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The Spycatcher (Spycatcher 1) Paperback – 16 Aug 2012

2.9 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409121291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409121299
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Like le Carre and Fleming before him Dunn is the real thing, a former member of SIS turned fictional chronicler of the secret world. His though is a more muscular creation than Smiley, or even Bond. Meet Will Cochrane, a one man weapon of mass destruction; 007 is a cocktail-sipping lush compared with Cochrane (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Great talent, great imagination, and real been-there done-that authenticity make this one of the year's best thriller debuts. Highly recommended (LEE CHILD)

A nail-biting, edge of your seat page-turner. Matthew Dunn is an explosive new talent (SIMON KERNICK)

A terrific thriller with a superb new hero. Written by a man with the credentials to back him up... oozes class. Bond and Bourne can take a back seat... (MATT HILTON)

Plenty of fireworks, a suitably anguished 21st-century hero and snappy tradecraft make this an intelligent and entertaining summer read. But what really gives [it] the edge is the author: Matthew Dunn is a highly commended former MI6 field operative ... and the first to write a thriller. This feels solid and authentic (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Excellent ... I know of no other spy thriller that so successfully blends the fascinating nuances of the business of espionage and intelligence work with full-throttle suspense storytelling (JEFFERY DEAVER)

Readers will want to see more of Dunn's distinctive hero, "the ultimate killer of killers" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (US))

This debut novel has the ring of verisimilitude ... no nonsense, pulse-pounding ... readers will want to spend more time in the company of Matthew Dunn's tough agent Will Cochrane (CRIMETIME)

Dunn, a former M16 officer, fashions a hero who looks poised to give Lee Child's Jack Reacher a run for his readers ... a twisty, cleverly crafted work (KIRKUS REVIEWS (USA))

I made the mistake of starting Dunn's novel at 10 o'clock last evening. In no time flat my mind was trapped by the turns of this intense thriller ... this is one of the most startling thriller debuts I've encountered (THE RAP SHEET)

A thriller with fast action, a great villain, several twists and turns, and enough ambiguity to escape the many obvious pitfalls of genre cliché ... the book pushes forward relentlessly (IRRISTIBLE TARGETS)

Book Description

A new breed of spy is born . . .

Stunning debut from a real-life James Bond - 'Great talent, great imagination, and real been-there-done-that authenticity' Lee Child

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Format: 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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Format: 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 Ûber-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.
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By Keith VINE VOICE on 28 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My enjoyment of this first novel went a bit up, down and up again. First expectations were maybe a bit Len Deighton/Le Carre/Seymour but, for the final third, very much Lee Childs. I wasn't impressed by some clunky dialogue to explain characters and motivation and wanted some scenery painting for context and location. And the main character is shown as superhuman, shrugging off bullet wounds and physical assault, tireless. If this is toned down in future novels, it will be more realistic. But the final action is superb. The description of the preparation and attack on the baddies base was utterly believable and suspenseful. The author knows his spycraft; his novel writing skills will develop.
The plot is a major threat against the west - some terrorist atrocity of magnitude - by a hidden mastermind known only as Meggido. The story is about tracking him down, discovering the target and taking him out. There is much whizzing about the world, as if international travel was as simple as catching your local bus, so the timeline becomes confusing. I was considering only 3 stars, but the final third was so good, I give it 4. Good book of the genre, with some minor glitches. Ideal holiday read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a full-throttle spy thriller that rolls effortlessly along. Matthew Dunn has created a secret agent, Will Cochrane, who makes James Bond look like Julian Clary. There may only be a possible nine MI6 agents with a licence to kill, but Cochrane is a unique talent, Spartan. I almost lost count of the number of goons employed by the super villain who were disposed of by Spartan. It was like something out of Austin Powers. There is no time to take a breath as the action moves from New York to all over Europe, then back to the States, with villains around Cochrane all the time, trying to kill him. There were moments at the beginning of the book when I laughed out loud at the attempts to introduce the base plot and characters in a way that would be worthy of a Jeffrey Archer novel. The pacing is just too frantic, and the movement around just too frequent. If I might compare it to the first Rambo story, First Blood, then you might have some idea of the level of action involved. But First Blood at least has some build up to the action. Spartan, to misquote a movie producer, starts with an earthquake and builds up to a big climax. I almost started to sympathise with the uber-villain, or would have if he had been better drawn. The love interest never actually gets it together with Cochrane, due to his sense of duty. And I spotted the plot twist at the end about half-way through the book. There is a big set-piece finale involving a plot which would make the twin towers look like a stubbed toe. However, Cochrane is just too shallow a character, too soft with women and children, and he is unconvincingly bullet-proof. Why didn't the villain just dispose of him on two occasions? Having made all those criticisms I might add that the book flows along quite nicely, and I was genuinely interested in the ending.Read more ›
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