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Games Traitors Play [Kindle Edition]

Jon Stock
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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

John Le Carre meets Jason Bourne!

Salim Dhar is the world's most wanted terrorist. The CIA is under pressure to hunt him down, after he narrowly failed to kill the US president. The borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the target of relentless drone strikes. Echelon, the West's intelligence analysis network, is in meltdown, monitoring all channels for the faintest trace of Dhar. But no one can find him. Only Daniel Marchant, renegade MI6 officer, knows where he is.

Marchant has been living in Marrakech, listening to the traditional Berber storytellers as they enthral tourists with tales from The Arabian Nights. Marchant believes that Dhar has shunned technology, retreating to old customs:coded messages for Dhar are being embedded in ancient narratives.

When a man flees from the square, Marchant pursues him up into the Atlas Mountains, where he sees an unmarked military helicopter take off and head east. Is someone shielding Dhar to perpetrate an act of proxy terrorism on the West? Or is the CIA right when it claims to have killed him?

To discover the truth, Marchant must be recruited by Moscow. But Marcus Fielding, erudite Chief of MI6, doubts that his young intelligence officer has the mental strength to be a double agent. It's a role that will require him to believe his late father was a traitor, an allegation that Marchant fought long and hard to dispel. Now he must rekindle those rumours and confront dark truths about his own loyalties. He must also work with Lakshmi Meena, the CIA's beautiful new liaison officer in London. Can he ever trust a woman-or an American-again after being betrayed by her predecessor?

As Britain braces itself for an airborne terrorist attack, Marchant survives torture in Morocco and India in his bid to find and stop Dhar. Will family ties ultimately prove more binding than ideology? In an absorbing thriller that combines the nuances of Cold War Le Carre with the ejector-seat excitement of Top Gun, Marchant discovers that treachery is the greatest game of all.

Product Description


‘Espionage action at its best’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘Picks up more or less where Le Carré left off’ GUARDIAN

‘As elegant as le Carre and as cynical as the twenty-first century … exactly what we need from a spy novel now’ Lee Child

About the Author

Prior to becoming a writer, Jon Stock was Weekend editor of the Telegraph. He is the author of three novels, ‘The Riot Act,’ ‘The Cardamom Club’ and ‘Dead Spy Running.’ He is also a columnist with The Week magazine in India. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three young children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007300743
  • Publisher: Blue Door; Library ed edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004P1JERK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,080 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jon Stock is the author of five spy novels and currently works at the Daily Telegraph at Executive Head of Life and Weekend. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three children. The paperback of his latest novel, Dirty Little Secret, was 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 returned to the staff of the Telegraph in June 2014. 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, and the final part of the trilogy, Dirty Little Secret, was published in 2012.

Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the trilogy in 2009, hiring Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) to write the screenplay for 'Dead Spy Running', which went into development with McG (Terminator IV) and Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) producing. Jamie Moss worked on Gaghan's script, followed by Simon Barrett, with Adam Wingard 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", released by Lionsgate in August 2013.)

In 2014, the film rights were bought by Wonderland Sound and Vision, McG's own production company.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sequel rather than a standalone thriller 11 Jun. 2011
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is the sequel to Dead Spy Running, the story of MI6 agent Daniel Marchant who is forced on the run when he is suspected of being a terrorist. If you have not read that book, you'll spend most of this one playing catch up, like a new kid at school who doesn't know the rules. It's very much a sequel, not a standalone thriller.

In this outing, Daniel is still on the hunt for his half brother Salim Dhar: a quest that will take him from Morocco to Sardinia to England and onto India and that will have him teaming up with former enemies and doubting former allies. However, as the book's title suggests, the focus is really on the conflicting agendas and double cross moves between the Russians, the Americans and the English, who all have different uses for Marchant. The result is a tedious and confusing plot which contains too much conversation and when the action comes, it's over too quickly. The details about how the various agencies may be realistic, but none of the characters are even remotely believable and I found the book's ending particularly hard to swallow.

The ending sets the book up for a sequel, but I'm unlikely to be reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phew! This is a good one. 2 Jan. 2013
I would suggest (again) that John le Carré defined the British spy novel - and even the names and terms of the (real) world of espionage in many people's understanding of such things. More than James Bond - at least until recently. But, le Carré's classics, whilst still being classics, are a bit old-school, aren't they? He's good, but all a bit last century? But because the world le Carré created is quite probably the world that many readers think actually exists, it must be difficult to try to move into 'his territory' and write a 21st Century spy novel. Difficult to say things are/were different and sound convincing.

Unless, it seems, you're Jon Stock. His 'Games Traitors Play' is the first of his novels I have read - but it will absolutely not be the last.

