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Anonymous Sources

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,186 Ratings  ·  256 Reviews
A fast-paced international thriller in the vein of Janet Evanovich by former NPR anchor and correspondent Mary Louise Kelly, about a Pakistani terrorist's nuclear threat to blow up the White House.

When Boston reporter Alexandra James is assigned to cover the death of Thom Carlyle, the son of a powerful Washington insider, she soon discovers the story is not as simple as it
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 10, 2013 Marilyn rated it it was ok
I wanted to love the book, but I didn’t. Considering the experience of the author, I expected more. And better.

The main character, Alexandra James, is a newspaper reporter. As is the author. I’m married to a reporter, so I’m familiar with the realities of the news business. Ms. Kelly is at home in that world and does a good job painting the landscape. It’s the best part of her novel.

Mary Louise Kelly, a veteran reporter who is the prototype for her fictional protagonist, brings a very impressive
May 08, 2013 Hilary rated it it was amazing
Ever read the first paragraph of a book and just *know* it's going to be good? So good that you save it for a special occasion so that you can enjoy every delicious word of it? That was me, and this was that book. A cross-country day of travel by myself was the occasion, and Anonymous Sources did not disappoint. I was immediately pulled into the story of a solid and identifiable young reporter, Alexandra James, who stumbles onto a world of murder, terrorism, and treason that is far beyond her us ...more
Ted Lehmann
May 23, 2013 Ted Lehmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery thriller readers
I'm old enough to remember Mike Hammer ruthlessly gunning down bad guys and killing evil women with equal glee. Then came the somewhat more sensitive male detectives who work at conquering their problems while solving crimes. Slowly, as times have changed, the images of crime fiction heroes have changed, too. Now, we see the emergence of a new kind of woman detective. No longer are we entertained by tea and crumpets servubg little old ladies solving crimes, but contemporary career women who use ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Virginia rated it it was amazing
I plowed through this thriller in a few days. It had a lot that I love: a strong but imperfect female protagonist, a higher ed reporter covering who stumbles up to her neck into a national security story; elements of international intrigue and terrorism; a strong sense of place, transporting the reader to Washington (including the Hotel Washington) and Cambridge, MA and "the other" Cambridge; and a son of a Duke to appeal to the romantic in me.
May 29, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Anonymous Sources is one of the most thrilling and entertaining novels I've read this year. I could hardly put it down because of how well Mary Louise Kelly interweaves the points of view of the various characters throughout the book. She gives each of her characters an interesting, yet very believable past, allowing for added depth to her plot. This novel should end up being a New York Times bestseller; if it's not, it's a true travesty. I truly loved this book!

Alexandra James, a fiery red-head
May 01, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it
I read this ARC courtesy of Simon and Schuster.

Oh, my goodness!! I just finished Anonymous Sources. The cover says it's "a thriller" and it certainly is -- in every sense of the word. Written by Mary Louise Kelly, NPR journalist, it is factual, crisp, and right-on. Short chapters jump from location to location, from character to character. The deeper into this book I got, the more skeptical I became, until I trusted no one.

I really felt the fear, the anxiety, the awe, the "I'm in over my head" o
Jun 17, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
So, what happens when a reporter turns writer? You get a brilliantly written novel that is so raw and riveting that this reader read the novel in less than 24 hours. I used to love mysteries and thrillers. And yet, it has been years since I have found a really good one that kept me on the edge of my seat, voraciously turning pages, or flipping the next page button on my Kindle in this case.

Ms. Kelly has written a brilliantly thought out novel. I see that her time spent with the NPR has given he
Harry Hallman
Jun 17, 2013 Harry Hallman rated it it was amazing
I love stories with strong women heroines and Alexandra James fits that bill in spades. The story is full of twists and turns and, to be honest, it is so real it leaves you a bit frightened that this could, in fact, happen.

It is evident that Mary Louise Kelly has firsthand knowledge of the political process and is also an excellent researcher. The character development of the Ms. James is perfect. We see a strong women with flaws (as we all have) coping with the most surreal yet plausible situat
Nov 20, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-adored
I so enjoyed this book. It may be because I don't usually read thrillers, so the pace of the book was not necessarily what I'm used to, I'm not sure. But I loved the different settings - from Cambridge USA to Cambridge UK - and the characters were fun. I didn't totally buy in to the relationship she had with the uppercrust British guy, but was willing to go along for the ride.

