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33 Reviews
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4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
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2 star:
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of suspense
Not in many years have I read a book that kept me in such torture for so many pages. Will the hero uncover the mystery behind the secret Russian factory in Siberia? Davidson is a master of keeping you in suspense. Also one of the best love stories in any spy story, altho it probably doesn't take up ten pages in the whole book. I've on my fourth read of this book. I...
Published on May 1, 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars KOLYMSKY HEIGHTS
Well written but meanders too much ,has far too much detail which results in an over complication of what is an interesting concept.
Published 9 months ago by john p


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Spy!, January 6, 2000
By 
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
I've not read many techno-thrillers and am a big fan of the John LeCarre school of spy novels, so I was delighted to find that "Kolymsky Heights" combined the best elements of action, adventure, and intellectual suspense. Johnny Porter is a great spy, and it would be nice to read of his exploits again, but as others have suggested, this is a book that can be re-read and still thoroughly enjoyed. Davidson's plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat, but the fascinating details also keep you thinking, and amazed. A great read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of suspense, May 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
Not in many years have I read a book that kept me in such torture for so many pages. Will the hero uncover the mystery behind the secret Russian factory in Siberia? Davidson is a master of keeping you in suspense. Also one of the best love stories in any spy story, altho it probably doesn't take up ten pages in the whole book. I've on my fourth read of this book. I still find it full of suspense! A great book to study for any aspiring writer of thrillers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average spy book., April 2, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
I'd like to think this is the kind of spy book Umberto Eco would write. Well-researched, plausible plot. This is not James Bond. Instead, the reader is draw into a facinating puzzle: how does somebody sneak into a top secret military base in Siberia? And, how do you get out? Johnny Porter is an unforgetable character and the scenery and action is crisply told. I'm looking forward to Davidson's other books
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brrrrrrrrrrrr, December 10, 2000
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Hardcover)
Forget the Spy Who Came In From the Cold, meet the spy who went out into the cold, the really, really cold. When a Russian scientist, working at a mysterious research station in Siberia, manages to get a cryptic message to the West, it is determined that he's summoning Dr. Johnny Porter, a part Gitksan Indian, Rhodes Scholar, anthropologist, who speaks any number of languages. The two had met many years earlier, and out of a sense of obligation, Porter agrees to sneak into the installation and find out what's so important. What follows is one of the better thrillers of the post Cold War era, as Porter impersonating various people of Asiatic descent, while displaying extraordinary resourcefulness at myriad tasks, penetrates deep into Russian territory and then, pursued by all of the forces of the new Russia, strikes out across the icy barrens of the Kolymsky Region of Siberia and the area around the Bering Straits, in a mad dash back to the States.
The case of Lionel Davidson is one of the strangest of any recent author. He writes award-winning, best sellers every few years, but I doubt more than a handful of folks remember him from one book to the next. In Kolymsky Heights, he combines elements of Michael Crichton, Smilla's Sense of Snow, and Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series to produce a novel that's exciting enough in it's own right but is even more remarkable for it's unusual hero and for the way that Davidson uses the hostile environment, both natural and man-made. Though a general and helicopters and Russian troops all pursue him, the real threat to Porter is the forbidding terrain he has to cross and the deadly weather he braves. This is one that you'll want to read with a blanket over you and a warm mug of something or other nearby.
GRADE : A
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent thriller non-traditional hero, May 19, 2004
By 
Alexander E. Paulsen "AlexP" (Jacksonville, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
Imagine an indian, intellectual, language specialist, anthropologist sent on a mission to infiltrate on contact the head of trhe most secure facility in the world - frozen Siberia.
I was fortunate to find this book on a discount rack for $2.97. I took a small chance was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Davidsons writing.
The story is inteligent, rich with detail, thrilling and beleivable carried out by an action hero who coulc never be played by Arnold S in a movie version. He is real guy a beleiveable guy in an incredible situation where he has to rely on his intelligence and wits to survive.
Bravo Davidson and I will look forward to reading more exploits of Porter. Tell me where I can find info on that fabulous Bobik!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique. As good as Martin Cruz Smith, April 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
I rarely reread anything; this book was better the second time around
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best of its genre in the 90s, September 18, 1998
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
I first read "Kolymsky Heights" about five years ago. At that time, I was overwhelmed by the story. Since then I've read at least 30 other books that would fall into the same genre. Some were good, some bad, and a few were very good ("Icon" & "The Enemy Within"). Recalling how much I enjoyed "Kolymsky Heights", I decided to re-read this novel. I wasn't disappointed. Even knowing the plot, this novel absolutely blows the reader away. There simply isn't another story line that is this unique. The charecterizations are superb. The plotting is intense, and the pace frantic. Wow!!! It's a shame that Lionel Davidson's output is so limited.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, interesting spy-type thriller, August 10, 2000
By 
Old Fisherman "Jim" (Orange, California USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
Johnny Porter may not be James Bond, but he's cut from the same cloth. He's a professor of languages with a flair for picking up new ones and on top of that he's a Canadian indian. When a top-secret Siberian installation must be infiltrated the only one who can do so is one who looks and talks like a native, and who has enough knowledge to understand what he's going to see. Johnny Porter is the man chosen for the job.
I found this book very interesting. Johnny Porter is a complex character who never takes anything for granted. This book leads you through the planning for the infiltration, the infiltration itself, and the escape. It's meticulously done from start to finish, and most of it is very believable. But it's not a dry book by any means. Porter and the other characters come alive in the book. My only problem was with the big secret that Porter is supposed to bring out of the installation. It seemed a bit less than earth-shaking.
I'd recommend this book. Davidson is head-and-shoulders above many of the spy/thriller writers writing today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lionel Davidson - Master Thriller Writer - Gone, November 1, 2009
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
Lionel Davidson died recently. His obituary is appearing in newspapers and online, around the world. No better time than now to go back and reread, or read for the first time, this Master of Thrillers. Start with Kolymsky Heights, then read Menorah Men, on to The Rose of Tibet, and Night of Wenceslas if you can find it. His novels are all different, all unique, and ALL GREAT. He writing is fast paced, occasionally elegant, and often amusing. His characters are memorable, deep, motivated,and unforgettable. Although he wasn't read as much in the US, his works influenced many. Vale, Lionel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Story, May 25, 2000
This review is from: Kolymsky Heights (Paperback)
This book stayed with me long after I finished it. The plot and characters were compelling--the kind of story you rearrange your daily routine for a few days to keep reading. The ending was terrific. As soon as I finished it, I ordered all his previous works.
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Kolymsky Heights
Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson (Paperback - Oct. 1995)
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