Tag Archives: espionage thriller

Interview with Dick Woodgate

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m 56-years-old and I’m British. I live in rural Kent, the garden of England, with my partner and six-year-old son. As well as being a father and a writer, I’m also a furniture maker. One day in a beautiful garden on a long, languorous summer holiday in Normandy I was relaxing in a sun lounger, looking up at a line of silver birch trees, watching their leaves catching the wind. That was the moment when I decided to start writing something. The story I began in my notebook that day would, several years later, grow to become Cold Star, my first published novel. I’ve also written a short story, Treasure Hunter, a spin-off from Cold Star which is available to members of my mailing list.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

The skies are dark down here in Kent. I bought a telescope soon after we moved here from London and watching the skies with it inspired the idea behind my first novel, Cold Star.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

With Cold Star, there are a few themes and ideas expressed within the story. Firstly, there is the idea of things not always being what they seem and there is no better time in history than during the cold war for this idea to be presented. The obsfercation which was endemic within the soviet’s state-controlled media at that time in Russia is unparalleled. And beyond this, I feel the story explores failure – a subject that is not so often examined in literature. Cold Star is the first book in the Agent series, charting the race to the moon in the sixties and so there is also a sense of that pioneering decade of space exploration expressed in parallel with both the plot and the theme of each book in the planned series.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I just love espionage stories and most especially, Fleming’s James Bond. With Fleming, I think it’s the escapism that Bond represents which I love, not just in place but also in time. Reading Fleming is a nostalgic experience, a link to childhood and to simpler times. And I love the plot-driven nature of the spy story genre, the intrigue that’s always present. I believe Fleming to be hugely underrated and, once you get past the anachronisms of the period in which he wrote his Bond books, you find a highly accomplished writer able to draw perfect pictures with beautifully descriptive passages throughout his stories.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Valentina Primakova. ‘Will you have dinner with me?’ Do I need to say why?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

It’s early days for me as an author but I will say that I’ve enjoyed posting on Facebook. I never thought I would ever say that!

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write the book you want to write, the way you want to write it, and enjoy your writing. Concentrate on getting your story down, all the rest of the process of becoming an author and publishing your book can be dealt with later, just don’t think about it for now. Don’t start re-writing until you get your content down, you’ll never get to the end if you do.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m nearing completion of my follow up to Cold Star, provisionally called Silverbird. It features the Agent again but alongside him this time there’s also a strong female lead. Silverbird is set a little later on in the sixties in Europe, Russia and California.It will be the second book in the Agent series. And besides this, I shall be continuing to promote Cold Star.

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About the Author

As well as being a writer, I’m also a furniture maker. I moved from London to rural Kent seven years ago to start a family. The skies are dark down here. I bought a telescope soon after we moved and it was this – and a love of espionage fiction, Fleming in particular – which led me to start writing my first novel, Cold Star.

Cold Star is the first book featuring the Agent in a planned series charting the race to the moon in the sixties. A sense of that pioneering decade of space exploration is expressed in parallel with the plot and theme of each book – I’m nearing completion of the second book, set later on in the decade in Europe, Russia & California. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it for you. 

Website: https://www.dickwoodgate.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dickwoodgate

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dickwoodgate/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WoodgateDick

Amazon Author Profile page: https://www.amazon.com/Dick-Woodgate/e/B095C7G189?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

View Cold Star on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B094YJX65Q

Cold Star: The Cold War Just Got Hotter by Dick Woodgate Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An anonymous secret agent in 1960’s Casablanca must deal with danger, a deadly conspiracy, and heated romance in author Dick Woodgate’s espionage thriller, “Cold Star”. 

The Synopsis

An audacious plan, a dangerous attraction, a deadly agent …a fatal flaw.

The Agent is an anonymous British intelligence agent working for a department so secret the government won’t admit to its existence. In 1960s Casablanca, a devastating fire at the port leads the Agent to Morocco where he uncovers an audacious plot of epic proportions. The Agent must unravel the conspiracy and put a stop to it. The Russian embassy is implicated – and the Agent’s just fallen for one of its diplomats, a beautiful young woman who may hold the key to unearthing the secret in the Sahara… but only if he can overcome his desire for her. And all the while a fatal flaw in the Agent’s assignment goes unnoticed until its explosive revelation in the closing chapters.

The Agent takes you on a thrilling and immersive ride through the heady exoticism of early sixties Casablanca in a compelling cold war era thriller, weaving in science and buckling the classic espionage premise with a twisted finale. Readers of Fleming and le Carré will particularly enjoy this intriguing story, full of narrow escapes and wonderful characters. Brimming with style, detail and atmosphere, Cold Star confidently evokes the period with great historical authenticity. The cold war just got hotter.

