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Dead Spy Running [Hardcover]

Jon Stock
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Jun 2009

Re-inventing the spy story for the 21st Century.

John Le Carre meets Jason Bourne!

Daniel Marchant, a suspended MI6 officer, is running the London Marathon. He is also running out of time. A competitor is strapped with explosives. If he drops his pace, everyone around him will be killed, including the US ambassador to London. Marchant tries to thwart the attack, but is he secretly working for the terrorists?

There are those in America who already suspect Marchant of treachery. Just like they suspected his late father, the former head of MI6, who was removed from his job by the CIA. Marchant is treated like an enemy combatant - rendition, waterboarding - but he has friends who are disillusioned with America’s war on terror. Friends like Leila, his beautiful MI6 colleague and lover, and Sir Marcus Fielding, the new Chief who resents the White House’s growing influence in Whitehall.

On the run from the CIA, Marchant is determined to prove his father’s innocence in a personal journey that takes him from Wiltshire, via Poland, to India. It was here that the former MI6 chief once met with one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, and where the new President of America is shortly to visit. But was that meeting proof of a mole within MI6 or the best penetration of Al Qaeda the West has ever had? And was Marchant’s father the keeper of another, darker secret?

In a compelling thriller that updates the spy novel for the 21st century – think John Le Carre meets Jason Bourne - Marchant discovers the shocking realities of personal betrayal and national loyalty, and that love can be the biggest risk of all.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Door (25 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007300697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007300693
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 641,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jon Stock is the author of five spy novels and works at the Daily Telegraph. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three children. His latest novel, Dirty Little Secret, was published in July 2012. The paperback is published in July 2013.

After reading English at Cambridge University, he worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain's national newspapers, as well as contributing regularly to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV's acclaimed scriptwriters course. Between 1998 and 2000, he was Delhi correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. On his return to Britain, he worked on various Saturday sections of the paper before taking up a staff job as editor of the flagship Weekend section in 2005. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing the trilogy and has now returned to the Telegraph. He wrote the Last Word column in The Week Magazine (India) from 1995, when he lived in Cochin, South India, to 2012, and is currently working on a standalone psychological thriller as well as another Daniel Marchant novel.

His first novel, 'The Riot Act', published by Serpent's Tail, was launched on the 50th floor of Canary Wharf tower. The book was shortlisted by the Crime Writers' Association for its best first novel award and was subsequently published by Gallimard in France as part of its acclaimed Serie Noir. The 'Cardamom Club' was published by Blackamber (now Arcadia Books) in Britain and by Penguin in India. It was also published by Gallimard in France.

'Dead Spy Running', his third novel and the first in the 'Legoland' trilogy, was published by HarperCollins in 2009 and has been translated into five languages. It features Daniel Marchant, a young MI6 officer. The sequel, 'Games Traitors Play', was published in 2011.

Warner Brothers have bought the film rights to the trilogy. Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) was hired to write the screenplay for 'Dead Spy Running', which is currently in development. McG (Terminator IV) and Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) are producing. Jamie Moss worked on Gaghan's script and it is now being polished by Simon Barrett. Adam Wingard is attached to direct. Barrett and Wingard worked together on V/H/S and its sequel, S-V/H/S. They also wrote and directed "You're Next", bought by Lionsgate last year and due to be released in August 2013.

Film rights to The Riot Act have also recently been sold to an American production company.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A relatively new publishing imprint can always use a few winners to achieve lift-off; new publishing kid on the block Blue Door must be rubbing their hands, as the auguries are very promising for Jon Stock’s highly impressive Dead Spy Running. The book arrives emblazoned with raves from the likes of Lee Child and Robert Goddard – hinting to the reader that both action and storytelling will push all the requisite buttons.

