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The Spy Who Never Was

(Nora Baron #3)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Nora Baron assumes the identity of a notorious femme fatale—who technically doesn’t exist—in a powerhouse thriller from the bestselling author of Mrs. John Doe.

“Tom Savage is a master of the high-speed thriller.”—Michael Connelly

In a Manhattan safe house, Nora Baron—a Long Island mother and drama teacher leading a double life as a CIA operative—meets a spymaster who offers
Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Alibi
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Paul Falk
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, cia
This ARC was made possible through NetGalley. My thanks to Alibi - Random House Publishing Group for making this pre-release available.

This is book number three in the Nora Baron series. I had not read the first two. The author had taken me behind the scenes for a close-up look at the cloak and dagger life of CIA field operatives. Mostly one. Tainted with risk, though, not excitingly glamorous. It was a well-written narrative that stayed on point with no flashbacks or flash-forwards. An easy to
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The Spy Who Never Was" is the 3rd book in Tom Savage's "Nora Baron" series.

Nora Baron is back!
The wife of a CIA operative, this mother and drama teacher has proven to be an asset to the CIA in the past. Nora's next top-secret mission is to take on the role of Chris Waverly, a legend in the field. Waverly is an alias, a cover name shared by several agents throughout the world.
A death threat is received against Chris Waverly and Nora must travel to Paris to trap the anonymous blackmailer.
A wil
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 spy filled stars

Nora Barton is quite the accomplished woman. She is a mother, a drama teacher, a wife. She is also a spy. Nora has just been recruited by a spymaster who offers her a top secret mission. For Nora taking on the identity of a Chris Waverly was too good an assignment to pass up. Chris Waverly was a legend in the department but as is told to Nora, Chris is a phantom, a made up person. It is a name that is shared by many agents who work all around the world. The bad news is that a
The Spy Who Never Was is a light spy novel. The central concept is that the CIA for years had attributed its activities in various parts of the world to a single spy who never actually existed -Chris Waverly. But, it was important nevertheless to the Agency to let the legend grow. In order to draw enemies out into the open, Nora Baron (whose name is a palindrome) is given the identity of the imaginary spy and sent to Paris. Nora, despite having years of experience, is a bit of an amateur and has ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First of all what a great book! Nora Baron is a drama teacher, mother and wife but every now and then she leads the life of a CIA operative. In this case she is sent in undercover to assume the identify of a spy, one who is not real but represents three other operatives who are also working undercover. As the story progresses it seems that everything that Nora has been told about this mission may not all be true and the man who recruited her, Edgar Cole, may have his own agenda. I will not say a ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
My first of read of the Nora Baron Series and I was pleasantly surprised. A thriller that takes you to many different places and with interesting characters. I now dream of going to Switzerland because of the vivid description thru Nora's eyes.

Nora a drama teacher married to a CIA agent has been asked to take the identity of a spy who never was - Chris Waverly. A government agency is being blackmailed to reveal her identity thus putting many in danger. This is Nora's dream job. A job that puts h
Tonstant Weader
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Spy Who Never Was is an espionage thriller with an appealing and unusual spy protagonist. Nora Baron is not an official spy, but she is married to one. Her husband Jeff is a former field agent who is now a supervisor with a desk job. She is a drama teacher whose reached the big five-oh, and an occasional consulting gig with the CIA though she is untrained in the kind of skills one would expect her to have, like what to do when someone is going to kill you.