A fun book - very fast read. I look forward to her next novel.
Bryon Decker
May 02, 2013 Bryon Decker rated it it was amazing
Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly, definitely a thriller. Reporter Alexandra James had no idea what was in store for her when she started to do some investigative reporting of the death of Thom Carlyle. Miss Kelly puts you in the middle of this thriller, as you follow Alexandra James through many twists and turns. Five stars and a new found favorite author for me!
Oct 08, 2013 Faith rated it really liked it
So much fun! Even the acknowledgements section is fun! CAN NOT WAIT FOR ANOTHER ONE!!!
Sophie Godley
Feb 28, 2014 Sophie Godley rated it it was amazing
Loved this. A fun, fast read.
Feb 22, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
I was a little confused when I tried to add this book to my Goodreads list. My book is a digital ARC entitled Anonymous Sources that I received through Edelweiss and Gallery publications. The name of the book must have been changed because it is listed as Unnamed Sources on Goodreads and a few other book club sites. So, if you go looking for this one be aware of the name change.

Alex is a reporter. Her usual beat is Education. But, when Thom Carlyle flies out of a fifth story window on the famed
David Damiano
Mar 02, 2014 David Damiano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Anonymous Sources was a fast-paced and highly entertaining book. I myself rarely read mysteries because I am generally to confused about what is actually happening to pay attention to the book itself. However, this book was both very fun to read and also was easy to comprehend. The main character of Anonymous Sources is a 28 year-old female reporter named Alexandra James. Alexandra (or Alex) has a troubled past involving a daughter who died in childbirth and she is determined to escape her exper ...more
Patrice Hoffman
Alexandra James usually finds herself chasing after the story, after stumbling upon leads having to do with the death of Thom Carlyle, she is the one being chased after. Alexandra relunctantly answers the call to check out a scene where a young man has fallen off of a roof on the prestigious Harvard University campus. Alexandra finds the identity of the deceased in none other than the President's lawyer's son. As more information is being unveiled, there is a lot to suggest that Thom Carlyle's d ...more
May 30, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it
What starts out as an opportune headline story becomes a life and death race against both a deadline and an unknown assassin as reporter Alex James finds herself an active participant of a high-profile story with spy-worthy ramifications! Mary Louise Kelly has penned an intriguing spy/murder/mystery told through the eyes of a young reporter as she travels the globe in search of “…the rest of the story.”

Anonymous Sources is rich with detail, a myriad of characters, many with more than a passing
Mar 05, 2014 Annie rated it it was amazing
a most excellent 5 star read, review to come...:)

Loved this book! I was up until 2 am swiping the last pages on my Kindle just as fast as I could read them.
28 year old Alexandra James or "Ginger" to her friends is a red headed, long legged lover of shoes, gin and the next big story. Alex is a reporter for the New England Chronicle. She loves her job, even though sometimes it can get a little boring right up until the night she starts investigating the apparent suicide of the White House Lawyers
Paul Pessolano
Jun 14, 2015 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it

“Anonymous Sources” by Mary Louise
Kelly, published by Gallery Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – June 18, 2013

Thom Carlyle, the son of a high ranking government official, comes back from England and “falls” off the roof of his old haunt, the Harvard Bell Tower.

Alexandra James, a reporter, is on the scene and uses her wiliness in gaining information not available to other reporters. As Alex delves deeper into the murder/suicide she finds herself traveling to England to interview
Nov 07, 2013 Almira rated it it was amazing
First time author Mary Louise Kelly, former correspondent for BBC, CNN, guest host on NPR programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, has written a whopper of a tale.
I heard her one morning being interviewed about this book, naturally on NPR, and immediately placed a hold on it at the library.

Generally, I read books slowly, since I work at the library and am surrounded by words all day long.
My husband noted how "engrossed" I was with this book and that I was reading at times I don't norm
Jan 13, 2016 Abi rated it really liked it
An excellent thriller with a likable protagonist. I could have done with a a tad bit less alcoholism=hard boiled journalist with a a dark past shtick, but whatever. Also, the whole Sex in the City Cool Girl who likes to drink and have sex with men she's just met--but wants a serious committed boyfriend--and is preoccupied with impractical and prohibitively expensive shoes. This is the girl template of James Bond. With depression she treats with alcohol instead of Brittishness that just comes wit ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it
99% of the time, I order books to pick up at my library and stick to lists I've made of books recommended by reviewers and friends. On a rare day when I had no books ready, I picked up ANONYMOUS SOURCES in the "Must read in 7 days" section. That same day, I was done and turned the book over to my husband to read ASAP.

