Customer Reviews: Discreet Activities: A Vigilante Series crime thriller
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on April 19, 2012
I met (?) Claude on Twitter about a year ago. I knew he was an author and wrote the type of books I enjoyed reading but it took me a while to pick up a book after many years of reading nothing but educational stuff. I started with his first book in the Barry/McCall series "Vigilante" and could NOT put it down. I quickly moved through the entire series and was begging him to finish the new one "Discreet Activities". My not-so-patient waiting was well worth it!

I dearly love the characters Claude portrays in this series. They all become people you want to know more about and find yourself wondering what the next story line will bring. It's almost like a favorite television show you have to tune into each week.

Discreet activities brings all the cast of characters to the forefront in this amazing story line. I have to admit that the entire concept of what Claude lays out as the terrorist plot will scare you in ways you don't want to think about. This book is very though provoking, will keep you on the edge of your seat and a must read!

I'm a fan and as always, can't WAIT for the next one!
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on April 18, 2012
I read this book in February and I had to start from the beginning (first book) straight away so I read Vigilante at top speed and reviewed it.
Then I just had to read The Consultant (second book) and I reviewed that to.
Such amazing books!

But I've been having to read text book stuff of late *yawn* and I really miss the Barry/McCall Series.

Claude bought it to my attention that I had reviewed his Discreet Activities on my website and not here.
A simple oversight on my part and I do apologise Claude.
I'll admit I did consider re-reading Discreet Activities, you know fresh review kind of thing.
But my text book is there with its hands on its hips tapping its foot and giving me the eye.

So it is from memory refreshed by my review...

This was my first time reading Claude Bouchard I didnt think Id get into this type of novel.
But when I saw this advertised, I believe it was on facebook.
I thought wow that sounds so exciting! I have to have it! So I purchase it, as you do!

I loved this from the start!
Strong attractive characters, amazing relationships and the pace set at a 'oh yeah that feels so good' speed.
There were a few surprises in this story but one real big one upset me so much.
I had to leave the story and go do chores until I had calmed down a little, seriously I did!

You wont be disappointed in reading this fast paced, adrenalin rush, with its stunning characters and relevant theme.

Thank you so much Claude.

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on May 3, 2012
Discreet Activities is a quick, go for a ride, prevent you from sleeping, want to hurry up and read because you want to know who did it kind of book. All of Claude Bouchard's books are fantastic roller coaster reads from start to finish, but this one was an even faster ride for me because I couldn't sleep without knowing how it ended and who was the culprit behind the heinous crimes. I got sucked in from the very moment I opened this book and it held me, helpless, in it's grips right up to the very end, and left me wanting for another Barry/McCall series book!
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on June 22, 2012
About the Book:
A group of rather wealthy, well-trained, smart people work as an off-the-books type agency to serve and protect the citizens of Canada from all sorts of harm including acts of terrorism. In this book the group's focus is a foursome of Iraqi students who our heroes believe are getting ready to commit a serious crime of terrorism against a target in the USA.
As our 'black ops" group is spying on the ski cabin where the foursome is staying and not much happening there YET, we learn more about the Discreet Activities agency through a couple of other ops including chasing down a white collar huckster who made off with millions of other people's money. (Think Burn Notice on TV to get a reference.)
Back at the cabin, things begin to heat up as the students learn they are being bugged, and the ops group figures out that the students know they are being bugged. The goal of Discreet Activities is to figure out who is the mastermind of the plot, not to simply stop the crime. But finding the mastermind proves to be harder than they hoped.
When one of the students finds a murder victim, the whole plot takes on a sinister turn for him. He must not fail to complete his mission and to get the other students to complete theirs. And still the mastermind stands in the shadow for all but that student which makes him the focus of the heroes and the bad guys.

My take:
I did enjoy the story. The students involved in the plot connected with me as I watch them get deeper into something without realizing what it would ultimately mean. In fact, I think I connected more with them than I did with the other characters, maybe because I could understand how these things happen, how fast simple talk gets out of hand. Bouchard writes the young men in such a way that made me want to see them get out of the whole thing without hurting anyone and without being hurt. The story was well laid out and gave a feel for how intensive but slow surveillance can be. It also shows how things are never what they seem to be creating an interesting story. This is not the first book by this author, so you might want to read some of the books that preceded Discreet Activities. During dialog, Bouchard uses phrases like "Piece of cake," Jeff nodded while Chris... Since I read in pictures I did not find this distracting but some of you might.

I rate books against others in the same genre.
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on September 18, 2016
This latest instalment of the vigilante series sees our heroes Jonathan Addley, Dave McCall, Chris Barry et al race against time to stop terrorist bombings that could kill thousands of people in Montreal.

