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3.8 out of 5 stars
Spy: A Thriller (Hawke Series)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is Bell's best so far. Bell is a master craftsman in terms of character development. By now we know Stokley, Ambrose and Concha. The sheriff and Homer are an echo of TV Mayberry which so many reader also know. The Amazon remains today a mysterious primitave zone of interest and intrgue. Bell makes us feel the humid heat and the bite of the insects. Speaking of primitive, this book is an interesting blend of hi tech (robots)and low tech (Indians with spears). The Mexican border conflict could have been written yesterday or maybe tomorrow. Like many "fiction" novels this is too close to reality. I am thinking the research involved in a class fiction work such as this often points the author to a non fiction and very rational scenario for the present day.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Alex Hawke series to date. This latest is the fourth in this series and the best yet, in my opinion. No one can build up a suspensful plot like Ted Bell, and he leaves no dangling threads and unanswered questions. Oftentimes current thriller writers have a sloppy style and drop storylines like hot potatoes. Not Ted Bell. And he has obviously done his research. This book's action is set deep within the Amazon, and Alex as well as his closest friends face unimaginable dangers while they try to bring down a truly terrifying terrorist. Bell introduces a new character too, that I hope we see again. His name is Franklin Dixon, and he's a Texas sheriff who finds himself playing in the big leagues with a horrifying terrorist plot. I highly recommend this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book for my husband's birthday. I wouldn't presume to pick a historical or science fiction book for him, but he sometimes reads modern thrillers and this one looked very topical. He agreed that it looked good but was reading some multi-volume novel on Poland and suggested that I read it first. I'm not a thriller reader but I thought I would try it and, to my amazement, I loved it. It was fast-paced with interesting characters and the story line was just a bit scary. My husband has started reading it and is thoroughly enjoying it as well. I'm thinking of reading Hawke, which is the first book in the series. By the way, this is the first time I've ever written a review. - Gloria
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
`Spy' is a very good book but I will say that it took a little while for me to get into it and for it to pick up. As long as the action took place somewhere other than in "C's" office or anywhere near there, the action was rockin'. Once it went inside is where it kind of lost me. Aside from those little speed bumps this book was Ted Bell writing his a** off! I know he probably won't but I wish Ted would do a side series with Sherriff Franklin. Reading about him was a joy and only made this book even more fun to read. Who would have thought that a secondary character would have the impact that he did? Hawke, of course, was his usual tough, no-nonsense, I'll put a gun in your mouth, self. A failed mission gets Hawke captured in the unforgiveable Amazon jungle with a bunch of losers a.k.a. "haters of America".

These morons are being led by a leader that goes by the name of "Top" and they are planning an elaborate attack on American. I say elaborate because they are using our illegal immigration problem as one of their ploys. Ted Bell uses real problems (illegal immigration, terrorism, stupid politicians) to weave a (less the pre mentioned speed bumps) nonstop story. I love the covert ops stuff and `Spy' is chock full of it. I love Hawke's speed boat. Think a luxury yacht that had a love affair with a Hummer H1. This is a fictional based on pure fact so it will make you mad. Mad in the sense that if these authors can plainly see the problems this country faces why can't our officials? Ted handles the problems we have with our "open yet closed" border with brutal honesty and not an ounce of stupid, spineless political correctness. He takes us behind a terrorist camp in the Amazon and lets us into the mind of a true psychopath and his misled views on what Allah wants from him. He even lets us in on a news conference and how the press is so INCREDIBLY stupid even when shown the truth.

