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The Cryptos Conundrum Hardcover – June 19, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“It takes a CIA agent with 4 decades of black ops to write the greatest agency thriller of all time. Only an operative with that much inside knowledge and experience could pull it off. It'll keep you up all night!” ―David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of Abyss --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

CHASE BRANDON is a thirty-five year operations officer in the CIA's Clandestine Service. He lived undercover for twenty-five years and retired from undercover assignments in 2006, but continues to consult with several intelligence community agencies, the Department of Defense, and numerous state and federal law enforcement organizations. In his final assignment, Brandon was a senior staff officer for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as an Agency spokesman and CIA's official liaison to the entertainment industry. He provided technical consultation to many feature films, television series, and documentary programs, such as Mission Impossible III, The Bourne Identity, Alias, and 24, and the Discovery, Learning, and Military Channels.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765318776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318770
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By GrandmaBlondie VINE VOICE on June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In defense of the author, he knows his CIA history. I will give him that. But this book is one weird piece of writing.

Is it sci-fi? Is it a thriller? Is it New Age? Is it Crypto-Mormon? (No insult to Mormons, here) Halfway through the book I still wasn't sure. Really. I wanted to believe. I love X-Files and Star Trek...but this one misses the mark.

First of all you have this unkillable guy named Chalmers. He fights in WWI and doesn't die. He doesn't age, so he signs up for WWII and also doesn't die. He has visions of angels/beings that rescue him now and again. He has no love life, doesn't relate to other human beings, doesn't LIKE anyone in particular or believe anything in particular, but he gets consulted on everything everywhere, in every generation. Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon. It's all the same to the genius Chalmers. Oh, and there have been versions of Chalmers all through history.

The angels, or alien beings, or whatever they are, are supposedly in charge of planets. They have names like WON, and TU, Tha-Ree, Vor, and Fieva - you get the idea. Their "headmaster" is (surprise!) named Ga'Lawed. There are twelve of them. And every day (in eternity) they are sent out to seed new worlds. And the day they go out is called SUNDE. Get it? Sometimes they leave the apes alone to evolve, sometimes they interbreed. So, one of these angels (Number Fieva) becomes disgruntled with the boredom of his eternal chore and gets the naughty idea to interfere in an evil way, and that is where all the evil aliens (Roswell, UFOs, greys and Reticulans) come from. It is convoluted, weird, and could have been fun or scary or compelling. Unfortunately, it is just boring.

I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gail Rodgers VINE VOICE on June 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading what previews I could, before picking this book to read, I thought I would have a fascinating look into the CIA and the work it took for a man to decode a piece of sculpture in front of the CIA headquarters. Then I started reading the book and soon was wondering if this was fantasy, science fiction, future history (as Robert Heinlein wrote), suspense, religious allegory, or a brief history of the USA. I guess it was a mixture of them all which is rather difficult to do in one book and I don't think that this author was successful at accomplishing it either.

The book basically covered over 2000 years of time over the course of 112 chapters with some of those chapters being only a page long and jumping a decade or more in time. In the later phases of the book, each chapter skipped even more time. While we knew that the main character for most of the book (and after that his descendents) was a brilliant genius in math could read two books at the same time and in a few minutes each, he came to solutions to problems faster that most computers of our time could, and for the book's sake was the one behind the throne, advising the presidents and his staff in succession in what to do to keep the USA running properly and avoiding trouble with other countries and the space aliens that were also targeting the earth.

Other than the fact that he was aging at a much shorter rate than his colleagues, we don't know much about the man personally until at one point he goes on a date and in the book's fashion about two paragraphs later they were married. Somewhere in the next few years they had a son but he was walking and talking before we knew he had joined the family.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The Tao of Netflix VINE VOICE on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read this book in near record time, and obviously loved it. I happen to be someone who enjoys cloak and dagger stories, and this book does not disappoint, but it does surprise. Specifically, the synopsis would lead you to believe this is a conventional Robert Ludlum/Jason Bourne-style spy thriller, but it is merely on its face. The story revolves around a CIA analyst of extraordinary mental/technical ability who is the single reason America succeeds (through analysis and planning, not direct action). However, similarities with standard CIA fare end there, and take a very strange turn, lets just say in a certain city in New Mexico rumored to be the resting site of UFOs/ETs. And from there we're led down a parallel story of how this analyst single handedly predicts/defeats all major geopolitical challenges while also preparing the US for his belief of an impending extraterrestrial invasion. Further, while trying to avoid giving away the story, the analyst also can communicate with a God-like force from which he derives super-human mental abilities and knowledge of future events. At this point, you're likely thinking this is a fairly unusual combination of elements, and it is, to say the least. Again, its no conventional spy-thriller, but it surprisingly works, and works very well. I imagine you probably need some basic interest in history/geopolitics/technology to enjoy the book; if you do, run to get this book. Lastly, fans of Neal Stephenson will definitely enjoy this book and note obviously style similarities (lots of technology, author-coined words, quick pacing, etc.).
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