Did you know acting equips you with
Heather Fineisen
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the third book in the Nora Baron series. Perhaps the story would have been enhanced by reading the first two. I like that our heroine is almost 50 years old and a drama teacher who sometimes works for the CIA. The story itself has a lot of players and often didn't flow really well. The descriptions of place were detailed. The ending came together with an improbable tidy ending. Not a series I will be revisiting.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley-arc, spies
The Spy who Never was is the third book in the series Nora Baron by Tom Savage. Nora is a professor in the theater department at Stony Brook University in New York State. He husband Jeff had been a field agent for years for the CIA only recently getting a desk job in New York running international ops. It was when she accompanied her husband to Paris once when she accidentally got involved in an operation, the subject of the first book in the series. Now she has received her second assignment, w ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I honestly don't know why I requested this ARC from Netgalley given that I had read the two previous books and found both completely implausible. This is not repeat not how CIA works folks. Tops on the list is the idea that a "civilian" would be pressed into service on this sort of mission (the mission itself is again, implausible.). The characterization of CIA seniors is outdated but not as offensive as the ridiculous tradecraft. Why go to the trouble of providing Nora with documentation that s ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This is my first book by this author. It was ok. An average, fairly entertaining read. Felt like a bit of wish fulfillment for every middle-aged woman out there ;) I found the heroine likeable, if a little too unbelievably perceptive at times (some very far-fetched assumptions and deductions) and dense at other times (I mean, if even *I* could figure it out...). It might be helpful to have read the earlier Nora Baron books, but since I hadn't, I wasn't familiar with the character and she seemed ...more
Sally Nimmo
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received this advance copy via NetGalley.

This is the third in a series. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first two. It was a tedious read for me. About halfway through, I skimmed my way through to the end.

Just my opinion. Spy thriller readers may disagree.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you already know that Tom Savage is one of my favorite authors, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I gave this book five stars. Some authors just hit all the right words and phrases to make their books my forever favorites.

I fell in love with this author after reading A Penny For The Hangman, and I have fallen hard for his Nora Barron series. Nora rocks the whole amateur spy character with class! As an award winning actress and drama coach, Nora can
Jill Elizabeth
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this title for request, I was immediately intrigued. When I saw it was #3 in a series, I was slightly less so - I'm a bit backlogged on reviews, and I don't like reading series books out of order, so I was daunted a bit at the thought of trying to get through two books before I could even get into this one. I am SO glad I didn't let any of that stop me - this series is one of my favorite finds on NetGalley, and I have absolutely loved each and every book!

In this, the third installment
Jennifer Ritter
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The Spy Who Never Was is the third installment in the fast paced Nora Baron Thriller Series. Nora is an unintentional CIA operative first seen as she went undercover to save her husband, field agent Jeffrey Baron. Her natural skills and abilities called her back in to action in the second book, The Woman Who Knew Too Much. And now she is contacted once again by a high ranking suit from Langley, Edwin Cole, who has offered the drama teacher and actress the role of a lifetime, playing the role of
John Purvis
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The Spy Who Never Was" eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Tom Savage ( Mr. Savage has published ten novels, two under the pseudonym of T. J. Phillips.. This is the third novel in his "Nora Baron" series of spy thrillers.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Europe with the primary char
Donna Davis
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those that love thrillers and feminist fiction.
I love Savage’s work, and this title is his best to date. I got my copy free and early thanks to Net Galley and Random House Alibi. You can get it January 9, 2018.

Nora Barton is our protagonist, and she is recruited by Edgar Cole as an unofficial CIA agent—she has been helpful to the Agency before—because of her physical resemblance to someone being targeted by the enemy, an enemy known as TSB.

“Edgar Cole was using her as bait: here, kitty, kitty. Now Nora was in Paris with TSB, and the two of
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
Alibi and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of The Spy Who Never Was. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Nora Baron takes a top secret mission for the CIA, assuming the identity of a "legend" that is a cover name for several agents in the field. As Chris Waverly, Nora is facing extreme danger. Will she be able to help trap the blackmailer that is hell bent on exposing Chris Waverly or will the undue threat become fatal for Nora?

From drama pro
Susan Johnston
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Princess Fuzzypants here:
If you are like Momma and I and truly enjoy a good taut spy thriller with an intelligent and highly capable heroine, you will love Nora Baron. We have followed her adventures since she first was entangled in a deadly race to save her husband. She learned in that book that he was a CIA operative. She also learned she was a natural herself so when a hotshot CIA boss offers her a top secret job to lure a bad guy out into the open in Paris, she agrees. She is playing a mythi
Charlene Roberson
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, net-galley
Thank you to NetGalley for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Here is that review:

I really WANTED to like this book. And I almost did. It started out well, but there was both too much information and not enough. It was confusing, but not in a good mysterious way. I didn't particularly CARE for the leading character, nor any others.

