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The Names of the Dead

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,779 ratings  ·  129 reviews
They locked him up. Now he’s out—for revenge.

Former CIA officer James ‘Wes’ Wesley paid the ultimate price for his patriotism when he was locked up in a French jail for an anti-terror operation gone wrong—abandoned by the Agency he served, shunned by his colleagues and friends, cut off from his family.

Now he is shattered by the news that his ex-wife, Rachel, a State
Paperback, 252 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
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Kevin Wignall Oh, I hate disappointing people, but no, I'm not currently planning a sequel. It's the question I get asked most about all my books. I like to leave…moreOh, I hate disappointing people, but no, I'm not currently planning a sequel. It's the question I get asked most about all my books. I like to leave the reader feeling the story will continue past the last page (just like in real life), and I've thought a lot about what Mia and Wes do next, but for now, I prefer to leave it open. Sorry! K(less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,779 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bomb goes off in a small courtyard in Granada killing several people, including Rachel Richards. James Wesley - Wes, ex-CIA is in prison in France for shooting down ‘the wrong helicopter’ but he’s been set up by fellow CIA agent and former friend Sam Garvey. Rachel is Wes’s ex wife. Their son Ethan, whose existence Wes was unaware of until the bomb, is missing. Where is he? Why is Rachel dead? What corruption lies at the heart of CIA operations in the Middle East that led to Wes’s ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Name of the Dead is the third book I have read by Kevin Wignall

I had also enjoyed The Traitor's Story, and To Die in Vienna. However I must admit that this espionage/thriller was my favourite so far. I am rating it a 4 star, but if I could - I would give it a half star more

It starts off in Granada Spain where Former CIA officer James ‘Wes’ Wesley's wife is killed in a terrorist attack, and the pace does not let up throughout the book.

The spot where the opening scene takes place sounds very
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Names of the Dead is a thrilling espionage story set in Europe though the backstory to it is set in the Turkish border areas to Syria and Iraq. It is the story of an agent betrayed by his team, abandoned by them, set up, sent to prison for three years and left to wonder what happened. Upon his early release for his ex wife’s death in a terror bombing, his worst fears are realized when the agency has turned against him. And he has to make his way to Spain to unravel the mystery and pick up ...more
Christi M
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
An espionage revenge story spanning from prison in France to several European countries. The book starts with an explosion in Granada that kills several people, including Wes’s ex-wife Rachel. Wes is in a French prison that holds war criminals when he learns of her death, but also that the son he didn’t know he had hasn’t been found yet. He has known for a while he was setup for what he is in prison for and who exactly had set him up, but now he has reason to believe that those responsible are ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Here is an author everyone should read if they like the modern spy genre.
I was therefore delighted when I got the chance to read this Advanced Reader’s Copy, ARC and of course, naturally pumped, to share my review.
I never start a book assuming it will be a page turner; a can’t put down enchanting escape or a must read, based purely on the writer.
However, with authors you have previously enjoyed, you pick up the book with anticipation and a knowing sense of reader’s joy. That is, the sense that
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rockingly good ride.
Dave C
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Broken Characters

An entertaining and well written Kindle First book; what a rare treat!

Memorable, unique characters help the story move along at a good pace. The main character, released from prison early due to the death of his wife, manages to outwit the team of killers set to pick him up. He is “rescued“ by the strange daughter of one of his former prisoners. Together they travel Europe hunting for a lost child and ultimately finding something else.

The writer does an excellent job of
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am perhaps a bit biased when reading this authors books because before I start any of them I just know they are going to be excellent, and i have never been disappointed. From the Childrens books to the action packed thrillers, this author, for me, always delivers.
Wes is a former CIA agent, serving time in jail for an operation that went wrong, an operation that in his eyes was intended to fail so he would end up where he is now.
Wes learns that his ex wife has been killed in a terrorist
Ben Campbell
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall, a decent novel, but the game of developing exciting plots and characters has changed. This book is commercial, and wants to reach readers who love stories about Special Forces soldiers who have made their way into private enterprises by way of government secrets. My reading habits have changed. I want to read more creative plots with enlightening characters with controversial personalities with purpose beyond the usual kill shots, redemptions, and revenge. I want CREATIVITY.

