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The Last Spymaster Hardcover – May 30, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312301596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312301590
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This classic espionage thriller from bestseller Lynds (The Coil) strikes a perfect balance between the private lives of her characters and the blood and betrayal of their professional adventures. Jay Tice, the last spymaster of the title, sold out the CIA store to the Russians during the Cold War and is now serving a life sentence in a federal prison from which no one has ever escaped. When Tice does slip away, a gifted CIA hunter, Elaine Cunningham, tries to find out how and why. As Cunningham follows an intricate trail of death and deception, Lynds brings to vivid life parts of the Eastern U.S. (like North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp) and a huge cast of supporting players. The liaison between Tice and a top female agent from the former East Germany points to the passion sadly missing from many of today's spy thrillers: "Tice and Raina had had a fiery but covert Cold War affair. That was the way people lived then. When sex, lust, love erupted between East and West, it was always forbidden and usually volcanic."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


 “Today’s finest espionage writer unleashes an instant classic!”
—Lee Child
“A sizzling thrill ride!”—Steve Berry
“Nerve-tingling…will keep you turning the pages well into the night.”—Vince Flynn
“As high octane as they come”—Chicago Tribune
“Plentiful tradecraft and relentless danger combine with some clever plot twists for an entertaining read.” —The Economist
“Lynds [is] superbly gifted…. Her narrative skills and her character-creation engine are as high octane as they come.”—Chicago Tribune

 “Lynds’ books have long been acclaimed for their authenticity in describing the covert world, and this one is no different. The Last Spymaster is filled with rich characters and details ripped from the world of espionage...reminiscent of the work of Robert Ludlum or Frederick Forsyth.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“The Queen of the international spy thriller is back with her best novel yet!  The Last Spymaster is tremendous…great plotting, fascinating characters, amazing technical accuracy, breath-taking action. But best of all is her unrelenting examination of the moral ambiguity inherent in intelligence and counter-terrorism. Set aside of a few days of your life for this one—it’s well worth it!”—Marcus Wynne, author of Brothers in Arms
“Non-stop…[a] stand out….An outstanding read.” —Wichita Falls Times Record News
"This classic espionage thriller from bestseller Lynds ... strikes a perfect balance between the private lives of her characters and the blood and betrayal of their professional adventures."
--Publishers Weekly
"Lynds' first-rate espionage novel is gripping and intense ... a never-ending, spine-tingling thrill ride that will keep readers glued to the pages."
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
"Like the fearsome plunge on a dangerous roller coaster, this thriller's denouement gets your heartbeat racing up to just short of tachycardia speed....  Lynds ... has added another jewel to her tiara as one of the reigning queens of the international spy-thriller genre."
--Library Journal

Customer Reviews

I cared about the characters.
M. Rabing
It is high octane energy and action packed with great characters and enough twists and turns to make all fans of spy genre stories feel more than satisfied.
W. H. McDonald Jr.
I read the book in two sittings and it was a great page turner.
Howard Barich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was once told by a friend who had been offerred the job of CIA Director and declined, that there "are no more spymasters."

Well, thanks to Gayle Lynds, he was wrong. There is one. His name is Jay Tice and he has just broken out of prison. One he was put into as a result of traitorous activities against the United States. One that was considered escape proof.

To try and tell you much more than that can be to spoil the story which is full of deception, intrigue and suspense.

There is a huge illegal arms sale afoot. If completed it will shift technological advantage in sophisticated weaponry to the terrorists. Stopping that sale is the objective of the good guys in the book. But, which ones are the good guys? That is for the reader to discover.

Ms. Lynds tells this story in a most believeable and entertaiing way which makes the act of reading a pure pleasure. This is a keeper.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Cunningham on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With the debut of _The Last Spymaster_, veteran novelist Gayle Lynds has soldified her reign as the true "Queen of Suspense".

Jay Tice is a seasoned "spymaster" who is serving a life sentence in a federal penitentiary. Somehow, against all odds, he escapes and is now being tracked by Elaine Cunningham, an intelligent, but washed-up CIA "hunter". Elaine must get to Tice and have him captured before his escape is made public. As she follows clues that lead her closer and closer to Tice, she becomes an unwilling participant in an even wider conspiracy. Those she trusts are savagely murdered as her own life hangs in the balance. The hunter now becomes the hunted; and how it all ends is absolutely ingenious.

Every chapter of this novel plays a crucial role in the unraveling of the plot. There are no extraneous words or characters. Gayle Lynds takes us on a roller coaster ride through many international (and some surprise national) settings and introduces us to a myriad of colorful characters. I am stunned at the sheer genius of this work. It reminds me of Ludlum when he was at his peak. I seriously would not wait to pick this up at the library. If you are a devoted thriller fan, then this one belongs on your shelf alongside the best of them.

