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Liars & Thieves (Tommy Carmellini #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,818 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Tommy Carmellini - who dazzled thriller fans in Stephen Coonts's CUBA and LIBERTY - is the CIA's top man for jobs that require extreme stealth, breaking-and-entering skills, and split-second, sometimes lethal, decisions.

In LIARS & THIEVES, he's sent to post guard duty at a farmhouse in Virginia's remote Blue Ridge Mountains, where top government operatives are debriefi
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published May 11th 2004 by Brilliance Audio (first published May 7th 2004)
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Oct 26, 2013 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Liars and Thieves is Stephen Coonts as you've never seen him before-a story as chilling as it is unforgettable. Tommy Carmellini, a CIA operative who is unafraid to walk both sides of the law to attain his objective, uncovers a dark conspiracy that leads to the highest levels of the American government-and to a ruthless manipulator who will stop at nothing to keep a decades-old secret.

Liars and Thieves opens as Carmellini is sent to post guard duty at a farmhouse in West Virginia's remote Allegh
Mike French
Aug 21, 2013 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Coonts has written another page turner thriller. If you haven't read any of the Tommy Carmellini start with this one!
Barry Martin Vass
Long before he turned to writing, Stephen Coonts was a Navy pilot who flew combat missions during the Vietnam War. His stories are fast and visceral, particularly so when he's writing about aviation or the Modern Navy. And at times his humor is sarcastic and even outrageously funny (probably a requirement for someone whose job description includes being catapulted off an aircraft carrier on a daily basis). It's hard to forget any Coonts novel; I still remember his first book, Flight of the Intru ...more
Don Mitchell
I listened to the recording of this book as background to a long road trip, chores, and other mindless activity. As a distractor, this book suited its purpose well. It has a prototypical fast plot, some mild sex, and the standard hopeless situation. No deus ex machina. The character development is decent for the genre but still fairly one-dimensional. The technology is good—no miracles.

I was reading The Plot Against America while listening to this. They were fairly similar in presen
Nov 29, 2016 Aneesha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in Tommy Carmellini series. Tommy is burglar turned CIA agent. Tommy was introduced in Stephen Coonts Jake Grafton series. Jake Grafton helps Tommy in this story.

The story was good. This story is inspired by one of the KGB archivists who escaped Russia with six suitcase full of classified information.

