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Good News, Bad News

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  302 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
George and Charlie are on their last posting for the Agency before retiring from the spy game. But, in the blink of an eye, these two friends become lethal enemies-until it occurs to them that some orders just aren't meant to be followed.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 23rd 2005 by Hodder Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 547)
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May 09, 2012 Hope rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bought this book at a booksale for less than a dollar. Good news is, it was a good bargain for a hardbound book, bad news is, it wasn't a very nice read.

The plot was promising, two agents on the verge of retiring find that they are each one's last target. But, it doesn't matter who gets killed first, since someone in the agency is keen on eliminating them both anyway.

I was ready to drop it after the first two chapters, but I felt I had to give it a chance. After all, some books start off badly,
Apr 25, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bottoms, 2004-reads

Did you ever engage in the word play of good news/bad news? "There's good news and bad news. The good news is blah blah blah." At which you rejoice. "The bad news is yuck yuck yuck." At which you cry. That's essentially the theme of this book, with every good thing that happens counterbalanced by a horribly bad thing.

Charlie Millar is 27 years old and is employed by the British Security Service as a spy. On his current assignment, he is working in a subway photo booth. Operatives turn
Barbara ★
Here's the plot in a nutshell...Charlie Millar and George Shaw worked together for one month barely saying a word to each other. At the end of that time, Charlie is suspicious of George's behavior and follows him. Of course, he sees him doing suspicious spy-type things and getting caught in the act, Charlie confronts George. Where they both reveal that they are spies working for the same side, hell, the same team. A few days later they each receive a missive to kill the other. Instead of killing ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Partiamo con un bel rimbrotto alle case editrici, perchè non c'è niente che mi faccia più arrabbiare delle traduzioni "a capocchia" dei titoli originali dei libri, questo era "Good News, Bad News", che non ho capito come possa essere diventato con la traduzione italiana "Gli specialisti"; il titolo aveva una valenza particolare con la trama del libro, che ovviamente è andata persa con questa brillante traduzione.

Invece la storia è superba, un classico dello spionaggio come non avevo modo di leg
Rachael Hewison
Aug 09, 2012 Rachael Hewison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I feel somewhat bad for this book. I read it at a particularly busy time at work so I didn’t give it the full attention it deserved. If I had I would have perhaps enjoyed it a lot more.
Whilst the novel is predominantly written from Charlie’s perspective on events there are still many points in the story at which events are narrated by someone else. This would have been good had it flowed together, however it didn’t and it felt as though the novel was a bit disjointed, jumping from person to pers
D.A. Cairns
Good News, Bad News is a story about a very complicated relationship between two spies, Charlie and George. Author, Wolstencroft paints a dark picture of the destructive nature of duplicity. It makes you wonder about those who lie because they have to, because it's their job to lie. It presents a credible challenge to the idea that honesty is the best policy. Sometimes people are faced with painful and difficult choices about what they reveal about themselves.

On the negative side, I found Charli
Aug 01, 2008 Susy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually I don’t like thrillers too much –maybe it’s a question of understanding them- but this one was very interesting and couldn’t be put down, even at meals. Good news: Charlie and George, two spies in the British network, get involved in a strange operation and are ordered to kill a target. Bad news: each must kill the other. I’m used to the twist at the end of a mystery: you think A is the murderer and then BANG! It appears that any other BUT he is the culprit. But in this novel the twists ...more
Faith Justice
A bout of insomnia meant this raid on the older TBR pile got finished a couple days early. I enjoyed this debut novel by the writer of the BBC series MI5 (Spooks in the UK). A twisty contemporary spy thriller shows this author's promise. Well-drawn characters, non-stop action, and deep insights into the world of spy-craft make this a most satisfying read.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS (Suspense-England-France/Canada-Cont) – G+
Wolstencroft, David – 1st book
Dutton, 2004- Hardcover
Charlie Miller and George Shaw are two men working in a photo-processing booth. They also happen to be two secret agents, although neither knows about the other. But when each receives orders to kill the other, they decide to go on the run together.
*** Wolstencroft, the writer of MI-5 shown on A&E, clearly has a well-developed sense of the absurd, creates more twists than a cor
Jul 01, 2014 Danics rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A really nice surprise!

