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My Book Reading

 

 

 

Twisted Prey - John Sandford

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John LeCarre

UNSUB - Meg Gardiner

A Spy Named Orphan by Roland Philipps

How It Happened by Michael Koryta

The Word Is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

Star of the North - D.B. John

The Sinners - Ace Atkins

The Outsider - Stephen King

Spymaster - Brad Thor

The Other Woman - Daniel Silva

The Man Between - Charles Cumming 

Operation Mincemeat - Ben Macintyre 

Berlin: Caught in the Mousetrap by Paul Grant 

Berlin Game - Len Deighton (for the Spybrary book club)

Desolation Mountain - William Kent Krueger

Podcast Favorites

https://soundcloud.com/drycleanercast/20-ian-fleming-with-jeremy-duns . (The life and Legacy of Ian Fleming, with author and historian Jeremy Duns, always an excellent and entertaining interview)

http://spybrary.com/48-oleg-penkovsky/ . (the true story of Oleg Penkovsky, regarded by many as the greatest spy of the Cold War era - with Jeremy Duns, whose book on the topic, Dead Drop, is a classic)

https://bletchleypark.org.uk/news/podcast-73-bond-at-bletchley-park (wonderful history of Ian Fleming's involvement at Bletchley Park during WWII, and Anthony Horowitz making a presentation about his new James Bond novel, Forever And A Day.

https://coldwarconversations.wordpress.com/episode16/ "How I Nearly Started World War III" with Mark Valley, host of the Live Drop Espionage podcast

 

Entries in @WmMorrowBooks (6)

Tuesday
Jan302018

A.J. Finn halfway through follow-up to Woman in the Window

In a podcast interview on Modern Signed Books, A.J. Finn tells Roger Nichols he's halfway through his second book, following in the hot footsteps of The Woman in the Window. Finn sets this next book in San Francisco, and yes, it's another psychological thriller!

If somehow you've not gotten your hands on Woman in the Window, as fine a first effort as I've ever read, and certainily one of the most satisfying novels in a long time, get to it immediately! This is a truly superb book you won't want to put down, and you'll be passing along to friends and family to readd. My copy is on it's third set of eyes.

@WmMorrowBooks, @AJFinnbooks, #womaninthewindow

Sunday
Jan212018

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

 

I won’t bury the lead:  A.J. Finn’s debut novel, The Woman in the Window, is superb, engrossing and surprising. The novel is absolutely amazing, living up to the hype. Wow, four adjectives in two consecutive sentences. I am not exaggerating my enthusiasm.

The hype. Buzz surrounding this book began early. At the top of press releases blared the headline “the most widely acquired debut novel of all time.” Interpret p.r. department statements as you wish, but my attention was captured.

By now you may have read about the call-backs to classic motion pictures woven into the plot line of The Woman in the Window. For me they add a layer of interest, but rest assured, readers unfamiliar with them won’t be aware, or care. Nothing is lost for readers who aren’t cinema students.

Anna Fox, an agoraphobic woman living alone, witnesses a horrid crime in a neighbor’s home. Nobody wants to believe her, including a seemingly understanding police detective, and of course for a variety of reasons she’s not a very credible witness. Over the course of this story, people don’t turn out to be who Fox thinks they are, and events swirl out of her control.

I found Woman in the Window entirely engrossing and satisfying, surprising and compelling. It would be easy to exaggerate and go on and on about how good Finn’s writing is. Damn, it’s wonderful and clever and often breath-taking. As a fan of mysteries and thrillers, I enjoy a good unexpected turn of events. Finn pulls off a couple of wholly unexpected surprises, prose making me pause and slow down and re-read.  I’m not a traditional fan of psychological thrillers, I don’t lap ‘em up, but when people write as well as A.J. Finn, I savor every word.

