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The Cabal (Kirk McGarvey Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Jun 2011

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x91c9899c) out of 5 stars 27 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e0a5a0) out of 5 stars ultra fast-paced McGarvey thriller 10 July 2010
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In Washington DC, CIA agent Todd Van Buren meets his college friend Washington Post reporter Josh Givens at a D.C. restaurant. Josh mentions to Todd he's investigating an apparent top secret government cell the Friday Club. He insists the group consists of political and military insiders who from the shadows run the government.

Not long after they depart, two snipers assassinate Todd, who ran the CIA training "Farm" with his wife Elizabeth, as he drives on the Interstate near Fredericksburg, Maryland. A few hours later, assassins murder Josh, his wife and their son in their townhouse. Former CIA Director Kirk McGarvey has no time to grieve the death of his son-in-law. Fuming, he vows to find the killers, their handlers, and their leaders as more people are murdered; some even closer to him.

The latest ultra fast-paced McGarvey thriller is an exhilarating action-packed tale with several twists that even the hero never anticipated. Fast-paced throughout, McGarvey struggles with psychological trauma like none he faced before even when he dealt with a best friend mole inside the agency and staying alive as he climbs the pyramid of the Friday Club hierarchy.

Harriet Klausner
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92db03c0) out of 5 stars The Cabal 12 July 2010
By RS - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Cabal tackles the loose ends from David Hagberg's previous two Kirk McGarvey novels, Dance with the Dragon and The Expediter, with the ex-CIA director unravelling a conspiracy among powerful figures in the US governmnet to alter the world's political and economic balance of power. Meanwhile, McGarvey is wanted for treason and his own government is after him.

It's a different type of story from Hagberg's usual novels of the US versus some foreign enemy and resembles Robert Ludlum's paranoid conspiracy thrillers, but Hagberg does it well.

As always, Hagberg is great at building suspense, creating realistic scenarios, and quickly moving the plot along, without getting bogged down in too much detail or background information. There's some great new locations here, with McGarvey operating out of Iraq, and some real surprises as Hagberg kills off major characters. People close to McGarvey die and although the case becomes a personal one for him, Hagberg is a skillful enough writer not to write a trite, rehashed revenge story.

The book does get a little repitive at times and some more pages devoted to the villains would have been nice. The villaisn are an interesting bunch this time around, but Hagberg focuses very little on them, except for their assassins.

It's a good but not great Hagberg thriller and doesn't quite match the qaulity of The Expediter. But it's still a fast and enjoyable read. David Hagberg is extremely prolific, and I have no idea how he manages to write so many good books.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92db0324) out of 5 stars Not up to Hagberg's normal level 14 July 2010
By tom4416 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found myself strangely disappointed with this latest installment in the McGarvey series. Perhaps it was just too much happening with too shallow a plot line. It was fast paced and actually the last thirty pages could have been stretched a bit to extend the best action in the entire novel. Maybe Hagberg has simply set the bar too for himself and this effort failed to clear it cleanly for me. Or maybe there are just too many books out now with this whole shadow government conspiracy.
HASH(0x92db0360) out of 5 stars Kirk McGarvey is the Grim Reaper! 3 Sept. 2010
By Robert C. Olson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kirk McGarvey is the Grim Reaper!
The one absolute about a David Hagberg novel is he has no love of characters-Honest Injun! Except for the protagonist, Kirk McGarvey, and maybe one or two additional characters, Mr. Hagberg kills off his characters faster than a Bavarian lager during Octoberfest! But in a perverse way this adds to the reality of the plot, for many of the characters who die are near and dear to Mr. McGarvey-Hence the Grim Reaper moniker. The Cabal plot is a continuation of Mr. Hagberg's previous two Kirk McGarvey novels, Dance with the Dragon and The Expediter. Both are excellent novels but you do not need to read them to enjoy The Cabal. In essence, Kirk, as the retired DCI of the CIA, is drawn into solving the mystery of a "shadow government" operating within the Federal Government. The murder of his son-in-law, a CIA operative, forces Kirk to go operational once again-And the fun and mayhem begins!

A typical Hagberg fast paced read. Good plot, lots of action, an all around entertaining novel. Character development was mediocre as the characters tended to die off rather quickly. I liked Otto, the quirky CIA computer geek, and hope the introduction of "Pete", an attractive tomboy CIA operative, means she will be around awhile since Kirk's wife was killed off. She would add greatly to McGarvey's heavy style. McGarvey is in his 50's now and is beginning to get just a bit long-in-the-tooth for the active CIA operative role he has been playing. It will be very interesting to see where Mr. Hagberg goes with this terrific character as The Cabal ending alludes to another McGarvey tale just around the literary corner. Go get em Kirk but remember you're no spring chicken any longer. All the current crop of action heroes are aging, Mitch Rapp, Gabriel Allon, Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, John Corey, et al , It will be interesting how much longer the authors can keep these characters viable? Granddads running around chasing bad guys is a wee bit of a stretch.

I like David Hagberg and always recommend his novels. Hardbacks are too pricey today so check your local library or wait for the paperback. It is sad that books cost so much today. I thought we would get a break with e-books but that does not appear to be forthcoming. Still, for a fun read Hagberg is the man. I am looking forward to his next novel.
HASH(0x91e0ab94) out of 5 stars Great pace but not so great motivation & character development 1 Sept. 2010
By Dr. Lester Hoffman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, let me say that I am a David Hagberg fan ... and this book as some reviewers point out is "ultra-fast paced" ... BUT that itself is a big part of the problem, since this mach 4 pace and action don't give the author the "novelistic space" that any author needs to slowly and interestingly build character ... AND establish plot credibility.

And this last is why I gave this book 3 not 4 stars - even by the end of the book, I simply didn't feel very convinced that the motives and evil vision of "The Cabal" of bad guys (and they are painted well as scary bad) were all that clear, nor did I feel that what they were up to was even all that convincing or realistic. So the global politics context of the book was rather weak and disappointing and the bad guys were basically comic-book type stick figures.

What I did like in regard to character development was how Otto and Louis were given bigger and more human roles, and how Kirk is still #1 in "the spy with integrity" competition! I also liked the way Hagberg pointed out the scary role that DOD contracters are being given in our various wars, such as Iraq.

Don't avoid buying this book, however, just because I gave it a 3, if you're a Hagberg fan or (especially) if you like really fast-moving action thrillers!
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