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Summary

Jack Gregory, the CIA’s top assassin, went rogue after a mission gone wrong. When a confrontation leaves him bleeding out on death’s doorstep, he is faced with an offer from a dark figure named Anchanchu. If Jack is willing to act as a human host for Anchanchu, the entity will revive him and give him another shot at life. Jack takes the deal...but he must now face the consequences of having the same dark creature in his head as some of history’s greatest villains. Struggling with desires and memories that are not his own, Jack is not the man he once was.

One year later, he is known internationally as The Ripper, assassin for hire, and is faced with having to wrest control of his dark compulsions while preventing a nuclear attack on the United States.

From the bestselling author of the Rho Agenda trilogy comes a globe-spanning thriller with a twist unlike anything you’ve ever seen....

©2014 Richard Phillips (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cliff
  • 19-02-15

Not my usual cup of tea but pretty good

This book is really more of a spy novel than a fantasy or sci-fi book. There is just enough of a sci-fi fantasy element to give the protagonist a direction and reason to do what he does and that is about it. I hope they expand upon the sci-fi aspects at a later date, but I am halfway through the 2nd book in the series and not so much has been added yet.

The novel is good for a spy novel. All the characters are turned up to 11. I mean everyone is the absolute best at what they do. No person or thing in this series is anywhere near the normal end of the spectrum. It is a bit irritatingly over the top at times, but not enough to really hamper the book. That is more me whining than actually a complaint.

I really have to hand it to Macleod Andrews. I thought he was good narrating Sandman Slim but he takes it to a whole other level in this series. Each chapter is from a different character POV and every voice is completely unique and distinct. He has accents from all over the world and doesn't mess up even once. Even if I didn't care for the book the skill the narrarator shows alone would be worth a listen.

If you like spy novels (I don't usually read them). You should like this one. In the future if he expands on the sci-fi aspects the series should be even better. It's worth a credit as long as you understand you are getting a spy novel and not urban fantasy or sci-fi.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • 24-02-18

Great Start To A Series

This is my first Richard Phillips book and I really enjoyed the listen. It took me a while to really get into this book because there were so many bad guys and a lot of people's names starting with "J". I had to back track a few to get my head around all the charaters. But once I did, it was hang onto your seat, kiddo, and enjoy the ride.
Lots of action, a couple of good guys, a bit of the supernatural and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book for someone looking for a book that is fun to read, believable, and has an intriguing story line that is enjoyable and easy to follow.

MacLeod Andrews was outstanding with the delivery of the story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-08-14

Great story should be first of the Rho Agenda

What made the experience of listening to Once Dead the most enjoyable?

I real like the way Richard Phillps puts the story together and not to say that narrator MacLeod Andrews really bring the characters to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack & Janet

Which scene was your favorite?

The Whole Book, but probably the the end .I mean that in a good way.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Could not stop listening, it hook me from the the start but so did the other 3 Rho books

Any additional comments?

This series of 4 books by Phillps have been the best listening in a while.Can't wait for his next one.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 22-10-16

Sci-Fi Cont/Paranormal/terrorism/ and Techno

AMATEUR HOUR
I so wanted to love this book, or at least like. It is included in all the categories above and in the top 50 to 100 in most. A five star review from me, could do well for my rankings in four different categories, plus I would be on page one of reviews, since there are still some 0-0's on the page. Matter of fact, I try very hard these days to only buy books, I believe I will love. Negative reviews rarely buy you fame.
The main character dies in the first few lines of the book and we are given a fairly interesting concept of what happens, which is later expanded upon. Than we quickly get into the espionage or conspiracy part, quickly jumping from one group to another. At times I was lost on who was who. Than I was not lost, I was bored. As I said, the guy dies early in the book, but the story goes on for the next 2 hours having these espionage groups come to the realization that the main character is not dead. Two hours, going over what the reader already knows. The characters are comic book superheroes. I am sure when Audible comes out with their new category SUPERHEROES, this will be included or least it should.

GOING WITH HIS GUT
I could not talk myself in to loving this book and could not finish it, even though MacLeod Andrews is one of the best narrators in the business.

27 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wesley
  • 17-10-14

Just got much better!

I enjoyed the 3 books in The Rho Agenda Series but they were clearly YA or Young Adult. I tend to stay clear of YA but occasionally a book or series catches my attention and this one obviously did that. This book is before the teen protagonists came along. It is about Jack Gregory and some of his past. No Spoilers, don't worry. We finally get to find out more about Jack and this book did answer a few questions I've had since finishing the last 3 books.
One thing I liked about the book was that it didn't seem to be specifically geared toward YA. I don't know the author's history so I apologize if he has many titles under his belt but it seems to me the author has grown. It feels like he is getting better and better and his storytelling skills are really improving. His writing style is evolving nicely and he kept me riveted to this book. I wanted to finish it in one sitting. I didn't feel that in the other 3 books. While I liked those books I really loved this one. I hated seeing it end.
I would like to see more about the 3 kids from the Rho Agenda Series but I would really like to see more about Jack Gregory. The teens have these wild special abilities now but I think Jack is the most able of the bunch by a long shot.
Lastly, MacLeod Andrews is awesome, as always. He never disappoints.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • D. Snyder
  • 25-05-17

too much killing

interesting characters but too many close encounters it just was too long and two violent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Farall
  • 19-08-14

Great new action thriller!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes and I have already done so. The action is non-stop and the narrator is fabulous.

What did you like best about this story?

Jack Gregory and Janet Price. These two characters from The Rho Agenda are fun to imagine.

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His character voices are great without being so over the top that it pulls you out of the story. His voice really brings the characters to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several but to avoid spoilers I will vaguely describe three. The first is the scene in Poland at Kazimer's estate and the second is the hotel room scene in Prague. As for the climax, it is great from start to finish.

Any additional comments?

You will have a lot of fun listening to this audiobook.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David W Cochrane
  • 26-04-18

Great narration

Okay story.

The story was fun for a while. But then it began to seem like a comic book instead of an action thriller. I dearly wanted to like this better. But it was serviceable as long as I could forget the "heard this all before" thoughts. The story had a decent ending. Not surprising but a bit suspenseful.

Macleod Andrews is superb. The various characters came alive with his command of accents. Even when he was reading the contemplation parts of a characters involvement the accent and speaking voice was there. The real good news is that Mr. Andrews finishes out the series.

Yeah. I will give the rest of the series a go.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • NH View
  • 07-04-18

Bond with an Otherworldly Twist

This is a fast moving black ops story with a macabre sold your soul to the devil undertone. CIA vs. NSA against the Russian mob yields lots of action.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marcus
  • 29-03-18

Needless Supernatural Bits Bog Down Great Thriller

I suppose in an effort to somehow tie this to the Rho Agenda, the author has pointlessly added supernatural elements to this story. They do not add to the tale; in fact, they seriously detract.

What this IS is a pretty interesting action/thriller novel. There's a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that the author probably cursorily-researched, but the action is where it's at. Those bits are written fantastically in my opinion.

The story ends with a possible opener to future novels, but I think I'll pass. While mostly enjoyable, the story did not turn out to be what I thought I was signing on to.