See Glass by Ido Graf

Sea Glass - My best fiction books 2020

The book See Glass by Ido Graf, is a fast-paced action thriller which has been described as having a style like Tom Clancy.  I agree with that but I would also say, Frederick Forsyth as both authors researched their novels in great detail,  as does Graf. They all intertwine fact with fiction giving novels of profound insight and realism.

Sea Glass is a contemporary thriller set in various exotic locations such as North America, Europe and the Middle East.

The story begins in a small Andalusian fishing village when a redundant reporter meets a former Foreign Legionnaire by chance. The story he is told appears to be fictitious, but as the journalist begins to dig deeper  …the boundaries between fact and fiction begin to blur and the danger increases.

A top story for men and women that encompasses secrets, spies, hidden Nazi gold and politicians across the northern hemisphere.

The new book See Glass by thriller, adventure, spy story writer Ido Graf has all the twists of a Nelson DeMille bestseller novel. DeMille’s Plum Island is one of my best fiction books of all time. See Glass is one of my picks for best fiction books of 2020.

Another great fiction book writer I have read recently is Ben MacIntyre. His book The Spy and the Traitor is a riveting book and another of my top fiction books to read. It’s the sort of book that would make a great contemporary film or TV series.

Many new streaming services have appeared in recent years. Film production companies  such as Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Paramount Pictures have been joined by others such as HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Studios, Sky TV, Crackle and Disney+.

See Glass by Ido Graf is available now either as a paperback or as a Kindle eBook on Amazon. I understand that this novel will also be available on Audible as an audiobook in the coming two months.

The book foretold subversion of the US democracy by a President in league with right-wing groups. See the video of See Glass on Vimeo.

One Minute Out by best seller author, Mark Greaney

One Minute Out by Mark Greaney

 

Mark Greaney is a best selling fiction author and New York Times bestseller. He co-authored Tom Clancy Jack Ryan Novels and is a great writer. One Minute Out is a superb novel with a gripping yarn and beautiful writing style.

The Gray Man, a supremely dangerous assassin is at the heart of this tightly written thriller.

Court Gentry discovers a human trafficking ring while in Croatia. The story doesn’t end there but leads all the way back to Hollywood.

Gentry has a mission to obliterate the ring, but others, in the CIA, have other plans. They have difficult decisions to make. The ringleader of the organisation can give them information about a potential attack on the USA by terrorists.

The information is too important to lose …it will not be lost!

One Minute Out is a superb novel by a superb writer, Mark Greaney, who I can thoroughly recommend.

Many of us are reading much more in these days of virus – Stranger than Fiction!

This is one to read!

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming

On her majestys secret service by ian fleming

On her majestys secret service by ian fleming

Who could talk of a spy novel or thriller without mentioning one of the best writers in the genres, Ian Fleming.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming is one of the most famous of his works.

James Bond, United Kingdom secret agent with a licence to kill, had been involved in hunting down the SPECTRE organisation and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the boss. They had hijacked nuclear devices in order to blackmail the governments of the West. Bond had a disagreement with the British Secret Service in the running of the matter and he writes a letter of resignation to M, the head of the service.

Bond saves a beautiful Contessa by paying the gambling debt she cannot fulfil but they are captured by criminals. Her father is Marc-Ange Draco, the boss of the Unione Corse crime organisation.

Draco tells Bond that Blofeld is in Switzerland after which Bond returns to England to filter fact from fiction. The College of Arms in London discovers that Blofeld has taken on the persona of Comte Balthazar de Bleuville to mask his identity.

Bond pretends to be a member of the College of Arms, Sir Hilary Bray. He visits Blofeld face him and to ascertain his right to the title, finding that Blofeld has undergone surgery to cover up his identity.

Blofeld has been brainwashing women into carrying biological warfare agents to destroy the agricultural economy of the British Isles. Bond escapes by ski from Piz Gloria, as he believes he has been uncovered.  He is chased and kills some of his pursuers. Exhausted he reaches the local town where he is helped by the Contessa.

