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Publisher's Summary

From the #1 New York Times - and Wall Street Journal - best-selling author comes the dramatic second adventure in the brand-new Clandestine Operations series about the Cold War, the fledgling Central Intelligence Agency - and a new breed of warrior.

In Top Secret, W.E.B. Griffin introduced a remarkable new cast of heroes as they found themselves on the front lines of an entirely different kind of war. Now, these men and women are going to find out what they’ve really gotten themselves into.

James Cronley thought he had done well - he didn't know he’d done this well.

His first successful mission for the about-to-be-official new Central Intelligence Directorate has drawn all kinds of attention, some welcome, some not. On the plus side, he's now a captain; promoted to Chief, DCI, Europe; and in charge of a top secret spy operation. On the minus side, a lot of people would like to know about that operation, including not only the Soviets, but his own Pentagon, as well as a seething J. Edgar Hoover.

Cronley knows that if just one thing goes wrong, he's likely to get thrown to the wolves. As if that weren't enough pressure, complications are springing up on all sides. He's discovered a surprising alliance between the former German intelligence chief and, of all things, the Mossad. A German family that Cronley never knew he had has suddenly, and suspiciously, emerged. And he's due for a rendezvous with an undercover agent against the Soviets known only as Seven K.

It’s when he meets Seven K that he gets the real surprise.

©2014 W.E.B. Griffin (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-08-15

The Cold War Starts

This is book two in the new series entitled Clandestine Operation Series. Captain James Cronley is back with the same characters we met in book one.

Cronley is now in charge of running the European division of the Directorate of Central intelligence, know known as the CIA. We are introduced to some new characters such as Maksymilian Ostrowski, a free Polish Air Force veteran now a displaced person. Russian triple-agent Seven-K who spied for the Abwehr Ost is also revealed in this story.

One of the things I like about Griffins’ books is that Griffin slips historical facts into the story such as the Katyn Forest massacre, Hoover’s botched attempt at Manhattan Project secrecy. I did note an error in the historical fact in that Griffin had created the USAF one year prior to its actual date of 14 September 1947.

Lots of suspense is provided with a top secret Russian agent Colonel Sergei Likbanev of the NKGB who is turned and taken to Argentina. Now the excitement builds trying to sneak his family out of Russia.

What I like about Griffin books are the mixture of fact and fiction along with mixing real people with fictional characters. Griffin also tends to insert one or more characters from prior books into the story. I wonder is the character Freddy Hessinger is a fictional portrayal of Henry Kissinger; there is a lots of similarities between the two in the story. In this series Griffin is giving us a historical look at post war Germany.

I noted this series which shadows cold war history, is revealing how history repeats itself in the headlines of today’s news. Anyone interested in historical fiction of the cold war will enjoy this book. Alexander Cendese narrated this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Did someone else write this book.

What disappointed you about The Assassination Option?

I did not like the narration at all, and the story was very weak. I would never have guess it was written by Griffin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Latest Griffin Series

Just finished the latest installment in the new Griffin series. Really like how he has chosen to portray the young hero. While I was not alive during WW2, I would imagine that many of the newly-made, very young officers second guessed their every move. Makes for a realistic feel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another home run for WEB & WEB Jr.

as the second of the clandestine series it's ever better than the first with excellent narration by Alexander Cendese. Stories about the early days of the CIA make for a great background to the history of what it took to get the CIA off the ground after the OSS was disbanded and the conflict with the DOD and the FBI over who should be responsible for foreign intelligence. With this as a background the story is fast paced and picks up where the first book ended. I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not the W.E.B. Griffin We Love

