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Phantom (Alexander Hawke, Book 7) Paperback – March 20, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Alexander Hawke
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061859303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061859304
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Phantom is a book you may not want to put down. . . . Hawke is the protagonist of this novel, and he is as cool a customer as this reviewer has run across for some time. (Newbern Sun Journal on Phantom)

“A thoroughly enjoyable spy novel . . . warm weather makes one want to dive into the summer beachside books and Ted Bell’s Phantom is a great start.” (Iron Mountain Daily News on Phantom)

“This is a scary book . . . Bell never lets up on the action in this very well written tale. . . . I had to pause to take a breath before seeing what came next.” (Suspense Magazine on Phantom)

“A terrific nonstop action tale . . . Gripping from the vivid Disney World disaster until the final confrontation with a brilliant Phantom.” (The Mystery Gazette on Phantom)

“There’s new dimension to Alexander Hawke, the James Bond-like MI6 operative whom men want to be and women want to bed. . . . Bell keeps the tone light and the level of derring-do high. Fine escapist fare.” (Library Journal on Phantom)

“[Phantom] keeps the reader involved with its charmingly unflappable hero . . . as well as the ease with which it unfolds on multiple continents, on land and in air.” (Kirkus Reviews on Phantom)

“[Hawke’s] most personal mission yet. . . . the story is tense and exciting. A perfect read for Clive Cussler fans.” (Booklist on Phantom)

“Exciting . . . A terrific, final naval battle shows Alex at his fighting finest.” (Publishers Weekly on Phantom)

“Hawke is . . . strong, shrewd and savvy, with an aplomb not seen since James Bond. In other words, Bond, eat your heart out . . . there’s a new spy in town. (NPR on Warlord)

“As enlightening as it is scary. . . . Ted Bell packs so many action-amped scenarios into Alex Hawke’s seventh adventure, it’s so often hard to catch one’s breath. If you crave spy thrills with a Bond on steroids, visit the bloody British world of Ted Bell’s Alex Hawke.” (Rankin Ledger on Phantom)

From the Back Cover

Counterspy Alex Hawke must catch a villainous megalomaniac—a man obsessed with horrifying experiments in cyberwarfare—in this mesmerizing new espionage thriller in Ted Bell's New York Times bestselling series

The first and most bizarre event nearly becomes a monumental catastrophe when something goes awry at an American theme park, wreaking havoc on visitors looking for nothing more than a sun-splashed holiday. In a different part of the country, a USAF F-15 pilot, escorting another jet in the skies over the Midwest, inexplicably loses control of his plane, endangering the lives of several people and deeply puzzling those following his mission on the ground. Then, in the misty calm of a coastal California evening, the world's premier scientist on the subject of artificial intelligence gets a strange phone call. When he hangs up, he quietly grabs his coat and leaves for an after-dinner stroll from which he never returns.

It's up to Hawke and the brilliant former inspector Ambrose Congreve to find out what could possibly be happening. But how does one identify—and fight—an enemy one can't see, a real phantom? Even these seasoned operatives are mystified. Is there really such a thing as an ultra-intelligent machine, a cyberweapon that can shift the geopolitical balance of power?

In a hunt that takes him from Palo Alto, California, to the Russian frontier, to Cambridge University and the glistening Mediterranean aboard his newly christened and armed super-yacht Blackhawke, Alex Hawke is joined by the unstoppable Stokely Jones and his ex-CIA buddy Harry Brock as he moves closer to unmasking the scientist behind these extraordinary events, going nose-to-nose with an enemy unlike any he's fought before—and may never again.

Customer Reviews

Great fun read that moved very quickly and was hard to put down.
S. Huston
It's a good read with an interesting plot and subplot, well developed characters and even some measure of scientific education.
George L Kiskunas
Weak plot, and relied too heavily on previous stories/actions to carry him through the book.
David K Petersen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
See book summaries above.
While this has not been my favorite Ted Bell thriller, of which i've read all, but it still ranks up there as great entertainment. I love the science aspects when combined with awesome adventure. Sure it stretches beyond belief but thats what I love about escapist fiction. Fun and scary.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelvin on March 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have seen a real range of reviews here from "awful" to "great". I actually am one of those that enjoyed the book. It was a quick read and I think I stayed up until 3am reading the last 200 or so pages as I wanted to see how it ended. As a computer scientist myself, I did not find the plot as far fetched as some reviewers did. Compute power has come a long way in recent years and while we may not yet be at the singularity Bell describes we are living in an age where technology is evolving very rapidly.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By todd g on March 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed the Hawke series of books. I noted in Tsar that suspension of disbelief needed to make it even remotely plausible was getting way out of line. With this book it has gone to the completely absurd to where the book is not as enjoyable as some of the previously more realistic works from Mr. Bell. I get that the plot lines have to stretch the realm of reality often times to seem fresh, but this is just so out there. It is clear to me Mr. Bell did a great deal of research into the field of singularity, and while it is an interesting topic, I believe it simply went too far in this novel to the point it couldn't be taken seriously. A phone call with music, and suddenly top scientific minds commit unthinkable acts of terror?

