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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non stop action
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...
Published on 18 Jun 2009 by Andy Edwards

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ending a letdown
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...
Published on 15 April 2012 by EL EMMO


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non stop action, 18 Jun 2009
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished, 26 Sep 2009
By 
H. D. Sharples "Harold's the name ... Strateg... (High Legh, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Topical Spy Thriller, 14 Oct 2009
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
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A fast-paced opening chapter that literally hits the ground running, immediately draws you into this book, and although the author doesn't always keep up the momentum, it still manages to retain the interest throughout, with some genuinely exciting moments.

The plot is not the most original around, but as thrillers go this is a very nice read and touches on topical issues - i.e. suicide bombers, the war on terror, Al Qu'aeda, extraordinary rendition. The fact that a major film studio (Warner Bros) has bought it (apparently it's in post production) indicates its cinematic potential.

Whenever a writer ventures into spy novels (Mr Stock has two previous books to his name), lazy people always make comparisons with the big guns: Le Carré (of course) and Ludlum (usually Jason Bourne). Suffice to say, whatever anyone else may opine, this is not a bit like either author in terms of style. Which is no bad thing; any good novelist needs to develop his own voice and not be a slave to the masters of the genre.

His central character Daniel Marchant is young, educated, bright, good-looking, but initially suspended from his role with MI6. However, this is the first book in a trilogy, so you can gather that he does redeem himself in the eyes of those that matter. Take the trilogy bit with a pinch of salt also; if this is successful or the author comes up with additional good plot ideas then you can guarantee there'll be more - Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' trilogy and Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhiker's' trilogy - both of which consisted of five novels by the original author - being cases in point.

I shall be keeping an eye on Mr Stock as he's demonstrated great storytelling skills in this enjoyable, often riveting, spy thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Fans of Le Carre & Bourne, 25 Sep 2009
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
Ten years ago, I read and loved Jon Stock's debut thriller The Riot Act -- about a young counter-cultural class warrior forced to go undercover. It was lean, taut, and had a corker of an ending. Four years ago, I was rather less taken with his followup, The Cardamom Club, which had problems of pacing, over-elaborate plotting, and somewhat sappy romantic content. Now comes his third book (the first of a projected trilogy), which bears all the hallmarks of the blockbuster international spy thriller.

The story kicks off at the London Marathon, where suspended MI6 agent Daniel Marchant happens to be running with his girlfriend, a fellow MI6 agent. Exciting events transpire, and soon thereafter he finds himself in the custody of his own people, and eventually the CIA. It seems his father, who had been head of MI6, was forcibly retired under suspicious circumstances, and now the son is under suspicion as well. More heartpounding events transpire and Daniel soon finds himself on the run from MI5, MI6, and CIA, all while a plot may be unfolding to kill President Obama (the unnamed "new guy") as he visits India.

The pacing problems of Stock's second book are gone, as the story switches back and forth in short bursts between Daniel's attempt to stay alive, flashbacks to his training and relationship with his girlfriend, and the heads of various intelligence agencies snarling at each other in plush offices. While this back and forth construction works for pacing purposes, it also means that the story becomes somewhat fractured between these two fronts, as neither Daniel nor the bureaucrats take center stage. Thankfully, toward the end, these two story lines begin to converge and everything gets a little more fluid and more exciting.

Stock's made no apologies for the influence of John Le Carre and the recent Bourne films on this book -- which is a good thing, since fans of either will find themselves on familiar ground. The intense bureaucratic infighting will appeal to fans of Le Carre, while Daniel's attempt to stay one step ahead of the various intelligence services will appeal to fans of Bourne. On the whole, it's a solid page-turning thriller, with all the requisite insider detail and international color. It gets especially good once on Indian soil, as Stock's familiarity with India enables him to bring a lot of local color to the story. Overall, a solid entry in the international spy thriller genre.
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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 "Guitar bass and drums" (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
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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
This review is from: Dead Spy Running (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
By 
Mr. E. MCCAFFERTY (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Paperback)
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
By 
C. G. Hamilton (Leicester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Paperback)
My first experience of this author but I want more.a cracking story which is unputdownable
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary suspense, 17 Oct 2009
By 
Pepper (Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
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A great spy book! James Bond eat your heart out! An excellent and topical story around terrorism and interestingly looks at India and UK as the main settings rather than the Middle East. Daniel Marchant, a suspended MI6 officer, is running the London Marathon with a colleague - and spots a potential suicide bomber. He intervenes and is then accused of working for the terrorists. The book covers many of the issues being discussed in the news today - water boarding, America's role, Al Qu'aeda, terrorism in India. I'm looking forward to the next novel in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pageturner with a naff ending, 19 July 2009
By 
Darren Simons (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dead Spy Running (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Dead Spy Running tells the story of Daniel Marchant, son of a former MI6 chief ousted by the CIA and therefore not trusted via association, a renegade worthy of waterboarding and other such trappings of the CIA. 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. Apparently this is the first of a trilogy so it will be interesting to see what follows. A movie is also expected to be made from this book.
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Dead Spy Running
Dead Spy Running by Jon Stock (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
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