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Publisher's Summary

Putting it all on the line to rescue his kidnapped son pits counterspy Alex Hawke against Russian president Vladimir Putin in this action-packed thriller from New York Times best-selling author Ted Bell.

On a ski vacation in the Swiss Alps high above St. Moritz, Alex Hawke and his young son, Alexei, are thrust into danger when the tram carrying them to the top of the mountain bursts into flame, separating the two. Before he can reach Alexei, the boy is snatched from the burning cable car by unknown assailants in a helicopter.

Meanwhile, high above the skies of France, Vladimir Putin is aboard his presidential jet after escaping a bloodless coup in the Kremlin. When two flight attendants collapse and slip into unconsciousness, the Russian leader realizes the danger isn’t over. Killing the pilots, he grabs a parachute, steps out of the plane...and disappears.

Hawke has led his share of dangerous assignments, but none with stakes this high. To save his son, he summons his trusted colleagues, chief inspector of Scotland Yard Ambrose Congreve and former US Navy SEAL Stokley Jones Jr., and recruits a crack Hostage Rescue Team - a group of elite soldiers of fortune known as Thunder & Lighting. Before they can devise a rescue plan, Hawke must figure out who took his boy - and why. An operative who has fought antagonists around the globe, Hawke has made many enemies; one in particular may hold the key to finding Alexei before it’s too late.

But an unexpected threat complicates their mission. Making his way to Falcon’s Lair, the former Nazi complex created for Hitler, Putin is amassing an impressive armory that he intends to use for his triumphant return to Moscow.

Only one man can smash the Russian president’s plan for domination - a master counterspy who will cross every line to save his son...and maybe save the world itself in the bargain.

©2018 Theodore A. Bell (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great from an author I hadn't heard of before.

Hawke's the real James Bond, no Roger Moore. Interesting storyline and characters, great narration as well. I'll be sure to listen to the other books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ES
  • Centreville, VA
  • 05-27-18

too wordy

The author has become too intoxicated with his words. Unfortunately they contribute very little to the fabric or flow of the story and to the entertainment value. In short they just bloat the novel. The story itself is a fantasy but that would be alright if it were told with better craft. This is the worst of the Hawke novels.

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

Mr Smith’s first name is ____

The first name of Ted Bell’s character Mr Smith, best represents this book. Not up to the standards of his previous Alex Hawke novels

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

story line not realistic.. struggled to finish <br />

story line not realistic. struggled to finish. characters were a bore. will probably never read anymore of his books

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

Great to have Alex Hawke back in action.

Narrator made story come alive. his ability to be so many characters and accents was fantastic. the story was exciting, but a bit more violent than Bell's previous work. the cliffhanger led me to believe there will be a sequel.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill
  • Minnetonka, MN, United States
  • 05-14-18

What the heck was that?

I don't know what to even make of this other than Ted Bell is going into more fantastical and hard to believe "James Bond" pseudo-sci-fi plots. Vladimir Putin comes back as the main villain doing more crazy stuff that seems pretty well impossible between Russia and Switzerland. If you are willing to totally suspend your disbelief and your incredulity, you'll probably enjoy it better than I did. It was ok, just kind of crazy.

John Shea did a better job than usual, probably because the book was written so that he didn't have to do large numbers of British accents simultaneously. When he has to do more than 2 at the same time he seems like he's struggling to differentiate. And when he has to do both Russian and German/Swiss accents at the size time they tend to blend.

It was pretty good on the whole, but I expect the next one in the series to be where Putin commandeers the international space station and tries to take over the world.

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

Overkill is too over the top

I've always enjoyed Bell's books (I read to escape, so Oprah's book club picks are not high on my list) but this time I constantly found myself wondering if his editor was on vacation when he worked on the book. I kept getting distracted by the timeline discontinuity, logistics impossibilities, and downright incorrect facts: the annual Army-Navy game is NOT played on Thanksgiving, how did an Irish/English special forces soldier receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Hemingway did not write part of The Old Man and the Sea in Bermuda (he never even visited the island). I can suspend my disbelief only so far; but... If Stokely was a Seal in Vietnam he would be about 65 now (if he was 20 at the end of the war in 1973.) And don't get me started about the story he told about his beloved father....
I'm not sure I'll be reading another Hawk book if he continues the series.

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

Another Great Story

Ted Bell never fails to immediately capture the reader’s attention and draw them into a great adventure.

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

It was just OK

I have been a Hawke fanboy since the series began, but this one was a little hard to get into. It was OK, but not a book that I would recommend. The story was a little too far out there for me to take seriously. Actually I was hoping for the end so I could move onto another book. If you are a fan of the series, you need to read this since it appears that the next book picks up where this one leaves off. I think I miss the earlier books where Alex was more of a James Bond with a boat.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ted Bell keeps getting better!

Ted Bell just does not disappoint. He has had so many great novels, you wonder how each one will top the previous, but somehow he does. This book is nonstop action with twists and turns all along the way. If you have enjoyed any of Bell's books, you'll love this newest Alex Hawke adventure.

As usual, narrator John Shea does a fantastic job. As the de facto franchise narrator, he has really brought all of Ted Bell's characters to life, and with each novel Bell writes, the characters become more and more in-depth. Shea is able to bring life to these characters in such a fun way.

If you have listened to any of the other books and series, don't forget that Alex Hawke #1, entitled Hawke, was released on Audible not long ago. The book is wonderful, and the audiobook is no different.

I can't recommend this book and series enough. I had it preordered since the day it was available, and I enjoyed it so much, that I finished it around noon today, and it was released yesterday. It's the type of audiobook that makes you take another lap around the block before getting home, so you can finish the chapter. Get this right away. It's fantastic.

Great job, Ted Bell!