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Twice a Spy: A Novel Hardcover – March 8, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Razor-sharp writing, laugh-out-loud humor, and a sturdy plot combine to make Thomson's sequel to Once a Spy a real treat for thriller fans tired of more of the same old same old. Charlie Clark has left his life as an inveterate gambler far behind as he and girlfriend Alice go on the lam in Switzerland from Alice's employer, the NSA, and a special CIA black ops unit known as Cavalry. The real star of the group is Charlie's father, Drummond Clark, who after a career as a CIA agent is sinking into the throes of early Alzheimer's, but who's able, when the occasion demands, to revive his old skills and save their skins. The plot surrounds the sale to terrorists of a small nuclear bomb disguised as a washing machine. The nonstop action and quirky, engaging characters will leave readers eager for the next installment and the next and the next. (Mar.)
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PRAISE FOR TWICE A SPY:
"[Thomson] writes fluid, vivid prose, good dialogue and first-rate action scenes."
—The Washington Post
"Razor-sharp writing, laugh-out-loud humor, and a sturdy plot combine to make [Twice a Spy] a real treat for thriller fans... The nonstop action and quirky, engaging characters will leave readers eager for the next installment and the next and the next."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Buoyant, fast and fun... Thomson again hits a sweet spot in this highly original thriller, balancing gripping action sequences with humor a step or two above what you'd expect from the genre."
PRAISE FOR ONCE A SPY:
“It takes a huge talent to blow dust from the corners of today’s comfortable thriller genre. Keith Thomson has that talent, in spades.” —Lincoln Child, author of Deep Storm
“Once a Spy is the most enjoyable book I’ve read this year. Utterly original, it is an adrenaline-fueled concoction of sidesplitting humor and genuine suspense. What a find! I can’t imagine not loving this gem of a novel.” —Christopher Reich, author of Rules of Deception
“First-novelist Thomson has his tongue firmly in cheek in this clever, engaging, and frenetic tale . . . His knowledge of spooks’ tools, techniques, and mind-sets builds verisimilitude . . . A terrifically entertaining thriller.” —Booklist
Top customer reviews
Trouble is, Drummond now has Alzheimer's disease.
On top of that, the CIA is hunting him, aiming to assassinate him before he blurts out any details of the same weapons program. What's more, even if Charlie succeeds in making the ransom payment, he'll have placed a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists.
The effort to solve these problems thrusts the always-hilarious Charlie and his occasionally-superheroic father on an adventure with as many thrills per page as you can get anywhere, rendered in sharp and lightning-paced prose by Thomson, whose strong suit may be an insider's knowledge of the world of espionage. On the book's cover, former CIA director Porter Goss says of the novel has "an ingenious plot supported by `insider tradecraft' material."
The basic plot of the book has already been mentioned here, so I won't say any more about it. What I found interesting is that Charlie finally becomes his own man, without total reliance on his Dad, who's help in evading the many bad guys chasing them is becoming more and more unreliable. In fact, the last third of the book has Charlie taking control, handling most of the action while his Dad is elsewhere (mentally and physically). I mentioned this to the author, Keith Thomson, and he told me that that was his intention.
I highly recommend TWICE A SPY, especially if you are interested in a suspenseful story that's also liberally laced with humor. 5 STARS
In the first place, I can't say I've ever read about a CIA Agent with Alzheimer's, so, for me, this is a very unique concept for a book. The dad is so capable, even with falling asleep during dangerous scenarios, that I couldn't wait to see what he would do next. Sometimes he would turn into a super hero, and sometimes he would fall asleep or regress and not recall what he was doing in the present moment. Needless to say, this was very anxiety-producing for the son (and the reader), who followed his dad's lead to keep them successfully on the run.
The books, both page turners, were great at keeping the reader deciding who was the good guy or bad guy. I also found the plot full of surprises that kept me guessing. Despite all the mayhem coming down, the writer still managed to keep a humor that kept things light--sort of spoofing the clandestine agencies. In essence, both books were fun, funny, exciting, full of adventure and endearing.
Keith Thomson is an excellent story-teller, and I'd like to read more of his work, so keep 'em coming, Keith! Thank you for your great imagination and writing ability.
Thomson's writing is among the best you will find in today's marketplace of works written for those of us who simply desire to get our money's worth when we make a purchase. Think of just how enjoyable and, sadly, rare that is these days. Buy the book(s) for that reason alone. You will not regret your investment of both money and time.
Here's hoping the movies based on these volumes (surely, there will be movies) prove to be even half as good as the written word.
Recommended without hesitation.
Most recent customer reviews
The constant tension of when Drummond, the dad, would be on or not kept an added twist to the...Read more