Draco’s Union Corse help Bond to attack Blofeld’s clinic. The clinic is destroyed and Blofeld escapes. Flying to Germany Bond marries the Contessa. They drive away on holiday only to be machine gunned by Blofelds team. Bonds new wife dies.

James Bond, otherwise known as 007, is probably the most famous spy to have worked on behalf of the Queen and the Union Jack flag.

A classic spy novel from one of the worlds finest writers. I am looking forward to the next film with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die. The Queen’s best agent and a real Made in England hero!.

Cazar al Capricornio by Francisco Castillo Arenas

Cazar al Capricornio

Cazar al Capricornio

 

Cazar al Capricornio by Francisco Castillo Arenas

General Franco’s closest confident, Carrero Blanco, is murdered by ETA. The killing is a major shock to the state, giving them a real belt.

Then in 2005 a gang of thieves break into the safe of a private company. The theft sends shockwaves through the powers of state. One of it’s greatest secrets is in jeopardy after the theft.
Antonio Alba, a member of the CNI is sent to discretely retrieve the contents. Time is not on his side as the sand slips through the hourglass. He is told that the thieves stole, the Capricorn project. His masters tell him that it is just details of the Spanish attempt to be a space power. Alba is suspicious after seeing how several agencies of foreign intelligence have begun a ruthless hunt for what has become known as, ‘the Windsor secret’. What he has been told is not matching the reality of Cazar.

The thief, who is a former Kosovar Albanian guerrilla from the UÇK, becomes curious to find out what he had been ordered to steal and to cut through the lies. Checking what he is stolen he is shocked to find that it is worth much more than he was paid to do the burglary. Can he give his pursuers the slip. As matters take shape a deadly triangle of intrigue and death play out.

Cazar al Capricornio, por Francisco Castillo Arenas, el más cercano confidente del General Franco, Carrero Blanco, es asesinado por ETA. El asesinato es un gran golpe para el estado, dándoles un cinturón real.

Luego, en 2005, una banda de ladrones irrumpe en la caja fuerte de una empresa privada. El robo envía ondas de choque a través de los poderes del estado. Uno de sus mayores secretos está en peligro después del robo. Antonio Alba, un miembro de la CNI, es enviado para recuperar discretamente el contenido. El tiempo no está de su lado mientras la arena se desliza a través del reloj de arena. Le dicen que los ladrones robaron, el proyecto Capricornio. Sus amos le dicen que son solo detalles del intento español de ser una potencia espacial. Alba sospecha después de ver cómo varias agencias de inteligencia extranjera han iniciado una búsqueda despiadada de lo que se conoce como “el secreto de Windsor”. Lo que le han dicho es que no coincide con la realidad de Cazar.

El ladrón, que es un ex guerrillero albanés de Kosovo de la UÇK, siente curiosidad por saber qué le habían ordenado robar y cómo deshacerse de las mentiras. Al comprobar lo que le han robado, se sorprende al descubrir que vale mucho más de lo que le pagaron por el robo. ¿Puede él dar a sus perseguidores el resbalón? Mientras los asuntos toman forma, se forma un triángulo mortal de intriga y muerte.

El Cazar al Capricornio de Francisco Castillo Arenas es un sillón sin costuras, un paseo en montaña rusa, suave como la seda, ¡que te mantendrá en tu ropa interior!

Cazar al Capricornio by Francisco Castillo Arenas is a seamless, seat of the pants, rollercoaster ride, smooth as silk, that will have you hanging on to your lingerie!

Moskva by Jack Grimwood

Moscow thriller novel

Moscow thriller novel

Jack Grimwood is a British writer who was born in Malta. His novel, Moskva, is a taut serial killer thriller and a magnificent piece of fiction.

In the mid-1980s a body of a naked man is found, it’s right hand little finger missing. It’s location, just beside the exterior of the wall of the Kremlin.

Shortly afterwards a fifteen year old girl vanishes. It is particularly concerning because she is the daughter of the British Ambassador.

