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The Echelon Vendetta

A Novel
Narrated by: Firdous Bamji
Series: A Micah Dalton Thriller, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (1,009 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Micah Dalton isn't paid to ask questions. He's a "cleaner", a CIA fixer sent in to mop up the mess when an agent or situation goes bad. But when his close friend and mentor Porter Naumann turns up dead in an idyllic Tuscan hill town, an apparent suicide, Dalton's curiosity gets the best of him.

Naumann's death puts Dalton on a collision course with a killer who has a penchant for intricate knife-work and Native American mysticism, a sadist who is killing ex-CIA agents. The victims are hard-nosed field men whose only link to one another seems to be a global surveillance operation called Echelon. The murders appear to be acts of retribution. But for what?

An elegant, original, and chillingly suspenseful journey through the darkest alleys of international espionage, The Echelon Vendetta will keep you enthralled right up to its final, supremely satisfying twist.

©2007 DavidStoneBooks (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Recorded Books LLC. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Fast-moving, smart, sexy, and alarming. Everything you want in a thriller." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A smoothly written spy thriller....Stone...packs the novel with the kind of nitty-gritty detail that draws espionage fans. A promising debut." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent spy tale

I couldn't stop listening to this book. High tension, intriguing locales (Venice, Cortona and the desert Southwest) and interesting characters make this recording zip along at breakneck speed. If you like action thrillers like 24, you will like this book.

82 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Top of his Game

David Stone has a winner with his debut novel The Echelon Vendetta. Introducing a new kind of hero/villian/company man, Stone creates a likable, complex character in Micah Dalton. With chapters from Italy to New Mexico, Stone does well in defining a CIA we all know exists. From high tech gadgetry, to Native American folklore, Stone weaves a story of international intrigue and suspense that will keep you guessing and second guessing his storyline. While some parts are admittedly gruesome, I found the manner of writing refreshing and new in a world lacking since the death of Ludlum. Stone is definitely a writer for the new age, and will not disapoint those of us who tire of the same old "espionage novel" wrapped in different places and characters. Be prepared to be impressed. Looking forward to Stone's follow up ....

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

ok, but leaves a lot to be desired

I agree with the previous reviewer who compared the writing style to that of a 7th grader. I wouldn't go that far, but I agree the writing style is a bit immature. Full of tired cliches and infantile sayings (aw, don't go all 'Yoda' on me now...").
It was a bit hard to take the story seriously.
What made it worse is the narrator. The narrator also sounds immature, like an 18 year old surfer dude.
But I really liked the plot and storyline, I just wish the dialog was a bit more mature, and read by a better narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 04-13-07

Not A Fan

The book dragged a bit. As mentioned before, far too many metaphors - actually reminded me of Koontz, whom I'm not a fan of. Such a writing style is amateurish to me and I found myself drifting away from the book as a result. Certain elements of the story were not believable, and other elements materialized out of nowhere, with absolutely no background to explain them. The ending frankly left me scratching my head; it really made little sense and seemed a weak attempt to justify the plot.

The narrator handled certain characters well, but definitely not the main one - Dalton. His narration of Dalton had, at times, a halting-Shatner-esque quality. He rarely did an effective job conveying his emotion. Words clearly intended to show emotion were often read deadpan.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • prescott, AZ, United States
  • 03-27-07

must be a pen name

I have listend to many spy, action and koontz type books. This one has many elements of koontz and I am sure it is written by a Flynn or other similar. Not too hard to keep up with and very good overall listen.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Adventure

This is an excellent audio book. The reader's pace and delivery are exactly what this story demands. The words flow easily and the reader never gets in the way of the story.

The production of this audio book is really great. In other novels I have listened to they make sure every word is included, even, when read out loud, some are not needed. For instance, in The Collectors there will be a male voice and a female voice having a conversation, yet the reader will say "... she said", even when it is obvious by the voice that the female character is speaking. In the Echelon Vendeta when there is a conversation between two identified characters, with different accents, the producers give the listener enough credit for being able to tell when one character stops and the other begins. This allows the dialog to flow smoothly and without interruption.

Besides the technical stuff, the novel is great. The author paints an incredibly vivid picture in the listener's mind, with just enough detail to paint the canvas, but not so much that the details become distracting. So many authors give you a lot of detail, but make it distracting. The delivery of the detail stops the action while the paint is applied to the canvas. Not here. Just the right amount of detail is added at just the right time to make the entire process seamless. I just wanted the story to keep on going. It was a bummer when the book ended.

Except for the Harry Potter series, this is the best audio book I have listened to so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not a light read

I enjoyed this book but found it hard to follow. I finished it today and feel like I need to re-read it to figure out what happened. A couple of things contributed to my lack of understanding of it. I think the fact that the narrator used his voice for that of the main character made it a little confusing and there was not any noticeable breaks at the end/beginning of chapters. I listen with half a mind as I am doing other things and this book is definitely not one that you can do that with. I found myself lost occasionally and had to re-listen to several portions. Probably says more about me than the book! If you are looking for a Tom Clancy type thriller this is it but definitely not a light read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The Echelon Vandetta

So I took a chance with this book like I do with most of the books I order - this time I chose badly, this was one of the most confusing books I have ever purchased

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Starts slow, finishes strong

This book feels like it is written by two different authors. The pace is painfully slow for the first two hours and then switches gear when the setting changes to the U.S. I encourage you to listen to this book. The author describes each setting with uncanny detail. You will "see" and "feel" everything. As the book plods on you will find yourself really caring about the lead character--Micah Dalton. By the end you will be search Audible for Mr. Stone's next book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • Boca Raton, FL, USA
  • 07-23-08

Fantastic

This was an amazing book. The narrator is perfect. The places Micah travels are elaborately and interestingly detailed.

I listened to this book a few months ago and am about to listen to it again it was so entertaining.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful