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Bloodridge: Book 1 of the Spies Lie series (Volume 1) Paperback – April 25, 2014
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"Kane (DeathByte, 2014) has a background in espionage, and his insider's knowledge of the subject shines through in the precise and authentic details he conveys. That attention to detail helps to keep readers on track even as the plot splits off into more and more tangled strands... The majority of the supporting characters, including master hacker William Wing, his female counterpart, Betsy "Butterfly" Brown, and Mossad spymaster Yigdal Ben-Levy, are much more compelling. A globe-trotting spy thriller dense with intriguing insider's knowledge." - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
D. S. Kane worked as a covert operative for over a decade, traveling globally. Now, he's a former spy, still writing fiction that exposes the way intelligence agencies craft lies to sway and manipulate their national policy, driving countries into dangerous conflicts. Kane can be found at dskane.com and on Twitter (@DSKaneThriller) and Facebook (@DSKaneAFormerSpyStillTellingLies).
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The pace was fast, which kept me engaged. The number of characters and agencies represented were sometimes confusing, but it held together overall. As in any thriller, people perform beyond the realm of credible when shot, tortured or many manners of inconvenienced. But that is the genre and demands suspended disbelief in the globe trotting theater of international espionage.
I found it a compelling read. I always have several books going at any one time. This one was finished before several that I started prior. I recommend it.
First, I was surprised by the depiction of fear, confusion and disorientation by some of the lead characters when facing tough situations. I think of spies as always cool, calm and collected, because of their extensive training. However, I tossed a Joyce Carol Oates novel less then halfway through, and quit reading Harlan Coben altogether, because I perceived some characters' behavior as - well, out of character, too emotional and irrational to be believable. Sounds like it could be my problem.
Another thing that crept up into my consciousness was the female mortality rate - I won't give you a body count, but a lot of women die violent deaths. (Way more males die, but a lot of them are anonymous. The dead women all have names.) Probably a cultural aversion or taboo in my head.
And that's about it for negatives. Oh, I would have changed a few words, rewritten a sentence or two, but I'm picky like that.
What matters are the plotting, the pacing, the tension, the not-wanting-to-put-it-down-ness. I give this novel high marks in those categories. I can't give you an outline - it's too complex, with too many characters from too many spy and terrorist orgs. And yet, it's not too hard to follow. I had no trouble keeping each agent in his/her organization (quite a few belonging in more than one).
Metaphorically, picture a dimly-lit room with 6-8 people (the number changes), standing in a circle, all with knives, facing the person to the left or right. If that person is also facing them - detente. But each must always look over his/her shoulder, and perhaps spin 180 degrees, to avoid being stabbed in the back. And everyone is making deals with someone else in the circle to team up against a third person. Delicious.
The action segments are good, not outstanding. (I'd much rather watch a CSI tech identify a carpet fiber, or Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos, than a car chase or explosion.) What made this a four-star novel for me was the double-dealing, deception and lies. It's a really good read.
Kane picks up the pace by introducing a botched deal between the US and Great Britain which allows Houmaz, a double agent for both countries, to complete a purchase from the Russian Mob. Nikita Tobelov, his Russian connection, accepts two hundred million dollars for the purchase of a nuclear sub from a base at Vladivostok. The clock is ticking as Jon is faced with the prospect of Houmaz and his men unleashing a nuke missile attack against the hated Israelis. The Jewish response in the form of their Jericho Sanction will result in a nuclear war across the Middle East, and only Jon Sommers may be able to prevent it.
This is a sizzler torn straight from tomorrow's headlines. Bloodridge by D.S. Kane is one you won't want to miss.
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