Recently posted to Moscow, the disgraced military officer, Tom Fox, is entrusted with finding her. He sees a chance to redeem himself. However, the Soviets will not acknowledge the serial killer and cannot identify him and they do not want Fox poking his nose in.

The Soviets are determined to keep a lid on things and to hide the evil that lurks within their system.

Fox is on a race against time to prevent the girl from becoming the next murder victim.

This Cold War thriller is cleverly plotted and beautifully written, evoking another time and another place.

If his fiction novel, Moskva, is anything to go by then Jack Grimwood is a man to watch….and most definitely to read!

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Defender by Chris Allen

Military Fiction

Military Fiction

‘Turner got rough, forcing them to respond. He tore at their hair and at their skintight lingerie, clawing at their perfect bodies.’

Well that certainly got your attention!

But there is much, much more to the works of Chris Allen than steamy interludes.

This author, him self has lived a very exciting life. Among other things he was a former paratrooper and served as Security Manager for CARE, the international aid agency in Timor Leste. He was also Head of Security for the Sydney Opera House and as the Sheriff of NSW.

The novels are a fascinating mix of James Bond and Jason Bourne, the gun to rent. Alex Morgan is an agent of Interpol’s Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division – Intrepid.

The Australian Army Newspaper wrote, “Allen knows his weapons and aircraft particularly well, and his immense attention to detail shows he has obviously walked the streets of the cities where his character’s actions take place.”

In Defender, Morgan is ordered in after an intelligence agent is cruelly murdered with the life of the president of a small African country put at risk. Morgan is in part, soldier, spy and policeman who along with his colleagues puts bad things right.

The country is racing towards civil war and he enlists the help of the beautiful Arena Halls while operating under his cover of evacuating a group of aid workers. A façade to hide his actual mission – a rogue spy.

The action races between Africa and Australia, the home of the author. The finale, a fight to the death which uncovers a truly dark conspiracy.

A great well plotted fiction novel, which is certainly not for storage, from, Chris Allen, a novelist who we will hear much more from in the future.

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Dead Spy Running by Jon Stock

Espionage Thriller

Espionage Thriller

Jon Stock is an English author and journalist and former editor of the Weekend section of the UK’s Daily Telegraph. Dead Spy Running paperback is scheduled to be made into a Hollywood film. Stock has previously worked in New Delhi, India and lived in Cochin in Kerala.

A suspended MI6 agent, Daniel Marchant, while running in the London Marathon notices a reluctant suicide bomber stalking the US ambassador. Marchant cannot stop without provoking the bomber into an early detonation. Marchant had been a victim in the internal wrangling that existed between Britain’s intelligence community, MI5 and MI6. He also had the suspicion of being a traitor hanging over him.

Daniel’s heroic efforts to prevent calamity at during the London Marathon are misconstrued as he is suspected of being in league with the terrorists and they are used to further demean him. MI5 set him up and he is betrayed by a mole. He then falls into the hands of CIA torturers finding himself variously interrogated and waterboarded.
Marchant’s MI6 colleague and lover – Leila and the new chief, Sir Marcus Fielding have come to resent the CIA’s increasing influence in Whitehall.

Marchant goes on the run from the CIA. He then goes on a hunt from Wiltshire, to Poland and on to India to find the terrorist in an attempt to expose the false accusations made against his father and him. It was in India that Marchant’s father once met with a senior terrorist. Proof of treason on his part, or part of an ingenious intrigue?
Stock’s novel is well researched, plausible and utterly contemporary. A well-executed fiction, spy novel, from an espionage writer who clearly has his finger on the pulse of the modern, murky world of espionage.
Dead Spy Running is part of the Legoland Trilogy.

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An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

An officer and a spy

An officer and a spy

Many of us will have heard of ‘The Dreyfus Affair’ and will remember it as a distant memory from history classes as a child, but I suspect, like me, your remaining knowledge will be selective and riddled with holes and inconsistencies. Such a shame when you consider this pivotal time in French military and political history before the First World War. It gripped a nation at the time and the world more generally. This novel has modern day parallels in the forms of anti-Semitism and whistle-blowers.

The 2013 novel, An Officer and a Spy is a 2013 is a fictional thriller based on these dramatic events in French history. It is written by the supremely talented and diverse journalist and writer, Robert Harris. The novel recalls the true story of the head of counter-espionage, Colonel Georges Picquart, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

There had been some disquiet about the conviction of Dreyfus for spying and his subsequent incarceration on Devils Island off the coast of South America. An island made famous in the novel Papillon which was written by convicted criminal, Henri Charrière. Picquart began to investigate the evidence against Dreyfus, who was from a Jewish background, which he found to be very weak and that the government and military had manufactured or altered crucial evidence. Picquart was pressured to forget his findings despite his assertion that the actual spy was still operating.

Anti-Jewish feeling was running high at that time and Dreyfus initially had little public support, but following an open letter published by the highly respected writer, Émile Zola, the tide began to turn. The letter, J’accuse, was published in a French newspaper in January 1898 and was a damming indictment of the whole affair – the rest is history….as they say!

The Harris book is the recipient of the Walter Scott Prize and the American Library in Paris Book Award, both in 2014.

Harris has researched many newly released documents and many of the original sources such as newspaper reports, the court transcripts and Dreyfus’s own written recollections. This is a thoroughly enthralling spy and political intrigue thriller made all the more captivating as it is based closely on fact. Picquart is shown as a principled man who strives to expose the truth despite overwhelming opposition from superiors and his peers. His fate is utterly intertwined with that of Dreyfus and so is his final judgement. An Officer and a Spy is a superb novel which brings great clarity to the subject and is utterly thrilling.

Robert Harris was born in Nottingham in central England in 1957. Following a career in television and as a journalist he came to prominence with his best-selling novel, Fatherland. He has subsequently published a succession of top novels including Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost which was made into a very effective and evocative film by Roman Polanski, The Fear Index and Dictator. He is, as you can see, a difficult man to pigeon-hole as his thrillers are quite diverse and expertly crafted.

Viele von uns werden von „The Dreyfus Affair“ gehört haben und es als eine ferne Erinnerung aus dem Geschichtsunterricht als Kind in Erinnerung behalten, aber ich vermute, dass Ihr verbleibendes Wissen wie ich selektiv und mit Löchern und Inkonsistenzen gespickt sein wird. Eine Schande, wenn man sich diese entscheidende Zeit in der französischen Militär- und Politikgeschichte vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg vor Augen führt. Es packte eine Nation zu dieser Zeit und die Welt im Allgemeinen. Dieser Roman weist moderne Parallelen in Form von Antisemitismus und Whistleblowern auf.

Der Roman Ein Offizier und Spion aus dem Jahr 2013 ist ein fiktiver Thriller, der auf diesen dramatischen Ereignissen in der französischen Geschichte basiert. Es wurde von dem äußerst talentierten und vielseitigen Journalisten und Schriftsteller Robert Harris geschrieben. Der Roman erinnert an die wahre Geschichte des Chefs der Spionageabwehr, Colonel Georges Picquart, Ende des 19. und Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Die Verurteilung von Dreyfus wegen Spionage und seiner anschließenden Inhaftierung auf Devils Island vor der Küste Südamerikas hatte einige Beunruhigung gegeben. Eine Insel, die durch den Roman Papillon des verurteilten Kriminellen Henri Charrière berühmt wurde. Picquart begann, die Beweise gegen Dreyfus zu untersuchen, der einen jüdischen Hintergrund hatte, den er für sehr schwach hielt und dass die Regierung und das Militär wichtige Beweise hergestellt oder verändert hatten. Picquart wurde unter Druck gesetzt, seine Erkenntnisse zu vergessen, obwohl er behauptete, der eigentliche Spion sei noch aktiv.

