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True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers) Hardcover – March 1, 2018
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“Fans of parodic thrillers will enjoy the exhilarating ride…[in] this Elmore Leonard mashed with Get Smart romp.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] crackerjack thriller…Goldberg just won’t be totally serious…but this mockery is the right touch for a story of life imitating art, or trying to…So the wild finale plays out like…well, like a thriller somebody wrote.” —Booklist
“If great pacing with awesome characters is what keeps you up at night, then make a pot of coffee and open this book.” —Crimespree
“Thriller fiction at its absolute finest—and it could happen for real. But not to me, I hope.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
“This may be the most fun you’ll ever have reading a thriller. It’s a breathtaking rush of suspense, intrigue, and laughter that only Lee Goldberg could pull off. I loved it.” —Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“This is my life…in a thriller! True Fiction is great fun.” —Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Secrets
“A conspiracy thriller of the first order, a magical blend of fact and it-could-happen scary fiction. Nail-biting, page-turning, and laced with Goldberg’s wry humor, True Fiction is a true delight, reminiscent of Three Days of the Condor and the best of Hitchcock’s innocent-man-in-peril films.” —Paul Levine, bestselling author of Bum Rap
“Great fun that moves as fast as a jet. Goldberg walks a tightrope between suspense and humor and never slips.” —Linwood Barclay, New York Times bestselling author of The Twenty-Three
“I haven’t read anything this much fun since Donald E. Westlake's comic-caper novels. Immensely entertaining, clever, and timely.” —David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder as a Fine Art and First Blood
“The story of an innocent man caught in a deadly conspiracy has been told before, but Lee Goldberg takes it a step further in this rollicking, sometimes humorous, always deadly True Fiction. Highly recommended.” —Brendan DuBois, author of Storm Cell
“Ian Ludlow is one of the coolest heroes to emerge in post-9/11 thrillers. A wonderful, classic yet modern, breakneck suspense novel. Lee Goldberg delivers a great story with a literary metafiction wink that makes its thrills resonate.” —James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor
About the Author
Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including King City, The Walk, fifteen Monk mysteries, and the internationally bestselling Fox & O’Hare books (The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam, and The Pursuit), cowritten with Janet Evanovich. He has also written and/or produced scores of TV shows, including Diagnosis Murder, SeaQuest, Monk, and The Glades. As an international television consultant, he has advised networks and studios in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, China, Sweden, and the Netherlands on the creation, writing, and production of episodic television series. You can find more information about Lee and his work at www.leegoldberg.com.
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A few years later, Ian Ludlow writes novels about an (you got it) over-the-top James Bond-type spy who puts women into comas with his lovemaking. Ian's on a book-signing tour when a plane crashes into Waikiki in a scenario that’s too close to Ian’s CIA terrorist plot to be coincidence. What Ian doesn’t know might get him killed, and what he doesn’t know – but he soon will – is that they’re already out to kill him. Not to mention, the audience for his terrorist scenario isn’t the one that he intended. Ian’s the last member of the writers dream team left alive. On the run with a dog walker and a paranoid ex-actor from the hit show, Hollywood and Vine, Ian must stay alive long enough to find out who’s really behind this dastardly plot. If he wants to see the closing credits, Ian must ask himself, “What would Straker do?”
Overall, this was a quirky fun read and I’m glad I chose it for my March Kindle First/First Reads. Recommended for those who want to laugh.
Edited to add an answer I gave to a comment below: I think that the people who found the plot believable did read the book and are referring to the technology, scenarios, and acts of terrorism in the book that are unfortunately too real. While the circumstances, characterization, fighting, and personal actions of the characters are a spoof (well, and also the excerpts from the hero's books), the overarching scenario has scarily believable elements. So, yes, people could find that part of the book believable. That is probably why the author named this True Fiction. And, sorry, I don't know how to put that better. (My comment below seems to have disappeared.)
Most of the time I'm reading a book, I think about how it would play out as a movie or TV show, and not all books make good cinema. This one I believe could very easily make the conversion, although they might have trouble with the financing. The amount of over the top scenes would put this in the high-budget blockbuster category. Since this story was written by an author who has also worked as a screenwriter, this was likely intentional. Oh also, it would definitely be R-rated for those concerned. The only real sex scenes are a few excerpts from novels the main character has previously written, they are easy to skip over as they are in their own chapters and not at all pertinent to the story if it bothers you. I don't like romance novels, and especially don't like when a mystery or thriller title turns out to be a romance novel in disguise, full of sex scenes, this was not that at all. They're more comical than anything else but I'm sure will still turn some readers off. I don't think there was anything very crude in the first couple sample chapters so be warned, it does get worse. I did a search- 36 F-words in 252 pages, not excessive to me at all, but again I know for others' this may be a deal-breaker. Only one brief scene bothered me where animals are killed, see comments for details if you're so inclined but it could be a potential spoiler.
Despite being full of cliches and ideas that have been done to death, the author somehow managed to make this a fairly original story-line. So many novels are just a retelling of a story I've already read multiple times. Also, a lot of the novels Amazon has listed as Thrillers in the First selections lately have been anything but thrilling. While it wasn't terribly twisty and I wasn't surprised by MUCH, this was still an action-packed page turner. There weren't really any boring parts to trudge through, no overdone exposition to take away from the action, which I liked. Also, it was really more comedy than anything else, which is my go-to, I'm not a serious person, I like to laugh. And most importantly to me, it ENDED properly. No spoilers, but a lot of Kindle First (First Reads, whatever, ugh, I hate name changes) selections are first in a series and end with a cliff-hanger to attempt to make you continue the series. For me, a good first in a series story wraps everything up neatly with no lingering questions or loose ends, while still leaving room for future stories with the characters, which is exactly what he did here. And he managed to avoid one really obvious cliche that to me would have ruined the ending. I won't spoil it but if you read it I think you'll know what I mean.
I'll look for the second book next year and I'll probably also start the Monk series and see how he did with that. I do miss that show. I have one small criticism for the author if he's reading this, but I'm going to put in the comments. It's not really a big spoiler but I try to avoid even the smallest ones.
Most recent customer reviews
This would make a good movie.
Ian Ludlow is an author of action thrillers.Read more