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Dead Spy Running (A Daniel Marchant Thriller) Hardcover – October 26, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“As elegant as Le Carré and as cynical as the Twenty-First Century.” ―The Observer (UK)

“As strong as Bourne, as clever as Bond, but with a voice set for Generation Next, Jon Stock has done the impossible in Daniel Marchant and created THE new spy, a living, breathing human, whose own unpredictability suits perfectly our unpredictable world.'” ―Stephen Gaghan, Oscar-winning writer of Traffic

“Smart, classy, and relentlessly gripping, Dead Spy Running grabs the reader and doesn't let go. I couldn't quit turning the pages -- like Daniel Marchant running the London marathon, I couldn't stop.” ―Meg Gardiner, author of China Lake

“Dead Spy Running is a rip-roaring race of a read that never lets up until the finishing tape -- and a bit beyond.” ―Robert Goddard, author of Into the Blue

“An elegant, unstoppable front runner of a spy thriller.” ―The Observer (UK)

“The sophistication of John Le Carré or David Ignatius...this is a Jason Bourne sweat-fest with George Smiley's brain.” ―Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Protagonist Daniel Marchant is the perfect post-Bond spy.... Move over, Jason Bourne.” ―Bookpage

“Stock, a veteran British journalist with Indian experience, combines LeCarré-style cerebral gamesmanship and bureaucratic maneuvering with the best of thriller action in this character-driven spy novel. Stock's prose is swift and sure, his characters well drawn and the action twisty and relentless. Stock has brought the literary spy novel into the 21st century.” ―Portsmouth Herald

“Stock, a veteran British journalist with Indian experience, combines LeCarre-style cerebral gamesmanship and bureacratic maneuvering with the best of thriller action in this character-driven spy novel. . . . Stock has brought the literary spy novel into the 21st century.” ―Sea Coast Online

About the Author

JON STOCK, a former Delhi correspondent, works for the London Daily Telegraph, writes a column for the Week Magazine in India, and has contributed to BBC Radio. He is married, with three children, and lives in Wiltshire, UK.

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Ghosts of War: A Pike Logan Thriller by Brad Taylor
"Ghosts of War" by Brad Taylor
World War is on the horizon in best-selling author Brad Taylor’s tenth heart-pounding Pike Logan thriller. Learn more | See related books

Product Details

  • Series: A Daniel Marchant Thriller (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312644760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312644765
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,056,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Ten years ago, I read and loved Jon Stock's debut thriller The Riot Act -- about a young counter-cultural class warrior forced to go undercover. It was lean, taut, and had a corker of an ending. Four years ago, I was rather less taken with his followup, The Cardamom Club, which had problems of pacing, over-elaborate plotting, and somewhat sappy romantic content. Now comes his third book (the first of a projected trilogy), which bears all the hallmarks of the blockbuster international spy thriller.

The story kicks off at the London Marathon, where suspended MI6 agent Daniel Marchant happens to be running with his girlfriend, a fellow MI6 agent. Exciting events transpire, and soon thereafter he finds himself in the custody of his own people, and eventually the CIA. It seems his father, who had been head of MI6, was forcibly retired under suspicious circumstances, and now the son is under suspicion as well. More heartpounding events transpire and Daniel soon finds himself on the run from MI5, MI6, and CIA, all while a plot may be unfolding to kill President Obama (the unnamed "new guy") as he visits India.

The pacing problems of Stock's second book are gone, as the story switches back and forth in short bursts between Daniel's attempt to stay alive, flashbacks to his training and relationship with his girlfriend, and the heads of various intelligence agencies snarling at each other in plush offices.
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"Dead Spy Running" is a spy thriller set in both India and London. Our hero, David Marchant, is suspended from his field agent position in MI-6 (the Brits CIA). His father, former head of MI-6 is dead and disgraced, and David just happens to be running in the London Marathon with girlfriend Leila and in the close proximity of the US Ambassador, who in turn is closely followed by yet another runner - except this guy has a bomb strapped to his waist. So begins DSR. In the ensuing pages, we are challenged to uncover who is the mastermind of this plot, where is he, where are his loyalties, is he a double, etc. etc. Meanwhile the three primary agencies involved (CIA,MI-6 and the Brits equivalent to the FBI,MI-5) are at each others throats literally with beatings, torture etc. Of course in the big global picture here, the CIA is a bad guy. (Hey, I thought we were all on the same side, then again the author is a Brit). Nevertheless, the story is interesting, good tension, the story never drags, there are many plot twists, and an agent who is beyond a double, even a triple perhaps - not sure how to classify this agent. In terms of classifying the book, it is beyond a Le Carre in terms of action, about on par with Le Carre in terms of its assessment of US loyalties and ambitions, but DSR is not as ridiculous as some other spy genres of today featuing superagents. Maybe a better comparison is with Charles Cumming - I feel Cumming is a better writer, a bit more realistic in his plots, slower paced. Nevertheless, I will read the next book in Stock's series, and there is a third being released in the US in March 2013, but let's see how good #2 (Games Traitors Play) is first.
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I have read/listened to many books within this genre - I found this to be an excellent book - and although this is becoming a trite label - he does have some "LeCarre qualities". The plot is intriguing and the characters are very absorbing, and some are actually quite complex.
Two broad criticisms: the almost comedic exaggeration of the bitterness and rivalry between the various espionage agencies - probably central to the plot in some way - but seems over the top (although maybe that is quite the reality).
The other point, is that the author wraps up all the loose ends at the book's conclusion almost to the extreme - on one level it is good - you know exactly what happened. On the other hand, there is always the intellectual enjoyment of perhaps not totally knowing who the mole is/was in MI6, or who is on what side or what what was the driving motive for any given character, etc., etc. Since I know there is a sequel, it may have been worthwhile to leave some loose ends??

Regardless, a very enjoyable read!
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Format: Hardcover
Not really in top shape, and a little hung over, Daniel Marchant, suspended MI6 agent, isn't quite sure why he agreed to enter the London Marathon with his fellow agent girlfriend Leila. But his training kicks in when he realizes that the Indian man running near the American ambassador is wearing a disguised suicide bomb.

Risking his life (in the first of many edge-of-your-seat scenes), Marchant defuses the situation, but rather than being welcomed back into the fold, he is suspected - by MI5 and the CIA - of having engineered the plot and of being a terrorist himself.

Reluctantly his own chief turns Marchant over to the Americans who whisk him off in irons to Poland where the CIA runs a clandestine "enhanced interrogation" program, i.e., waterboarding. The descriptions of waterboarding are horrifyingly visceral, but, with a little help from his friends, Marchant escapes and the plot takes off.

Stock, a veteran British journalist with Indian experience, combines LeCarré-style cerebral gamesmanship and bureaucratic maneuvering with the best of thriller action in this character-driven spy novel.

Marchant comes from an old-hand family - his father, posted in India during Marchant's childhood, rose to become head of MI6, then was forced out under suspicion of al Qaeda connections. Marchant's suspension relates directly to this taint and he is determined to clear his father's name, an intention that grows stronger as his own plight grows more dire.

Although backbiting, and score settling still run the services, new blood is changing the old network, as ethnic diversity and Eastern languages take a higher priority, although one British-born parent is still required.
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