Once again, we are taken on a roller coaster ride with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader glued to the screen from the beginning until the very end. I start reading these books and I simply cannot put one down until I've read it cover-to-cover. Then, it's on to the next book in the series.

Claude Bouchard is easily becoming one of my favourite authors. I have the complete vigilante series and with the cliff-hanger endings, I'm glad I do not have to wait for the next book to find out what happens to my favourite characters.

Well done, Mr. Bouchard! You keep writing & I will keep reading! :)
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on June 27, 2012
If you like vigilante justice, you will probably like "Discreet Activities" by Claude Bouchard. Thematically, it's a Charles Bronson "Death Wish" on steroids. On the subject matter side, this is a love it or hate it novel. I love it when terrorists' butts are kicked and kicked soundly. However, there is a negative psychogical bent to the well-funded, -groomed, and -connected, above-the-law good guys (shades of "The Star Chamber") that makes them one step away from being legalized terrorists themselves. There is a remorselessness about the murder and mayhem they perform for the sake of Canadian justice, and that makes them cardboard characters in the story. It could be argued by the end of the story that the reader has a better feel for some of the "minor" league terrorists than the good guys. But again, there isn't close to the level of understanding about terrorist motivation in this book that there was in the movie, "Syriana".

The short novel moves, which is one good thing. It's also a bad thing. I found myself skimming over some of the more mundane dialogue that often passed for informational dumps and some of the step-by-step narration of character movements, which took the place of deepening the plot. Some of the technical tools of the trade were interesting, but again seemed to be detailed to the point of showing off the research not heighten the story line. The diversions (sub-plots) from the main plot are more to show how bad-ass the "good" guys are rather than taking the time to strengthen and deepen the main plot and intrigue. The grammatical faux pas are nothing about which to get a twist in your knickers.

The author does continually raise the stakes, though the tension is often diminished because the good guys moves are played out ahead of time. A number of reader surprises are rendered flat because of this technique. And to that end, there is only one major plot twist within the body of the story that is well played out. There is a nice reversal at the end, and one final dig that was nicely, though implausible dropped into the end of the story. If you like drop-kicking bad guys, it's a four. But for thriller aficionados, it's a ho-hum three.
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on February 8, 2016
A tense and unbelievably suspenseful book! Jon and Chris are back once again in true 'Punisher' style. When the legal system can't finish the job, Discreet Activities will always be nearby to see justice done....the way it should be.

Plenty of action and a perfect story with the fresh addition of Leslie (formerly a bank teller from the previous book). Mr. Bouchard's writing is so descriptive and detailed to allow the reader to 'see' the story in a move-style. It was very good! I'm looking forward to more adventures in the next book, 'Femme Fatale'.
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on April 23, 2012
Claude Bouchard's 6th novel in the Barry/McCall Series is as always, exceptional and gripping. Real-life dialogue combined with a plot line that will leave you guessing grabs hold of the reader, keeping them on their toes and unable to stop reading. Bouchard once again pulls out all the stops, and ends the novel in such a way the reader simply cannot wait for the next novel in the series. On a personal note? Save yourself some trouble and buy all seven of his books, because you most definitely do not want to miss this incredibly talented author's work. Bouchard is quite simply one of the only Authors I know who can throw me for a loop with the last line of his novels.
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on May 29, 2012
This author is a constant five star writer. His Barry/McCall series is 6 installments in with Discreet Activities as the latest. If you haven't started this series you are missing out.

Action wrapped plots that just pull you in. Discreet Activities takes you into the minds of terrorists as well as the people determined to stop them.

Barry has grown comfortably into Discreet Activities group which secretly go where police and government agencies can't. McCall has done some inner growth as well, accepting the limitations of the police and how Barry and his group can help.

Will they find out what the plot is and where it will take place? Will they find out in time?

This book engages in real world type events, emotions and a touch of....Oh, if only we could just do it this way and damn the consequence. Good luck putting this book down and beware of falling into it's world.

If you want to bond with characters whether they are good or not so good, take a fast pace to reading, wonder what will happen with every page and just be wonderfully satisfied with the outcome.....then get your read on and get it with Discreet Activities.

This book does not disappoint.
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on September 30, 2012
A book too far, I loved the Vigilante and have enjoyed other Bouchard Novels, but this was terrible. The characters were so lame and self centered, the plot felt false and tired.
What's wrong with `said', he shot back, retorted and so many other words instead of said or answered. The dialogue was plastic to say the least.
If you want to read a good book, forget this go for `Vigilante.' Well worth a read.
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