Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Best Things In Life Are Free … Books

The ever generous Katrina Alvarez gets in touch to offer free copies of Noah Boyd’s new thriller, AGENT X, the sequel to Boyd’s New York Times bestselling debut, THE BRICKLAYER. Quoth the blurb elves:
FBI-agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail once helped the FBI solve a brilliant extortion plot. It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal. But when he’s in Washington, D.C., to see Kate Bannon—an FBI assistant director—on what he thinks will be a romantic New Year’s Eve date, suddenly things get complicated. The FBI has another unsolvable problem, and it has Vail’s name written all over it.
  A man known as Calculus, an officer at the Russian embassy, has approached the FBI claiming that he has a list of Americans who are selling confidential information to the Russian SVR. In exchange for the list, he is asking for a quarter of a million dollars for each traitor the FBI apprehends. But then Calculus informs the FBI that he has been swiftly recalled to Moscow, and the Bureau suspects the worst: the Russians have discovered what Calculus is up to, probably have access to his list, and will be hunting the traitors to kill them unless the FBI can find them first.
  The FBI realizes that it has to keep the operation quiet. Once again, Vail is the perfect man, along with Kate Bannon, who would be anyone’s first pick for help on an impossibly dangerous case. But finding the traitors isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be downright deadly. And if the Bricklayer survives, he will have to come up with a few tricks of his own.
  AGENT X is a heart-pounding thrill ride with an authenticity only a writer who’s an FBI veteran can provide, and Steve Vail—a man Patricia Cornwell calls a “new American hero”—is one of the smartest, toughest, and most compelling new characters to come along in many years.

  Noah Boyd is the author of the New York Times bestseller THE BRICKLAYER and a former FBI agent who spent more than twenty years working some of the Bureau’s toughest investigations, including the Green River Killer case and the Highland Park Strangler case (which he’s credited with solving). He currently works on cold cases when he’s not writing.
  So there you have it. To be in with a chance of winning a copy of AGENT X, just answer the following question:
What’s the best spy thriller you’ve read to feature those pesky Russians?
  Answers in the comment box below, please, along with a contact email address (using ‘at’ rather than @ to confound the spam munchkins). The competition closes at noon on Wednesday, February 16th; et bon chance, mes amis.


Robert Carraher said...

My favorite featuring the "Pesky" Russians I think, is Old Boys, Charles MacCarry Love all his books, but this looks very interesting

recarraher at

Rick Ollerman said...

The first book of the first trilogy of the ten book Bernard Samson series, "Mexico Game" by Len Deighton.

rick at

Dan Blackaby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Blackaby said...

Seventeen Moments of Spring by Semyonov. Interesting shift in point of view

secondlayer01 at

Rob Kitchin said...

Red Sqaure by Edward Topol and Fridreikh Neznansky (Corgi, 1983)

Rob.Kitchin at

Kathy said...

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

ksales1023 at

lil Gluckstern said...

Do the East Germans count? The book that left an indelible effect on me was "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" by John LeCarre.

Neal Kristopher said...

Man, so many choices! For some reason, the one that seems most persistent to me is the Winter Queen by Boris Akunin.


Declan Burke said...

Hmmmm, an interesting point of order raised by Lil - do we allow the dastardly East Germans to sneak in under the wire, or over the wall? I'm going to rule in favour, and allow for novels in which the bad guys are East European Cold War Commies of any and all stripes.

Cheers, Dec