'Games Traitors Play' plunges immediately headlong into a thoroughly believable and satisfyingly confusing, switch-back story of cross-, double-cross - and I wouldn't be at all surprised if I didn't miss a triple cross somewhere along the line. Talk about not being able to put it down, I couldn't. Didn't dare. It was glued to my hands. Didn't dare feel like I'd missed something, misinterpreted someone somewhere double crossing someone somewhere else. You can't take your eyes off this one for a moment. I love a book where you really need to pay attention.

So, he seems to have effortlessly and immediately created a believable - background history and all - spy world. Gone of course, is the Cold War. But the tensions and aftershocks are still being felt. International terrorism is the 'new Russia', of course, but the old Russia is still alive and kicking. And part of the fall-out from the Cold War, is new tension based on old rivalries, between the UK and US spy and counter-spy cultures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid contemporary spy novel 13 Jun. 2011
This is the 2nd in a trilogy but I think still stands alone as a decent enough thriller.

The first book, Dead Spy Running, had an explosive opening chapter but then seemed to fizzle out a bit later. This one starts more slowly and unravels to a far more interesting and involved contemporary spy novel in the 2nd half of the book.

MI6 agent Marchant is sent on a seemingly innocent enough sabbatical, but really he's on the tail of his half brother, before being disturbed by the entrance of the Russians.

Short chapters, easy read, contemporary themes, solid stuff.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pace and bravado: a thriller that thrills! 17 Feb. 2012
Jon Stock is new to me, though this is his fourth book and the second featuring MI6 agent Daniel Marchant, a Bond or a Bourne for the era of SPOOKS. Here's a thriller that really does thrill.

Marchant has just saved the US president from assassination by a resolute al-Qa'eda terrorist called Salim Dhar who, by a mind-stretching coincidence, is the bastard son of Marchant's late father. Dad was a head of MI6 suspected of being a mole for the Russians. A similar cloud hangs over Daniel, but the current MI6 chief believes in him and knows he is the one person who may be able to prevent Salim Dhar's next outrage. Salim is learning to fly a Russian fighter plane, which gives a clue as to where the story may be heading. An Asian-babe CIA agent and some Russian and Morrocan heavies are hot on Daniel's heels.

With location scenes in Morocco, India and Sardinia, GAMES TRAITORS PLAY is as exotic as any Bond film. There's an early dental torture sequence far worse than the one Laurence Olivier worked on Dustin Hoffman - ouch! Stock writes in short sharp chapters which give the narrative tremendous momentum. Clouds of suspicion provide serious echoes of national treasure John Le Carre, but the sheer bravado of this nail-biter place Jon Stock in a front-running new class of his own.

(Reviewer is the author of SHAIKH-DOWN)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Games Traitors Play 23 Jun. 2011
Having read Dead Spy Running I was very excited when the sequel was published. It didn't dissappoint. It was action packed, full of double crossings and with the short chapters it made putting it down and picking it up much easier to grab a chapter during a busy day. The only downside it has defintely put me off dentist's for life! I hope there is a third book coming out very soon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Griping reading,concidering the main theme stocks and shares
Published 3 days ago by Rita Harding
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Samantha
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD FOLLOW ON
Again, well written, good follow on to Dead Spy Running - quite important to read that one first before reading Games Traitors Play. Full of suspense, interesting and believeable.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Fast paced thriller. Well written. Lots of suspense and dramatic thrust. Good story that is well-paced. #this is the second I have read of Stock's and I have enjoyed them both.
Published 21 months ago by B. A. Lewis Lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably entertaining, but nothing new.
Many reviews say it follows on from Jason Bourne, James Bond, Spooks, etc. I think partly this is as there isn't really anything new here to comment on. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Daniel Fairhead
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
A great read. I intend to read the prequel because of the many references made to it in "Games Traitors Play". A clever author who knows how to keep his readers engaged.
Published on 16 Nov. 2012 by Kyle Armstrong
3.0 out of 5 stars the games authors play
As a follow on from Dead Spy Running this book is disappointing. Surely during book 2 we could have some deeper knowledge of the main characters. Read more
Published on 18 Oct. 2012 by Michael Watson
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 on 7 Oct. 2012 by Julia Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Games Traitors Play by Jon Stock
very enjoyable read, with excellent story lines and good continuity. Author understands his subject and builds the suspense well, with good graphic detail and believable scenarios,... Read more
Published on 31 July 2012 by robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Espionage Novel!!!
And this is what I call an excellent espionage novel. Jon Stock gets so much better... way way way fantastic in his storytelling. Read more
Published on 7 May 2012 by Wole Ogunjobi
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