Die antijüdischen Gefühle waren zu dieser Zeit hoch im Kurs und Dreyfus hatte zunächst wenig öffentliche Unterstützung, aber nach einem offenen Brief des hoch angesehenen Schriftstellers Émile Zola begann sich das Blatt zu wenden. Der Brief, J’accuse, wurde im Januar 1898 in einer französischen Zeitung veröffentlicht und war eine verdammende Anklage gegen die ganze Affäre – der Rest ist Geschichte….wie sie sagen!

Das Harris-Buch wurde 2014 mit dem Walter Scott Prize und dem American Library in Paris Book Award ausgezeichnet.

Harris hat viele neu veröffentlichte Dokumente und viele der Originalquellen wie Zeitungsberichte, Gerichtsprotokolle und Dreyfus’ eigene schriftliche Erinnerungen recherchiert. Dies ist ein durch und durch fesselnder Spionage- und Polit-Intrigenthriller, der umso fesselnder ist, als er eng auf Fakten basiert. Picquart wird als prinzipientreuer Mann dargestellt, der sich trotz des überwältigenden Widerstands von Vorgesetzten und Kollegen bemüht, die Wahrheit aufzudecken. Sein Schicksal ist eng mit dem von Dreyfus verflochten, ebenso wie sein endgültiges Urteil. Ein Offizier und ein Spion ist ein großartiger Roman, der dem Thema große Klarheit verleiht und äußerst spannend ist.

Robert Harris wurde 1957 in Nottingham in Mittelengland geboren. Nach einer Fernsehkarriere und als Journalist wurde er mit seinem Bestseller „Vaterland“ bekannt. Anschließend hat er eine Reihe von Top-Romanen veröffentlicht, darunter Enigma, Archangel, Pompeji, Imperium, The Ghost, der von Roman Polanski zu einem sehr effektiven und eindrucksvollen Film gemacht wurde, The Fear Index und Dictator. Er ist, wie man sieht, schwer einzuordnen, da seine Thriller sehr vielfältig und fachmännisch ausgearbeitet sind.

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Six Days of the Condor by James Grady

Six days of the Condor

Six days of the Condor

American, James Grady wrote the thriller Six Days of the Condor which was first published in 1974. Grady next released a further novel following this success in 1978 called the Shadow of the Condor. Six Days of the Condor was set in Washington, D.C., and varies greatly from the film that was made in 1975 with actors Robert Redford, Max von Sydow, Faye Dunaway and Cliff Robertson.

The film, for some reason was titled Three Days of the Condor and seems to be the better known name.

Grady has written a clever, intricate fiction novel that has a clever and believeable premis. The character, Ronald Malcolm’s job is to read the spy and mystery novels and to analyse their content and report on it. Do people really get paid for this as it’s a job made in heaven for me! Anyway, Malcolm is actually working for the CIA and is based in a secret office in Washington, D.C. By chance, Malcolm goes for lunch using an exit in the basement. On his return Malcolm finds that all of his collegaues have been shot and killed. He knows that he has had a lucky escape and that he is in danger and he immediatly calls a contact at the CIA headquarters.

On calling Malcolm gives his code name, Condor, and is ordered to meet CIA operatives. However, he fortunately survives a trap and goes on the run.

Malcolm has no where to hide and at random kidnaps a paralegal called Wendy Ross who he entreats to assist him….

I don’t want to give away too much. This is a great espionage thriller read in the classic style and well worth taking to the beach or on a commuter train.

Amerikaansk, James Grady skreau de thriller Six Days of the Condor dy’t foar it earst waard publisearre yn 1974. Grady publisearre folgjende in fierdere roman nei dit súkses yn 1978 mei de namme Shadow of the Condor. Six Days of the Condor waard ynsteld yn Washington, DC, en ferskilt sterk fan ‘e film dy’t waard makke yn 1975 mei akteurs Robert Redford, Max von Sydow, Faye Dunaway en Cliff Robertson.

De film, om ien of oare reden de titel Three Days of the Condor en liket de better bekende namme te wêzen.