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The Review

This was an incredible espionage read. The atmosphere and tone the author employed here very much captured the era of the narrative’s setting. The iconic spy thriller style novel presented both political and action thriller vibes, and the imagery the author used in the writing, from the powerful sports cars the Agent utilized in his adventures to the trickery and air of tension that the protagonist had with other key figures in the novel, really did an amazing job of crafting this fictional world in the reader’s minds.

The characters themselves really brought the novel’s heart into play here. The protagonist himself being this anonymous secret spy known only as The Agent was an inspired choice, as he represented the classic literary characters (and film) such as James Bond that readers have come to know and love over the years while allowing enough room for imagination in the reader’s minds to take over and craft a wholly original and unique experience. The ruthless and almost cold nature of the character’s actions gave such an interesting psychological aspect to his development as well, as he worked to do the “heroic” thing while still struggling to find the meaning and humanity behind his actions. 

The Verdict

A masterfully executed, creative, and engaging spy thriller, author Dick Woodgate’s “Cold Star” is a must-read novel of 2021. The author’s balance of imagery and character growth will have readers harkening back to an iconic time in espionage thriller novels, while the plot and tone will keep readers on the edge of their seat as the shocking finale explodes onto the page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

As well as being a writer, I’m also a furniture maker. I moved from London to rural Kent seven years ago to start a family. The skies are dark down here. I bought a telescope soon after we moved and it was this – and a love of espionage fiction, Fleming in particular – which led me to start writing my first novel, Cold Star.

Cold Star is the first book featuring the Agent in a planned series charting the race to the moon in the sixties. A sense of that pioneering decade of space exploration is expressed in parallel with the plot and theme of each book – I’m nearing completion of the second book, set later on in the decade in Europe, Russia & California. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it for you. 

https://www.dickwoodgate.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dickwoodgate

Net Force: Dark Web by Jerome Preisler Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A series of terrorist attacks emerge just as a brand new Cyber-Security Task Force emerges, and must prove themselves by stopping this powerful new threat in author Jerome Preisler’s action-thriller, “Net Force: Dark Web”. 

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The Synopsis 

The return of the cutting-edge thriller series Net Force, created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik and written by Jerome Preisler.

The number one threat to our nation’s security is in cyberspace. The new US president wants to tackle the urgent problem head-on and launches a top secret line of defense: Net Force. But before the organization can be announced, the country is hit by an unprecedented, two-pronged terror attack.

Not yet empowered by Congress nor embraced by a dubious intelligence community, still untested, unproven and officially unnamed, Net Force’s elite group of cyber experts and field operatives must lead the fight against the ongoing waves of hacks while tracking down the mastermind. Their failure could mean global catastrophe. Success may lead them to become the highest-level security agency in the United States.

A story that seems ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, Net Force: Dark Web relaunches one of the most prescient thriller series at a time when cybersecurity is more vital than ever.


The Review

An exciting relaunch of a series co-created by icons Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik, Net Force: Dark Web is an exciting thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seat throughout the entirety of the novel. Full of action from the book’s first pages, the story is equal parts narrative and character development, giving readers plenty to engage with throughout the novel. 

Employing the same beloved military action, espionage and thriller aspects of any good Tom Clancy novel and incorporating modern day technological warfare and diving into how intimately technology has become a part of our everyday lives, the author does a brilliant job of analyzing our dependence on technology and the next era of terrorism and security around the world. As technology and our society evolves, so to will those seeking to use the good aspects of technology for their own nefarious purposes. 


The Verdict

A well-written, lengthy yet action-packed and engaging read. Author Jerome Preisler has done a marvelous job of creating a cast of characters that feel real and personal enough for readers to feel connected to, like one protagonist named Kali, who’s story evolves greatly from the first page of this novel all the way to it’s end. With the United States facing a dangerous new threat, with government officials in the crosshairs and cyberthreats everywhere, it’s up to a new elite task force to stop the threat before its too late. Find out for yourself why this is the next chapter of an exciting new action-thriller series by preordering your copy of Jerome Preisler’s novel “Net Force: Dark Web” today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jerome Preisler is the prolific author of almost forty books of fiction and narrative nonfiction, including all eight novels in the New York Times bestselling TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS series.

His latest book is NET FORCE:DARK WEB (November 2019), the first novel in a relaunch of the New York Times bestselling series co-created by Tom Clancy. Forthcoming in May 2020 is the enovella NET FORCE: EYE OF THE DRONE.

Among Jerome’s recent works of narrative history are CODE NAME CAESAR: The Secret Hunt for U-boat 864 During World War Two, and FIRST TO JUMP: How the Band of Brothers Was Aided by the Brave Paratroopers of Pathfinders Company. His next book of nonfiction, CIVIL WAR COMMANDO: William Cushing’s Daring Raid to Sink the Invincible Ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle,will be published by Regnery Books in October 2020.

