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The Diaries - A Gage Hartline Espionage Thriller (#1) [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Driskell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

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Book Description

He thought it was a routine surveillance job.

They thought he was an ordinary citizen.

Neither could have been more wrong.

Propelled by the discovery of a set of mind-bending diaries penned by Adolf Hitler's unwilling lover, a deadly pursuit ensues across Europe. Chased is Gage Hartline, a former special operations soldier. Stalking him are the French mob, a rogue DGSE agent, and his former employer, the United States Army. But when the one he loves is ripped from him, Gage turns the tables and becomes the hunter.

The first book in the Gage Hartline series, The Diaries is a modern example of the classic European espionage thriller.

Editorial Reviews


"The book's execution is highly competent...Even more impressive is the novel's pacing, which rarely lingers...An engaging, enjoyable thriller." - Kirkus Reviews
"It's hard to believe this is Mr. Driskell's first book.  From the opening scene on an airplane, where Gage has to subdue an unruly passenger...the author creates life-like characters, constant tension and unpredictability...Driskell does an excellent job bringing everything together in a satisfying climax." - IndieReader 
"The Diaries is a riveting, superbly written debut novel by a promising young author.  Having spent much of my professional career studying and writing about Adolf Hitler, I found myself absorbed by Driskell's creepy portrayal of the evil dictator.  The author keeps the novel moving at breakneck speed by weaving the Hitler-involved diary entries into the present-day fabric of Gage Hartline's fast-paced escapade.  The Diaries kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning." - Professor Donald M. McKale, Author of Nazis after Hitler and Hitler's Shadow War
"Driskell's deliciously volatile mix of crime, history, and old-fashioned spy games is a winner. He advances the spy novel into new, exciting territory, making The Diaries a genre-changer." - Laura Benedict, award-winning author of Isabella Moon and The Devil's Oven

From the Author

The Diaries is the second "true" novel I penned.  It's a nod to classic spy thrillers and introduced my readers' favorite protagonist, Gage Hartline.  The book is a mix of crime, suspense, history and espionage.  With provocative diary entries, French mafia, rogue DGSE agents, alluring women, special ops soldiers and plenty of memorable European settings, I hope this book satisfies your craving for a good read.  -  Best, Chuck Driskell

Product Details

  • File Size: 1143 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Autobahn Books (November 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007BTR7PY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,961 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous, fun stuff. May 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Disillusioned, nearly broke, and eager to leave the dirty work of his special ops past behind, Gage Hartline just wants to get through his next freelance job--bugging a German customs office--and pay his bills. But Gage is smart enough to see beyond his own depressing circumstances, and when he discovers a set of WWII-era diaries that could change history, he understands his new-found treasure comes with a vast amount of responsibility. After his secret is revealed to one too many greedy people, his role as the diaries' guardian turns deadly, and he turns his anger into vengeance.

For a trained killer, Gage is a very empathetic, complex guy. Driskell paints him as damaged, even fretful at times, and that's a big risk in a thriller--especially a thriller that's full of gritty action. When Gage is pitted against true thugs, the difference is stark, despite the fact that, in Driskell's world, even the thugs have human faces. That world is contemporary Europe, and it's fraught with not just vibrant echoes of WWII, but of the long, troubled history of the continent as well. Because the characters move against a background that rings with authority and authenticity, the story stays front and center despite its brisk pace.

The Diaries' plot is far from simple. It's a novel for readers who demand action, but don't want to be spoon-fed cliches and stock characters. Think Ludlum seasoned with a wicked dash of Patricia Highsmith. Dangerous, fun stuff.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book. April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Totally captivating... Excellent story line and character development. The author does an amazing job at keeping the reader glued to this page turner. Just prior to reading "The Diaries" I read Ken Follett's "Eye of the Needle". I also gave it a 5 star review however after reading this espionage thriller I changed Ken's review to a 4. Keep 'em coming Chuck. Amazing work!

