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Anonymous Sources Hardcover – June 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Kelly's years as a political writer and intelligence correspondent covering wars, terrorism and nuclear powers have served her well, and she portrays James with authority in a smart, fun voice that will stir lust and envy among readers. The author leaves open a window on the final page that suggests a sequel, much to the reader's delight." (Publishers Weekly)

“Kelly has mastered the mental geographies of the journalist, the terrorist, and the spy:  The competing ideals, the gritty reality, and the layers of wisdom or self-deception they employ in reconciling them.  You won’t put this down.” (Bob Grenier, former CIA Head of Counterterrorism and former CIA Station Chief in Pakistan)

"Mary Louise Kelly blends the worlds she knows so well--Harvard, Cambridge, Washington, the news room and the American intelligence community--into a fast paced thriller that is hard to put down.  The atmosphere rings true on every page as she weaves a taut tale from a young man's apparent suicide to a terrorist attempt at the highest seat of American power." (Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA)

"In Mary Louise Kelly’s entertaining new novel, a smart, sexy reporter wanders into the midst of a truly scary terrorist plot. In the manner of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Kelly’s heroine has to outfox the conspirators to escape. This book is great fun, from beginning to end."
(David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post and author of Bloodmoney)

"A great spy thriller..I couldn't put it down. The plot's great and the details are delicious." (Joel Brenner, Former Inspector General of the National Security Agency and author of America the Vulnerable)

"An authentic view of the media, intelligence, and terrorism that is a real page turner. Kelly gets how the national security world really works." (Richard A. Clarke, former White House Counterterrorism Chief and author of The Scorpion’s Gate)

"One of the most genuinely chilling plots I’ve ever read. A scenario that will haunt anyone who’s ever read a newspaper. I couldn’t put this book down." (Allison Leotta, author of Speak of the Devil)

About the Author

Mary Louise Kelly has written two novels, The Bullet and Anonymous Sources, and spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC. Her assignments have taken her from grimy Belfast bars to the glittering ports of the Persian Gulf, and from mosques in Hamburg to the ruined deserts of Iraq. As an NPR correspondent covering the intelligence beat and the Pentagon, she reported on wars, terrorism, and rising nuclear powers. A Georgia native, Kelly was educated at Harvard and at Cambridge University in England. She lives in Washington, DC, and Florence, Italy, with her husband and their two children. Learn more at

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476715548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476715544
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dan D. on June 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard the author being interviewed on the morning radio (NPR)three days ago and bought the book on a whim. The timing was excellent as I had just finished a book. That afternoon on my lunch break at work, I sat in my office completely intrigued with the story. The story is complex yet easy to follow, interesting, exciting, and the characters are full of imaginable detail. I am confident that one day Alexander and James will be ever so glad to discover that their mother has changed course in her career as a writer. Readers of the novel will have to read all the way to the end to understand why the main character Alexandra James makes such a great reporter and her next story will be fiction and written closer to home.

As a bit of a recommendation and review of the book- let me put it this way... When is the sequel? I'm dying to see what Ms. James gets herself into next.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Editoria on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
At one point in this book one of the bad guys says to our heroine, "You have been stupid, so stupid, from the beginning." I'm afraid I had to agree. It was a source of frustration that the otherwise intelligent Alexandra James failed more than once to see things that had to be obvious to most readers. She was young, yes, but how could she possibly have been that clueless?

The other problem I had could have (and should have) been fixed by the editor. In the first sentence of Chapter 2, Alex mentions that she was waiting, as usual, for her friend Jess. A little later in the book she says she's going to have to apologize to Jess. At some point a couple of pages are devoted to Jess letting herself into Alex's apartment to borrow a pair of shoes. And that was the last we hear about Jess. I never did figure out what she was doing in the book. Nor did I determine why a tragic event in Alex's past figured so prominently in the story.

But I liked the book. I really did. It is definitely a page turner, and I read it quickly. The author has a wonderful sense of humor, and I laughed out loud in several places. If there's a sequel, I hope the author brings back the enchanting Lucien. And Hyde. I want to hear them speak again. Mary Louise Kelly is a genius with dialogue.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ted Lehmann on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm old enough to remember Mike Hammer ruthlessly gunning down bad guys and killing evil women with equal glee. Then came the somewhat more sensitive male detectives who work at conquering their problems while solving crimes. Slowly, as times have changed, the images of crime fiction heroes have changed, too. Now, we see the emergence of a new kind of woman detective. No longer are we entertained by tea and crumpets served by little old ladies solving crimes, but contemporary career women who use the assets they have to overcome evil in interesting and arresting situations filled with all the blood coursing excitement of a tight plot fraught with all the difficulties the genre presents. Anonymous Sources by Mary Louse Kelley (Gallery Books, June 18, 2013, 352 pages) does the job, presenting an attractive and sexy hero who's tough and spunky enough to accomplish her task while complex enough to remain interesting and unpredictable throughout. Mary Louise Kelly, in her first novel, appears to be a comer worth watching. Read the rest of the review on my blog. Please consider purchasing this title through the Amazon portal there.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Pottgen on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
So, what happens when a reporter turns writer? You get a brilliantly written novel that is so raw and riveting that this reader read the novel in less than 24 hours. I used to love mysteries and thrillers. And yet, it has been years since I have found a really good one that kept me on the edge of my seat, voraciously turning pages, or flipping the next page button on my Kindle in this case.

Ms. Kelly has written a brilliantly thought out novel. I see that her time spent with the NPR has given her insider information about how the world of journalism works, and it played well in this novel.

This story has a bit of everything: Espionage, murder, travel and high heels. There are back-biting, almost evil women. There is sex, violence and booze. And it all played together fabulously. I loved every word on the page and cannot wait to see what more this author is going to have in store for us in the future. I cannot think of a single criticism for this novel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jenni M. Parks on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly. Overall, it's an enjoyable read offering suspense, intrigue, and a fast paced plot. I like to think of it as a chick lit version of a Tom Clancy novel as it's a bit softer and less gritty or coarse in its language and plot sequencing.

The protagonist, Alexandra James, is a American newspaper reporter living in Boston who covers the higher education beat. Her latest assignment takes her to Harvard to report on the mysterious death of a former student on campus and eventually it takes her far outside the bounds of her ordinary job and across the Atlantic ocean to England. Along the way she falls into danger, into the bed of a sexy graduate student, and into the middle of a terrorist plot involving Pakistan scientists, the CIA, the FBI, and the president's staff in the White House.

Mary Louise Kelly's prose is generally well written but Alexandra was presented as a bit too dense for my liking. I take forever to pick up on clues (I'm terrible at reading Sherlock Holmes!) and so when I can figure out the bad guys and what's going on before the protagonist does it seems a bit artificial for me. Having said that, this minor defect does not diminish the novel overall and it's still worth the read. I will definitely pick up Kelly's next novel and I recommend Anonymous Sources as one of this summer's best chick lit political thrillers.
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