I enjoyed reading and i really loved the characters. It had all sort of CIA stuffs, politics, betrayal and rogue spies. It had lot of suspense and i liked the ending. The re
Jan 01, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a late-comer to Stephen Coonts books. Having exhausted Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum, I gave up trying to find a good action-suspense series of books. Coonts books of Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton have reawkened my love of good action-suspense, spy, good-guy-vs-bad-guy books. This one shows Tommy Carmellini getting in to a mess he had nothing to do with -- and then getting out with the help of his buddy Grafton. The action is well written, the plot is easy to follow as Carmellini depends ...more
Greg Dill
Sep 17, 2015 Greg Dill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non-stop page-turner. Excellent story. Non-stop action. Unpredictable. All the makings of a great thriller. Read it in just a few days. Kind of had a Jason Bourne feeling to it as CIA agent Tommy Carmellini is mistakenly singled out by other agents and has a hit on his head. An element of mystery as Carmellini flees not knowing for certain who he can trust. Has several twists at the end of the story. I think I'm going to enjoy the Carmellini series and more by this author.
Bill Donhiser
I would be much better off reading these series in order, but that is not always how I come in contact with books. Having previously enjoyed (later) Tommy Carmellini adventures it was fun to read more of his background story. This is a well written military-political thriller with plenty of action. If you have ever read any, Stephen Coonts before you will know what I mean. Likewise if you like Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, etc This is a good book for you.
Burglar turned CIA agent Tommy Carmellini finds himself in a confusing and dangerous situation with no one to trust. This character and fast-paced plot will appeal to fans of the series "Burn Notice." Carmellini is a buff, smart and wisecracking guy who has to deal with beautiful women, thugs, rogue police officers and professional hitmen. This is a fun read overall, but does acquire a lot of dead bodies by the end of the story.
Heather Rauch
Apr 24, 2016 Heather Rauch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, excellent thriller! Can't wait to read the next one. I like that the author was able to make Tommy a rough bachelor without using explicit scenes. The intrigue was well done too, couldn't put the book down.
Mario J.
Apr 04, 2016 Mario J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing, not like his first books.
Bill Powers
Excellent story, but editing mistakes most likely from the print to ebook conversion, take away from the reading enjoyment.
Peter Charleston
Mar 06, 2017 Peter Charleston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining read.
Judy Short
Mar 04, 2017 Judy Short rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breath holding, page turning book. Really enjoyed the story and the twists.
Feb 25, 2017 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining listen - a pretty contemporary international thriller in which it's difficult to discern the bad guys from the good guys. The narrator did a great job capturing the "dragnet-like" character of the protagonist.
Daniel Rudge
Feb 17, 2016 Daniel Rudge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in a series, Liars and Thieves provides some great story-telling with a wise-cracking lead character but sparse prose. A political thriller with some creative plot twists keep the pages turning but the snarky humor of Tommy Carmellini and Willie the Wire are what earned this book an extra star from me. Overall, character development is quite good, but I'd have liked a little more from all of the characters (which was probably intentional given that this is the first in a series). Unafr ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To paraphrase an old saying: “Just because you’re feeling paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not trying to assassinate you.” Tommy Carmellini, has a lot of reasons to feel paranoid. In the best tradition of Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler, Tommy is the kind of mystery/detective hero I find not only entertaining but almost believable. Self deprecating, introspective and just going along to get along, Tommy finds trouble everywhere…in Spades…so to speak. A former jewel thief with a special talen ...more
Carl Alves
This novel features as its main character Tommy Carmellini, a former burglar and CIA operative. Tommy’s old girlfriend, Dorsey O’Shea shows up and asks him to break into a house and retrieve some sex tapes. Not thinking much of it, Tommy agrees to the job. Later, the CIA sends him to a safe house where a Russian defector is being debriefed. The place is a massacre, and Tommy is forced to flee. Now he faces accusations that he was responsible for it and is being hunted down. The plot includes con ...more
Tom Tischler
Apr 25, 2015 Tom Tischler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Former Jack Grafton sidekick Tommy Carmellini, ex burgular and
CIA operative has been promoted. Tommy is hanging out with his
partner Willie the Wire when his ex girlfriend Dorsey O'Shea turns
up and asks him to retrieve some sex tapes in which she was an
unwilling partner. No problem he gets the tapes and dismisses her
from his mind. The CIA then sends him to WVa to guard a Russian
defector Michail Goncharov who is being debriefed. He arrives and
stumbles into a full blown massacre where he kills
George Miller
May 18, 2016 George Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Thriller!

Plenty of unforeseen twists and turns in this one. Admiral Jake Graften, a familiar character from previous books, didn't show up in this one until near the end, but paled a prominent role in solving the puzzle.

A new character was introduced. Tommy Carmellini is an agent for the CIA. When he is assigned guard duty of a safe house, he arrives to find most of the people in the house murdered.

