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The Spy Who Came for Christmas

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  807 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Few thriller writers are as praised as David Morrell, who has been called the father of the modern action novel. Now he delivers a masterwork of suspense that is sure to become a holiday classic.
Hardcover, Large Print, 295 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Thorndike Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,327)
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Oct 19, 2015 Lane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, don-t-rec, dnf
So, I made it about halfway through this book when it suddenly occurred to me: I've read this before.

I haven't actually, but I may as well have, because it's like ever other book of Morrell's I've ever picked up, so it's pretty much this:

Basically, we start off with an able-bodied white dude who has some form of combat training and a dark past. He gets caught up in some weird shit with some other people, most of whom are suspicious of the main character's encyclopedic knowledge and skills with f
Nov 22, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a snowy Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, but among the revelers on Canyon Road, a decidedly unholy scene is taking place. A desperate man, dressed all in black, feverishly seeks refuge for himself and the squirming bundle he holds tightly against his breast. Agent Paul Kagan’s bundle is a baby who has the power to change the course of global events. His pursuers are his former colleagues—members of the Russian mafia who will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission. Now Kagan is a spy on the r ...more
Carey Combe
Mar 31, 2014 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn’t decide whether I liked tho book or not. In the end I came down in favour for its bizarre retelling of the christmas story (which I think was my favourite bit) and the wife-beater who comes good (but does he....)
Mar 16, 2015 Harry007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
With decent pace and straightforward writing, the book only really fails in its core idea. Nothing about the story is particularly adventurous, striking or inventive. It just stayed in first gear the whole time. For some people, that might be enough, but for me, I just expected more ideas and more thrills from this spy thriller. It definitely kept my interest, often incorporating location changes and flashbacks, but none of it was provocative. The storytelling is way too basic, and this book fel ...more
Nancy Karwatka
Nov 27, 2015 Nancy Karwatka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. This is a Christmas story but told from the perspective of a spy thriller. The author had an interesting way to describe the Three Wise Men, I may always think of them in a slightly different light now. It's a different type of Christmas tale.
Mar 07, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Listened" to this book. Very suspenseful...kept you engaged...for a suspense story that has activities of the Russian mob and mob-like treatment of people, it also had a storyline of love hope and peace....a very interesting contrast making for a very interesting book
Laura Bayer
This is another I listed to on audio book, and while I wasn't gripped by it at any point, it did flow along fairly well.

I really only had two issues. The first is nothing the author can help - in the audio book version, the Russian accent comes and goes seemingly without reason, sometimes in the narrators voice, sometimes in the speaking voice. A little strange.