Jerome lives in New York City and coastal Maine.


https://www.jeromepreisler.com/

https://amzn.to/2KB2EKG

The Fourth Courier By Timothy Jay Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A hunt for a killer leads to a high octane thriller filled with drugs, power hungry military leaders and a missing atomic weapon that threatens the security of the free world in author Timothy Jay Smith’s The Fourth Courier. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

A Fast Paced Espionage Thriller for Alan Furst Fans Set In Post-Cold War Poland. 

It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it’s feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.

The Review

A powerful espionage thriller, this novel pushes the envelope and brings a balanced mix of action, suspense and fantastic character development that will instantly make readers fall in love with this story. This novel perfectly explored the post-communism era of Poland as families struggle to make a daily living, shops and restaurants fail to gain the daily resources many take for granted, and drugs begin to filter into the city at a much faster rate. 

The duality of the characters reflects the dual nature of the narrative perfectly. An FBI agent who works to balance his case with a possible romance; a power hungry military leader who hides a truth about himself; a cop who finds themselves crossing the line one too many times. All of these characters bring with them heavy pasts and showcase that everyone has secrets, and everyone is fighting to find the balance between those secrets and daily life. Blended with the larger than life drama and action of this murder mystery and missing nuclear device, and the novel plays out like a must read spring thriller that cannot be missed. 

The Verdict

A must read 2019 novel! Perfectly capturing the espionage thriller genre, author Timothy Jay Smith has brought a rarely seen era in post-communism history to life in a perfect way. The writing is so crystal clear and descriptive that the reader instantly pictures the events like a movie in their own mind, and as the twists and turns in the plot continue to play out in this evenly paced novel, the characters find themselves in the race of their lives as all of their lives begin to converge upon one another. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “The Fourth Courier” today! 

Rating: 10/10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that saw him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a “devil’s barge” for a three-days crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail. 

These experiences explain the unique breadth and sensibility of Tim’s work, for which he’s won top honors. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. He won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012. Tim was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. His screenplays have won numerous competitions. His first stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater. 

Timothy Jay Smith Social Media Accounts 

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About Arcade Publishing Arcade has been an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing since 2010. We continue doing incredible work discovering, publishing, and promoting new and brilliant voices in literature from around the world. Arcade has published literary giants such as Samuel Beckett, E. M. Cioran, and Leo Tolstoy, alongside new voices such as Ismail Kadar and Andrei Makine. In 2012, Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, an exciting achievement for Arcade which had published five of his novels. 

THE FOURTH COURIER by Timothy Jay Smith Arcade * April 3, 2019 * 320 pages * $24.99 ISBN: 978-1948924108 * Hardcover Please visit http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/arcade-publishing 

Exodus ’95 by Kfir Luzzatto | REVIEW

Biblical stories blend with international espionage and high-stakes spy thrillers in author Kfir Luzzatto’s Exodus ’95. Here is the synopsis:

Claire, a young graphic designer, learns a secret that her dying New York neighbor has kept for twenty years: the whereabouts of Moses’ Biblical staff.

Claire needs the help of an Israeli engineer and the money of a Russian oligarch to recover the staff before her body betrays her. But first she needs to stay alive in a race with fanatics, who will do anything to keep the staff from coming to light.

Then the LORD said to Moses: Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

While I’m not the kind of reader or reviewer who gravitates towards religious based books, this book actually does a great job of making the story of Moses and his staff more of a driving force for the main plot of the book. The story is rather focused on the story of Claire and her harrowing journey across the world. Thrust into a high stakes game between two powerful and deadly enemies, Claire seeks the help of an Israeli engineer with a special skill set to help her along the way, and there is a surprising twist halfway through the story that will leave readers floored.

The novel was well written, with little to no grammatical errors that I could spot. The story has a great narrative that takes the readers across the world and into the past. Be ready to explore the way the world ran back in the 90’s, and see the political landscape between nations and those who run the countries amongst the shadows. It’s a wonderfully high-octane adventure where no one is loyal and everyone is in danger. With no one to trust, Claire and her confidant must traverse foreign lands and seek allies in order to survive a truly deadly adventure.

Overall this is a wonderful read. The author as a great command over the thriller genre and has created some fantastic characters that make you really feel. The line between hero and villain can easily blur in this story, and soon you will be questioning whether the person closest to you is really on your side. An edge of your seat espionage thriller, this is a fun and adventurous read that everyone should sink their teeth into, so be sure to pick up your copies of Exodus ’95 today!

Score: 9/10

Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WWG6LYL/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06WWG6LYL&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2