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Old 07-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #76
riquez
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Hey everyone I'm new to the forum. Was looking for new novels online and was directed to this site. Just finished reading The Grey Man, On Target and Ballistic by Mark Greaney. Although he's new his books are action packed. I personally dislike espionage books without much violence. I believe the suspense and violence should go together.
Vince Flynn and Brad Thor are my 2 favorite writers for the present time...

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Old 07-31-2012, 08:58 PM   #77
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For me, the essential element is that the author used to be an actual spy. Write what you know, as they say. In addition to the entertaining story, I get to guess what is being fictionalized that couldn't be put in non-fiction due to legal restrictions.

This year I read the four books of Alex Dryden, apparently late of MI6.

By the fourth book, his near-obsessive (if justifiably so) dislike of Vladamir Putin, and of American security contractors, gets just a wee bit repetitive, perhaps explaining why book 4, the latest in the series, has not been published in the US. After getting Book 2 for free from Amazon, and Book 1 and 3 from Overdrive via the library, I plunked down £4.99 to a British bookshop for the experience of knowing I was one of the few Yanks reading the whole series.

Good author? I think so. The first couple books got great reviews.

P.S. I just noticed that my link immediately above now says you can't buy the book if you live in the US. It didn't say that when I bought it. Googling shows that you can get it slightly cheaper at a Swiss web site, and without the IMHO ridiculous idea that you can't buy a book, written by a living breathing royalty collecting author, unless it is published in your country.

P.P.S. If I was going to buy many eBooks, instead of getting them from the library, the idea that you have to either leave money on the table, or check web sites around the world to find the best price -- would drive me bonkers. And as far as I can tell, there is no good eBook price check web sites. I just tried two of them. inkmesh.com didn't even list this book, and luzme.com only has two vendors, even though there appear to be many.

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Old 08-01-2012, 04:01 AM   #78
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Hey everyone I'm new to the forum. Was looking for new novels online and was directed to this site. Just finished reading The Grey Man, On Target and Ballistic by Mark Greaney. Although he's new his books are action packed. I personally dislike espionage books without much violence. I believe the suspense and violence should go together.
Vince Flynn and Brad Thor are my 2 favorite writers for the present time...
I've read most everything by Thor and Flynn, the more you read the more anti-politician they become, to the point where it becomes tedious. Then I picked up The Avenger by Frederick Forsyth, and I have to say that there is a distinct separation in the ability to tell a story. Forsyth is head and shoulders above, I suppose he spends more t time on his stories and refuse to hand over a manuscript until he is satisfied even if his agent and publisher is pushing for it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #79
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Is Flynn's Rapp books good to get into if I don't really want to get bogged down with political issues or is the story good enough to see past the politics?
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #80
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The earlier Mitch Rapp novels are fairly devoid of (American) politics but after Flynn wrote Term Limits he has become obsessed with right wing national security issues and he seems to have an intense hatred for anyone on the Intelligence oversight committees in the House and Senate. At first it is kind of fascinating but the third time around it just becomes tedious.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:40 PM   #81
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I don't know if actual espionage fans would like them, but I just happen to have read two really satisfying contemporary-setting sci-fi novels with intelligence operatives and spy missions as major components. The first was Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker, which was a sort of caper story involving an octogenarian ex-spy's lifelong duel with an ex-dictator/super-villain over control of a clockwork doomsday machine.

The second, which I'm finishing now, is Neal Stephenson's Reamde, which pits Russian mobsters and global jihadists against Chinese hackers and a family of Iowa gun enthusiasts, with operatives from various agencies and security forces playing catch-up.

The latter would probably appeal more to espionage fans, with current political realities and inter-agency and international relations playing a larger part in events and overall a more realist approach, whereas Angelmaker is an odd combination of comic book melodrama and dry British wit.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #82
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I think the classic The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John leCarre is a must. His other stories got bigger and progressively duller--the movie is great, but I dare anyone to finish Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy!--but his first novel was short and sweet with a bunch of where-did-that-come-from? plots and a remarkable ending.

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:14 AM   #83
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I think the classic The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John leCarre is a must. His other stories got bigger and progressively duller--the movie is great, but I dare anyone to finish Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy!--but his first novel was short and sweet with a bunch of where-did-that-come-from? plots and a remarkable ending.
I re-read _Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy_ before seeing the new movie and thought the book was still very good. Better than the film actually. The film wa a bit hard to understand sometimes and they failed to convey some of the feelings in the book.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:13 AM   #84
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I can't believe no-one has mentioned Brian Freemantle. Are there no Charlie Muffin fans out there?
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:29 AM   #85
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Never heard of him.
That is why threads like these are so great.
Tell me more about Charlie Muffin. The name indicates that he shouldn't be in intelligence work.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #86
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I think the classic The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John leCarre is a must. His other stories got bigger and progressively duller--the movie is great, but I dare anyone to finish Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy!--but his first novel was short and sweet with a bunch of where-did-that-come-from? plots and a remarkable ending.
I read all LeCarré, except Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. I agree that The Spy... was an easy and interesting read, and maybe one of his best. As regards as the rest of his books, I found some of them quite dull, and some of them very interesting. IMO, his masterpiece is Absolute friends. I really love that book and am surprised it is not mentioned more often.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #87
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Never heard of him.
That is why threads like these are so great.
Tell me more about Charlie Muffin. The name indicates that he shouldn't be in intelligence work.
Well, to quote from the back of the first book:

Quote:
Charlie Muffin is an oddity - an over-tired, over-drawn, over-hung middle-aged anachronism. To himself a survivor. To others an irritant. To the Army colonel, Charlie, with his crumpled suits and leaking shoes, is the final inherited embarrassment from a disgraced Department he is committed to revitalise.

Who better then to sacrifice in the capture of a KGB general who masterminds the Soviet Union's European spy network from behind the counter of his London wine importers business. So upon one man settle the hopes of East and West

Charlie Muffin.

All Charlie hopes to do is survive. On his own terms, of course.
"Charlie is marvellous creation"
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #88
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Ordered the first three, on my TBR list.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:31 PM   #89
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Well, to quote from the back of the first book:



"Charlie is marvellous creation"
I checked my notes and I read Charlie Muffin (the first book) 17 yares ago and seem to remember liking it. So I bought the first three book now as Kindle books.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:24 AM   #90
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I can't believe no-one has mentioned Brian Freemantle. Are there no Charlie Muffin fans out there?
I just read the first book after picking up a half dozen of the series for cheap last month. It was good enough that I'll read more, but wasn't earth shattering.

Recently I was impressed with Mick Herron's Slow Horses, which was a very funny British spy caper with a bunch of out-to-pasture agents. The transition between scenes wasn't obvious which was jarring and took some getting used to, but the wit was clever and the twists and turns were a blast.
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