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The Tears Of Autumn (Paul Christopher #2)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,239 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Spun with unsettling plausibility from the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and featuring secret agent Paul Christopher, 'The Tears of Autumn' is a tour de force of action and enigma.
Unknown Binding, 276 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Not Avail (first published 1974)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 19, 2014 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
”There are dogs and kids, great books and great paintings and good music all over the White House,” he said. “It’s human again, the way it must have been under Franklin Roosevelt.”

 photo KennedyandJackie_zps248aef72.jpg

The power of John F. Kennedy didn’t just rest in his Hollywood good looks, or his youthful vibrancy or his beautiful wife or his inspiring speeches, but that he exuded this idea that anything seemed possible. Even something as crazy as landing an American on the moon. He was tougher than he looked. During the Cuban Mi
Dec 25, 2016 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Jeffrey Keeten
McGarry is growing on me as nearly as worthy as le Carre and Deighton for enthralling espionage tales set during the Cold War. In this second in the series, CIA spy Paul Christopher comes to suspect that the assassination of JFK was masterminded by a Vietnamese faction in retaliation for the American’s facilitation of the coup associated with the assassination of the dictator Diem a few weeks earlier on November 2, 1963, which put in place a more pliable dictator for America’s global war against ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
While I didn't enjoy reading this book as much as The Miernik Dossier, this one introduces us more to the central character of Paul Christopher (and his women.. and his poetry.) Set in Vietnam and Thailand (and parts of Africa, Europe, and the USA!) right around the assassination of JFK, it was a different angle of those events. I am really loving these 1970s spy novels, right up my alley.
Nancy Oakes
Oct 10, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite, spy-fiction
I listened to, rather than read this book and it was so good that I rushed out and bought The Miernik Dossier (the first of the Paul Christopher series) and have plans to read each and every book in the series. What intrigued me was yet another JFK assassination theory. I'm not a conspiracy theory nut, but I am interested, and never did believe in either the single-bullet theory nor that of the lone gunman. And as much as I loved Oliver Stone's JFK, well, let's just say that it was a lot of theo ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really excellent spy thriller. At the beginning of the book, President Kennedy is assassinated, and an American spy, Paul Christopher, immediately knows who and why ordered the killing.

The rest of the book involves him traveling all over the world in an effort to prove what he believes to be true. There is great suspense and non-stop action throughout, and by the end of the book, you will probably be pondering,as I am, just how persuasive his theory is. Highly recommended. And I can't
Bradley West
Jun 12, 2016 Bradley West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, thrillers
Charles McCarry is a less well-known spy novelist than le Carre or Deighton, but belongs in the same conversation even if "Tears of Autumn" was the only book he published. McCarry's protagonist Paul Christopher is somewhere between super human (e.g. ability to pick up almost any language--even tonal ones--in a month or two) and all-too-human (e.g. his feelings for his Australian lover). The pace is fast, the settings described in sufficient detail to convince the reader that McCarry knows them f ...more
Apr 13, 2017 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-spy
After reading DeLillo's Libra, twice, I found it hard to imagine anyone matching, much less surpassing, his fictional take on JFK assassination. McCarry does not match DeLillo, but he does foretell, by 16 years, my favorite line in Libra: "A fact is innocent until someone wants it. Then it becomes intelligence." The main tension in McCarry's telling is that no one, or no one who really matters, wants the intelligence born of those facts.

The plot gets a bit convoluted at times -- as another revie
Jun 02, 2013 Gram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tears of Autumn is a ripping yarn! In less than 300 paperback pages, Charles McCarry reveals - via the CIA super-spy hero, Paul Christopher - that almost everyone you can think of as likely candidates for killing President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963 was in some way involved. But - and it's a big BUT - there is absolutely no evidence to show that any American intelligence agency of any kind was in any way involved in this conspiracy. Despite the subject, McCarry writes very prettily, j ...more
Lance Charnes
Aug 26, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John LeCarre or Daniel Silva
McCarry – like John LeCarre and Daniel Silva – is known as one of those authors who “gets it right” with his spy yarns. The Tears of Autumn is his second novel and the second to feature his series character Paul Christopher, a CIA agent active during the 1950s and 1960s. In this installment, Christopher decides to solve the JFK assassination. Nothing like swinging for the fences, eh?