Nora Barton is a retired actress and college drama teacher who husband works for the CIA and who sometimes does small "jobs" for the agenc
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The Spy Who Never Was” is a thriller starring Nora Baron, an actress and drama teacher who works part-time as a CIA operative. The op that Nora is sent on in this book turns out to be a ruse. Her assignment is to help capture a CIA extortionist, but the real reason for the op is more sinister and self-serving for her handler.

The main character of this book is very unlike other CIA thriller operatives. She likes people and is honest in her dealings with them. This endears others to her and resul
Judy Johnson
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely enjoyed this wonderful book by Tom Savage. This is the third book in the series and the only reason I knocked it down a star from 5 to 4 is because it is really better to read the first two before this one, it is only ok as a standalone! This book is about Nora, a woman who is a CIA operative on the side working undercover. Her husband is also with the CIA but with a different type of participation. Nora goes to Paris and undertakes a dangerous assignment. What makes her even more i ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Spy Who Never Was poses a mystery within a thriller as Nora Baron, drama teacher and part time CIA operative, is recruited to play the role of a spy who has disappeared, but never actually existed—according to Cole, head of the investigation. The mission is never quite clear to Nora, even as it suddenly reaches its conclusion and she is congratulated and sent back home. At this point the thriller is far from over for any of its characters.

Nora finds herself in the ultimate danger and discove
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another Tom Savage thriller featuring Nora Baron is well written and provides a travelogue of Paris, France and Lucerne, Switzerland that makes you feel like you are there.

Nora finds herself tapped for her third opportunity to be a spy, even if this trip is only for a week, it is in Paris, France!

Nora's husband Jeff is a full-time CIA operative and he's not comfortable with Edgar Cole, or with Nora being the face of a CIA cover for a group of spies calling their ops Chris Waverly/Rose.

Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a solid 3.75 stars upgraded to a 4. This time the CIA calls in Nora to play the part of a former spy and assassin who was purportedly more than one person. Nora is to go to Paris for approximately five days in this role to show the rest of the undercover world that she is still around. Nora agrees and learns a lot about the situation while in Paris. She calls upon old friends and cohorts to assist her and ultimately goes to small town in Switzerland where the climax ensues. It is well w ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nora Baron is out to help the CIA again. She has been contacted to play the part of a spy named Chris Waverly and she will travel to Paris as Julie Campbell a nurse. Chris Waverley does is not a real person but a cover for several people she is told. Now someone has discovered that fact. Nora is just ot go to Paris and meet with an agent and be seen. When the assignment is done she begins to see all was not as she was told or as it seemed. Now what shall she do? She can go home or see what is re ...more
Melanie Johnson
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Nora Barron is an acting teacher in New York who is married to a CIA agent. She has been called in to help with a mission, putting her acting skills to the test. This is the third installment of the Nora Baron thrillers, and it is an enjoyable, easy read. Think of these as "thriller-lite" (in the vein of Stuart Woods) and you won't be disappointed. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The main character in this spy thriller, The Spy Who Never Was by Tom Savage, is a 50-year old married mother of one adult child named Nora. Nora’s natural abilities and honest characteristics have served her well in her endeavors. This ops mission finds Nora’s instincts leading her down paths that will have a definite yet unexpected outcome.

I found the book to be well written and it has inspired me to read the first two books in this series. - Sharon Brandon
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.
A spy cozy! The perfect read after a couple of psychological thrillers that were really creepy. Enough action to hold one's interest. No graphic descriptions of the violence that did occur. So a cozy. This is the first book I have read by this author and I will go to him again if I want a pleasant, engaging read. The author did a great job with his woman characters.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nora is an unlikely spy and I think that is what made the book exciting for me. Quite light hearted and an easy read. Maybe the ending was a bit of an anti-climax but overall I enjoyed the book. I will try and read the first two books in the series.
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TOM SAVAGE is the USA Today bestselling author of A Penny for the Hangman, the Nora Baron series, and many other novels and short stories. His books have been published in fifteen countries, and his bestselling novel, Valentine, was made into a Warner Bros. film. Raised in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, he now lives in New York City, where he worked for many years at Murder Ink®, the world’s first my ...more

Other books in the series

Nora Baron (4 books)
  • Mrs. John Doe (Nora Baron, #1)
  • The Woman Who Knew Too Much (Nora Baron #2)
  • The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy (Nora Baron, #4)

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