The story moves at a fast pace from the Appalachian mountains to Marylands shore. Carmelli
Jul 19, 2016 Marcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! Tommy Carmellini is a lovable rogue, who finds himself in terrible situations and kills a lot of bad guys in self-defense. In this story, Tommy is assigned guard duty for a Soviet defector, which should be easy work. When Tommy arrives at the safe house, however, he finds the guards dead as well as several other people. He manages to find one person still alive & both flee the burning house. After several twists to the story, Carmellini survives all the killers sent ...more
Elaine H
Apr 24, 2015 Elaine H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite an entertaining book. I liked the fast pace, the action & the character of Tommy Carmellini. I look forward to reading more books starring Tommy Carmellini. He's a funny guy. He has good friends who seem to be normal imperfect people, just like him. He's a burglar, creative & morally flexible, a good guy who does the best he can to do the right thing, while looking out for number 1.
I think we hear an honest inner dialogue going on in his head- -I gave her my best smile, how does sh
Al McPhee
Tommy comes across a little too flip in this one. I liked his more humble self in the last few Grafton books. Still worth the read though
Aug 15, 2016 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Liars & Thieves by Stephen Coonts is a wild roller coaster of a story full of plot twists with unbelievable characters and adventures. A ‘who done it’ with so many possibilities that after a while, one realizes that they don’t really care. It was a chore just to finish the book. What I disliked so much about this book was the impossible situations the protagonist kept getting himself in. And somehow he always figured out a way to get out. The book is at least 100 pages too long. Why two star ...more
May 06, 2011 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I let Lea pick me out a book while we were at Books-A-Million. I was in a rut of Dirk Pitt and Dean Koontz. She picked this one and she did great. I really liked the book and the main character. A CIA agent put into a tough spot with a Russian archivists and Tommy does his super spy thing and makes everything work out. He gets the girl in the end and he got the girl in the beginning who ended up being a traitor. I like his wise cracking friend Willie even though Willie gets cut up in the book an ...more
Nov 15, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Tommy Carmellini series is a spin-off from Coonts' Jake Grafton novels. In this, the first book of the series, the two interact to solve a plot at the highest levels of US government. There is action galore and bodies everywhere. The technology is good and plays a little bit on the plot. The political interaction leads one into people close to POTUS, with dire consequences. The characters are easily understood and fun to wonder about. Where's book #2?
Mark Kaye
Mar 31, 2012 Mark Kaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graftonverse
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read any Stephen Coonts books in a long time, and it was nice to get back into his work. It is a light story, and a very easy read, but that doesn't detract from how good the story is. Well worth 5 Stars

This book is not so much about Jake Grafton but his side kick from the book Cuba Tommy Carmellini. This is the first is a series of books about him. It is still part of the Graftonverse so it is a good read for all of the Jake Grafton Fans.

Feb 14, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting storyline, but many unbelievable actions and details. Does the CIA really hire ex-cons who work at a lock shop and who make suicidal moves repeatedly? Does the CIA hire ex-con researchers and give them access to its files? Does it not track database activity by such miscreants?
Coonts is another author who doesn't know guns enough to write about them. To him a 1911 Colt handgun is an "automatic".
All in all it is just an OK book.
Feb 10, 2012 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This review is for the audiobook.

If you like the sensitive tough-guy in a dangerous game of intrigue not of his choosing genre, this one doesn't suck. It's a satisfying if not super believable thriller. I'll probably go through the rest of the series in time. Coonts is a talented enough writer, and I'm a sucker for a good page-turner.

Not bad; I like this character. I had heard of Tommy Carmellini from other Jake Grafton novels. There's action and high tech "spy stuff" with a dose of Carmellini humor. Grafton is referenced quite often and adds to this book as Tommy goes to him for assistance. I have access to a couple more of these books in the series so I'll check them out and see how this character develops.
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Stephen Coonts (born July 19, 1946) is an American thriller and suspense novelist.

Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coal-mining town and earned an B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University in 1968. He entered the Navy the following year and flew an A-6 Intruder medium attack plane during the Vietnam War, where he served on two combat cruises aboard the USS Ent
More about Stephen Coonts...

Other Books in the Series

Tommy Carmellini (7 books)
  • The Traitor (Tommy Carmellini #2)
  • The Assassin (Tommy Carmellini #3)
  • The Disciple (Tommy Carmellini #4)
  • Pirate Alley (Tommy Carmellini #5)
  • Liberty's Last Stand (Jake Grafton #11; Tommy Carmellini #7)
  • The Armageddon File (Tommy Carmellini #8)

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