Even though Christopher flirts with super-agenthood – speaking multiple languages, near-photographic memory, dange
"THE TEARS OF AUTUMN" is a compelling, well-crafted novel centered on Paul Christopher, a CIA Special Agent who has served in the Agency since the 1950s. When the story begins, it is October 1963 and Christopher is involved in deep cover work in South Vietnam. Weeks later, in the aftermath of President Kennedy's assassination, Christopher leaves the CIA and, on his own, armed only with his skills, a facility for languages, and a theory as to who killed Kennedy and why, pursues leads from Saigon, ...more
Jul 31, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Not just one of the many fiction books that explores a theory behind the assassination of JFK, but one of the first. The theory can be explained in one or two sentences, so this book is more about the character of spy Christopher Paul trying to connect the dots to present a case that, as any astute reader can guess, will be covered up in the end. The biggest positives of this novel are that it is very readable, the action is good and shows almost no sign of being dated, which is good for a 1974 ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Ted rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Charles McCarry comes highly recommended from friends and literary blurbs that call him a master of the (spy novel) genre and compare him to LeCarre. This is the first book in the Paul Christopher series, but likely my last.

The problem for me isn't the characters, although some were maddeningly one-dimensional, but the plot which bounces from a Thai family dynasty to defecting Russian agents to Fidel's Cuba to post-colonial Africa, Chicago Mobsters and even a midget super thief who breaks in to
Amélie Rêverie
The Overlooked International Spy Thriller
If you have an undying passion for John le Carré (think: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), run directly to the bookstore and pick up former CIA agent Charles McCarry's Tears of Autumn. Originally published in the '70s and reissued in 2005, the book follows Paul Christopher—an American spy so cool and competent he makes James Bond look like a buffoon—through Vietnam as he pursues an unauthorized investigation into JFK's assassination. McCarry's writing is so
Oct 24, 2008 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-books-read
I was introduced to Charles McCarry via recommendations about A.J. Quinnell. I found a copy of Tears of Autumn and very much enjoyed the espionage story about investigating the Kennedy assassination abroad.
McCarry writes authoritatively - having served as an intelligence officer doesn't make him want to describe how a watch is made when you want to hear what time it is.
I've already set aside Christopher's Ghosts.
Jon Spoelstra
Mar 27, 2010 Jon Spoelstra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is one of the first Vietnam books and JFK conspiracy books. I read it a long time ago, then re-read it about four years ago. I loved it the first time and that led me to read every Charles McCarry books. The five-star rating was for the first read. Strangely, the second read wasn't as entertaining. I would give the second reading a four star.
Jan 10, 2012 Jeannine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping to love this as much as I enjoyed William Boyd's "Restless".....however, it wasn't nearly as riveting as I hoped it would be. I found the characters one dimensional. Paul Christopher was so macho and unrelatable and the women were all pathetic. This was clearly written by a man.....a less fun version of James Bond without the gadgets.
Susan Springer
Jun 30, 2016 Susan Springer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCarry writes with such logic and knowledge of foreign affairs about the events surrounding the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy that his theories go beyond plausible to probable, a
fascinating look into the world of international espionage.
This was not a fast paced thriller but an excellently written spy novel that was filled with tension throughout and had one of the better fictional explanations for the JFK assassination. Listened to the audio version read by Stefan Rudnicki
Jan 26, 2017 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much broken dialogue and not enough plot. Major disappointment.
Contains one of the most fascinating -- and somewhat plausible-- JFK assasination theories that I've ever run across. One of the best spy novels, by someone other than Le Carre.
Joshua Lax
Feb 09, 2014 Joshua Lax rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best spy novels of all time.
Howard Kaplan
Dec 17, 2016 Howard Kaplan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McCarry is about the best less known suspense writer out there and probably the only American who comes near John LeCarre. This is one of his early novels, reminds me of the Spy Who Came in From the Cold, both shorter novels who were followed by larger even bolder works which do not overshadow the greatness of these earlier novels. This one is about the Kennedy Assassination, entirely timely today.
Tim Dart
Feb 21, 2017 Tim Dart marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Found this book while searching around for books like Los Alamos.
Delaney Moslander
Jan 08, 2015 Delaney Moslander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Tears of Autumn" by Charles McCarry deals with the harsh topic of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in a fictitious way with the main character, a spy named Paul Christopher, solving the mystery of who was behind the murder. Paul Christopher, an American intelligence officer, believes in knowing the whole truth, no matter the situation. He is a secret agent who travels around the world, mainly in Europe and Asia, and recruits faithful men to act as agents for him when he needs them. His theor ...more
Feb 17, 2017 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Secret agent thinks he has discovered the real culprits behind JFK's assassination. Apparently written by a former spy, it was quite compelling, but too hard for me to keep track of multiple plots and code names and double agents. Not for me.
Mar 02, 2016 Jak60 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written and enjoyable novel. I'd say that reading it today probably makes a different impact than when it was written, about 40 years ago, when most of the conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination were still to come, so maybe the ground was somewhat more open to speculations; yet, connecting the Kennedy assassination with the South Vietnam political leaders, through the North Vietnamese intelligence services and through the Cuban revolutionaries, while trying to connect the ...more
Oct 04, 2008 Michel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, hist-fic
Used to be, you'd ask a person what they'd been doing on 23 November, when they heard, and they'd know exactly. Nowadays most everyone wasn't even born.
2 November 63: The day after the military coup, Ngô Dinh Diêm and his brother Ngô Dinh Nhu are assassinated in the back of an M-113 by a young ARVN lieutenant, acting alone, who was court-martialed and executed the next day. (Hô Chi Minh: "I can scarcely believe that the Americans would be so stupid.")
23 November 63: by a chilling karmic symmetry
Sep 12, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a fair amount of Cold War era spy novels, and this one immediately jumps to the top of my list. An interesting, fast-paced, globe-setting novel that centers around the JFK assassination and the coming Vietnam War.