Mia was most
Sue Purbrick
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this fast-paced, well-written thriller. Wes learns his ex-wife Rachel has died in a terrorist bomb blast, and that the son he never knew he had, Ethan, is missing. He sets out to find the boy, helped by the otherworldly Mia, whom he meets by chance. She couldn’t be more different from him. She is “like someone stranded in a world for which she wasn’t properly equipped.”

Wes and Mia make an odd couple as they drive through Europe on their search for Ethan. They are the perfect
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The fifth entry in Kevin Wignall’s always good series is his best. One thing that really makes the novel work is his incredibly unique, strange and incredibly interesting female character, Mia. Great Ever changing European settings too.

Easily read as a stand-alone.
Lynn Horton
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Wignall’s books, and this one is everything I’ve come to expect from him: a unique voice, quirky characters, and engaging locations. It’s a quick read too, which is perfect for those times when I want to relax my brain, but not make a long commitment to a literary marathon.

The Names of the Dead is very competent international suspense.

Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Five stars. The author has a mysterious quality that strikes a responsive cord in me.Neither the book nor the characters were common place,and were definitely non-predictable. I’ve read most of his books, and this is good as his other novels.I will look forward to the next one.
Doug Yonce
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the plot of the story is very good, where this book excels is in the the research done to create an amazing worldwide setting and a protagonist who feels real with hurts, successes, doubts, joys, and growth. If you’re looking for an action thriller with a strong storyline and believable characters, look no farther. I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Laurie Tell
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read numerous spy novels, and this ranks right up there. I was engrossed from the start, and all.the way through. I'm really hoping there is a sequel with these characters. I would buy that book in an instant.

One thing that was different about this spy was that he actually showed a little personal growth. And he was flawed, not a one dimensional perfect person.

I want to.thank the publisher and net galley for my ARC, which did not impact my review. This book was a really good read.
J. F.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall
(Published by Thomas & Mercer)

4.5 Stars

With a writing style so fluid and easy to speed-read, the author specializes in compartmentalized dust-ups, down-to-earth spy stories; no heads of state threatened, no nuclear devices defused, no major paradigm shifts in the singularity - and yet quite creative.

The protagonists in his stories are flawed, shall have paid some, and are out to set things right. Which are precisely what make them compelling
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-books
3.5 stars rounded up. I enjoy this author but I don’t think that this is his best work. It isn’t bad, but he had other novels that are better. One of the things that I like is that while his books are spy/action thrillers, they also have a human interest element to make the story more interesting than just a bunch of men sneaking around and shooting each other in the name of justice. The element in this book was Wes’ search for his young son who is discovered to be missing after his mother (Wes’ ...more
Jack Hrkach
Okay, so it is the Epiphany, but I actually had one - or maybe serencipity - when a few days ago I picked up his novel. I had just finished work on a 2017 trip I took to Southern Spain, and lo and behold! I was suddenly plunged into Granada, Seville and Madrid - three of the important scenes of action in the book, along with quite a leap, to Croatia, and finally to Milan.

The book itself? I like espionage fiction, and though the lead character is no longer an agent (having been wrongly accused of
jeff popple
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spy-thriller
Kevin Wignall is an under-rated American author of spy novels.

I have been a fan of his books for a long time now, although they can be hard to find in Australia, and have always felt that he does not receive the attention that other lesser authors do. This may be due to the cynical tone of his books, which eschews the patriotic fervour often associated with American spy novels and anti-terrorist thrillers. In style and content, he seems to be more of a British or European spy novelist, than
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CIA Corruption, Deceit, and Intra-Agency Conflicts

The slow, deliberate pace of this spy-world thriller set in modern-day Europe makes it a great escape read, but without too much trauma. The believable storyline is punctuated with the realistic thoughts and engaging introspections of a wronged and somewhat insecure man seeking truth and justice.

