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Publisher's Summary

In the feeble light of a London winter, Joe Tiplady walks his dog in the snow. He is not alone. Two men are tracking him, as is a woman with wolf eyes. Soon Joe will find himself caught in a storm of violence and retribution that he does not yet understand.

Around the world, a chain of events is in motion that will make Joe a priceless target. A retired Soviet general hunts for his missing daughter after a series of brutal murders. A ruthless assassin loses something so precious he will do anything to get it back. And in the mountains of Utah, a brilliant ex-CIA chief wrestles with his religion.

In the shadow of them all lies Zoba, strongman ruler of Russia and puppet-master of the world's darkest operatives. Can Joe save himself from this dangerous web of power and revenge? Where can he run when there's nowhere left to hide?

Please note: this book contains strong language and scenes of torture.

©2016 John Sweeney (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hated it.

What disappointed you about Cold?

I don't like the violence and torture in it.

What about Alan Smyth’s performance did you like?

Alan did a fine job of reading the short amount I listened to.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I do not like the type of violence and torture in it. Very chilling.

Any additional comments?

I wish I could return it for a refund. I have only listened to about 2 of the 12 hours it offers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

hard to understand

too complicated for me after listening to the whole book I still don't know what it's about

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 03-01-18

Should Have Been Non-Fiction

John Sweeney is a veteran British journalist who does not shy away from controversy -- he's been sued by the billionaire owners of a rival newspaper and fought on screen against Scientologists. He also helped exonerate innocent mothers convicted of murdering their own children, covered war zones (including some of those discussed in Cold), and reported about portions of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc (the main theme here).

In the afterword to Cold (which will unfortunately come too late for some readers who will have a hard time finishing this book, judging by the plethora of one-star reviews), Sweeney lists the inspirations for Cold, including the real-life people on which he based ex-IRA bomber Joe Tiplady and ex-CIA agent Zeke Chandler, and the real-life background to some of the other threads in Cold.

That is all quite interesting -- especially the portrayal of Russia as brutal criminal enterprise on a national (even international) scale. But as a work of fiction, it has serious flaws. Plot points are sometimes preposterous, the main characters are one-dimensional and all too disposable, the McGuffin is simultaneously telegraphed and trivial, the reveals are few and not all that illuminating, and the ending is jarringly abrupt, that after extended detailed flashbacks that are not directly part of the story.

Journalist John Sweeney should have stayed in his wheelhouse and written a powerful fact-based expose of his primary targets rather than fictionalizing them, especially since his primary sources were real people with real stories. That would have made for quite a book. On the other hand, a non-fiction version would probably not have necessitated the superb Irish-accented narration of Alan Smyth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Do some research

If you're going to take potshots at the Mormons (and who doesn't these days), at a minimum you should at least get the pronunciation correct, let alone a basic understanding of how the Mormon church works.

Besides that, the story has so many logical inconsistencies that it is difficult for anyone who has a modicum of intelligence not to get frustrated when listening. One of the worst books I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too graphic torture scene

Too graphic torture scene. Deleted it. Too hard to follow. The Mormon stuff was interesting

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No other word to use except BAD!

What disappointed you about Cold?

I was really anticipating listening to a good spy novel, however I was left extremely disappointed. I would think an author would do some research before publishing a novel. His references to Mormonism are way off. Besides the stereotypical things about Mormons (Salt Lake City, Utah, temple, missionaries, etc.) the author demonstrates very little knowledge about Mormon beliefs. That shows the author is deliberately trying to cast Mormons in a bad light or he is completely ignorant.

The characters did not seem realistic whatsoever. They came across as cheesy and undeveloped. I could only stand listening to this book for about two hours. I wish I would have read other's reviews about this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by John Sweeney again?

Never!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Smyth?

Maybe. The Irish accent took some getting used to.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Watch out for the weird sexual torture scenes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good thriller great performance

Very enjoyable and engaging book. The narrator did a great job bringing the charchters to life

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best kind of surprise

This is the best choice I've made from all the Kindle First books and it makes up for the other, disappointing choices and then some.
An amazingly detailed and well-plotted story. The author's attention to detail and thorough research make for a novel that kept me up very late (the audible version of just one more chapter.) From the cold war to contemporary Russia, the book is an adventure of spy craft intrigue, the complexities of war, and political hubris. Added in are a little black dog and a guest apperance by some piranha, giving it enough wit to balance out some of the graphic scenes inherent to a great suspense novel.
Alan Smyth give a stunning performance! He manages to portray each character's personality not only through accent but tempo of speech and a great deal of narrative talent. Some who reviewed the book on Amazon complained that it was slow and plodding. I wish those reviewers would listen to the book instead; Mister Smythe's narration would quickly end those complaints.
Definitely looking forward to the second book in the series. Joe Tiplady is a man worthy of a series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bad

This book was not good at all I listened to the first 6 chapters an marked as finished couldn't finish it

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 11-15-16

I thought it would never end

Too long & meandering. I had the dog angle figured out long before. Too many side trips that added nothing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jools
  • 07-09-16

Excellent Narrator

Enjoyed the book and humour the narrator made the book worth listening to his expressions were great, looking forward to the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 01-05-17

suspense throuhout

I loved the link to real life characters and fictional one. I can't wait for the next instalment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • janice
  • 12-23-16

Joe Tiplady storyline embarrassingly bad.

What would have made Cold better?

Essentially good story let down by awful central character and clunking dialogue. Feels like the book was written by two people.

Would you ever listen to anything by John Sweeney again?

No.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Smyth?

Yes, the narrator was good, accents were authentic, injected plenty of menace into baddies' dialogue

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The Russian element of this story had potential.

Any additional comments?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JOHN M.
  • 11-29-16

Cold a good listen

This book has many threads that come together at the end, which makes it a good listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • TERESA
  • 08-29-16

Not that great

Too many characters and story lines that were not readily believable - a lot of detailed violence distracted from the plot

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jules
  • 07-18-16

Complex plot but worth the concentration

Excellent thriller but not for those looking for an easy to follow plot. Lots of characters but exciting if a bit gruesome in places.

Loved the narrator and his accents are excellent which did make it a little easier to follow who was who.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • M MacInnes
  • 01-29-18

I really tried but it's a meandering mess

I have persevered with this book but I cannot finish it. From the start it is a confusing mess of plotlines going in so many directions. For the past couple of hours I've carried on hoping it would improve but unfortunately it has not. I also find it strange that every Russian has a high-pitched voice. Awful story, mediocre performance.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • 09-15-17

Unconvincing

This had the potential to be a good story, but by half way through was obvious and merely a drag to get to the end of. I was most disappointed. The narration was ok, but I expect the terrible accents will annoy most listeners. I will certainly not be buying the proposed next in the "series".

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clive
  • 03-23-17

Great story.

A terrific story and very well narrated. Full of twists and turns with new scenarios around every corner.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-18-17

Top Class

This book is a must for spy \ espionage fan's. It cut's very, very close to they bone on the East \ West defied. 10/10 in my opinion.