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An Alex Hawke Thriller
By: Ted Bell
Narrated by: John Shea
Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,457 ratings)
Regular price: $24.99
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Publisher's Summary

In an elegant palazzo on the Grand Canal, an American ambassador's tryst turns deadly. In the seamy underbelly of London, a pub-crawling killer is on the loose. And in a storybook chapel nestled in the Cotswolds, a marriage made in heaven turns to hell on earth.

Isolated incidents? Or links in a chain of events hurtling towards catastrophe? So begins Assassin, the tour de force thriller that heralds the return of every terrorist's worst nightmare: Alex Hawke.

A shadowy figure known as the Dog is believed to be the ruthless terrorist who is systematically and savagely assassinating American diplomats and their families around the globe. As the deadly toll mounts inexorably, Hawke, along with former NYPD cop and Navy SEAL Stokely Jones, is called upon by the U.S. government to launch a search for the assassin behind the murders.

Hawke, who "makes James Bond look like a "slovenly, dull-witted clockpuncher" (Kirkus Reviews), is soon following a trail that leads back to London in the go-go 90s, when Arab oil money fueled lavish, and sometimes fiendish, lifestyles. Other murky clues point to the Florida Keys, where a vicious killer hides behind the gates of a fabled museum, and to a remote Indonesian island where a madman tinkers with strains of a deadly virus and slyly bides his time.

Hawke must call upon resources deep within himself. He must enter a race against time to stop a cataclysmic attack on America's most populous cities and avenge the inexplicable and horrific crime that has left him devastated.

Take another thrill ride with Alex Hawke.
©2004 Theodore A. Bell (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

" Assassin is the most highly imaginative thriller to come along in a long while. Ted Bell can really, really write." (James Patterson)
"Whether the novel is taken as a grown-up boy's book or a modern thriller, readers will be caught in the whirlwind of action and find themselves having a grand old time." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Like Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, this series is a mix of over-the-top thrills and grounded characterizations. The mix is well served by Shea's efforts." ( AudioFile)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Lithonia, GA, USA
  • 08-04-08

made for the movies

This was my first experience with this writer and narrator. The writing is enthralling and entertaining. The flow feels like one of the great older James Bond movies... Sean Connery of course. The characters are a little clich? but this actually works as positive instead of a negative. There are a few unneeded twists and turns and maybe a few unnecessary characters but the overall strength of the writing makes it all worth while. You will laugh out loud, get mad at the bad guys and cheer for the heroes.

The narrator instantly became one of my favorites. His deft handling of so many different accents is something I'll look forward to every time I listen to him in the future. You will also find that he had an interesting tendency to maintain the characters speaking voice after the quotation marks ended. I think it added to the performance. It created a kind of faux first person perspective. I will be downloading other works by both this writer and narrator. Count on it.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kerry
  • Belleville, NJ, United States
  • 02-11-11

Unoriginal and Predictable

Ear candy with a cookie cutter plot. The narrator was very good with multiple character voices but has the distinction of creating THE MOST ANNOYING voice I have ever heard in Dr. Sung. Hawke was a cartoon hero fighting a cartoon villian. There were several factual errors (the US Navy does not fly F-117 fighters, USAF only) but the plot had no suspense for me. Glad it was on sale.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars


If you enjoyed Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille... Don't listen to this book. It's not even close to the same level of craft work as those authors. Ted Bell is technically sound. He writes very well. If only the actual plot and characters held your attention for more than 20 seconds.

The story jumps from one only-vaguely-interesting scene to another, rarely with any sort of gratifying payoff. The action scenes, whenever they finally came, were amusing enough. Hardly a complete book by any means: lacking in character, narrative, intrigue, development...

And I'm sorry, but I don't even like the main character. The review mentions that Alex Hawke makes Bond look like a "slovenly, dull-witted clockpuncher". I couldn't disagree more. He's got all the sharp wit of a wet noodle. I found the main character a pedantic, pretentious, pompous pretender.

The only character I actually liked was Stokley Jones.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Assassin of time

While not unbearable, it is imperative that you not think at all while listening to this book.

Some of the descriptions are artistic and grand. But the logic of the story and events do not ring true.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • Jupiter, FL, United States
  • 08-08-11

Super villian leads Hawke through a killing spree

Could call it the classic super villain vs the hero. In the beginning it's intriguing, the plots and action grip you. But the story fizzles and the two appear to be unstoppable and consistently survive the unsurvivable. The story becomes obvious, you know whats gonna happen just not how. It's unfortunate because it really is written well. It just has the classic battle of the two opposing powers and gets a little to drawn out. I got bored and didn't finish it because I knew where it was going and just wanted it to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • WHEATON, IL, United States
  • 02-26-11


I will start by giving narrator John Shea kudos - he is the only enjoyable part of this waste of a legacy credit. I will look for more John Shea reading other authors.

Alex Hawke - think Doc Savage without the bronze and excitement. His eclectic "inner circle" is composed of the most banal and stereotypical sidekicks. Hawke appears to be "dear old friends" with every leader and major figure in the free world. Bell kills off Hawke's wife as the book begins but, fear not, the book ends with Hawke shacking up with his old lover, the U.S. Secretary of State!

His yacht is a warship, he defeats sumos bare-handed and he has lots and lots of money. The story is a pile-on of every hackneyed cliche you ever read in an adventure novel. All at a pace to put you to sleep. Nighty-night!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book AMAZING narrator!

This is an exciting listen! Lots of action and intrigue. John Shea is a reader beyond belief! I would have sworn I was listening to multiple readers, since the accents and the difference in characters is amazing! I will listen to anything he reads! Fun listen!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Don
  • LELAND, NC, United States
  • 03-02-10

Another great listen!

The Alex Hawke books have become some of my favorites. Another great job by John Shea. If you are a James Bond fan you should really like the series. I wish I could find the first book, "Hawke", but it is only available as unabridged, which would be a waste. "Assassin" is the 2nd book and you get to see characters evolve as you go through Pirate and SPY. They are supposed to be making a movie out of one of these, check out the Ted Bell website. This book is worth the read just for Stokley Jones, but there is so much more. Get this book, you won't be sorry.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Garland, Texas, United States
  • 02-09-11


I didnt finish it... some where in part 1 I gave up, which is unusual for me. Truth be told I cant even remember anything of this book. Perhaps I will give it another listen at some time in the future but as of now it was not worth my time nor money.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States
  • 03-21-17

Every cliche in the genre

I suppose if this book were written in 1980 it would have been seen as very cutting edge. But it is so full of cliches I had to increase the listening speed to hurry through it.

You have the roguish English Lord/Super spy/international businessman, the avuncular Scotland Yard detective, the jive talking (no, really--jive) black ex-Navy SEAL, the thoroughly despicable Middle Eastern villain with his sadistic ebony African number two, etc.

The plot is no better. Actually, there are 2 completely unrelated plots which was very frustrating when the one just fizzled out and ended.

Even the climax is a let down after all the build up.

There's nothing offensive or terrible about it, it simply isn't very interesting or engaging.

The narration is actually quite good. I found the accents "quite distracting, old boy" but that is how the characters are written.

The spy thriller genre is so well populated you should put this book far down on your reading list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful