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Performance Anomalies
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Performance Anomalies [Kindle Edition]

Victor Robert Lee
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Victor Robert Lee's provocative debut spy thriller introduces a protagonist to rival the most memorable espionage heroes. Cono is a startling young man of mixed and haunting heritage who has been gifted - or cursed - with an accelerated nervous system. An orphan and a loner, he acts as a freelance spy, happy to use his strange talents in the service of dubious organizations and governments - until, in Kazakhstan, on a personal mission to rescue a former lover, he is sucked into a deadly maelstrom of betrayal that forces him to question all notions of friendship and allegiance.

Relevant to our times, PERFORMANCE ANOMALIES explores the expansion of Beijing's imperial reach into Central Asia, and the takeover of Kazakhstan. Cono's main adversary is a brutal Beijing agent whose personality has been twisted by the Cultural Revolution's devastation of his family. Victor Robert Lee's topical depiction of a Beijing government pursuing territorial expansion resonates with current tensions over China's claims on the entire South China Sea.

PERFORMANCE ANOMALIES travels from Brazil and Stanford to Almaty and the Tian Shan mountains, covering a tumultuous emotional landscape along the way. The fate of an oil-rich nation the size of Western Europe is at stake. So, too, is a hidden stockpile of weapons-grade uranium. The Beijing agent craves Cono's suffering; a jihadi cell wants him dead. As the human cost of his mission escalates, Cono realizes that he must turn his strange talents toward higher deeds in the future - if by his guile he can survive the explosive present.

Scroll up and click LOOK INSIDE to enter Cono's world.

Editorial Reviews


"A thoroughly original work of fiction."
- Mark Schreiber, The Japan Times

"A great adventure and the beginning of a new hero."
- Ed Jones, KBEM

"It's original, un-put-down-able, definitely not your typical espionage thriller."
- Michelle Martin, Singapore's Talking Books

"A tremendous first novel."
- Steve Hexom, KBUR Morning Show

"Absolutely intriguing. A great, great book ... Cono just really grabs you."
- Nolan Crowell, KWYK

"The writing is sumptuous and describes Kazakhstan well."
- Caravanistan Silk Road Guide: Best Books About Kazakhstan

From the Author

Performance anomalies are highly unusual abilities that arise in a tiny number of individuals, due to rare genetic mutations. In real life, several performance anomalies have recently been identified. Some rare individuals, for example, do not register pain. A Finnish cross-country skiing champion has a mutated receptor that results in his body cranking out extra red blood cells, which is a significant advantage in aerobic sports. A baby was born in Germany a few years ago with bulging muscles, later traced to a mutation in his myostatin gene. There are more examples, and it is likely that others will be discovered.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1094 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1938409213
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Perimeter Six Press (July 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094P9NJ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think you know thrillers? Try this hero January 5, 2013
I read a lot--four-eight books a week, primarily thrillers (because that's what I write). After a while, they start sounding alike:

* powerful but flawed hero stands against evil
* a crisis storms in that only s/he can solve and s/he is pulled out of retirement/another job/a satisfying domestic life to assist his/her country/a friend/a stranger
* despite herculean efforts, it threatens to destroy him/her
* at the last minute (sometimes, literally), s/he prevails, a better person because of this trial by fire

I'm always on the look out for a writer who can break out of that template and still provide the fast-moving, gut-wrenching action that makes thrillers the favorite of millions of readers.

I've found him.

Enter Victor Robert Lee and his debut novel, Performance Anomalies (Perimeter Six 2013) where Mr. Lee sets the stage for what could be one of the most riveting series in recent years. I'm not a fan of opening a novel with a dream sequence, but in this case, it worked.

The story is about an unusual man-without-a-country named Cono NLN. Cono has the gift of a hyper-fast neurological system (a genetic mutation), which he uses for good and evil, ambivalent to the purpose. As the book opens, he finds himself haplessly helping a criminal mastermind whom he calls 'friend' to destroy the world. It's not faceless death that forces a second look from this unexpected crime fighter, but that it would destroy what few friends he has, and thus, Cono finds himself re-evaluating his life path. There is lots of back story, but it is so instructive in understanding this man who considers himself a freak, it doesn't detract from the momentum of the plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Performance Anomalies February 13, 2013
"Performance Anomalies" was a very interesting read! Normally I read mysteries, cozy mysteries, a few suspense romance novels but Spy books just has never been my cup of tea. I did win this book and it really was good.
Cono, the main character has a gifted ability that helps him be great at his job --- which he chases all over the world trying to accomplish. The ending was good and not what I figured would happen. The whole book was nothing predictable making it a thoroughly enjoyable read! Would recommend to anyone who likes any kind of suspense book. Am looking forward to another adventure by Cono! For a first time book, GREAT job to Mr. Victor Robert Lee!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Relevant December 4, 2012
Meet Cono, a young man of mixed heritage, born with a genetic anomaly that allows him to perceive time slower than normal. A facial tic tells him someone is to be trusted, a twitch telegraphs friendship or subterfuge.