A couple of caveats: Lynds takes her time to give you a complete and thorough lay of the land in the first part of the book. Stay with it. Everything she does here serves a bigger purpose. The pace picks up very quickly shortly thereafter, but without this thorough "briefing" you would miss a few important nuances as the story unfolds. Secondly, watch what the characters DO as well as what they SAY in the first part. Their meticulous actions lay the foundation for an electrifying conclusion.

It just doesn't get any better than this.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Abbott on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gayle Lynds best work to date, The Last Spymaster straddles the hazy void that separates The Cold War and The War on Terror, and sets the scene for a new generation of spies to inhabit our imagination.

In this wonderfully written and breakneck paced novel, Lynds demonstrates that however menacing the treat of terrorism is, the gravest threat to Western nations is our abandonment of conscience. Whereas honor once defined Western masculinity, those who still claim it as their own are few and far between, and more often than not very old men, or women.

Deftly interweaving the public and private lives of her characters, Lynds demonstrates that private life is the foundation of morality and that true morality begins with the commitment to the mother one's children and to those children themselves. But is the man who is true to his family, most often the man who is true to his country? You'll have to read The Last Spymaster to find out.

Jay (great name for a leading man) Tice, Spymaster and traitor's escape from Federal prison triggers the reactivation of a group of Cold War warriors set on hunting one of today's most lethal and fanatical terrorist organizations. But each step is marked by betrayal, and in a plot that twists and turns more energetically than a worm with a fork through its middle, Lynds reveals her characters ambitions, loves and disappointments.

This is an exciting, entertaining and meaningful thriller; one I'd have no hesitation recommending.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. S. Foster on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When was the last time that you got so caught up with a book that you really lost track of time? When was the last time that the characters in a book you were reading became so real to you that you started to think about them when you weren't even reading the book? When was the last time that you actually had to cover the opposite side of the page so your wandering eyes wouldn't spoil the surprise in the next several lines? I bet you're going reply that it's been a long, long time. Well, THIS is the book you want to whisk you away to another world....the world of espionage. No , not the dry, uncompromising world of espionage that we typically think of when we hear that but rather one filled with intrigue as well as twists and turns on every page.....characters that are so fully developed that you do think of them as real that you truly care about...or, in the case of a couple, come to detest!!! Gayle Lynds had set the bar so high for herself with her previous gems that it amazed me that she even topped herself with this phenomenal book. This is the consummate suspense thriller... relentlessly chilling with a shattering climax!!! Ohhhh but the epilogue...just wait until you read that...brought tears to my eyes....reallly!!!! One final thing....the writing is so incredible that there are no words to describe just how good it, find out for yourself and grab THE LAST SPYMASTER as fast as you can ... shut off the phones so as to wallow in this seductive will not be disappointed!!! Trust me!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Welcome to my author page. I'm the New York Times bestselling author of award-winning international espionage novels -- spy thrillers -- but when I was growing up, I had no idea ordinary people wrote books. I thought that was the literary turf of dead people, and if not them, then certainly gods and goddesses.

Despite my youthful conclusions, I still dreamed of creating the sorts of novels that would transport people to other worlds, other experiences, and leave them not only truly satisfied but feeling smarter, as I did when I read a really good tale.

Today I've published nine novels, with a tenth on the way -- The Assassins, due out from St. Martin's Press on June 30, 2015. How did I get so lucky? I began writing literary short stories that were published in small journals. The discipline propelled me onward, and here I am today, creating adventure stories about London and Paris, Washington, D.C. and Rome. With me you can travel the world, examining the clandestine world of spies, criminals, and secret power that quietly and importantly impacts all of us.

Some basic facts. My books have won such awards as "Novel of the Year" (THE LAST SPYMASTER) given by the Military Writers Society of America and the American Authors Associations, and have been People magazine "Page-Turner of the Week" and "Beach Read of the Week." Library Journal calls me "the reigning queen of espionage fiction." Publishers Weekly lists MASQUERADE as among the top ten spy novels of all time. BookPage concurs: "Gayle Lynds has joined the deified ranks of spy thriller authors like Robert Ludlum and John le Carre." With Bob Ludlum, I created the Covert-One series and wrote three of the novels. One of them, THE HADES FACTOR, was a CBS miniseries.

I'm a member of the Association for Former Intelligence Officers and co-founder and former co-president (with David Morrell) of International Thriller Writers. Born in Nebraska, raised in Iowa, I now live on the side of a hill in Southern California.

Thank you for dropping by. Please visit my website at to test your Spy-Q, visit my World of Espionage, and sign up for my newsletter.

Warm regards, Gayle

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