I'm not usually a big fan of thrillers, but this is a smart, well-plotted book that blends journalism, elite college life, terrorism,the CIA, FBI, national and international politic
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Sep 14, 2013 Bebe (Sarah) Brechner rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable thriller with an intriguing main character who is a young, well-connected, newspaper reporter, Alexandra James. The plot carries us from Boston to England and, ultimately, to the White House, with well-paced action, brief insights into James' character, and 'fast and furious' writing. It's really hard to put this one down.

It's exceptional but very welcome to have a believable protagonist who is female with just enough of a balance of toughness and frailty to make it work.
The medi

Aug 02, 2013 LibraryReads rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sample-list
Kelly’s time spent studying at Harvard and Cambridge and reporting for NPR and the BBC gives her debut novel a tangible sense of place and authenticity as she introduces feisty newspaper reporter Alexandra James. When Thomas Carlyle falls to his death from a building on Harvard’s campus, Alex is assigned the story. What initially seems like a drunken accident soon becomes a mystery as more details emerge. Alex pursues the story, chasing clues of a terrorist plot across the globe and finding an a ...more
Jul 10, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B-list young female reporter outsmarts terrorists, CIA, FBI, M16 and Homeland security - completely believable, right? Okay, sarcasm aside this is a page turner and if you don't immediately picture Jessica Chastain in the role of Alex James, then you don't know Hollywood. This is a fun read, not terribly believable, but nevertheless fun. Def check it out from the library - it's like renting a bike with no brakes, and I mean that in a good way... She drinks gin, how bad of a heroine can she be? A ...more
Denise Morse
Nov 05, 2013 Denise Morse rated it really liked it
Could not put this book down! This the definition of a page-turner, action-packed from the first chapter all the way through the last. The author does a fantastic job of letting the tension and mystery build at a perfect pace, the story was well-timed and the characters were enjoyable. My only criticism was that some of the characters were not explored and flushed out as much as I would have liked, especially the poor lieutenant who I thought would reappear and be more integral to the story. I l ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing
When Alexandra James stumbles onto a story at Harvard one night, she has no idea she is about to uncover a plot to explode a nuclear bomb in the US. She starts digging into the death of a student and suddenly there are people trying to kill her and disrupt the lives of everyone around her. With every government agency involved and not knowing who to trust, she and her fellow reporter become the story of the century. This is well written and totally believable. I only hope the Mary Louise Kelly c ...more
Katie Lantukh
Jun 18, 2013 Katie Lantukh rated it really liked it
This is a great summer read: moves quickly, lots of interesting twists and is really well written. I really liked the characters despite the fact I was constantly reminded how sexy the main character was with her great legs and red hair. lol.

In any case- I would have only liked a little more explanation why the bad guy was... well, the bad guy. But, I guess with thrillers, you can't expect a whole lot of justification.

But... I liked it and would recommend it.
Jun 15, 2014 Phyllis rated it really liked it
This book starts slowly and then the bodies start to accumulate. I love spy novels and I like this book. I could picture every scene in my head as I read along. It was believable and kept going. I liked the female protagonist - part spy, part journalist - and the best part is the reader never knows what is going to happen to her next. The personal subplots she struggles with while chasing the news story definitely enhance her character. A great read. I hope to see another book by this author.
Jul 11, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing
Whirlwind adventure of espionage mystery. Who better to write such a story than a former Intelligence beat reporter for CNN, BBC, & NPR?! Characters are well drawn and memorable. Scenes are clear and vivid. Not sure who are good guys and bad guys until the very end, and even then it hard to shake the feeling............... Many twist and turns but never slows down. Quick, fun read. Listen to her interview in NPR's Diane Rehm Show (July 9).
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Cambridge in Amer...: Mary Louise Kelly 1 20 Jun 18, 2013 07:40AM  
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Mary Louise Kelly spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC. Her assignments have taken her from grimy Belfast bars to the glittering ports of the Persian Gulf, and from mosques in Hamburg to the ruined deserts of Iraq. As an NPR correspondent covering the spy beat and the Pentagon, she reported on wars, terrorism, and rising nuclear powers. A Georgia native, her firs ...more
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