Born in Brazil, he witnessed his father murder his mother, a beloved woman who taught him to live free and dance. He hasn't a country, but believes that wherever his feet touch soil is where he is supposed to be.

He has few friends, but to those he has, he is fiercely loyal. His job is espionage, and for a man without borders any country is game. He is a mediator, a messenger, sometimes a doer and fixer.

A frantic phone call from Xiao Li, a favored friend and paramour of Chinese descent, starts Performance Anomalies in motion. She has been abducted, so Cono calls in favors to free his lover from the arms of radicals determined to destroy her for reasons unknown.

A race across nations brings Cono to Kazakhstan, a country we learn is at the center of Chinese, American, and Western Europe's hunger for oil and... uranium.

Someone has a store of the powerful metal, and that someone wants to sell it to the jihadists. Cono must stop the transfer, discovering too late, that sometimes the cost is more than the price.

I gave Performance Anomalies a five star review because for a first novel--it was outstanding. The nuance and wisdom culled from the pages are best read with little distraction.

For an American like me, Victor Robert Lee offers a unique world view--one we know little about. The information contained within should be savored like a fine wine, the hidden truths mulled and considered.

While I would not call the novel fast-paced, it is certainly well done with lots of twists and turns.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anomalies July 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Interesting, exciting, strange. Three things you can say are true about this first in a series thriller. An independent operator, who has more money than he will ever need because of a computer adaptation of a genetic difference of his own nervous system, bounces around the world playing at being a covert agent until he runs into the reality of the world. When games turn into real pain for real people that he knows, things change. It was a wild ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The protagonist, Cono, is a freelance spy who has a nervous system which operates about 10 times faster than the normal nervous system. Thus the title "Performance Anomalies". Cono is an incredible anomaly who I would nominate to be the next new X-Man... I'd also nominate this incredible story to be made into a movie.

Cono is called in to action to rescue a lover being held captive by a brutal, tyrannical Chinese agent, and is being used as a political pawn in an attempt to manipulate and gain control of oil resources from a country the size of Western Europe, Kazakhstan.

However, the fate of Kazakhstan is not the only thing at stake... there's a hidden stockpile of uranium...

The cruel Beijing agent not only wants Cono to suffer, but craves it. A Jihadi cell wants him dead...

A very pleasantly written, easily readable (but not dumbed down), hard to categorize work of art. A movie producer would be smart to snag this one up fast. Contains all the elements a reader could want, with lots of action, varying exotic locales, a beyond unique story line, and a hero who you cannot put into a typical "spy box".

I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a great, unpredictable, steadily paced read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Super human being with Super powers
Wow. I really liked the book a lot..mainly because of cono. he is a superhero. "A friend in need is a friend indeed.".. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ADITI SAHA
3.0 out of 5 stars Performance Anomalies = hyper awareness
A young boy shows remarkable abilities to repeat things that he has just observed. His skills are verified at a medical center and he eventually becomes an agent/mercenary,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Cunningham
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't think a spy story could be boring
I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Because I won my copy of this book, I feel that I have to confess I did not make it more than a quarter of the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Taylor Caitlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book which takes you back n forth through time, relations...
Performance Anomalies! This is another book that I received as a giveaway, especially for India. Thank you, Victor Robert Lee. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J-KHoNa
3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow but definitely different.
I wish I could give more stars to this book. It had a "new" twist with the character of Cono, and a great setting in a part of the world I don't know all that well. Read more
Published 8 months ago by NHR
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not finish
Let me start of by saying I could not finish this book. I won it on goodreads. I made it about half way before deciding not to pick it back up. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lauren R. Alumbaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate plot with intriguing adversaries and a message
This is a spy/action novel, with a very tightly woven plot, so I was surprised that it often made me stop and think about philosophical questions. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gabriella
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Convversation
Book review by Renee Robinson. Performance Anomalies, by Victor Robert Lee ISBN-13: 978-1938409219 is a thriller featuring a character, Cono. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zona
2.0 out of 5 stars too wordy and too many characters
It was a decent story, but their was too much distraction to the story. with the writing at times and then with the amount of characters involved.
Published 11 months ago by Jason P. Jurado
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended read
Exciting and engaging story with super characters to root for. Mr. Victor Robert Lee, I really enjoyed your first novel and will watch for subsequent ones from you. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amy Vee
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More About the Author

Victor Robert Lee lives on the road in Asia. His literary espionage novel PERFORMANCE ANOMALIES was described by The Japan Times as "a thoroughly original work of fiction." His non-fiction reporting and commentary on the Asia-Pacific region can be found in The Diplomat and elsewhere.

Victor Robert Lee writes under a pseudonym to avoid being denied travel visas by authoritarian governments.

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