The second is the ending. It either a) ended too soon, or b) didn't end soon enough. It felt like we reached the "end," and then carrie
Dec 01, 2013 Ronna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a different kind of a CHRISTMAS story!! Maybe that's why the strange mystery is such a fun read.
Jan 07, 2009 Darbyscloset rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of action thriller novels
Recommended to Darbyscloset by: Amy Riley
Shelves: mystery
The Spy Who Came for Christmas by David Morrell, was a gift to me from my secret Santa this year. This was my first encounter with this author and what a great impression he left on me. David has been called “the father of the modern action novel”, when I read that, I thought “okay, lets see how you hold up against my favorite action thriller writers”, for I felt very confident that I have only read the best and I was sure I would of read something by him before now, if he was indeed that good. ...more
Alex Gherzo
Morrell's Christmas thriller is a quick, enjoyable read but far from a classic. Paul Kagan, a spy (they never really say for which agency he works) undercover in the Russian mafia, has broken his cover on Chistmas Eve to save a baby's life. Wounded and on the run from three deadly killers, he hides out in a Santa Fe house with a mother and her son, who are having their own crisis. As the criminals prepare to storm the house, Kagan and his reluctant hosts prepare to defend the baby at all costs w ...more
Mary Welk
Jul 16, 2013 Mary Welk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Morrell's thrillers have been winning over fans since 1972 when FIRST BLOOD, his first Rambo novel, was released. In THE SPY WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS, Morrell once again tackles the gritty side of life, this time on Christmas Eve in the festive city of Santa Fe. A wounded Agent Paul Kagan blows his cover with the Russian mafia to save the life of an infant who may one day bring peace to his troubled homeland. With only the falling snow to cover his tracks, Kagan has little hope of escaping h ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eric by: Lance Storm
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bill Williams
Feb 27, 2012 Bill Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Morrell puts on a master class for thriller writers with The Spy Who Came for Christmas. The story starts with a spy called Kagan as he weaves his way through a crowd of revelers walking around and taking in the Christmas lights in downtown Santa Fe. Kagan is a double agent on the run from the Russian killers who want him dead and want the package he is carrying with his good right hand. His left arm is pounding with the pain of a bullet wound. Leaving a blood trail, Kagan finds a house at ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Picked this up a year or two ago in an after-Christmas sale, and for the price I paid I'm really pleased with the results. This book is much grittier than your typical sweet Christmas read, but still offers a story of redemption in a broken world. There's an "alternate" story told of the magi's purpose in visiting the newborn King in Bethlehem, and while I don't agree with the ultimate conclusion (and I question the historical sources), it offered a good perspective and tie-in for the spy theme. ...more
Dec 10, 2014 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great romp by David Morrell. It is nice to see hiom return to the espionage genre one more time. This is a charming., action packed, Christmas time themed spy adventure. Don't let the title throw you off. This is an action packed spy novel you can read at any time of the year. A wonderful must read for David Morrell fans or spy fan's in general. I devoured this one. Some of his best writing to date.
Frank Smith
Feb 17, 2015 Frank Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, made me laugh at various points, only slight complaint is that it sort of switches too quickly between being a festive good will story and a action packed spy thriller a little too quikcly.
Great story no questions and would love to see it made into a film, could be great for kids, but would need the gory bits turned down a bit.
Jan 02, 2011 Jodi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
I'm getting my Christmas reading done late this year. Morrell tells a, well I can't call it cute exactly, story about a spy on Christmas. He's deep undercover but when he's asked to do something that just goes against everything he believes in, he realizes he has a chance to make things right. Instead of turning a newborn over to suicide bombers, he takes the baby and gets chased by his suddenly former team. It's Christmas Eve in Santa Fe and Paul finds himself breaking into someone's home. Mere ...more
Spies, Christmas, babies and a story from the Bible. I love that David Morrell met Mary Kay Andrews and was given the ARC copy of Blue Christmas to visualize. It was this conversation that motivated David to write his own Christmas book. A thought he never gave much thought until his chance meeting. Creativity lives!!!! This is a great novel to add for the holiday season, especially if you are not into the mushy Christmas tales. I loved the spin on the old story... I love imagination! I think I ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Trucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story for the holidays but I was a little late in finishing this one due to the busy season. It was a nice tale that cut thru the usual feel good Christmas ideals and got down to an overall good variation...different for Morrell.
It was a short but good story. It's one of those books that's a good filler in between from reading a long book. There was a little of adventure, drama, and suspense to the story. I would recommend the book for those that want to read a short story but with a good plot.
Jan 25, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was going to be excellent but alas, it wasn't. Only average. The best part was the Spy's version of the story of Christmas. That was a good spin. The ending leaves you flat. I wouldn't recommend it.
Natalie Bright
Dec 22, 2014 Natalie Bright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The suspense of a man trying to avoid capture by three who track him through a holiday crowd is heart-pounding. Sprinkled with a espionage tale and the spy version of the Christmas story. This was a fun holiday read.
Dec 20, 2008 Karah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and quick read about a Russian spy who winds up seeking refuge with a woman and her son on Christmas Eve. The entire book takes place on Christmas Eve and winds in lots of festive holiday touches--including a spy version of the nativity story. Basically, the story is about spy who finally blows his cover trying to save an infant that he's been ordered to kidnap. I enjoyed that it wasn't too gruesome (as spy books can get gory) and that all the characters the reader cares about win ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
This is an excellant story about a spy that is having second thoughts about being a spy and what he has had to do to work for the government to maintain his cover. you could say Paul developed a conscious. The final straw was when they kidnapped a child from a couple just because he was from the middle east and a powerful leader about to make a speech that could change the world.

The book starts about 1/3 of the way into the story and then backtracks so you find out how he got where he was at the
Jan 17, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, but sweet (odd descriptor I know) spy novel. Takes place in Santa Fe and referenced areas and sights that I know. Very cool. Especially enjoyed the history about the magi.
Feb 18, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading David Morrell thrillers in high school. This isn't Blood Oath or First Blood, but it is entertaining.
Ken Cook
May 27, 2015 Ken Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage readers
Recommended to Ken by: Library Book Sale
Well plotted, really liked the tie in with the alternate Christmas story, surprised at the ending. Kept me involved and interested all the way.
Dec 26, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for a Christmas story. I liked the spy aspect, but felt a lot left to be tired up at the end.
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
David Morrell's slim taut thriller in Santa Fe during the Christmas season is very satisfying. It takes a straight-forward story of a double agent hiding from his pursuers with a family having domestic troubles, adds to it an interestingly fresh perspective on the Christmas story and the story of the Magi, and in the limited time available shows strong characters. I can see where this book would fail many people...the twist at the end is hard to believe, really hard. However, it ties in with the ...more
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David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.
More about David Morrell...

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