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The Double Agents (Men at War) Hardcover – June 26, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actors David Niven and Peter Ustinov, along with James Bond creator Ian Fleming, all of whom actually served Britain in WWII, help the heroes of Griffin's Men at War series deceive the Germans in this solid sixth installment (after 2006's The Saboteurs) from the bestselling author and his son, Butterworth. In 1943, the OSS's William J. Wild Bill Donovan spearheads a disinformation effort to trick the Nazis into believing that the western Allies won't invade the European continent through Sicily. One of Donovan's most accomplished operatives, USAAF Maj. Richard Canidy, devises a clever scheme (albeit one familiar to readers of Ewen Montagu's The Man Who Never Was) to plant phony plans on a corpse, along with love letters drafted by the requisite attractive female spy. Some fans may find the prominent role of the real-life celebrities a distraction, but all will enjoy the suspenseful ride.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Men at War series continues with this typically exciting adventure. The plucky, resourceful agents of the Office of Strategic Services face what could be their toughest assignment: to convince Adolf Hitler that the Allied invasion of Europe will not take place at Normandy. This is the second novel Griffin has cowritten with his son, but it retains all of the veteran author's trademarks: well-researched plot; realistic characters, real and fictional; and snappy dialogue. How Griffin manages to turn out so many novels without resorting to by-the-numbers plotting and cutout characters is a mystery, but as long as he keeps delivering the goods, his legions of fans will be content. Pitt, David

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Product Details

  • Series: Men at War
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399154205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399154201
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Smart on June 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
First of all I admit it I am a 'Griffinoholic' I run out at lunchtime on the day one of his books comes out to get it. I then stop all leisure activity for the next day or so and read it straight through. It doesn't matter which of his series (Though I quietly hope for another in 'THE CORPS' series). The 'Men At War' series that this book is a part of is not at the top of my list. That said I was disappointed with this installment. Like any continuing drama it has to spend some time setting the stage for those who are just joining (as well as reminding the faithful where we were at the end of last years installment) but I found myself on page 143 (of 333) wondering if the new material was ever going to get out of 1st gear. When we did get into 'the mission' it was pretty complete, including the trademark segments of mental thoughts of Canidy (The main protaginist in this volume) but when I got to page 333 I was wondering where the rest of the book was! This storyline had so much more potential. There was one side trip along the way but nothing that compared in complexity to the usual intertwined plots that I have come to expect (and enjoy) from WEB Griffin. So as an addicted reader I got my fix but it didn't produce the same enjoyable high that I have come to expect and crave.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. on July 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may not be the worst book ever written , but it's the worst book I've ever read. Hyperbole maybe, but not by much.

Having read every page WEBG has published (multiple times), I feel like I've lost a good friend. This is not the quality story telling that I've come to love.

Junior wastes a third of the book rehashing old stories, then wastes another third by introducing characters who have absolutely nothing to do with the story (Who were the two SS officers that took up the first chapter, and where did they go?). The meat of the story would have fit in a pamphlet but I guess publishers aren't paying much for short stories. I'm still waiting to find out where the "Double Agents" were. Were there any double agents in the book? Including Flemming, Niven and Ustinov was cheesiness of the highest order and their portrayal as the second coming of the Three Stooges was just too much to take.
Obviously this "collaborative" effort effort by pere et fils was in actuality WEB IV. III has been spinning great tales for over 25 years and it's plain as day that this is not his work. I feel twice cheated; once by IV for trying to pass off this garbage under his father's name and second by III for signing his name to this garbage.
After purchasing all 39 books by Griffin, I'm afraid I've purchased my last unless Junior retires.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dennis H. GerardiJr on June 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I drove 60 miles round trip the day this book came out. When I put it down, the feeling was that I had been really cheated. I have come to expect a great deal from Griffin,I have every book he has ever written. This one just didnt have the pace and excitement of a Griffin book,I almost feel that he had very little to do with it. A third of the book was given over to a sub-plot involving the British which we know historically was not an OSS deal. This was filler. There was too much space devoted to endless rehash of the characters. Most of the menn at war characters which made the first four books were never mentioned.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Saboteurs", the first acknowledged collaboration of W.E.B. Griffin and son William E. Butterworth IV was awful. It wasn't a story, as much as it was a mess. "The Double Agents" isn't much of an improvement.

At least the endless need of Major Richard Canidy to empty his bladder is almost gone, reduced to a single entirely gratuitous episode. Canidy is supposedly a hotshot fighter pilot recruited into the Office of Strategic Services. To make the character work, the authors have to cast Canidy as a "loose cannon," someone willing to make life or death decisions on the spot, regardless of the consequences. The characterization doesn't work. Canidy is a shallow character and the plot supports him with one transparent device after another. Everything Canidy needs is always close at hand, unbeleivable in war time. When Canidy scopes out an enemy installation, just by chance a high ranking German officer is there waiting to be assasinated. Unlike Griffin the elder's many solo offerings, there is no suspense here. No cleverness either.

Dad Griffin built his reputation on mixing historical fact with inventive fiction. Here, fiction overwhelms fact, though the Griffins apparently hope you won't catch on.

For example, one of the many (implausible) backstories is about The Man Who Never Was: World War II's Boldest Counter-Intelligence Operation, a deception operation mounted by British intelligence.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Lindahl on July 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I usually love all of his books. However, this book is boring, boring, boring. I finally gave up about half way through. There is no "action" and the dialog is tedious. Good thing I borrowed it from the library.
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