@WmMorrowBooks, @AJFinnbooks, #womaninthewindow

Saturday
Jan132018

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

Friday
Dec292017

Dead On Arrival by Matt Richtel

Wow! What!? I kept mumbling such things while keeping my face buried in the pages of Richtel’s superb Dead On Arrival. In his book, technology and society overlap and clash. Some of today’s most critical issues play out in this  captivating story, while intertwined in a complicated, interesting mystery. Dead On Arrival starts off with one of the finest, craziest opening sequences I’ve read, and never slows down or fails to deliver. It’s a solid, “I’ve gotta tell people about it” novel. 

Early in Dead On Arrival a mystery presents itself, possibly involving the spread of a rare disease utilizing unknown methods. But nobody knows.  From a plot standpoint, nothing new there. Author Richtel quickly drew me into his tech and society-themed thriller, effectively asking me to wonder and discover along with the characters. I did so, happily.  

A worn-down, troubled, possibly alcoholic doctor of infectious disease, Dr. Lyle Martin, introduced in the opening, finds everything he knows about the world, and much of what he thought he knew about science, turned inside-out when the commercial aircraft he’s flying on lands at an airport seemingly populated by dead people. His initial investigation shows everyone’s not all dead, but there’s a short-circuit or something creepy going on with their immune systems and brains, he determines through quick examination. At the same time, there’s no radio or cell network to communicate with the outside world.

Pursuing the mystery takes a back seat to recovering his mental faculties, once he returns to his “real life.” Martin doesn’t know what’s going on with his memory, as flashes of memories come and go about events he can’t get a handle on but knows are critical. Such as the entire plane trip - it’s disappeared from his mind. Martin fears he’s going crazy. 

From the thrilling, mysterious plane landing where it all begins, Martin searches for answers, encompassing trips to the Centers for Disease Control, and even the mysterious environs of Google. Every answer creates further questions. Is anyone who they appear to be?

I’m frankly not doing justice to the very-much-alive and distinctive characters in Dead On Arrival. As a tech-meets-future society-twisted by social media commentary, it’s on top of the game. As a psychological thriller with a huge twist of mystery, it’s superb. I didn’t want to put the book down, I didn’t want to go to sleep - I wished to keep reading. Dead On Arrival is a mesmerizing, exciting novel.

@mrichtel, #deadonarrival, @WmMorrowBooks

Sunday
Oct082017

Act of Betrayal - Matthew Dunn


Lee Child endorsed this one, top of the front cover. Continuing my theme of always trying to read any book either Child or Stephen King writes a blurb for, I dove into Act of Betrayal expecting action and excitement from this Will Cochrane character.

Dunn fulfilled my expectations, presenting a fairly complex guy I found it easy to like and respect. At the same time he was putting Cochrane into relationships and situations I didn’t expect, keeping me alert. Act of Betrayal isn’t a “write by the numbers” thriller with an unbreakable, superpower hero. Will Cochrane lives a complex life with civilians (real people) close to him. 

I found his need to juggle relationships within the CIA and FBI and other covert agencies to ring true and interest me. I wasn’t able to quickly guess what course actions and decisions were going to take. Act of Betrayal isn’t littered with red herrings and false leads, happily. Author Dunn wrote a complex tale of intrigue and betrayal, crossed with good intentions and honor and integrity.

Opening with the assassination of a terrorist financier in Berlin, at the hands of Cochrane, the second chapter jumps forward three years. I was quickly caught up in the spreading web of lies and shadowy relationships surrounding Cochrane and the CIA, FBI and government officials. Finding the truth is the real theme of Act of Betrayal, and what to do with that knowledge is a burden shouldered by several of Cochrane’s friends and opponents. Prepare for plenty of action, motivated and passionate people on both sides of right as they work to unravel a wild conspiracy, and a couple of damn effective surprises.

I’m now a fan of Will Cochrane and Matthew Dunn, and looking forward to searching out the six earlier entries in the series of books featuring Cochrane. 

@WmMorrowBooks, #matthewdunn, #actofbetrayal, @TheRealBookSpy