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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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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

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Holy crap, this book was terrible

Wow! This was the worst book I've read or listened to in years.

I don't know what happened here. I have really liked this series. I thought the first few books in this series were good and getting progressively better each book. I though starting with the fourth or fifth book in the series until the eighth that they were really excellent. Then the ninth was a huge step down in quality, average at best. Then there was this catastrophe.

Where to start... For the first time ever in the series there were several HUGE discrepancies with the previous books in the series. Spoilers ahead:

If you have read the previous nine books you know a huge, PIVOTAL point in the story is the fact that Anastasia gives Alex their son and remains in Siberia. That is not a minor detail, that is one of the most important things to happen in the series. After that, Alex never sees her again. Suddenly in this book Alex is fondly remembering spending an entire summer with both his son Alexei and Anastasia in some coastal town in France. The author makes this mistake not once, but at least three times in the book. I was shaking my head in bewilderment. The only explanation I can think of for this glaring error is that the author didn't write this book at all, but instead paid someone to write it for him and then didn't even take the time to proofread it. Or he is losing his mind. I hope not. That is by far the worst discrepancy but nowhere near the only one. He also completely forgets that the mercenary group Thunder and Lightning moved from Martinique to the Florida Keys. He goes into detail describing Fort Whoopass in Martinique. There was at least one more big glaring one I can't remember at the moment.

Now, let's talk about the idiotic way he introduces Alex Hawke's current love interest, Sigrid. She appears mid story, with no warning, and Alex is shocked to see her since she previously broke his heart by leaving him with no warning and no explanation. So, while Alex is dealing with the stress of losing his son to a kidnapping, he now has to deal with this surprise woman coming back into his life. On top of that she is crazy, dropping some ridiculous story on him about being blackmailed by a jealous stalker. Honestly I thought I was reading a Fifty Shades novel for a moment. The entire character was a huge distraction and jarring interruption to the story.

Next, the over the top cliche cowboy, who also happens to the be a knife wielding psychopath. Shit Smith. Sidenote, I totally did not need to hear literally every character in the book have an in depth discussion about, "Yes, his name is actually Shit." "Shit?" "Shit." And I just remembered the other big discrepancy: Vladimir Putin and Joe Stalingrad actually have that stupid conversation TWICE in the book. Like the author just forgot those two characters already had the whole discussion a few chapters ago, so they do it all again. I gave the book two stars for performance only because I actually like the author, and I feel like he did the best job possible with this awful material, but listening to him butchering a psychotic cowboy accent over and over was pure torture. This was hands down the worst and most annoying character in any book I've ever read.

Next, the endlessly drawn out boring death sequence for Colonel Bo at the end of the book. There's another completely uninteresting character. At least he is gone for good this time.

So, if you are like me, and you enjoyed this series up to the eighth, or even ninth book, just stop while you are ahead, because you will regret wasting your time on this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Ted Bell has spoofed himself

I have been reading the Hawke series for years. They got a little crazier each time, but they were still entertaining. This, I hope final, installment is not even entertaining. I wanted to finish it just so I could say honestly that it is drudgery from start to finish. The problem is entirely with the author. The narrator was reading his script, and had to make do with what he had been given.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

fun fun

great to listen to while I work. good fun good pace. like I said. fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

best performance of a Alex Hawke novel..

best performance of an Alex Hawke novel. Superbly written and voiced buy a talented reader. I highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Disappointed

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Alex Hawke series by Ted Bell and after a long wait anticipated another good listen. Unfortunately this was far inferior to all of the others. Weak plot.
Little suspense, predictable action all ending in an unsatisfactory cliff hanger.

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

Great story, great performance.

The performance is stellar as usual. You can sometimes forget that it is one person performing all the characters. It is done so consistantly that each book is like hearing from and friend.
This story is great and the action better. Ending left you wondering what next!

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

Disappointing

Story felt shot and lacking and the charaters were over the top. Hawke Novels for 13 years have been favorites of mine and I have read most 2-3 times. Overkill feel like nothing but a Pay Day for Ted Bell and less like an attempt to create a great story to continue the series.

Need a different antagonist, Putin has run his course. Hawke's "love life" is becoming predixtable and sort of like a "Groundhog's Day" story. The best Charatcers in the book are that have been around from the beginning, the remaining need a reboot.