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Banquo's Ghosts Hardcover – March 31, 2009

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

National Review editor Lowry (Legacy) and Korman (Swan Dive) have written an exciting, intelligent novel that delivers the thriller goods and tosses barbs at do-gooder politicians, government obstructionists, reporters and a wide array of liberal weenies. Unlikely hero Peter Johnson, a mildly buffoonish writer working for the Crusader, a left-wing magazine, is recruited by CIA agent Stewart Banquo for the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. Banquo figures no one would ever suspect Johnson, known for his drunkenness and willingness to take a bribe, to be working for the CIA. Johnson, who accepts the job for a variety of reasons, heads off to Iran. A series of double crosses lands Johnson in the hands of the Iranians and sets up the rest of the plot involving a chillingly plausible terrorist attack. A major thread left untied points to what should be a much anticipated sequel. Expect a boost from author appearances on Hannity's America. 6-city author tour. (Apr.)
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Rush Limbaugh, nationally syndicated radio host & political commentator
"Part send-up of the drive-by media and the New York cocktail circuit, part warning about the evils of our enemies and the necessity of eternal vigilance--Banquo's Ghosts is all rollicking fun. You'll learn, you'll laugh, you'll get mad, and you won't want it to end."

Sean Hannity, host of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity & Colmes, and Hannity's America
"Lowry and Korman skewer the pompous media and feckless bureaucrats in this wild ride of a novel. And they always come back to the central point: we live in a dangerous world and must never forget it."

Mark Levin, host of The Mark Levin Show, nationally syndicated by ABC networks
"Banquo's Ghosts is fiction that sounds all too real at time when the country is ham-strung by self-loathing at home and by self-limiting niceties abroad. Not just a good read, but an essential one."

William J. Bennett, former United States Secretary of Education and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
“One of the year's best thrillers involving assassination, terrorism, journalism, and international intrigue.

Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Patriot
Banquo's Ghosts is an intelligent, supercharged thriller. Rich Lowry & Keith Korman have crafted a scenario so real, and so frightening, that readers (both inside and outside the CIA) will undoubtedly lose sleep over it. This is what the modern espionage novel is all about.”

Robert K. Tanenbaum New York Times Bestselling author of Escape
“Rich Lowry and Keith Korman have written a dazzling debut political thriller. Banquo’s Ghosts is a brilliantly imagined and incredibly detailed novel about a CIA rogue special operation – terrifying in it’s depiction of a potential war with Iran and what the United States must do to prevent an attack of biological terrorism in a major American city. A fast-paced and chilling wild ride.”

Patrick Robinson, New York Times Bestselling author of To the Death
Banquo’s Ghosts is a masterwork of political intrigue and riveting suspense. There are very few times when I can’t put a book down, but I had to read this twisting and gripping thriller late into the night.”

Publisher’s Weekly
“An exciting, intelligent novel that delivers the thriller goods... chillingly plausible....”

Harriet Klausner
“[an] exciting espionage thriller....”

New York Post
“Rich Lowry and Keith Korman keep the action moving in this engaging thriller....”

“Thoughtful, fast-moving fiction, a political thriller that actually thrills.”

Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
"Banquo’s Ghosts is a conservative gateway drug. Buy it.”

National Review
“The authors of Banquo’s Ghosts have a clarity of vision that has been lacking in much espionage fiction since the conclusion of World War II.... Banquo’s Ghosts is a true thriller — a fine novel by authors who understand the difference between good and evil and are unashamed to take a position on the side of the former.”


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593155085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593155087
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John A. Aragon on April 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
BANQUO'S GHOSTS by Rich Lowry and Keith Korman is great entertainment. Witness Stewart Banquo, a man who conducts espionage like a chess-master. Some reviewers on these pages have complained that they wanted more of Banquo, as he is just one of many memorable characters represented in this powerful thriller. Or perhaps they want something different; a 007-type who pitches knock-outs with every punch, makes love to every run-way model he meets and finally dispatches the bad guys with great explosions. But Banquo does little of that. He is a thinking man's spy for the 21st century. This reader found the measured development and final display of Banquo's wisdom and ability to impose order on chaos to be ultimately, inspiring and completely satisfying.