Daniel Marchant is an inactive MI9 operative. Rather than languishing in torpor, he has decided to run the London Marathon. But the dangers of his ex-day job are not far away – one of the other competitors is lethally strapped with explosives, and if he reduces his pace, all around him will die bloodily. Marchant does his best to avert the slaughter, but there are those who think that he is compromised in his professional life. The CIA ensured that Marchant’s father was removed from his position as head of MI6, and they are convinced that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Marchant finds himself treated like a suspected terrorist (extraordinary rendition, waterboarding), and things look very black for him. But there are people who are not against him: Marchant’s colleague (and inamorata) Leila. And, more importantly, new Intelligence chief Sir Marcus Fielding, who is suspicious of America’s apparently unshakeable grip over UK foreign policy.

The opening premise (don’t drop below a certain pace or risk detonation) may be borrowed from the movie Speed, but that’s the only element here that doesn’t come up as fresh as paint; Jon Stock has taken the accoutrements of the espionage thriller and given them a bracing wash and rinse. The real achieve, however, is to marry the kinetic energy of the Jason Bourne franchise (that’s the films, rather than Ludlum’s books) with the political sophistication and dyspeptic view of international relations of John le Carré and Gerald Seymour. The publisher Blue Door has a potential bestseller in Dead Spy Running. --Barry Forshaw


"Dead Spy Running is a rip-roaring race of a read that never lets up until the finishing tape – and a bit beyond." Robert Goddard
"As elegant as le Carre and as cynical as the twenty-first century … exactly what we need from a spy novel now." Lee Child
"A Jason Bourne sweat-fest with George Smiley's brain" – Daily Telegraph
"An elegant, unstoppable front runner of a spy thriller" – The Observer
"Picks up more or less where Le Carré left off" – The Guardian
"A compelling thriller" – Sunday Times
“Its deliciously John Buchan-like hero could be chasing the 39 steps” – Daily Mail
"As strong as Bourne, as clever as Bond, but with a voice set for Generation Next, Jon Stock has done the impossible in Daniel Marchant and created THE new spy.” Stephen Gaghan
“A turbocharged thriller.” Booklist
“A masterfully orchestrated page-turner.” Kirkus Reviews
“Stock fuses the cerebral complexity and cool prose of early le Carré with a tough, smart hero modeled on Jason Bourne in this excellent spy thriller.” Publisher’s Weekly

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non stop action 18 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
No wonder this has been sold for a film before it's even published, you can almost see this on the screen as you read. From the outset, we're into a series of action set-pieces, no doubt to make the tale as close to a film script as possible. Nothing and no-one is who they seem to be, everyone has a hidden agenda and the plot twists and turns to the point where you just might have to re-read a few pages to see if you've kept up.

If you're familiar with spy thrillers, the usual cast of characters is here; the hero is a misunderstood maverick, being chased by just about everyone, and he is surrounded by spy stereotypes, the femme fatale, the ruthless, ambitious bosses and the competing agencies. As for the plot, it's just about believable, although there are a couple of creaky moments, which require suspension of disbelief.

As literature, it's nothing great, as a page turning thriller, it's up there with the best. Take this for the Beach this summer and you'll probably get through it in a couple of sessions, recommended for lovers of spy novels, thrillers and marathons
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on running !! 21 May 2009
By Tramps like us VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Having not long before watched the London Marathon this book was extremely topical. Opening with a scene of the hero Daniel Marchant running the marathon and realising that a suicide bomber is running too but rather too close to the U S Ambassador for comfort the book grips from the start. I found the descriptions of the marathon and the tension between the triumvirate of the would be suicide bomber , Daniel Marchant and the U S Ambassador to be quite riveting and it is no surprise on viewing the video on this page to find that Jon Stock is a big fan of the "Bourne" trilogy of books as the writing is as taut as Mr Ludlum's. It is no surprise then that a film is to be made of this book which continues with Daniel Marchant striving to clear the name of his late father (a previous head of MI6).
This is the first part of a trilogy and I am just hoping that Mr Stock's writing continues in the same exciting vein.
I have absolutely no hesitation in awarding this book 5 stars although I do wish that I had been able to keep it for my holiday - it would have made a perfect sunlounger read !!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ending a letdown 15 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Marchant finds himself caught up in a terrorist attack on the London Marathon and his very presence there is considered guilt by the CIA. The story unfolds as Marchant not only proves his innocence but seeks to find out what it is the CIA find so untrusting about his family.It's quite a pageturner, and definitely worth reading but don't expect literary magic here. The characters are well defined although the names are oddly confusing (for me anyway!) and all in all I enjoyed it.The downside for me was the ending, wholly predictable and maybe could have been written over an extra 100 pages with a better ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressed 2 May 2010
This is the first book I've bought from this author and I'm pleased to say I was very impressed. It has a good pace and the plot manages to keep you turning the pages. Personally I reckon the characters are a bit weak but I didn't buy for top notch literature, just for an enjoyable read. Probably a good one to take on holiday.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engrossing 26 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My first experience of this author but I want more.a cracking story which is unputdownable
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced intrigue 24 Feb 2010
A well paced spy thriller from a new spy author. I look forward to reading the next exploits of Daniel Marchant 'special' agent (MI6), after all someone has to stop Dhar!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished 26 Sep 2009
PR from Jon Stock and his publishers would suggest that, from the outset, Jon set himself the challenging task of writing a book whose pace and intrigue would combine to deliver an irresistible page-turner.
I must confess to being somewhat non-plussed by statements invoking these lofty aims ... after all, who among us would not want to deliver such a book - especially given the popularity of the spy genre ... Bond and Bourne are both delivering compelling non-stop plot-development on the wide screen (and rightly enjoying the success they richly deserve for having done so) ... it stands to reason that anyone would be delighted to get anywhere near that heady mixture in book form.
To my delight and surprise, Jon Stock delivers in spades.
I found this a thoroughly enjoyable, racy, and satisfyingly credible book.
I'd recommend the book to anyone looking for an un-put-downable spy-genre page-turner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 23 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This title was drawn to my attention by a fellow Baha'i and as I am an avid reader of spy thrillers I downloaded a copy to my Kindle. I wasn't disappointed in the yarn and felt that the Baha'i references were accurate. I will definitely be seeing the film when it comes out!
Thanks Jon.
Rob Hain
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC
Very well written, interesting and quite topical - a good read, suspensful and the hero, although a bit superhero, is believeable.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars modern Spy novels
Best spy read for a long time in the murky modern electronic world of MI5 & MI6 and our american cousins
Published 11 months ago by Mr David Sibthorp
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is the first time I have read a Jon Stock book. Have already downloaded 'Games Traitors Play'. Compelling reading.
Published 11 months ago by Grumpy gaz
3.0 out of 5 stars AVERAGE READ
Good Start but sometimes too much detail without getting far. Would still read another novel by the same author though.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get much better than this
Shut the doors, lock the windows, hide the phone put the car away. Once you start, you’re not going anywhere until you finish reading this one. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Species 8472
4.0 out of 5 stars Zippy modern spy story
This is a book which is begging to be made into a film, and it races along like a modern action movie. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent page turner
Is this a literary classic? No. Is it a good, well written, exciting thriller? Yes. If you like "modern" spying tales---spooks, bourne, etc then you'll enjoy this. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Angus
1.0 out of 5 stars A dreadful idea
The fundamental premise of this novel is that British intelligence agencies would, as a matter of routine, give up to torture by foreign governments any staff members who come... Read more
Published 21 months ago by W. Black
1.0 out of 5 stars Jon Stock, serial killer and misogynist: 4 novels, one plot
I finished the 3 Marchant novels and The Cardamom Club last weekend, deeply annoyed and mildly furious, not least because I couldn't think of a way to review... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Julia Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars A good page turning read
This is the second book by Stock that I have read. It moves along at a cracking pace, has many twists and turns and thus keeps the reader keen to keep turning the pages. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. P. Gray
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