocrat Mandy Pownall - risk their lives and possibly their sanity in a desperate hunt for the architects of a cunningly deceptive espionage offensive mounted by one of America's most subtle and ancient enemies.
Intelligent, sophisticated, and filled with pulsing suspense, The Venetian Judgment is a brilliant thriller from a master craftsman.
©2009 David Stone; (P)2009 Penguin Audio
Compared to Stone's first 2 novels, this one is a dud. The plot was weak and I found it very confusing. The most entertaining (in my opinion) support characters from the first 2 books are absent. Porter Naumann only appears once and has no impact on the story. Brancati does not appear at all. The reader, Jason Culp, does not measure up to Firdous Bamji or Erik Davies. If Stone writes a fourth Micah Dalton novel, I hope it is better than this one!
Whew, I need a couple of cigarettes after this one, it was that good. I've read/listened to all of the books in the Micah Dalton series so far, and I must say that this one is the best to date. Not necessarily based on the content, but David Stone really put his foot in the structure of this one. The storyline, the character development, or rather, the way he opens up your knowledge of the relationships between all of the main characters is nothing short of sheer artistry and a measured, but technical skill.
Most noteworthy however, is the way the author lets you into the worlds of these fictional characters who most likely exist in some form or another in the real world. He takes you into their psyche, breaking down the routes and pathways of their criminal synapses.
There is a reason why very few people like wild rats, which most of the characters on the other side of Micah Dalton's mission seemed to be based on: feral, infectious creatures of instinct rather than intellect.
The narrator performs the characters rather nicely, especially Mandy, and Porter. Jason Culp sounds very authentic through various eastern hemisphere accents and dialects.
An excellent listen that builds on the legend that is Micah Dalton. In the very, very end, you too will learn that rats will eat anything, including each other.
Expressionistic current writing on par with Steven Crane and James Lee Burke.Stone has talent. Narrator was great.
Semi retired CPA, Sarah's mom, corgi mom, avid traveler, political junkie, somewhere north of ATL
I just love Micah Dalton and the cast of characters in this book.....the blend of humor and hard core spy/violence is well balanced. Do yourself a favor and listen to the first in the series before you listen to this one. It is not crucial to do so, but will add to your enjoyment of this one. The first is by far and away the best work that I have heard/read by this author. Great listen!
And don't you just love Porter Nauman? I would love for the author to do a historical lookback with Porter and Micah both working together.....don't know how he would manage it, but food for thought.
About two hours in I felt a haze from so many books of invincible agents, then a very likeable , less serious, assistant came in that broke the routine progression. Stone's characters are driven, results oriented professionals that do not constantly wrap themslves in our flag to justify the need for extremes when needed. MICAH DALTON seems to have found more mental stablility but kept his dangerous nature. In all good story, great characters and well researched history.
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