Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Extraordinary Powers” as Want to Read:
Extraordinary Powers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Extraordinary Powers

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  711 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
For Ben Ellison, his job with a prestigious law firm is a safe haven from the espionage world that almost killed him. But when the director of the CIA is killed, Ben's old employers want him back...

Not only must Ben track down the killers, but also a multi-million dollar fortune in gold, spirited out of Russia in the last days of the Soviet Union.
Published (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Extraordinary Powers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Extraordinary Powers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,338)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
L.A. Starks
Feb 19, 2014 L.A. Starks rated it it was amazing
This book was published in 1993; both technology and world events have changed mightily since then. However, Finder pours it on in an action-filled plot with plenty of insight into both the world of spies and the world of the heart.

Ironically, in a time of concern over NSA and Google Glass privacy, the motivating theme of this 20-year-old book--what if you could read the thoughts of others?--is hands-down relevant in ways the author might not have expected.

Without giving any spoilers, Finder has
Jane Stewart
Aug 04, 2014 Jane Stewart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I couldn’t take it. Plodding. Boring. I read half and stopped.

It’s hard to explain what was wrong. Part of the problem was too much internal pondering. Ben is thinking what’s going on? Is it this? Is it that? I did enjoy a few scenes where Ben used his mind-reading power. But the rest was too dull to keep me interested.

The author wrote some excellent books later like “Paranoia.” This was his third novel.

The audiobook narrator Christopher Burns was ok, but I didn’t have a good feeling about him.
Nick Brett
Apr 10, 2012 Nick Brett rated it liked it
Interesting one this, a spy thriller with a difference but also slightly dated.

Ex- CIA spook is trying his hand at being a lawyer when his father in law (head of the CIA) is murdered and he is dragged back into the CIA to root out the truth. By way of a complication he is given a treatment that allows him to read people’s minds…
The theme here is the fall of Russia at the end of the cold war and the growth of Germany as a key power in Europe. A group within the CIA have been manipulating the stoc
Mal Warwick
Jun 05, 2015 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it
Ben Ellison is a Boston patent lawyer who is a former CIA agent who had lost his first wife to an explosion engineered by the KGB. He possesses an eidetic memory and, after an unusually powerful MRI, the ability to read minds — and, yes, through his second wife, he is now the son-in-law of the former director of the CIA . . . who is “accidentally” murdered, triggering Ellison’s return to the espionage game. If you’re a fan of espionage thrillers and you can get past this collection of highly unl ...more
Scott Parsons
Apr 12, 2014 Scott Parsons rated it liked it
A slighted dated spy novel from the the early 1990s. Ben Ellison quit the CIA when his first wife was killed by the CIA.Years later his second wife Molly is the daughter of the Director of the CIA who has just been assassinated. Ben is approached by a high ranking CIA operative who wants Ben to investigate what happened to his father-in-law Sinclair. Ben, a patent lawyer, is reluctant to get involved. Molly is scared about him rejoining the CIA but after some discussion they agree he will take o ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Will rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Political thriller junkies

I've read a few of Joseph Finder's novels before, but like a lot of authors, the early stuff seems to be the best. It's certainly true of Stuart Woods and even Nelson DeMille's early books were over the top. I will say that the storyline of Extraordinary Powers is incredible and will keep your interest tuned throughout the read. As with a few others, I find Finder's willingness to incorporate sex into his story very refreshing, as it gives the book a feel of real
Larry Page
One of Finder's early books. It may be not as polished as his later works, as others have said, but for me it was a throughly enjoyable read. It deals with a breakdown in the undercover agents of the US and Russia following the collapse the Soviet Union. Although the premise is quite implausible, it still grabs your attention and makes it difficult to put down. Nice unexpected twist at the end.
Quentin Feduchin
Dec 22, 2014 Quentin Feduchin rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, espionage
Here is another book on the lines of The Moscow Club, which was so exceedingly good. Mr Finder has a problem reaching his earlier standard although he takes a good stab at it.
A story about the CIA, a secret club tha was inferred in the Moscow Club: the so called 'Wise' men, I thought they had been dealt with..
Out hero attains some useful psychological abilities that make his job of discovering things, and avoiding being knocked off; not at all a bad idea.
Finder seeming pretty knowledgeable about
Nancy Silk
"Very Disappointing Story"

In the past, I've enjoyed many of Joseph Finder's exciting and compelling stories. This novel, however, is a very complex, hard to read novel which aggravated me the more I got into the novel. I found it boring, with too many unnecessary descriptions which slow a reader down. Reading this book is like trying to get out of quick sand. I'm so disappointed especially after reading "Plan B" which halted before we even knew what Plan B was! Maybe the next novel by Joe Finder
John Grazide
Feb 07, 2015 John Grazide rated it it was amazing
Wow! You would think that a "spy" novel written on the eve of all sorts of technological break-throughs would not feel right or be dated. Well in this case you would be wrong. Sure there was a lack of mobile phones, and maybe the sheer surprise of a facsimile machine may stand out, but not to a point of distraction. Ben goes back to the world of espionage to find the truth about his father in laws death. And the story goes from there. Action sequences that really keep you turning pages and plot ...more
Jan 18, 2014 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Great story and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats as they try to identify whose side the characters are on and deciphering the good guys from the bad guys. Ben's father-in-law is killed in a traffic accident. However Harrison was the director of the CIA so was it really an accident? Ben's life is suddenly turned upside down by seemingly bizarre events that lead Ben to think about taking a job that will open up the doors to his old life. Once Ben is on the trail of finding out what real ...more
Thriller - Ben Ellison is a lawyer and ex-CIA agent, married to the daughter of the recently assassinated Director of the CIA. The prospective new Director recruits him to trace the link between his father-in-law and the former head of the KGB. A novel MRI treatment has given Ellison telepathic powers and bodies pile up as he "follows the gold".
Oct 11, 2014 Wayne rated it it was amazing
"Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is..." The beginning of Extraordinary Powers reminds me of a Mission Impossible episode on television. It is a powerful story, full of unexpected twists, characters who seem what they are not, and numerous exciting and dangerous situations. In other words, a fine Joseph Finder novel.
dennis barron
Feb 28, 2015 dennis barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary powers