Grady hat in knappe, yngewikkelde roman skreaun dy’t in tûk en te leauwen premis hat. It karakter, de taak fan Ronald Malcolm is om de spion- en mystery -romans te lêzen en har ynhâld te analysearjen en dêroer te melden. Wurdt minsken hjir echt foar betelle, om’t it in baan is makke foar my yn ‘e himel! Hoe dan ek, Malcolm wurket eins foar de CIA en is basearre yn in geheime kantoar yn Washington, DC By tafal, Malcolm giet foar lunch mei in útgong yn ‘e kelder. By syn weromkomst fynt Malcolm dat al syn kollega’s binne deasketten en fermoarde. Hy wit dat hy in gelokkige ûntsnapping hat hân en dat hy yn gefaar is en hy bellet fuortendaliks in kontaktpersoan by it CIA -haadkantoar.

By it skiljen jout Malcolm syn koadenamme, Condor, en wurdt besteld om CIA -aginten te moetsjen. Lykwols, hy oerlibbet gelokkich in trap en giet op ‘e flecht.

Malcolm hat gjin plak om te ferbergjen en willekeurich ûntfierd in paralegal neamd Wendy Ross, dy’t hy freget om him te helpen …

Ik wol net tefolle jaan. Dit is in geweldige spionaazje -thriller lêzen yn ‘e klassike styl en de muoite wurdich meinimme nei it strân as op in pendeltrein.

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A Delicate Truth by John le Carré

A delicate truth by John Le Carre

A delicate truth by John Le Carre

After 9/11 the gloves came off in the espionage field and in the war on terror as Western governments grappled with this new and brutal threat from al-Qaeda.

A Delicate Truth is John le Carré’s 23rd and novel and details the conflicts between conscience, duty and the murky wworld of government cover-ups.

Toby Bell, a decent young man and private secretary to a British foreign minister, hears of a counter-terrorism operation on the crown colony of Gibraltar.

Codenamed Wildlife, the operation is being mounted in Britain’s most important colony. The plan is to capture and abduct a top jihadist arms-buyer. Toby is not cleared for it due to it’s high level secrecy and it is planned by a Foreign Office Minister and a private defence contractor.

Throughout the book there is a whiff of le Carré and his own journey through life.

The book shows the change in the world of espionage since 9/11 and it’s increasing militarisation.

The espionage novel follows Toby as he tries to do the right thing while the plot dances around the Foreign Office corridors.

John le Carré at his best.

Syyskuun 11. päivän jälkeen käsineet irrotettiin vakoilualalla ja terrorismin vastaisessa sodassa, kun länsimaiset hallitukset kamppailivat tämän uuden ja raa’an al-Qaidan uhan kanssa.

Herkkä totuus on John le Carrén 23. ja romaani, ja siinä kerrotaan omatunnon, velvollisuuksien ja hallituksen peiton hämärän maailmansodan välisistä ristiriidoista.

Toby Bell, kunnollinen nuori mies ja Ison-Britannian ulkoministerin yksityinen sihteeri, kuulee terrorismin vastaisesta operaatiosta Gibraltarin kruununsiirtokunnassa.

Koodinimi Wildlife, operaatio asennetaan Britannian tärkeimpään siirtokuntaan. Suunnitelmana on kaapata ja siepata ylimääräinen jihadistinen aseiden ostaja. Tobylle ei myönnetä lupaa sen vuoksi, koska se on korkean tason salassapitovelvollisuus, ja sen suunnittelevat ulkoministeriö ja yksityinen puolustusurakoitsija.

Koko kirjassa on le Carré ja hänen oma elämänsä matka.

Kirja osoittaa vakoilumaailman muutoksen syyskuun 11. päivän jälkeen ja lisää militarisointia.

Vakoiluromaani seuraa Tobyä hänen yrittäessään tehdä oikein, kun juoni tanssii ulkoministeriön käytävillä.

John le Carré parhaimmillaan.

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