If I hadn't had such a high expectation of this series I would perhaps have stuck it out. But having just rerun the "Corps" series and the "Brotherhood of War" series I just had to go on with this series. Boy was I mistaken! I got through the first one, and tried the second hoping it'd get better. It got worse! The main character was just unlikable. He was mostly annoying and was certainly not someone who would be in a position of trust in an intelligence operation. Every time he got some highly secret information it seems like he couldn't wait to share it with......anyone! And even after having an operation compromised by his dalliance with someone's wife, he just couldn't resist climbing into the sack with another one. And his runaway mouth was constantly cited, seemingly every other page. The plot was difficult to follow, the characters were shallow, the voices were odd and the personae kept changing from good guy to prick without any sense of why. Save your money and skip this series.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Worst Narration

I've been reading W.E.B. Griffin's various series of books for a very long time. Frankly, I enjoy them. However, since there is a lot of repetitive information within each book, the repetitions are easier to tolerate as an Audible book as opposed to actually reading the book.

The theme and story of each series of books is very similar. Typically, there is at least one young central character in each story who is brash, yet brave and heroic. Most of the time, that character is very wealthy and well connected. In other words, not typical of a real life character, but that's okay.

The law enforcement stories are centered around various divisions of the Philadelphia Police Department.

The military stories are typically US Army related, though there is also an excellent series revolving around the US Marine Corps. With the exception of the USMC stories, we find a majority of the US Army related stories included storylines that included Germany, Argentina and Texas. All seem to touch upon some aspect of intelligence and somehow the young wealthy characters are heroic and become highly connected within both military and political structures.

In one series, the author chose to turn the final book in the series into a unrealistic comedy. It was highly disappointing and I felt it it was insulting to the author's loyal base.

In this particular series, the "Clandestine Operations Series", the books in the series are in inconsistent. Perhaps the author is getting forgetful? Or in writing with his son, the collaboration has created inconsistencies? I don't know. For instance. Major Wallace goes from being a supporter & defender of Captain Cromley to Pentagon chair warming, two-faced hater of Captain Cromley. It doesn't come across as Major Wallace transitioning to that role, but simply assumes a different role as Colonel Mattingly is moved out of the series.

The glaring inconsistencies in this particular series is disappointing enough, though they will not stop me from reading or listening to future books from Mr. Griffin and/or his son.

In this particular series, i.e. the "Clandestine Operations Series", the most disappointing is the particular artist chosen to read this series, Mr. Alexander Cendese. I don't recall hearing Mr. Cendese reading other books I've listened to. Perhaps he is very good at reading non-fiction. In this particular series, his readings are very distracting from the story, because his accents for each character can only be described as horrible. For instance, in the first 3 books in this series, Major Wallace comes across as a strong military leader, friendly and even with a sense of humor. In the 4th book in the series, the narrator has him sounding like a nasty old man.

Furthermore, almost everyone has a weird German sounding accent, including Americans of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage who are born and raised in the USA. For the Russians, my wife walked by as I was listening to the story and kept laughing as she said the characters sounded like Count Chocula.

Several of the women are portrayed as unrealistic, damn near bimbo, sluts. Frankly, it's distracting and embarrassing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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God Story About. Forgotten Period

Griffin does a good job of bringing back the events in early post WW 2 in Europe- especially the tense relationship between allies in a partitioned Germany.
The characters in the series are entertaining and add color to the tale.

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assanatipn option

Cromley character is not very interesting. would of liked to see more intrigue with regards to interplay between Russian and american counterparts. very predicable story line. not his best work. need mor Col Friday less Cromley.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very formulaic

It seems that these books have an all too predictable formula - get a promotion, run around flashing secret credentials, taste a forbidden fruit, resolve the drama in the last 30 seconds of the book with no casualties.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • FORT DENAUD, FL, United States
  • 08-22-16

Love the author

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I was running the series. Love the author, really did not like the reader

What did you like best about this story?

The continuing story

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I listen to these books because I really like the author and his style of writing. The narrator was rough and did not pronounce the foreign word well. This detracted from the story

Do you think The Assassination Option needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, hoping it will have one.

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  • ben
  • 08-11-17

Very good

Lots of information to take in but is write in such a way that it comes together