Gypsy Spy: The Cold War Files Paperback – August 11, 2016
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About the Author
Nikolas Larum is a bi-vocational pastor in Chesapeake, Virginia. In addition to his thirty years of ministry, he has worked as a government contractor and in the recycling industry.
Larum has fond memories of moving to Francoist Spain when he was six. He and his family lived there for five years before returning to the Ozarks in 1976. A lifetime traveler, Larum has drawn on his own experiences as an outsider in America and abroad to write this unique thriller.
Larum lives with his wife, Heidi, and four of their children. This is the first work in a planned series.
- Item Weight : 2.35 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1534632093
- ISBN-13 : 978-1534632097
- Paperback : 738 pages
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.85 x 9 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 11, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,134,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Set mainly in Spain and France, this story delves deep behind the scenes of international politics and economies and how they are manipulated. It’s all chillingly realistic without ever naming specific events or heads of State. If you were a fan of the series Scandal, the TV show pales in comparison to the betrayals, secrets and intrigue rampant in Gypsy Spy. The novel is filled with scenes of both cold-blooded and impassioned violence, made even more vivid when carried out by a boy who is just a young teenager.
Twelve-year-old, Carlos, is witness to his father’s murder. He is left to survive anyway he knows how. He spent his early years cloistered world where every spare hour was spent with his father, learning challenging games of dexterity and gymnastic physical prowess. What Carlos thought were just games were actually survival skills. His father, Shane Leoppard, was training his son to survive the brutality of the life he would inherit if Shane were to die. As it soon turns out, Carlos witnesses his father’s violent death and, as he tries to track down his father’s killer, he becomes immersed in Shane’s secret life: espionage. His father was a cold-war operative.
As Carlos sets out to avenge his father’s death and trace Shane’s footsteps, he comes across a terrifying, secret research project—a weapon that is deadly beyond most human’s imagination. It is part of a power tug-of-war between those who wish to control their countries and the world. Carlos learns that his father was playing at being a double agent, and was determined that no one would ever be able to stock and use this weapon. Carlos is playing with the big boys. To stay alive he assumes different aliases and identities (a bit confusing at first, but readers can soon catch on.)
Early on Carlos finds his way into a gypsy camp where he discovers he has the tie of gypsy blood. He is eventually absorbed into the culture of the Romany gypsies, who manage to travel freely across borders. Carlos, through his continued obsession to kill those who killed his father, becomes the infamous gypsy spy, Rat-gêló. Along the way the reader is offered a special treat--a rare and fascinating look into the secretive society of the reticent Romany culture, right down to quotes in their language. This is a very closed culture.
Rat-gêló grows into an elusive devil, one who is able to confound and terrify multiple layers of secret agents, those above them, and everyone involved in this ugly side of the cold war. There is so much killing, some unintentional and horrifying, that Carlos finds himself plagued by visions of demons and his conscience eats away at him. He almost loses his mind along with his soul, as he travels from France and Spain to America on a quest to revenge not just his father’s murder, but that of his mother, wife, and everyone he holds close.
As I read through this novel the same thought keep repeating. How does this author, a minister, have such depth of knowledge of theatrical weaponry, the Romany culture, the inner workings of an espionage operative, and also has the ability to write about violent killings in such detail. I’m not sure I really want to know, but my curiosity was, and is still, piqued.
This book is a wild ride.
Very imaginative - or based on life happenings? I couldn't tell, because the details were so explicit. The end was fulfilling - with the length of the book I was worried it may not be worth the effort, but thankfully I was wrong! A very entertaining read I would recommend
Edgar B. Cole