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3.3 out of 5 stars9
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 20 June 2014
The story kept me reading to the end but the characters were mostly stereotypes and the errors of detail were so plentiful to be off-putting. The author likes to give the impression he knows his stuff by quoting street names, train times, whisky brands and so on but when they are wrong, the effect is exactly the opposite. Some of the computer stuff too was shaky, with program names thrown around to give the air of expertise but sometimes in the wrong place. I was left with a feeling that the book had been rushed out to meet a post-Snowden appetite and it simply hadn't been checked carefully enough.
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An intriguing spy thriller this ,with a quite well developing intelligent plot and a fascinating look at the world of hackers that I enjoyed very much.

When Graham takes on the top job at the Agency its with a view to becoming a new broom – sweeping out the old and creating a far more reliable and focussed company – he barely has a foot in the door however before things take a sinister turn. Someone, it appears, has access to everything. And that is not good news at all..

There were ups and downs to this one overall for me – the writing is terrific and the story is MOSTLY tightly woven and compelling – however at times I found the characters for me personally fell a bit flat. Graham Weber is an interesting one – and I loved his background and previous persona before he is encouraged to take the position by the President, but after that I didnt QUITE think he lived up to the promise. Some of the early decision making seemed unlikely given the outline of character we had been given – there were also a few other points at which I had to suspend disbelief.

Put that aside though, there is also a lot to love here, especially if you are a fan of the genre – James as a character kind of saved the day for me, his geek side v his intelligence side came across extremely well, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep the story flowing, and the premise was definitely appealing. The execution of it was perhaps a bit lax in places but I still enjoyed the journey and can forgive the minor lacks of cohesion.

In ratings terms a solid 3.5 stars and I would be interested to read another of this authors novels to see whats what.

Happy Reading Folks!

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.
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on 11 September 2014
I have read a very similar story - can't remember the name of the book or the author - and at first thought that this was it, but since since is a new book, it was not the same story, just very similar.

This is not a bad story, and I enjoyed most of it.

However, what I didn't like: To start with, I really don't care for the font the story is written in, and it's far too small to read comfortably.

The other thing I didn't care for was the parts in German. I am German, and I cringed when I was reading what Henning was supposed to have said to Grulig, telling him we was waiting for him downstairs.
Did Mr. Ignatius get the translation from Google Translate? No, couldn't have. Even Google Translate will do better than that.

It reminded me of those of old American war films, where American soldiers pretend they are Germans and get away with bad grammar while having a strong American accent, when speaking to German soldiers. It's an insult to my intelligence, my ears and, in this case, my eyes. Also, nouns start with a capital letter: Braves Mädchen, not Braves mädchen.

These are just a few examples why you shouldn't attempt using another language if you don't speak it fluently or, at the very least, know someone who does. This sort of thing really puts me off the story as well as the author.
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on 5 July 2014
Technically very good about the digital world of cyber warfare however the characters were one dimensional somewhat unbelievable and difficult to empathise or have any sympathy with.
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on 22 June 2014
I've read other books by Ignatius and they were ok, and I do like his NYT columns, but he really should have used a ghost-writer. good idea, lousy telling!
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on 24 August 2015
A potentially good story line but the beginning is not well set up and seems to be design for the narrative rather than being a believable set of events. The villans are obvious and some storylines accelerate with no in depth storytelling. Not inclined to read further from this author
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on 4 March 2016
Excellent with many twists of the plot.
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on 6 November 2014
Excellent book worth reading , he's a new writer to me , but have enjoyed this book very much x
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on 7 July 2014
Stuck in the racist groove.
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