The plot involves a "rogue" C.I.A. operation to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist, followed by an Iranian terrorist attack on New York City. The action develops at break-neck speed and for those who want pure fun this summer, this is your book.

But BANQUO'S GHOSTS transcends its genre. Literature has the power, like UNCLE TOM'S CABIN of the 19th century, to affect the progress of nations, and this might be just such a work. I wish every American and European would read it.

Mr. Lowry and Mr. Korman advance an important political argument here. They seem to admit that the Bush administration's rush to war with Iraq with its supposed "WMDs", was a blunder. But they maintain, and remind us that nonetheless, we must remain vigilant and fearless to act, even outside our borders.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Reader from Long Island on March 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
You may have read Rich Lowry in the National Review and your local paper, or even seen him on Fox, but now he has written as he's never written before. With Keith Korman, Lowry has the CIA recruiting a magazine reporter to assassinate a scientist in Iran. Liberals beware as Lowry and Korman leave few unscathed. But better yet, the book's damn good and will appeal to anyone who likes a good, international, adrenaline boosting thriller. Very highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Golconda on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Shakespeare's play Banquo's ghost is a haunt to Macbeth for the crime he committed. By contrast, in Lowry's and Korman's new novel, Banquo's ghosts are the memories or actual persons which spur heroically maverick action, action Banquo plans, then proceeds to fulfill via his ghosts.

Despite the craven complacency of flesh in government bureaucracy, Banquo manages to move his ghostly pawns, especially liberal journalist Peter Johnson, to victory over the kidnappings, torture, and mass terror coming from the enemy government of Iran. The story of these adventures is delightful entertainment. But it also provides a sobering education to the possibilities in ripening scenarios for dangers (kidnappings, tortures, and mass terror) all too real and close to home since 9-11.

BG (Banquo's Ghosts, not Battlestar Galactica) flows quickly for a fast read. Besides possessing the thrill of action along with purposeful instruction, the novel is seasoned with pinches of timeless truth and wisdom--a characteristic reserved for the better works of fiction. One example comes from page 249, in the eponymic chapter:

"How did Banquo know about Husseini? The way he knew about so many other things: human frailty. Never be surprised by frailty, for without it you're out of the spy business. And when such frailty hit him
by surprise--when he was let down or tricked--he never cursed human nature, but only his own naivete."

The passage oozes with a self-command: Be wise and know--the nature of man. Not knowing is one's own frailty.

Insight like this makes one anticipate quality work from the author(s) in the future. I believe Banquo's Ghosts is the first attempt in published fiction for Mr. Lowry.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tired Turtle on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Banquo's Ghosts provides a fast, enjoyable, yet thought provoking read on threats facing all free nations today. Fortunately in the novel there are actors with enough courage and integrity to buck the conventional bureaucratic, social and political forces which either willingly or unwittingly aid and abet those bent upoon destruction and a return to the 7th Century filled with intolerance and ignorance.

The unlikely semi-hero Johnson the Journalist begins his inner transformation after 9-11 when he realizes there truly are evil people in this world bent upon destruction of him, his family and his freedoms. That Johnson has used his freedoms to aid in building a climate for such hateful, deadly and violent acts to be committed is a realization that deeply transforms him. Though outwardly continuing his elitist scribbling and ranting, he assists a small cadre of agents dedicated to stopping horrific acts.

The moral conflicts within such an endeavor are exposed and choices must be made. When the choices are stark the moral but flawed can blur and at times cross lines to insure that the darker evils do not overwhelm.

In the end, Banquo and his Ghosts prevail, battered, a bit bowed but committed to carrying on.

Very good first novel, looking forward to a sequel.
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