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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it; perfectly acceptable thriller
When I read this at first I thought it was the nearest thing I'd come to Murray Smith's excellent and cut too soon spy novel series. It appears that there are some factual issues regarding bullet wounds but that shouldn't detract from the excellent and enjoyable story.

It's a gripping read and while I accept Lee Child is very kind to his fellow authors, I've...
Published 5 months ago by Grant MacNeill

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid at all costs
I did not know whether to laugh or cry in reading this book. It is ridiculously plotted and the characters are cardboard cutouts. The main character is codenamed Spartan - he seems to knock off voluminous numbers of Iranians - is this a rehash of 300? Then at other times he is Captain Scarlet nothing kills or damages him for more than a few seconds. The hero is supposedly...
Published 18 months ago by U. Thakkar


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid at all costs, 25 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
I did not know whether to laugh or cry in reading this book. It is ridiculously plotted and the characters are cardboard cutouts. The main character is codenamed Spartan - he seems to knock off voluminous numbers of Iranians - is this a rehash of 300? Then at other times he is Captain Scarlet nothing kills or damages him for more than a few seconds. The hero is supposedly superbly trained yet keeps being caught out by people coming up behind him. He is physically outwitted and outgunned by someone at least 20 years older. The villain then confesses all for no valid reason and for such a clever man has his most fundamental assumptions wrong. Also I have never read a spy book where the hero flies everywhere first class, and flies all the time for no apparent reason, stays in the best hotels has unending amounts of cash - did Le Carre and all the others get it wrong? This is a ridiculuos book. Shame on the publisher
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who is kidding whom?, 14 Feb 2013
By 
David J. Boggis "oldnuff" (Brittany, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
Is Matthew Dunn a hoax?

I'll offer my thoughts on plot construction and writing style in a moment, but meanwhile, how about a spot of verisimilitude?

The cover blurb describes M.D. as, inter alia,'trained by SIS in... small arms... significant experience (with) SAS... joint operations with MI5, GCHQ and the CIA'. So, for a moment, let's concentrate on small arms.

Have you ever fired a 9mm pistol, let alone a .45? OK, we are supposed to believe that hero Will Cochrane is an █ber-Superman, as is his worthy opponent, code name Megiddo (gerrit?) but how does even hero W.C. hit targets over distances like that with a handgun? How does Megiddo fire from way outside pistol accuracy, along a corridor ablaze with flame (so what does the target look like to the shooter?) in such a way that his round, intentionally, grazes the temple of W.C. instead of blowing his cerebellum out the back of his cranium? (If not missing altogether.)

In the opening chapter, W.C. takes three rounds through the stomach. Next chapter, he gets up and starts throwing his weight around. Wait one...

The guy(s) shooting him through the stomach (sic) are not at point-blank range. How, then, do they put all three rounds through the stomach while avoiding the liver, spleen, colon, kidneys... need I go on?

Let's assume they are all through the stomach, and that all three rounds go in and out cleanly without touching bone (spinal column) which would cause secondary projectiles,i.e. shards of bone that can spoil a trauma surgeon's entire day. The first hit - the author tells us - leaves 'a large exit wound in his abdomen'. Spotted the deliberate mistake yet?

Dead right. No mention of blood loss from a 'large exit wound'. OK, then add two more similar. Still no mention of blood loss. Nor any mention that stomach contents (never mind colon, and we're giving the author the benefit of the doubt that the colon wasn't touched) include, for want of a more technical expression, rattlesnake poison, which, on release into the body, cause symptoms akin to rattlesnake bite.

Right, this book is an achievement. It's achieved non-suspension of disbelief in the first half-dozen pages. Now let's have a look at plot construction.

A reviewer named Mr U. Thakkar (who has my utmost respect) points out many of the plot's shortcomings and contradictions. I can only underscore what Thakkar says, adding simply the question: What kind of secret agent gets conned by almost every person he meets? What kind of person would be given the sort of job allocated to W.C. when the panel that interviewed him for the job must have recognised the naive nature of the man, illustrated in the utterly unquestioning love that he bestows on heroine/villainess Lana?

OK, style. Frederick Forsyth is wooden, we've known that for years. Mr Dunn seems, rather, to be leaden. I am a keen thriller reader, and I had to force myself through this book the way I'd force myself through a couple of chapters of Kierkegaard in the original Danish.