The action doesn't stop until the final, final end. I haven't read these books in order so I don't know what makes Hawke, Hawke and I don't know exactly where all of his friends came from BUT you know I will find out. Ted knows how to tell a story and you really can't go wrong with one of his books. One of a few number of class A authors whose books you can buy "blind".
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm normally not very fond of popular fiction, but found "Spy" to be an irresistible read. Ted Bell builds a captivating plot around the intersection of many current events: Islamic jihadists, border security, Iran, illegal immigration, Hugo Chavez's "Bolivarian" movement, the illicit drug-trade. These all figure prominently in the storyline, as a Texas border-town sheriff and British secret agent thwart the diabolical aspirations of a polyglot group of America's enemies in a fast-paced, action-laced thriller.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Alex Hawke knew immediately that his vessel the Pura Vida on the Rio Negro was destroyed by the explosion killing many of his colleagues including marine biologist Dana Gibbon. He had to let go of her hand to reach shore. He made it to land only to be caught and sold as a slave worker to the Xucurur who guard the work camps of the Muhammed Top. Alex serves on a road contraction crew and as a human target in case enemy combatants attack; life expectancy is zero. Though death looks more welcoming than life, Alex, wondering about this Al Qaeda army in the middle of the Amazonian jungle escapes.

He realizes the American government leaders are preoccupied with reelections which mean fake temporary concentration on the Mexican border; though real issues abound involving masse illegals and the Mexican army crossing into American territory and young females kidnapped from border towns. Alex turns to trusted friends Ambrose Congreve and Stokely Jones to help infiltrate the Las Medianoches Al Qaeda cell because he believes they plan something spectacularly jihad against the United States probably at that suddenly prominent line in the sand called the Mexican Border.

In his fourth appearance (see ASSASSIN, HAWKE, and PIRATE) Alex is at his best as he suffers survivor guilt though he also believes those like Dana are better off dead. Yet the premise of Mr. Bell's work is that the "terrorists in the jungle scenario" is based on the immigration of Hezbollah operatives from Lebanon during the 1970s civil war. Fans will appreciate the fast-paced and action packed thriller; as readers join Alex and his teammates on a quest to prevent the jihad from happening with the odds heavily favoring the terrorists in their plan to devastate North America.

Harriet Klausner
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I listened to SPY as a download from my local library and I'm going to purchase it just because it was so good. John Shea did a GREAT job as narrator and is a marvel with different voices...I loved Sheriff Dixon and I would love to see an entire series with Dixon as the lead character, especially if read by Shea. Just a good ol' boy who hasn't lost his common sense.

I'm not a techno-geek so I have no idea if the events that happen in the book could actually occur, but it made me uneasy to think my country could be infiltrated so easily. This is more Harrison Ford than George Smiley, but I loved most every minute of it. I did have to bypass some of the violence (Ambrose's torture), but all in all it was a breathtaking read.

I don't like to discuss plot because the Publisher's summary above does that, but this is one of the most intricately plotted books I've read. I need to actually read the book rather than listen again because I need to page back and forth to catch the weavings of the plot line. This first go-round was just to hurry up and see what happens!

I am, for sure, going to check the rest of Ted Bell's books...this one was a great edge of your seat thriller.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Never have I read a thriller as exciting as Ted Bell's Spy. The book is about Alex Hawke and how he discovered a terror camp in the Amazon forest. He was kidnapped by the terrorists there while he was on a mission. Later he escaped and the whole story starts off from there, in a series of chapters going back and forth between the plot threads, all magically heading towards the conclusion.

I tell you this, no one I've seen has ever bond so many threads together in a smooth manner like this. It is just amazing.

Pick up this book if you like action romps.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every story in this series is more masterful than the last. I haven't looked forward to an author's next book since the early days of my Stephen King infatuation in the early 1980s. Only Bell's work has consistently delivered the same "can't put it down till I finish" urgency.

Like King, Bell is a great storyteller who just happens to limit his fiction to a specific genre, who creates and develops compelling characters and storylines.

Highly recommended - reading fiction doesn't get more exciting or rewarding than this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ted Bell's latest -- caught my eye when he was interviewed about the subject matter earlier when the book came out in hardback. I found it absorbing...It was hard to put it down!

From the rain forest to Texas, the story runs nonstop! Ted Bell is now one of my favorite authors, right up there with Ludlum or Clancy!

After finishing, I picked up Hawke and then proceeded through ASSASSIN and PIRATE...

These are great fun and go with me on my frequent business trips! Just right for a long flight!!! -- allexprime
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