Want to read a good book with overwhelming mystery, intrigue...psychic research....which is believable? This is it!! Do you like a great covert steeped cia conspiracy? This book is extraordinary... a must read!! Do you like silva, ludlum, baldacci? You will love this book!!
David Rubin
Jun 14, 2015 David Rubin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best of this genre I have read over the past year. The characters are well-rounded and the heroes are likable. The pace of the action is enough to keep tension throughout the book. The book features a bit of science fiction, but this element adds to to story line.
Brett Sorge
Feb 26, 2015 Brett Sorge rated it did not like it
This started off well, but as it progressed it went steadily downhill. The a final ending was no ending - just a stoppage. The whole book made no sense. I have read most of Finders books and like them, but this had to be the worst. Don't waste you time with it.
Jun 23, 2015 henrys-axe rated it really liked it
An early Joseph Finder novel not quite as captivating as the Heller series but certainly an enjoyable spy thriller. A time warp is involved as Extraordinary Powers was written before present day gadgetry and technology enhanced espionage agents.
Jan 04, 2015 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
Good spy CIA story.
Advanced MRI gives a lawyer the power to hear the thoughts of other people.
He goes back to CIA to find out who "wise men" are.
These guys will control the world.
His wife's father is ex head of CIA.
Feb 05, 2016 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-hc-1st
I became a fan of Joseph Finder from his later books and have recently gone back to read earlier works. This book is a very well interweaving tale involving the CIA. It was a gripping read from start to finish.
Jan 11, 2016 Dana rated it it was ok
Story started out well and was very intriguing. But as it unfolded the further involvement of the main characters wife, became ridiculous and eliminated any credibility of the plot. If I was not a Joseph Finder fan I would've rated it even lower.
Beverly Pratt
May 29, 2015 Beverly Pratt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

This book kept you in suspense the whole way through. Wonderful idea for a good story.
A must read for the Spy Thriller reader
Apr 01, 2015 Megan rated it it was ok
Plot and characters were decent. Everything could have been fleshed out more. It needed more urgency.
Jul 09, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
I don't really want extraordinary powers stuck in spy novels. Rather ordinary story.
May 27, 2010 Mary rated it liked it
Recommended to Mary by: Tim
This book contained a significant amount of information that I skimmed through, but I can see how others might have found it interesting and useful to the story. I liked the twist of having the CIA agent who can read minds (at least to some extent) and was pleasantly surprised to have an ending I hadn't expected. Although with all the twists and turns I did give up trying to guess the ending. I can see it being a good movie featuring the Bourne hero Matt Damon. I would only recommend this to die ...more
Sep 03, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it
A well written, engaging, keeps you reading book. I really liked it. I could not put it down.
Aug 09, 2015 Mimi rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Liked the plot and its fast pace.
Paul Parkinson
Excellent. I normally don't like spy novels, but this one kept me in it from the start.
Aug 04, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
Quick reading spy thriller. Worth it.
Jun 13, 2013 Marti rated it really liked it
This book concerns a man, Ben Ellison, who has worked in espionage and gets sucked back into it. His first wife was killed when newly pregnant, and his second wife is a pediatrician, whose father was CIA director but killed in an auto accident. A lot other people get killed, and men who seem to be friends of Ben turn out not to be. The story takes Ben and Molly to Rome, Zurich, Germany, and Paris following clues left behind by Harrison Sinclair, Molly's father. There are twists and turns in the ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
This is a thriller about Ben Ellison, a former CIA agent who left after his wife and a friend were shot in Paris. He always blamed himself. Now he is a lawyer in Boston, and his second wife is the daughter of the recently deceased head of the CIA. There's corruption in the Agency, and an MRI has given Ben the ability to hear the thoughts of people who are near him. It's somewhat complicated, and parts are pretty implausible, but it's quite readable anyway, for 400+ pages. I'd like to read more b ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 44 45 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Afraid Of The Dark (Jack Swyteck, #9)
  • The Protégé (Christian Gillette, #2)
  • Two For Tanner (Evan Tanner, #4)
  • The Freedom Trap
  • Crying Wolf
  • The Uncanny
  • Vicious Circle
  • Capitol Offense (Ben Kencaid, #17)
  • George Soros On Globalization
  • Deadly Assets (Badge of Honor, #12)
  • Data Runner (Data Runner #1)
  • Hostage
  • Undercurrents
  • Pylon: The Corrected Text
Joseph Finder’s plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer, and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for BURIED SECRETS (2011), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for KILLER INSTINCT (2006) and winner of the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for COMPANY MAN (2005).

Born in C
More about Joseph Finder...

Share This Book