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My Book Reading

Lou Reed: A Life by Anthony DeCurtis

   (in progress)

The Night Trade - Barry Eisler (revew published)

The Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn - (review published; just get your hands on this and read it!)

The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews - (review published)

Into the Black Nowhere - Meg Gardiner - (review just published; superb)

Agent in Place - Mark Greaney (Gray Man thriller, review up)

The Saboteur - Paul Kix (review up)

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer (review published)

Operator Down - Brad Taylor (done, great book)

Robicheaux - James Lee Burke (in progress - outstanding, of course)

Podcast Favorites

Joe Rogan Experience #1058 Dec. 28 2017 . Nina Teicholz


Superb First Novel - Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window sat on my bedside table for three months. Unlooked at. Unopened. A first novel I kept skipping for others. 

When I began reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, I was amazed at how gripping, surprising and phenomenal it was. I suggest once you begin reading The Woman in the Window you won't be able to stop. Not only will you stay up too late reading, but you may be tempted to take time off from work. It's that compelling.

I'll have a full review soon. In the meantime, please find a copy and open the cover and get reading!

@WmMorrowBooks, @AJFinnBooks, #womaninthewindow


Brad Thor's upcoming Spy Master.... wow!

Arriving July 3, check out this incredible cover for Brad Thor's Spy Master -


@simonschuster, @SimonBooks, @BradThor, #SpyMaster


Exciting New Books 

The spring season of thrillers, mysteries and spy novels is beginning now, and the early releases are looking stellar. In the past few days these four highly-anticipated books have been delivered into my excited hands.

I began Jason Matthew's The Kremlin's Candidate last night, and from the first page, I'm fully in!

Full reviews and reports soon, as quickly as I can read 'em. These books aren't to be speed-read; they're too good, the writing is too superior. Even though I'm a quick reader, these are worth savoring, so I am.

@ScribnerBooks, #AlexBerenson, #TheDeceivers, @PutnamBooks @JohnHartAuthor, #TheHush, @StMartinsPress, @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1 #IntoTheBlackNowhere


Double Agent Celery (MI5’s Crooked Hero) by Carolinda Witt

Walter Dicketts led one of the most unglamorous, dangerous, strange lives of anyone serving British Intelligence during World War II. His exploits undercover in Germany and France and England, operating as a double agent, at times in tandem with another double agent, is confounding and challenging to read and absorb. The immensity of his undertaking, the sheer gall of the man, his ease traversing the criminal and patriotic walks of life, make for a most fascinating individual. Whether Dicketts is a hero or not is for readers of Double Agent Celery to decide. Even after reading the book I’m not sure where to lean.

Dicketts led a criminal life for many of his years. He married multiple women, had children with most of them, yet somehow kept these lives separate and unknown to each other, even when he carried on two marriages at once. The very capabilities allowing him to emotionally manage such a crazed existence likely enabled him to thrive in the difficult-to-imagine pressure cooker of being an English spy in Germany during the war. 

Having to prove himself over and over to his superiors, due to his background and reputation, Dicketts’ work as a spy was remarkable and fruitful. He may have been the most effective salesperson of his generation, and certainly was cool and calm under pressure. 

Double Agent Celery is fact-filled, almost too much so. I wish it read a bit more like a novel. However, author Witt (Dickett’s granddaughter) does a remarkable job of sifting stories and recollections and weaving them together with the events of WWII, told from the perspective of British Intelligence. If I concentrated mightily I was able to keep people straight and follow Dickett’s “career,” but at times it was a struggle. 

Double Agent Celery isn’t casual reading; make certain you are fully alert or you’ll lose yourself, but the phenomenal story is worth the effort. I found myself somewhat in admiration of Dicketts; as a spy, he was superb and certainly effective. 

Update:  To my delight, Alex Firth at Pen-and-Sword tells me they have posted this write-up on their website, where they have Double Agent Celery for sale. I'm flattered. Find this great company's listings at

@penswordbooks, #doubleagentcelery, @CarolindaWitt


Direct Fire by A.J. Tata


Jake Mahegan is an under-appreciated (by his own government) Special Forces operative. When terrorists infiltrate a supposedly secure communications network, breaking down some of the nation’s computing grid, events designed to snare Mahegan, a four-star general and much of the leadership of the nation begin to spiral dangerously out of control.

A renegade Syrian terrorist with revenge in his heart is at the center of things, and as he successfully sows confusion and bad intelligence, combatants aren’t even sure who is good and who is evil. When a stolen nuclear device is part of the situation, the stakes couldn’t be higher. 

Throughout this action-filled story, Mahegan is left to figure out who’s who, and takes matters into his own hands. As in any effective thriller, everyone isn’t as they appear. Part of enjoying reading Direct Fire is appreciating how author Tata unrolls evidence and events for Mahegan to put the puzzle pieces together, all the while fighting for his own and other’s lives. 

Mahegan’s character is a bit more indestructible than I like in my fictional heroes, but a good plot and several other distinguished good and bad actors in Direct Fire satisfied me.

@KensingtonBooks, #directfire, @ajtata

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