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Kingdom Come Hardcover – January 4, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (January 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345433246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345433244
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,425,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jack Dunphy is a CIA agent operating in London, and when someone he's had under surveillance is murdered in a savage, seemingly ritualized killing, the Agency "disappears" him from Her Majesty's territory and assigns him to a headquarters job that's the equivalent of walking a Staten Island beat. Bored into somnolence shuffling files requested by the public under the Freedom of Information Act, Dunphy suspects that his bosses are trying to get him to quit, so he uses his top secret clearance to find out why. In the process, he uncovers evidence that points to a centuries-old conspiracy whose purpose has been aided and abetted by the CIA since its beginning. When his colleague and roommate is brutally murdered in what was either a warning to him or a case of mistaken identity, Dunphy decamps for the continent; with Clementine, his English girlfriend, he tracks a secret society to its Swiss headquarters and pulls off a daring raid that nets him evidence of the Agency's long-standing role in an effort to change the course of history. While it has millennial overtones, this fast-paced and provocative thriller has no Y2K "sell by" date; what it does have is an intriguing explanation for contemporary mysteries like Roswell, UFOs, crop circles, and other paranormal happenings. Jack Dunphy is an enterprising and charming spy with a solid future as a series hero. Fans of Ian Fleming will find him a likely successor to James Bond, and doubtless Hollywood will as well. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran journalist and spy-craft expert Hougan (Spooks; Secret Agenda) puts his inside knowledge to fictional use in this intelligent and pulse-pounding debut thriller about a CIA agent who pokes his stick under one too many rocks. John Dunphy, working undercover in London, finds his career in tatters after a college professor he had under surveillance is viciously murdered. Though the murder was neither his doing nor his fault, Dunphy is called back to D.C., interrogated for days and finally relegated to a desk job processing the agency's vast backlog of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Since nobody at the CIA will tell Dunphy why he has been handled so harshly, Dunphy devises a way to find out. Using a fake name, he makes FOIA requests about everyone and anything having to do with his demotion, then routes the requests to himself for investigation. What he learns makes him a marked man. A secret society of world leaders, Dunphy discovers, has shaped history for hundreds of years, and now has its home base at the CIA. Now a marked man, Dunphy and his beautiful sidekick, Clementine, rush from one European capital to another, staying just ahead of their pursuers. With each stop, they gather more disturbing details about the secret network, which dates to medieval France and now controls world politics, economics and even the arts. (Historical figures who enter Hougan's story include famed spymasters Allen Dulles and James Jesus Angleton and poet Ezra Pound.) A former Washington editor for Harper's, Hougan demonstrates fine command of his material. His familiarity with the ways of spies, amply shown in his nonfiction, permeates his novel. Better yet, his writing is punchy and spare, his characterizations lively. Hougan slips only at the end: his finale seeks to defy convention, but may just leave readers fumbling for answers. Audio rights to Brilliance. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

This book kept me up way past my bed time.
Tristan J. Weir
Hougan combines a smart, entertaining style with suspenseful, fast moving plotting to produce an extremely enjoyable contribution to the spy genre.
j. means
Baigent and Leigh (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) readers will enjoy this one.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
CIA operative Jack Dunphy works in London laundering money for individuals who cannot afford to use the legal methods to move money. He does other assignments for the agency. Currently, he is wire tapping the phone of Professor Leo Schindolof, an expert in Jungian philosophy. When the professor is mutilated and the tap discovered, Jack is ordered home. Upon arrival, he is debriefed and assigned a tedious desk job.

Jack believes his unofficial demotion is designed to force him into resigning. He has no idea why his superiors want him to leave the agency except perhaps the link to the deceased professor. He begins some discreet checking, but his activities are noticed. Soon, attempts are made on Jackâs life. As he gets closer to uncovering the truth about an internationally powerful cartel, his chances of survival geometrically drop by the hour.

Conspiracy buffs will name the publishing date of KINGDOM COME as a national holiday. Jim Hougan answers the questions about the paranormal and extraterrestrial forces at work in today's world. The global conspiracy has religious undertones, headed by a wealthy organization that hides in plain sight. Readers will cheer on the likable lead protagonist who is an every person fighting a Quixote-like quest that has no boundaries. Though the tale is filled with many surprises, Mr. Hougan never loses sight of his main theme: the truth is right here not out there.

Harriet Klausner
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. A Pasha on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Hougan has written a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Full of action, plot twists, and adventure, the reader follows the harrowing exploits of Jack Dunphy as he eludes CIA operatives, Corsican mobsters, and members of a secret religious society. This novel is not for the intellectually weak; the plot includes references to Carl Jung, Allen Dulles, the Apocrypha, and religious history dating from the time of Christ. Hougan has also included elements reminiscent of the Twilight Zone involving the US military and the CIA (conspiracy buffs will enjoy this). All in all, "Kingdom Come" is a treat, best enjoyed at one sitting. If you like science fiction, conspiracy, travel through Europe, and a bit of romance then this novel is for you. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This thriller by Jim Hougan is a must read-but be prepared to burn the midnight oil as it is difficult to put down and has your mind turning even as you sleep. Likeable charachters, interesting locales, a terrific plot, and a wonderfully handled unfolding of this tremendously intriguing thriller all add up to a winner of a novel. Simply terrific.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether writting under his psuedonym John Case with his wife, or going solo, Jim Hougan has a definite gift for creating likeable characters who get caught up in the unexpected while carrying out seemingly dronelike yet out of the ordinary jobs. Hougan's main man in "Kingdom Come", Jack Dunphy has been relegated to glorified information gopher at Langley after having been pulled off an undercover assignment in London after the death of an Oxford Professor of Jungian psychology whom he had under surveillance. Dunphy's annoyance at being yanked from his cozy nest with British sweetie Clementine enhanced by the frustratingly endless grunt work of public information gathering lead him to buck the system and uncover the relevance of the professor's death. What he discovers is a Gordian knot of intrigue that eventually threatens his life and the lives of anyone with whom he comes into contact.

As Dunphy plows through clues that take him all over Europe, the reader breathlessly turns page after page, liking Dunphy and his cohorts immediately. The facts that he uncovers make for fascinating reading---puzzlers will enjoy being thrown information seemingly straight out of left field. Unfortunately, as the story leads into its ultimate denouement, it becomes choppy, the ending sequences beginning at the estate within the Swiss National Park and the ending voyage at sea seem rushed and not fully thought out, as if the author had run out of steam and simply wanted to finish the story under 400 pages. The last paragraph leads the reader to believe some sort of transference has taken place, but obviously this is certainly not developed and there seems no hint of a part two where the reader can stretch his imagination further.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Warner on April 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Hougan writes with the consummate skill of someone who's published five novels, not one. (Which makes me think he has four unpublished manuscripts piled in a closet somewhere.) His technique--dialogue, action, plot pacing, setting descriptions--are perfect, detailed and believable. And unlike other Bond-like protagonists we're used to seeing, his characterizations are three-dimensional. The book is written on many levels--intellectual down to the gut-wrenching (and gut-bleeding) physical--and thus is accessible to a wide audience. It's especially suited for those of us conspiracy theorists who search for the dark underbelly of current events; Hougan has us believing that his story could be at least partially true. The cover art is, appropriately, of a labyrinth; the main character, Jack Dunphy, is like a rat trying to navigate through a strange maze of information and danger. Reading about how Dunphy gets through it--fake passports, sneaky bank transactions, and the occasional dagger flashing from the cloak--is worth the price in eye strain and lost sleep.
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