An intriguing thriller from a former NPR correspondent about a young reporter who must match wits with spies, assassins and a terrorist sleeper cell targeting the very heart of American power.
"If, on an early summer's night, you wanted to kill a man, how would you do it? Would you lay a trap, sharpen a dagger, uncork a poison? Personally, I've always leaned toward the dramatic. But looking back, I wonder now if the events of last summer didn't begin with a quieter sort of murder."
So ponders Alexandra James, a beautiful, driven, yet troubled New England Chronicle reporter. She is assigned to cover the death of Thom Carlyle, son of one of the most powerful men in Washington. Just back from a year abroad, Thom falls from the top of a Harvard bell tower on a warm summer night. Did he jump, or was he pushed? For Alex James, who can get in anywhere, sleep with anyone, out-drink and out-shop her demons, it is the story of a lifetime. As she chases leads from Harvard Yard to the courtyards of Cambridge, England, to a clandestine rendezvous in London, to the inside of a nuclear terrorist network...the intrigue seems to suit her. But nothing is what it seems. When she arrives back in Washington, DC, for a key interview that promises to tie together the leads she has puzzled out, Alex the hunter becomes Alex the hunted. An assassin is dispatched.... Her laptop disappears.... Her phone is tapped.... And she begins to grasp that Thom Carlyle may have been killed to hide a terrifying conspiracy within the White House itself.
Former NPR Intelligence correspondent Mary Louise Kelly has turned her own real-life reporting adventures into fiction with this stylish spy thriller.
©2013 Mary Louise Kelly (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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When a Harvard Alumni, Tom Carlisle, falls from the bell tower, everyone assumes it was suicide. Alexandra James, however, thinks differently. Called to investigate the scene as a reporter, the clues don’t add up and Alex’s instinct says it’s murder. As she digs deeper, she discovers that Tom had a whole different life this past summer in England: a girlfriend who was cheating on him, a terrorist friend, and a mysterious set of circumstances. This high-society case could be Alex’s ticket to getting noticed, but not without a lot of danger. With all the clues adding up to a possible terrorist plot and MI6 and the CIA after her, things are definitely not what they seem. When more and more people start showing up dead, including the lady Alex switched places with on a plane ride, things do not look good for Alex. Will Alex get the scoop she’s always dreamed of or will the killer get his way?
Narrator, Therese Plummer expertly brings to life the characters and story of this book. Here unique voices and intonations smoothly guide the reader through the many plot twists and turns as well as keep them engaged and engrossed. The plot is well-developed and the characters are multi-dimensional. Although the story is a little slower-paced in the beginning, listeners will have a hard time putting this audiobook down. Recommended for fans of spies, mystery, and thrillers.
"Mesmerizing thriller, excellent reader"
This thriller is so mesmerizing that you will invent boring chores just to rationalize listening to it in one day. The reader's command of upper class and hoi poloi accents from the British Isles and the United States makes this story even more entertaining and authentic.
Hooked from the start. Good twist at the end! Great narration. The characters were really interesting and the story was well developed.
"Not as good as The Bullet"
I listened to Mary Louise Kelly's "The Bullet" and was so entranced that I immediately purchased this one. Blah. The story is okay, a bit overdone, but the narrator is unintentionally hilarious. she mispronounces Edinburgh, the River Thames, and the name Elias throughout the book. Ouch. Her flat, American voice is otherwise okay, but I would be wary of purchasing another book she reads.
"I love this writer!"
I was hooked by The Bullet and have a new appreciation for her ability to bring to life amazing characters and gripping story.
"Yes, We Have No Bananas"
It didn't help that I started this book after just spending two nights in a row watching the movies Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and discussing the highly improbable scenarios with the son of a decorated Air Force Colonel.
In the mood for more espionage, I picked up former NPR contributor Kelly's first book. And as I got into the book, I realized that this was the ladies version of WHD or OHF...great shoes, Chanel bags, lots of batting eyelashes, and a few lusty rounds of sheet hockey in between keeping the White House from tumbling. All in all fun and always entertaining, and the author knows when to reel in the frivolities before the story plunges into a Bridget Jones kind of caper. Alexander James (the protagonist) stays intelligent and gutsy. But, I admit to expecting a little more sophistication and intrigue from author Kelly. The idea of aging upper echelon politicians padding their retirement by...well that would be a spoiler...but the basic premise doesn't have the muscle to pull off this kind of upheaval. At least, I hope not. Still, this was light and fun, no explicit sex, and no F bombs. I don't think personally I would follow reporter/part time sleuth Alexander James, but I do see this character capable of becoming a popular red-headed agent, carrying a series -- especially for readers that like a little raunch-free spiciness, and international intrigue. If so, I hope that someone lets me know what ever happens with hunky Lucien, and the biotchy Petronella and her cat suit.
"Please pronounce city names correctly..."
I listed to this three times and each time, I was so put off by the narrator's pronunciation of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. She said it wrong. She said EdinBURG instead of the correct pronunciation EdinBORO. FIX IT!
"Good Spy Mystery"
I enjoyed this story and how the writer developed it. I could not put it down. My only complaint is a toward the end their were issues where the jump to a conclusion was not set well. There were a few points developed in the story that were forgotten and left hanging. The narrator added to the enjoyment of this story tremendously!
"Reads like a fun-but-mindless network TV show"
The plot and characters are totally formulaic but the book is still readable. It's readable the same way Law & Order is watchable in the I'm-home-sick-with-nothing-else-to-do sort of way.
"good listen, lots of action"
The story had good action. I enjoyed the characters. I would read more from this author.
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