I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The book is full of action and filled with unexpected twists and turns. If you like detective and adventures stories, I believe you'll enjoy this book.
Lisa Fontaine-rainen
Not so good that I would re-read it lots of times, but it was a fun and engaging read! Leaves you hanging for the next little bit that might happen, to see the connections happen...
Any Length
I understood this to be a thriller, yet upon reading this book I felt it would fit more into the category "funny thriller".
The theme of good news bad news permeates the book, which makes it more funny than thrilling.
Aug 14, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical spy thriller, but with some good twists and a fast-moving plotline. Well done and fun.
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it
On the fourth page of this book a quote from BBC News begins 'Eating chocolate may be a good way to keep the heart healthy'. Page five, same source, states that chocolate 'contributes to [..] coronary heart disease.'
Hence the title.
The first chapter is as good a piece of misdirection as I've read. The rest, as it says on the cover, is a rollercoaster of a story. What saves it from being a Boys Own car chase with guns was, for me, the intelligent skill of the writing and the characters.
I don't
Nov 02, 2014 Kaylol rated it really liked it
I loved Charlie's character, and the plot twists.
Jul 08, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Louise by: Laurence
This book was brilliant! It's fast paced, and keeps you guessing all the way through. It must be the best thriller I have read for ages as it turns the spy-game inside out. The Good News is, Charlie and George have a job. The Bad News is, neither of them wants to do it. Who will die? Who will be collateral damage? Where will they come to grief? Psychotic spy handlers, drug lords, corrupt airport baggage handlers and pregnant wives - this book has it all. Definitely a must-read for anyone who lik ...more
Judith Pembleton
Kind of fascinating and annoying at the same time.
Jul 31, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this apart from the last 50 pages. Not over enamoured with the ending. Felt like a light ' beach' read kind of book.
Hertzan Chimera
Buttle Tuttle,

anyone who's experienced the Terry Gilliam film "BRAZIL" will appreciate the narrative device of mistaken identity or accidental assignment or beurocratic redundancy.

Not everything's a Conspiracy, but some things aren't helped by simple human error.

Another meandering narrative, like his delight-to-read "Contact Zero", "GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS" is obviously a first novel, awkward at times, but just a proper good read throughout.
Dec 22, 2014 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
interesting quirky story
a bit patchy
May 17, 2014 Zac rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
very confusing, strange and not very satisfying
Nov 13, 2013 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
Funnily enough I finished this book just after I had watched the third and final episode of a legal thriller written by the same author, but whereas that was clever, well written and fast paced; this is boring, dull and tediously slow. I was lured into this book by the author's CV but to quote a hero "I Won't Get Fooled Again", nuff said!
Jason Bean
Sep 04, 2011 Jason Bean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, somewhat quirky spy-thriller about two agents who're given the order to kill each the same employer! As outrageous as the premise is Wolstencroft knows how to give depth to his two likable protagonists and while the pacing drags a bit towards the end (with some heavy exposition) he overall keeps excitement going.
Jan 08, 2012 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller, spy, mi5
Quite an enjoyable, easy to read spy thriller. It took a while to get going, but once it did it made you want to keep reading. The plot was a bit vague, the characters somewhat two dimensional but overall fairly good. If you like spy novels you'll like this one, if you've never tried spy novels this might be a good one to start with.
Feb 15, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, mystery
Dull, dull book. Two main characters- Charlie and George- spend most of the novel in scenes together. The fact that the C and G of their names looks so similar drove me nuts- I kept getting them confused and in the end found it incredibly difficult to read.
Aug 06, 2011 Karolina rated it really liked it
A sort of Mr and Mr Smith. Sort of. A good book, I must say. Two co-workers end up in a peculiar situation when they are asked to kill one another. Who wants them dead and why? Can they really trust each other? The plot thickens...
Mar 21, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, spy
A swift plot and colorful wordplay (the science nerd in me especially dug the use of the word anhydrous to describe someone's wit) keep things moving and the open ending is a nice subversion of the usual spy-novel formula.
Aug 17, 2013 Aleks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As my rating shows, it was an okay read, but I was disappointed as I expected a more developed/nuanced book both from the author and expectations built by the reviews. Entertaining but shallow
May 05, 2010 Ipswichblade rated it liked it
An ok sort of book, I am normally good at following plots but this seemed to be all over the place as though the writer was trying to get as many twists and turns in place.
JoAnn Ainsworth
Dec 30, 2013 JoAnn Ainsworth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A strange spy tale, well written and enjoyable.
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