And the dialogue! Mr Dunn - there is no polite way to express this - has a tin ear for dialogue. Otherwise, how can he put such extraordinary speech into the mouths of his characters? How are we supposed to believe that, in the climactic conversation between Megiddo and W.C., the two men would simply discuss operations instead of whacking the other one before he can whack you?

I believe Orion Books and Luigi Bonomi agents have been hoodwinked. I cannot fathom how someone with the slightest acquaintance with - to start with - small arms can make such elementary goofs. Human physiology ditto. I do not believe Mr Dunn has so much as crossed the threshold of his nearest Territorial Army depot. And as for that bit about MI6, SAS, CIA and all the bit - do you really believe that?
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please do not buy this book, 21 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
I cannot believe that Lee Childs endorsed the book The Spycatcher (in paper back Spartan) The author cannot write, cannot tell a story, his characters are a joke. The 'hero' Will Cochrane is shot 3 times in the stomach but within a week is back in the field, he is then shot in the shoulder, but this is soon forgotten, he is then shot in the head and advised to stay in bed for a week - but goes out the same day; he has a fight where he gets kicked in the stomach and head BUT is still able to run 6 kilometres in deep snow up a mountain side- No, No, NO! do not buy this book - how Matthew Dunn ever got accepted by a publisher I will never know and without Child's endorsement I would never have bought it. Ridiculous
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
This deserves minus stars. I cannot understand why any publisher with an I.Q. of more than 3 would allow it to ooze out into the market place. There are no redeeming features on any page. I can only say:- AVOID AVOID AVOID.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far fetched., 1 May 2014
By 
Jimmy C (Fareham Hants) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
I can only assume that super-spy Will Cochrane is bionic. I find it difficult to believe that he could still walk, never mind fight after sustaining so many injuries over the course of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it; perfectly acceptable thriller, 8 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
When I read this at first I thought it was the nearest thing I'd come to Murray Smith's excellent and cut too soon spy novel series. It appears that there are some factual issues regarding bullet wounds but that shouldn't detract from the excellent and enjoyable story.

It's a gripping read and while I accept Lee Child is very kind to his fellow authors, I've read some other books recently which have garnered plaudits from 'serious' critics and are about as interesting to read as a trade magazine of obscure manufactured items.

I say give it a go.

If it's intellectual dreariness you desire, Charles Cumming is your man. If it's shoot em up, lad mag guff, Andy McNab and Chris Ryan. If it's in between, give Dunn a go.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing new voice, 22 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
I found this book to be engaging, enthralling and well-paced. I personally found the character of Will Cochrane intriguing - there is a real sense of "still waters run deep" and I am looking forward to how this develops in the next books. The plot has a strong sense of tension - the cat and mouse game between Megiddo and Cochrane kept me enthralled. The authenticity of Dunn's background as a former agent comes through strongly, particularly in scenes where the reader is given glimpses of Cochrane's mental processes as he stalks and tries to out-manoeuvre Megiddo. That combined with some surprising twists, kept me turning pages until late in the night.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed thriller, 25 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
Not at all my usual genre but purchased with some other books. I could not put it down! This book is a real page turner; action packed but with an undercurrent of terror. Will Cochrane, specially selected by MI 6 for their Spartan Programme, is no James Bond. His character is much deeper than that and I look forward getting to know him better in future books. Will is driven by personal tragedy in his early life. He knows all about the fear of loss; the ways to hide behind other emotions or to put up barriers to stop love.
Other characters add depth and plausibility. Patrick of the CIA, Alistair, Will's Controller in MI6 and the endearing rogue, Harry.
As well as the evident action, there is a much darker side to this book. Countries are under constant threat; a threat fortunately to which most of us are oblivious. The dedication at the front of this book is to the intelligence officers that protect us from this threat and the author's background gives us an insight into the risks that they have to take in order to afford that protection.
Not my usual genre? It is now, I am hooked!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not a fantasy novel, 22 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) (Paperback)
It becomes immediately apparent that this novel, Spycatcher, is written to be taken seriously. It exposes the harsh reality and dreadful choices a modern day spy has to make in a fast moving world where the double spy game is played out in unexpected circles. An interesting insight into the Bosnian conflict and a scary reminder of what is going on around us every day. I highly recommend this novel for readers interested in the reality of modern politics without the fanfare of unrealistic romance and a glamorous lifestyle. This is about real people living and coping in a real world.
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The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1)
The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) by Matthew Dunn (Paperback - 16 Aug 2012)
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