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Department Thirteen Paperback – September 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Comfort Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936695421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936695423
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,392,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JAMES HOUSTON TURNER holds a Bachelor's Degree from Baker University and a Master's Degree from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. Originally from Kansas, James has worked as a journalist in Los Angeles and made numerous trips as a courier and smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. A cancer survivor against all odds when doctors removed a tumor the size of an orange from his face, James packs his thrillers with the same emotion and determination that he felt in 1991 when told he may not live eighteen months. He is married and divides his time between Australia and California.

More About the Author

James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, as well as numerous other books and articles. Talanov the fictional character was inspired by the actual KGB agent who leaked word out of Moscow back in the 1980s that James was on a KGB watchlist for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain.

James Houston Turner's debut thriller, Department Thirteen, was voted the Best Thriller of 2011 by USA Book News, after which it won gold medals in the 2012 Independent Publisher ("IPPY") Book Awards and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

A cancer survivor and former journalist in Los Angeles, he holds a Bachelor's Degree from Baker University and a Master's Degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). After living in South Australia for twenty years, he and his wife, Wendy, now live in Austin, Texas. Visit his website at www.talanov.info.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Turner has a way of keeping you reading.
Peme
I enjoyed the read, and look forward to whatever sequel might arrive next.
Ira
The story is superb and the characters very well develop.
Roberto Mattos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teh Ai Lee on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is really good and I mean every single word I'm about to say. I have backslidden in reading for many months (I am supposed to be a hardcore reader, you know) and James Houston Turner's great story of an ex-KGB agent reignited my love for a good novel and plot.

Aleksandr Talanov is the above-mentioned ex-KGB agent. According to the author, and I'm quoting his exact words here, he said, "Talanov has gone through so much because in many ways my life parallels his, and I have felt--and fought--many of his same demons." In many ways when reading Talanov--the detachment or attempt to detach from love, starting a new life, and so on--resonated with me, as well. Although my life is nowhere near as exciting as that of the agent's (and of course, the author's), I felt for Talanov. What makes him even more likeable is his vulnerability despite being a super thinker and fighter.

So yes, this is a fast-paced book and the storyline totally believable. The author, originally from Kansas now residing in Australia, has made numerous trips as a courier and smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain, so it is not a wonder that the story sounds so real. It's been a while I stayed up past midnight to finish a book and DEPARTMENT THIRTEEN helped me accomplish that. There are enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat (I know many of you probably said or used this term so many times) and for me on my bed with eyes very wide opened. It was an incredible, exhilarating journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jana on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could not sleep last night so about 2 AM I got up and spent some time with Department Thirteen. I dropped off to sleep. This morning I was chased by gunfire in gray metal halls and stairways, with bullets whizzing by. I was running so fast I couldn't breathe and my heart was pounding in my chest. Then I woke up. Maybe Department Thirteen is not a good night time story. No matter now, I finished the book today. I got little else done. An excellent read. Thank you James Houston Turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. L. Steele on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Very good read. I really enjoyed the storyline, layer upon layers, and the characters more than held their own.

Because of his past, Talanov was so careful to avoid becoming too close to anyone and when someone finally breaks throught the walls he had erected around his life and heart, his fears come true... His past finds him and threatens to destroy everything.

Well written and a blast to read, James Houston takes you on an adventure of a retired KGB spy, who defected to Australia when his department disbanded. A wild ride that doesn't let up until it reaches the conclusion.

This was a First-Reads selection from Goodreads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Cann on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Department Thirteen was the assassination and sabotage unit of the KGB. It never officially existed, but retired KGB colonel Aleksandr Talanov knows that it did. It is but one of the many secrets he has worked hard to forget.

Now living in Sydney, Australia, Talanov and dozens of dinner guests are suddenly the target of assassins. Talanov and his beautiful wife Andrea are mistakenly spared, but soon find themselves running for their lives, hunted by the killers and blamed by the police ...

What I enjoyed about this thriller was that it is a bold departure from the norm: the hero is an ex-pat Russian who is also ex KGB rather than the usual American or British stereotype. The setting too is different with most of the action taking place in Australia. Noteworthy are all the different cultures and communities of contemporary inner city Australia that are captured and reflected accurately. Turner knows this territory and it shows.

This is the second James Houston Turner book I have read and I saw a few of his quality trademark stamps: Lots of exotic food, alluring women, misdirection, deceit, fake identities, fast and frenetic action and plenty of suspense. This time there is also strong grasp of international law and the world of finance to add to that list.

I enjoyed reading how Talanov (turned fugitive and detective by circumstance) attempts to clear his name and solve the mystery. Who or what is `Tango Blue' is just one of the many questions and problems thrown his way. Turner clearly has firsthand knowledge of the media and how it can be manipulated and presented in a certain way thanks to his days as a journalist in LA.
Read more ›
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A wonderfully written book that takes the reader on an adventure into the life of a spy. The characters are well developed, and the plot exciting and intriguing. It makes me want to read more.
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By Peme on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Turner has a way of keeping you reading. Unfolding one scenario after another as he thickens the books seemingly never ending plot
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I read Greco's Game first. That being said, you can read them in any order you like. Both books are well written and you never know where the story line is going to take you. His books have all been page turners for me and I love that some of the same characters are in each one.

I could not put Department Thirteen down reading it well into the morning early hours. I love how his writing makes me envision Talanov...he's so dreamy yet a real man, and all the other characters, the details surrounding them and where they are at. I think about the story all day long and can't wait to get back to reading it. These books let me escape into another world full of emotions, excitement, and exhilaration. I have great anticipation for November Echo!!
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