Paul Christopher, the main character, is an American spy who has worked all over the world, but is in Vietnam working against the Communists at the novel's start. When JFK is assassinated, he takes his knowledge of Vietnam and its inner workings and begins to formulate a theo
Heather Wiese
Wow, I finally freaking finished this book. Checked it out from the library, had to return it, checked it out again, finally plowed through it.

Good grief, it's not one of those fast reads because there is so much freaking information in it! It's one of those classic spy novels where the CIA agent hops from Rome to Vietnam to D.C. to the Congo and talks to Russians, Cubans, the French, the Chicago mafia, the Vietnamese, Africans, and men from Washington. I actually had quite a time keeping every
Jun 24, 2008 Brigham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I found this after listening to an NPR review of the best spy novels ever written. Charles McCarry is someone I'd never heard of, but was considered the best American spy writer. This book lacks a lot of the suspense and twist factor other writers enjoy hanging their stories on, and instead focuses on the dealings of how things are done. It's a bit Michael Clayton in the way it reveals the details behind plots, bribes, thefts and murders. The questions weren't as much 'why' throughout, but 'how? ...more
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McCarry served in the United States Army, where he was a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, has been a small-town newspaperman, and was a speechwriter in the Eisenhower administration. From 1958 to 1967 he worked for the CIA, under deep cover in Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, his cover was not as a writer or journalist.

McCarry was editor-at-large for National Geographic and has contributed
More about Charles McCarry...

Other Books in the Series

Paul Christopher (10 books)
  • The Miernik Dossier (Paul Christopher #1)
  • The Secret Lovers (Paul Christopher #3)
  • The Better Angels (Paul Christopher #4)
  • The Last Supper (Paul Christopher #5)
  • The Bride of the Wilderness (Paul Christopher #6)
  • Second Sight (Paul Christopher #7)
  • Shelley's Heart (Paul Christopher #8)
  • Old Boys (Paul Christopher #9)
  • Christopher's Ghosts (Paul Christopher #10)

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“What exactly was the role of the U.S. government in the coup that overthrew Ngo Dinh Diem?” Trumbull stared for a moment at Foley’s rigid back. Then he said to Patchen, “Tell him.” “I think you already know, Paul,” Patchen said. “In simple terms, we countenanced it. We knew it was being planned. We offered advice. We provided support. We encouraged the plot. We welcomed the results.” 1 likes
“So, what is it you want to know in return for your silence, and this lesson on philosophy?” “Three things,” Christopher said. “First, is Lê Thu the code name of the operation that was carried out on November 22 in Dallas? Second, how was the message transmitted from Saigon to the North, and then to the man who recruited the American assassin? Third, what is the name of your relative in the intelligence service of North Vietnam who recruited the man who, in turn, activated Oswald?” 1 likes
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