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The Fifth Internationale Mass Market Paperback – April, 2004
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
From Publishers Weekly
King, a former courier of top-secret information, delivers a tightly wound debut thriller centered around a complex and sometimes cloudy conspiracy theory. While working as the deputy legal attache for the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, down-to-earth FBI agent Stan Penskie witnesses the assassination of his sister's fiance, a CIA agent who'd posited a shocking conspiracy theory. The event throws Stan's life into a tailspin and leads him on a frenzied chase after a group called the Fifth Internationale, "an elusive organization of unthinkable resources and proportions" that may be bent on destabilizing world power structures and financial markets. Through his quest, Stan meets people from various government agencies, but he has no idea who to trust or even where his investigation is leading. Readers will empathize with Stan's bewilderment as they try to untangle the story's many threadsâ"a task that will challenge even the most diligent reader. Intelligent dialogue, relentless pacing and well-rounded characters (including a hauntingly familiar American president) compensate somewhat for the byzantine plotting, but the story's primary saving grace is its deft evocation of the Polish culture and cityscape.
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"If you like spy thrillers with shady characters, twisting plots that involve international conspiracies, and fascinating foreign locales, then you must read Jack King's The Fifth Internationale."
The Beach Metro News
"King's debut novel is powerful, riveting and an incredible ride through the back passageways of international politics. Strong characters, believable (if incredible) plot lines and nonstop action almost make each page turn without the reader's help."
TheBestReviews.com and the Old Book Barn Gazette
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Top customer reviews
To name just a few, and starting with the most obvious: the portrayal of (THE) Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security Adviser. There is also the still ongoing investigation to the mysterious murder of the chief of police, general Papala. Indeed the killing of the general in king's novel could not be mistaken for fiction, down to details I best not mention here.
The true events make me wonder where authors draw the line between fact and fiction in finding inspiration.
Far as the story goes, I found it fresh and exciting. It draws on the peculiar situation in that part of the world: Poland as the bridge between Western Europe and Russia is a hotbed of activities of Russian organized groups, and world's intelligence agencies who wheel and deal here for their own benefit. The race is on for a piece of information that will not only secure control over this region but also the world. Stan Penskie, the FBI agent stationed at the embassy in Warsaw gets a scent of the secret when his friend is killed while fleeing the Polish Secret Service. Stan follows the clues and soon is drawn to conspiracy that might topple US government and cost the lives of his family members. His friends turn into enemies and Stan himself becomes a primary target for assassins. To his help comes a beautiful and mysterious woman. Together they arrive at a dark and forbidding place where a meeting of shadowy characters is taking place. From then on it's a race against time to save the world.
For my tastes jack king is a master crafter of fast-paced intrigue.
Pros: Good pace, great intrigue, good dialogs and very likeable hero.
Cons: Would like to see more of the story taking place in the USA, after all Stan is an FBI agent.