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Chameleon
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2002
Bought this book on the off chance - and was pleasantly suprised. Although not the most technical of spy thrillers it was easy to read and the pace was good. I was unaware that there was a book previous to this and will probably get that to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Its a bit more of a romance than a hardcore spy thriller, John le Carre can rest safely knowing hes not going to be challenged just yet lol. BUT if you like spies, russians, a bit of physical torture and lots of country swopping in an easy to read paperback then this books for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 January 2011
This is a tale not of spies, but of the murky world involving assasins. The tale is told in a mixture between the third person and the first person. It starts with a murder and runs at pace from there. The action switches between Paris, London, New York and Russia for the most part and delves into a world of organised crime and the shadowy reach of government.

This is the second novel in Mark's series, however was an interesting entrance into the world for me. The love story, that is at the heart of the book, is told in depth and evokes sympathy for two very flawed characters.

This is a page turner that draws you along to the sad but somewhat inevitable conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2008
The previous viewer had som interesting remarks I'm not elaborating on, although I find it spot on in a slightly sarcastic way. The chameleon has more action than the previous one, but perhaps lacks a serious interesting plot other thant the obvious - also when it comes to the ending of the book. We get to know some persons better from last time, and some not. Some of the characters are kept alive long enough to end up in the folloewr, which was quite predictable. But the pageturner feel and some fascination is kept througout the book, making me reading it and possibly check out the next one.
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on 29 April 2010
Like the previous reviewer I also found this book a strange mix on stunted corse writing, but compelling. I'm not sure if the author has a great knack or if he got lucky, or perhaps he has great skill and just needs to find a style that works for him.. I much preffered the 1st person sections than the 3rd for example.

Certainly not the greatest spy book ever (lets face it "Magenta House" is just stupid) but a good book for a long flight or a winters afternoon out of the rain.

I recommend it, hmm yes I do.

Alternatives: A Spy by Nature 5/5
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2005
mark starts out the book with a quote about how the only code that can't be broken is a woman. if he did nothing else with this book he did prove the validity of this quote. the absolute lack of understanding he has for woman certainly bled off the pages.
after the first fifty pages or so i was completely hooked. i had not previously come across a book as poorly written, and i had to see it through. the plot makes sense, however, is dreadfully uninspired and is basically a combination of action movies in the past ten years: a long kiss goodnight/the borne supremacy/etc...
his lead female is quite the character. she gets naked an outrageous number of times, has the emotional inteligence of elementary student, and keeps talking about this tough, cold version of herself that never makes an appearance, leaving the reader with her grating prescence instead, who pointlessly drags the reader all over europe and russia getting information for something a job that someone else ends up performing for her. someone who is the same as her, they share a feminine moment that is so bizarrly unrealistic in terms of human emotion that one wonders is mr. burnell is perhaps schitzophrenic.
"the sun was sharp like a splinter" the book is littered with gems like this one.
why did i read the entire 400plus page 'thriller' if it's so bad? why am i wasting more my time writing a review about it? because everyone has to read this book. it is so strangley bad that it's compelling.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2011
I have to start by explaining I am an editor and, whether I like it or not, I tend to read critically, even when I want nothing more than to get lost in a book. This is not a book to get lost in, especially if you happen to be female.
The author knows nothing whatsoever about women. He knows nothing whatsoever about what people need to do but oh, do they endlessly eat in this book! We have a full menu, including wine, the moment they sit at a table and a waiter hovers into view... I do not like food and do not like having to read lengthy translated descriptions of the 'foreign' dishes the heroine consumed.

The characters were all, to a man, stereotyped. The Russians were decidedly Russian and all but Mafia men, who happened to have picked up the infuriating habit which English people have of saying 'to be honest' which I a) hate and b) do not think a Russian would use. I wonder where the editor was to let that through... Magenta House (hideous and stupid name) were all stereotypical spymasters, every non English person was ultra typical of his country, the routes they all took were described in detail, the buildings equally described in detail ...

Methinks this book could have been and should have been about 100 pages less than it was with a tighter better storyline and less stereotypical characters. I did not finish it. There comes a point when even for the sake of the money paid out, I cannot finish a book when there are much better ones waiting on the shelf. I seriously wanted to challenge the author on his thinking and the editor on the editing, which was at fault. 'they turned into a factory yard.' How did they make that transformation? Lazy writing. The guard dogs are NOT Alsatians, I have to say, they would have been German Shepherds if anything. and 'chained dogs barked' is the oddest sentence in the book. Guard dogs bark. It's what they're bribed with meat and bones to do. Don't state the obvious.

No, I did not like this book and sorry to say I am not prepared to risk reading another one unless someone assures me that the editor has resigned and someone who knows their job has taken over and will edit the book to within an inch of its life if it has to be done to get something that worth reading.
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