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3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  192 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Vertical Run" comes this action-packed adventure. When a Russian spy stumbles across a top secret technology called Whirlwind, disgraced former CIA operative Charlie McKenzie is hired to track her down. He is the best at what he does, and what he does best of all is the CIA's dirty work. At least he did until his bosses d ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 404 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 322)
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Katherine Clark
May 10, 2014 Katherine Clark rated it it was ok
I was torn with this one. For about 1/2 the book, I really enjoyed it. I loved Garber's first book, VErtical Run, and was mostly pleased with this one for awhile. But. I hate torture and gratuitous violence, but I gritted my teeth and moved on. I hate gratuitous romance ;-); you know, when a book appears to be a male fantasy? Yech, takes me right out of the story. But I continued gritting my teeth and read on. Then, at about a 1/4 of the way left, the author shows us one of our protag's secrets, ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Marcel rated it it was ok
This book was hard to enjoy. I had to limit reading to short periods. The plot was unbelievable. Characterization was thin, and again, unbelievable. Older man hires on to capture Russian agent, but only accepts position after extracting unbelievably great compensation. Because he is able to blackmail the system without any apparent risk, he is able to hammer out any bargain he desires. Then, despite the deal he makes, he immediately and for no apparent reason falls emotionally for the agent he i ...more
May 29, 2014 Dana rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book. Nearly as good as vertical run. Joseph R Garber was on a level of Baldacci, Flynn, Ludlum, and others in that group of amazing authors. What a great loss to literature, I know he had much more to contribute.
Nov 18, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not think Joseph Garber could write another novel as good as Vertical Run ... I was wrong. This is indeed a splendid read.
Jan 04, 2015 Puddlediving rated it liked it
Throughout the entire book, I kept asking myself if there really could be a retired CIA operative like Charlie. Makes for fun fiction, but can he really be one step ahead of a Russian spy all the time? If you want to read a novel that makes you think of "Burn Notice" Michael Weston type guy in his senior years, this is one for you. He got a bit paternalistic/protective of the Russian woman, and of course she met his son toward the end of the book. Lots of action, some political espionage, and a ...more
Frederick Bingham
Charlie MacKenzie is a former CIA operative who had been used to do a dirty job and sent to jail to cover up for his superiors' mistakes. He did his time quietly.A few years later he is out of the the CIA and in private life. He gets a call from the President's National Security Adviser. Someone has stolen one of the nation's most important secrets. It was stolen by a Russian agent by the name of Irina Kolodenkova. Charlie is given the task of finding this woman and retrieving the secret device. ...more
Mar 21, 2016 Sheila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are in to the killing, revenge, cussing, killing over and over, than this book is for you. I felt the story just kept going and going. Charlie would get ahead, then Schmidt, then Charlie, then Schmidt. Throw in Irina and Sam and several people along the way who got killed. Schmidt had a whole army of people helping him and Charlie only had himself and Irina.
Kris Patterson
An unexpected pleasure

I discovered this book by accident. I had read vertical run years ago and I enjoyed it. I found this book to be an enjoyable spy novel about a former spy who is called out of retirement to save his country. A good story and a good author. Take the time to check out vertical run as well.
Oct 12, 2014 Farhan rated it it was ok
A run-of-the-mill, predictable thriller from the author of sensational debut novel Vertical Run. Charlie McKenzie, a CIA agent who is out of favour with the Company, decides to get even with his employers for double-crossing him. Interesting premise, bland execution.
Apr 17, 2010 D.K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disgraced CIA agent Charlie McKenzie had waited years for his former employer to call him and when it happened, Charlie made his employer pay big to bring him out of his mundane existence. Charles is ordered to find a young inexperience Russian female agent and to bring her back with the secrets she has stolen.

Accepting the assignment, Charles real motives are to clear his name and to receive the recongnition he truly deserves. If it meant aiding the Russian agent, then so be it.

I first notice
May 29, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish the author had more books for me to read. I love his writing style; he has a great vocabulary, which he uses to express thoughts perfectly. Whirlwind is a fast-paced novel with an engrossing plot and likable characters.
Kieran McKenzie
Jan 25, 2016 Kieran McKenzie rated it really liked it
Really like Garber's writing style...good scene backdrops and believable characters/dialogue...plot development is at a good pace...recommend to those who like some intrigue and action
Dave Goldfarb
May 25, 2013 Dave Goldfarb rated it liked it
Agree with those who say its not the most compelling thriller, but it kept me interested most of the way. Its really all bout how the Government hides it dirty little secrets, and when a man of integrity and wits threatens to expose them, the will stop at nothing to silence him. Charlie is a character who is always several steps ahead of hi handlers and enemies, but he merts his match when Russian spy Kolodnikova, steals Whirlwind. Good read for a rainy afternoon.
Nov 13, 2009 Rich rated it it was ok
Must have read this a couple of years ago. Got it yesterday at a used book store and started it last night. Read about a page and a half before I realized I had already read it. Must not have been all that great since I didn't even remember reading it.
Dec 19, 2012 Pete rated it liked it
This was the second book I read by Mr. Garber, and I liked it. It was another spy-ish thriller with much government intrigue. It had a few twists, but mostly predictable. Still an enjoyable read, and I plan to add more of his works to my reading list.
Jim A
Jul 25, 2013 Jim A rated it it was ok
I didn't find this book anywhere near as good as his previous effort, Vertical Run. I thought Garber was trying too hard to be cynical and satirical in the dialogue and the character's self examination.
I started this in the late afternoon, finished it in the early morning hours sometime, and I can't remember a thing about it. It was apparently a real page turner to keep me reading till I finished it.
Feb 01, 2013 Julie rated it did not like it
Listened to the audio version. The narrator was ridiculous- his South African character accent -sounded like an Irish-Australian pirate. The author is also not a very good writer- totally laughable.
Mark Stone
Mar 12, 2012 Mark Stone rated it really liked it
Cheesy action/adventure/spy/thriller. Don't look for deep thoughts or ultra-cool gadgets. This is simply a fun little read that will help lovers of Patterson and Sanford pass the time away.
Shannon Dishon
Dec 22, 2013 Shannon Dishon rated it liked it
A typical government-crime suspense novel with a few twists
Matt Erwin
Matt Erwin rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2016
Roche marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Jmaloney rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2016
Dave Creaturo
Dave Creaturo marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
Jeffrey marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2016
Ray Pezzi
Ray Pezzi rated it did not like it
Mar 24, 2016
Sandy DeWald
Sandy DeWald rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2016
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Joseph R. Garber was an American author, best known for his 1995 thriller Vertical Run and for the articles he wrote on technology for Forbes magazine.

Garber was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, moving often as an army brat. He attended the University of Virginia, but quit to join the U.S. Army himself, eventually graduating from East Tennessee State University in 1968 with a philosophy degree.
More about Joseph R. Garber...

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