I also have gotten to the point that I simply cannot even take Hawke's background and heritage seriously any longer. An MI-6 agent whose family left him a fortune that enables him to have his own personal G5, and his own operating budget within MI6 that is equivalent to the entire MI6 budget itself? Come on. Then there is the plot, the villain in a flying wheel chair, the underwater computer, the parallel universe nonsense, mind control, etc? Much of this book can be summed up in one word: absurd.

I will add that I really did enjoy the last many chapters of the novel. Once the computer was done, and villain in his flying wheel chair eliminated, I felt like the naval battle was incredibly well done. Upon reflecting further on the book, I wouldn't say it was a total loss because there were many thought provoking tings as well as some really great, and realistic action over the last 10 chapters. I do still look forward to the next Alex Hawke book from Mr. Bell. I think my initial thoughts were a bit hasty, and upon thinking about it a bit I would give it a rating of "okay". There are some great moments here, but some of the ride to along the way to get to them was a bit more painful than I would have liked.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By No BS guy on April 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book more than the others in the series. The main flaw is the lead character Alex Hawke. He's a dork. His main American friend is a black stereotype that also makes me laugh. However, despite these major character flaws, the acts of terrorism were exciting and the problems posed by artificial intelligence quite interesting. The book moves along. The subplots involving Hawke's son and Hawke's personal life were a drag, but, fortunately, were only subplots and did not overly detract from the escalating acts of cyber terrorism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lord Alex Hawke, master adventurer/spy/action hero, is at it again in fine fashion. Delivering the goods, page after page, makes this book a delight to read. You will not want to put it down. Sit back and enjoy another delightful adventure with one of the best writers around.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By HomeBody on September 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ted Bell is one of the best writers in the business. It's very easy to overlook some of the flaws in this book simply because the writing is just so good. If the villain plot line wasn't so bizarre and ill conceived, I would have given this book 5 stars. PHANTOM was well worth the time and money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deb A. on February 1, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a ride!

I receive a copy of Phantom as a giveaway through Goodreads as a 'first read'. Sadly, it took me a long time to read, but it was NOT because the book was not good! On the contrary, I GREATLY enjoyed it.

The main plot of the story surrounds strange goings on around the world. It starts in an amusement park where rides seemingly develop minds of their own and go out of control. Then, everyone on board a Russian submarine loses control of all systems while doing training runs, and the boat takes it upon itself to actually fire live torpedo's at a cruise ship carrying thousands of innocent people - mostly American.

Governments point fingers at their own and other people, tempers rise, and fear levels escalate as no explanations present themselves. Surely no virus has been created or intelligence developed that can allow someone to take controls out of the hands of operators of such unrelated things...right?

Alex Hawke is brought 'on board' to help track down the culprit or culprits who are causing unimaginable tragedies.

It's not as though Hawke does not already have a plateful! He has just learned he has a son, and the Tsarist society is hellbent on removing both of them by any means possible in revenge of Alex's alleged murder of their beloved leader.

The book is hard to put down - there is action in each and every chapter and it leave the reader dying to know what happens next. The only reason I put it down as often as I did is because of 'who I am'. I am an analyst by profession and by nature. This book really made me think. My favorite two questions to ask are "What if?" and "Why?". Don't get me wrong, I do not ask 'why' because I question something, I ask it to understand it.
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More About the Author

My life entered a brand new and exciting chapter in 2011-2012 when I was elected a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University, UK. I held this position at the University's Department of Politics and International Studies, a primary resource for the Intelligence Community. I was also Writer In Residence at Sydney Sussex College here at Cambridge. I am working on a new novel, the 9th in the Alex Hawke series of spy thrillers, to be called PATRIOT. The new thriller will revolve around MI6 intelligence officer Alex Hawke's efforts to contain a newly combative Vladimir Putin. I also plan to write a 3rd installment in my series of historical novels for young people, the Nick McIver Time Adventures published by St. Martins. My Alexander Hawke novels are published by Harper/Collins.

This past year I was honored to be the first author to speak at the Reagan Library kicking off "The Year of the Spy".

WARRIORS, will be published in paperback early in 2015. Set against a backdrop of increasing tensions with China in the Pacific, the insane actions of China's surrogate, North Korea, and the abduction of America's premier weapons designer, Hawke must destroy a new undersea weapons system deployed by China in order to avert global catastrophe. Hawke, Stokely Jones, and Chief Inspector Ambrose Congreve, must also solve a puzzling and sadistic murder at Cambridge University in England that is somehow tied to the Chinese threats of world war.

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