I'm looking forward to the release of Driskell's "DOPPELGÄNGER" in May 2012.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An impressive first effort February 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Right out of the gate Driskell establishes himself as a gifted story teller. Reminiscent of a young Grisham, Driskell's prose immediately engages the reader and as the plot thickens, layer upon layer, a well constructed thriller emerges that holds your attention through the very last page. This "never a dull moment" page turner features a story with just the right amount twists and turns, and a well-developed protagonist whose simple morality and heroism will have you cheering silently in your easy chair. A final surprise at the end leaves you glad you read "The Diaries" and hoping Driskell has another offering on the way.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! March 4, 2012
By Jerry
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a big Jeffrey Deaver fan and a fan of thrillers in general. I almost passed this ebook by but was intrigued by the Hitler diaries angle. All I can say is WOW, was I taken by surprise. I read it over a weekend and found myself going back to my ereader to see what was going to happen next. The main character, Gage, is very interesting and complex. The other characters, especially Monika, were fantastic, and the bad guys were very memorable, especially Nicky. What a wacko! But the diaries were what really set this book apart, as well as the European backdrop. I couldn't put it down. All in all this was a fast paced, Ludlum-style thriller that I would read again. I'm looking forward to reading more from the author!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down March 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having grown up in a military home and stationed in Germany, I was intrigued by this book. I immediately liked Gage and remembered countless soldiers that I met who could have easily been him. I was a bit skeptical knowing this was Driskell's first novel, but gave it a shot nonetheless. And I'm so glad I did. From the first chapter, I was hooked. I finished it in 2 days and have even thought about it days after finishing it, wondering what Gage was doing now. I was extremely impressed by Driskell's writing and ability to keep you engaged and cheering on the good guys.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling debut! February 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put the book down. Gage Hartline is a flawed yet enormously sympathetic character. While running from his own personal ghosts, he finds himself thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse that could have grave implications for him personally and change the way history views perhaps the darkest period of the past century. Driskell's a very talented writer with a tremendous feel for the breathless pacing common to many the great thriller writers (Lee Child, Daniel Silva, Vince Flynn, etc...). He has an especially great understanding and feel for the military. Great stuff. I can't wait to read his next book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diaries May 15, 2012
By Don Boy
Format:Kindle Edition
I dont read alot of novels but a recent job change has put me on the road with frequent layovers and time to kill. After downloading Kindle on my I phone I began to browse amazon for a book. The lead in intrigued me so I chose the Diaries and am Glad I Did. It grabbed my attention from the start and didnt let go til the end. When I was finished reading it I searched for other books by Driskell only to learn this was his first novel. AMAZING! Iwould have bet he had several best sellers.I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diaries - A Great Read! May 8, 2012
By TonyM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first review of any book, so please bear with my "novice-like" efforts here, OK?

This is Chuck Driskell's first book and its a doozy! Very original plot. Very entertaining. The characters are complex and likeable (except for Nicky, who is a nutcase). Gage Hartline is a very intriguing character, who I hope Driskell starts a series with him.

I urge you to buy this book. I am looking forward to reading his next book, out for release the week of May 8th, 2012 called Doppelganger.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read.
Published 2 days ago by A. R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written Captures the readers imagination - hard to put
Well written
Captures the readers imagination - hard to put down
Published 2 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book
A great read! I look forward to more Driskell!
Published 3 days ago by teltech
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read! Interesting plot that began in 1938 and ...
Excellent Read! Interesting plot that began in 1938 and plays out in the 21st. Century. Excellent character & plot development! Read more
Published 3 days ago by Doodlebug
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun thrill ride.
A total blast of excitement and adrenaline rush. From start to finish. I have totally fallen in love with Gage Hartline.
Published 3 days ago by kim
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diaries creates a gamut of emotions from hate to love.
The Diaries is more than a spy thriller. The Diaries creates a gamut of emotions from hate to love, written with much sensitivity and almost every page creates a sense of... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Bob Rifkin
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite new author's
Was very riveting to me,couldn't stop.reading it or wait to continue to read it. One of my favorite new author's.
Published 4 days ago by Leslie N. Blue
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Had to finish it but skimmed some pages also was predictable
Published 5 days ago by Chris Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great read, right up there with Jack reached. Well written with plenty of caricature development. Good plot also. Recommend this book to all adventure readers.
Published 5 days ago by Bryan Winchester
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Read this first then ordered immediately after finishing the second in series - lots of adventure and just a good read.
Published 6 days ago by Barbara Snider
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More About the Author

The youngest of five children, Chuck's initial love of fiction was borne out of a lack of money coupled with an overactive childhood imagination. On Sunday afternoons during his childhood, Chuck's parents would take the entire family to the public library--it was pleasurable and, best of all, free. He credits The Shining, by Stephen King, as being the first novel he ever read.

Following high school, Chuck joined the Army after finding little inspiration (or money) for college. He was stationed stateside at Fort Sill and as a paratrooper at Fort Bragg; but it was Chuck's two-and-a-half years stationed in Germany that forged many of the memories that fuel his interest today.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Chuck endured more schooling before embarking on a career in advertising. In 2001 he co-founded B2B Media, Inc., a company that would go on to be named the second fastest-growing company in South Carolina.

While his career was progressing nicely, an active skydiver, Chuck suffered an accident while BASE jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia. Although he's since recovered, the accident took away his ability to compete in numerous sports. It was the accident, and his resulting physical limitations, that would later become the seed for his need to write.

As his career churned on, Chuck married his wife in 2003. Fulfilled personally and professionally, something began to tug at his mind. Before his accident he'd been able to satisfy his inner desires, first with the adrenaline of a soldier's life, and later as a risk-taking skydiver. When he could no longer be either, he realized something was missing.

Searching for an answer, in 2005 and at the behest of one of his closest friends, Chuck began to write. Claiming he couldn't write a decent sentence at the time, he started by penning his own experiences. After moving on to short stories for a period, he eventually began to write novel-length stories in earnest. Over time he learned to blend flawed characters with extraordinary situations, creating a hybrid of the classic spy/suspense novel. Chuck's passion for travel--especially in Europe--helps lend genuine background and texture to his writing.

Now, every day, Chuck awakens before the dawn and writes. He claims his writing is at its best when his mind is a blank slate. Plus, by writing early, he doesn't miss time with his wife, his daughter, or his son. They live in South Carolina.

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