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Dead by Christmas Audiobook

Dead by Christmas: Helga Suspense Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

In 1968, a couple of KGB agents in Germany wanted to defect. Too bad for them that the CIA and the US Army wanted no part of this action. A group of US soldiers decided to facilitate these defections without any official coordination. What could possibly go wrong? More things than you can probably imagine.

How much of this book is true? It appears as if it was lifted out of some classified espionage file, but Dead by Christmas is a fictional account based on real events that happened in Germany. The author's 33-year intelligence career allows him to write with authority on this topic. The names and places have been changed to protect the guilty, so one should not try to determine what is true and what is legend. If you think you know, don't tell. If you don't know, don't ask. Just enjoy the story.

©2012, 2013, 2014 Robert J. Dukelow (P)2015 Robert J. Dukelow

What Members Say

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    Norma Miles 07/12/2016
    Norma Miles 07/12/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    387
    315
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    """They want nothing to do with the matter.""
    Any additional comments?

    A truly amazing story set in the latter part of the 1960s, during the Cold War period. In the publisher's synopsis, it is claimed that this is a fictional account based on true events. If this is so, the 'stranger than fiction' label must certainly apply here.<br/>Two soldiers, one a two term Vietnam veteran, are assigned on the same day to a remote German posting, 3FO, which has the reputation of being, " the trash pile of the U.S. intelligence community." Both come with baggage - the younger man had fallen foul of an erroneous rumour that he was homosexual and the older vet was a black officer. Neither are welcomed by their new commanding officer and form a survival friendship in the face of camp hostility. The pair meet with two counterpart intelligence officers on the Russian side, one of who had been a friend of Shelby, the younger soldier, when at college and, after an half hearted attempt to recruit the two Americans, the Russians decide they want to detect. Indeed, one even needs it to appear that he is dead to prevent any future search for him. Unable to get any help from the CIA or the army intelligence, the two soldiers decide to go it alone and sort it out themselves. <br/><br/>This is not a fast paced action book but is, nevertheless, diffused with tension as well as giving interesting insights into the workings and attitudes of so called Intelligence agencies of the time and some of the people within them. There are also delicious little stories told along the way, and especially enjoyable was the reaction to an uncut video shown, at their request, to a gathering of congressmen. The whole book has that absurdity of truth and gentle impossibility which makes it feel so real. I hope it is, as stated, based on fact.<br/><br/>The narrator, Bob Johnson, has a very pleasant voice and reads the whole with consistent expertise. The different voices are just enough to differentiate the characters and his Russian accents are subdued, not an outrageous caricature. The steady, undramatic performance enhances the feeling of reality. My only concern, and it is a personal one, was that his soothing voice and gentle cadences tended to pull me into a sleepy state and I had to rewind to repeat sections I had missed.<br/><br/>This is not a fast action spy story, no James Bond types here. But a sold, often amusing, tale of getting it done in the face of neglect and opposition both personal and from the state. My thanks to the right's holder for gifting me this book, via Audiobook Boom. I enjoyed it immensely and warmly recommend it to anyone who enjoys quirky spy tales from this era as well as anyone who simply wants a remarkable and different thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Bookaholic
    Ohio, USA
    17/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Back to the Cold War"

    This story proves the joke about "military intelligence." The general tone of the book reminds me of M*A*S*H. It's got elements of farce, satire, romance, suspense, adventure, friendship, and the eternal battle against stupidity.

    The story starts with intelligent U.S. soldiers ostracized to the most isolated U.S. base in Germany because, basically, they did their jobs too well. Then one of them runs into a childhood friend, a Russian who now works for the KGB and who desperately wants to escape the system he and his fiancee are trapped in. But if they defect, they will be on the run for the rest of their lives. So, the plan is born to "kill" him off by Christmas.

    The narrator does a superb job with this story. The way he juggles the various accents is wonderful. (Imagine a Russian speaking "deep South black," a German woman speaking "British English," an American speaking "Pennsylvania Dutch German," etc.) And his even, dry tone, in the face of incredible plot twists, somehow makes the entire story funnier.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lori
    03/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just didn't keep my attention"
    Any additional comments?

    This is hard to review. While the story is interesting and entertaining overall, it took me forever to listen to this book. The story started off very slowly and the narration was just too calming. I could only listen for a little at a time. Each would be good separately, but for me this combination just didn't work. <br/><br/> A tale of Cold War espionage. When two KGB agents want to defect they can't get any help from the U. S. government. When you can't get help from the government what do you do? Figure out a way to do it yourself. <br/><br/> The characters just didn't have any real- well character. They were just there.<br/><br/> Narration - good & bad.<br/>Bob Johnson does a good job with the narration overall. He has a pleasant voice. Clearly spoken with a smooth even pace. Some of his character voices and accents are really good. The non character parts of this story are just spoken too softly, calmly and soothing in this book. In an espionage/thriller you need a little more excitement in the narration. His voice would be great for reading poetry or bedtime stories. <br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daman
    26/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but Expected More"
    What about Bob Johnson’s performance did you like?

    The narration was good, but the story I found a little difficult to follow.


    Any additional comments?

    "This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Listener
    13/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"
    What did you like best about Dead by Christmas? What did you like least?

    I found book hard to follow, I was expecting more of a fiction story oppose to a military story. I found hard to follow


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert Dukelow? Why or why not?

    Probably not, as it wasn't really what I like to read.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe, it may be easier to follow.


    Any additional comments?

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa O'Halloran
    12/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Military Mystery"
    What would have made Dead by Christmas better?

    It's hard to know what would have made Dead by Christmas better, as it wasn't a bad book as such, it just came across as confusing for me, as I know nothing about the military and i'm not very interested in military history or anything to do with the military or cold wars etc.


    Has Dead by Christmas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I won't be reading any more military themed books, because they don't interest me.


    Which character – as performed by Bob Johnson – was your favorite?

    I didn't have a favorite character, no-one stood out to me.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narration was good. Bob Johnson has a pleasant voice, easy to listen to on audio.


    Any additional comments?

    I was provided this audio book at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBoom dot com.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kelly watley
    08/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredibly boring"

    First two chapters has the word "N" Word so many times I had to stop listening.. And the narration sounds like the guy is going to sleep or put me to sleep..
    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drew (@drewsant)
    Watertown, MA, United States
    04/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just not for me"

    I received a copy of this audiobook from Audiobook boom for an honest review.
    When I saw “Dead by Christmas” I thought that this would be perfect for the holiday season and while interesting it wasn’t what I expected and just wasn’t for me. The plot is interesting and well thought out but it didn’t have a lot of twist. When I read the description “What could possibly go wrong? More things than you can probably imagine.” I thought it would funny or hard to follow but it felt more straight forward. The characters are interesting and fun but the writing style is more along the line of “just the facts”. There wasn’t much description or color so I never felt as if I was part of the story with a more descriptive book.

    The author has a great deep voice (think NPR) and does wonderfully with the accents but his variation between characters is very small.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bethany
    PHOENIX, AZ, United States
    28/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very believable story"

    This story sounded like someone's memoir... Very believable characters, behaviors, beliefs, and plot and well written. It was easy to get into the time period.

    The narration style, with a soothing tone and clarity, may have added to my sense of listening to a memoir. A very different performance than I am used to and think I would like to hear this narrator reading a different genre.

    "I was provided this audio book at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBoom dot com".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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