Filled with drama, this novel focuses on an ex-CIA agent, trying to make sense of being betrayed, sent to prison, and then suddenly released into a
BestBooksy Reviews
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We’re counting our lucky stars thus far in 2020, having kicked off the year with some smashing reads. The Names of the Dead, appealed to us from the get-go, as at BestBooksy we’re always on the lookout for a great thriller, particularly one that has espionage and a ton of mystery to boot. We came in with high expectations and oh-boy, we weren’t disappointed, this is one an expertly crafted mystery.

We immediately fell in love with our hero CIA Agent, James ‘Wes” Wesley, and we were intrigued
Michelle Tuite
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Reading 2020
Book 17: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall

This was one of my Amazon First Reads selections this month. The expected publishing date for the book is sometime in February.

Wes is a disgraced CIA agent in prison for giving the order to shoot down a helicopter full of friendly passengers. He gets early release when his ex-wife is killed in a bombing of a cafe in Spain. A young son, Wes has no idea even existed, is missing. Wes must clear his name, the CIA wants him dead, and find his
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Names of the dead is an absolutely cracking espionage thriller, the relentless pace and action never slows and we are taken on a journey through France Spain and Portugal as Wes an ex CIA agent is released from a special prison after the death of his ex wife in a terrorist attack.
Wes an inmate of a prison in France for war lords and the like was sentenced after a CIA mission to target terrorists went completely wrong and a number of innocent civilians were killed. Wes was blamed, but he
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This was my second First Reads choice for January, and definitely a genre outside my comfort zone.
I loved how the opening scene was set up and maybe that set my expectations a bit too high for the rest of the book.
For a "spy thriller" I would have expected more action, but instead I felt there was just so much dialogue with the sole purpose of explaining what had happened before, which a) made the dialogue stilted and b) slowed down the narrative. I understand the purpose of this book is
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an author worth reading. The storyline but into my intellect immediately.

I found this author/novel via a Kindle suggestion. It's well-written and was quite easy to want to know more about the two lead characters, Wes and Mia. The subsidiary characters were robust enough that this book was enjoyed by me throughout the night into early morning.

It's a "spy" novel, as well as a "thriller" but for me it is a coming to know one's self more than anything else. There'll be parts of this story
Barry Fulton
CIA officer Wes Wesley is blamed and prisoned for the death of five people killed in a helicopter crash. After killing a rogue CIA team to protect himself, he sets out to avenge the homicide of his divorced wife. Accompanied by the daughter of a Croatian war criminal, he travels through southern and eastern Europe trying to elude a grey-team CIA assassin and find his enfant son. Interesting story. The most compelling character is Mia, a young Croatian woman whose behavior suggests she's on the ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the underlying premise of this novel is potentially intriguing, it never grabbed me as many other spy thrillers have. A rogue CIA operation, coverup, setting up the sacrificial lamb, add in an autistic (?) daughter of a Croatian war criminal -- somehow that potential never jelled for me. The writing could stand editing, especially the regular use of pronouns with unclear referents. Action spanned many European countries, but not always for believable reasons. Maybe I just wasn't in the ...more
Kenneth J. Olsen
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great action thtiller

Just couldn't set this one down. It started slow as the plot was being revealed but after that, the pace was all full speed ahead. Chapter after chapter of page turning excitement. Of course, the hero and his heroin did what had to be done to put down the bad guys against all odds. The heroes heroin, though very helpful had a fetish, she did not want to be touched by anyone. It just seemed that at the end, considering what both had gone through, that maybe a hug might be
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good storyline and interesting characters

Nice to read a thriller that has a high functioning autistic character ... or 2. The story is good with several interesting aside descriptions of places. Characters met along the way have just the right amount of depth and description. The book inspired me to want to smell the orange blossom in Spain, to drive more & to read another book by this author. The thriller/criminal element is good - not brilliant as it’s quite predictable but still
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Names of the Dead

This is a fast paced thriller telling the story of James Wesley, a US agent who had been betrayed by one of his own men. Freed from prison early following the death of his wife Was discovers he has a son he never knew about. But his old friends are after him and Wes knows they want him dead.
I loved this book. It was easy to read, with great characters. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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Army Child till age nine.

Settled back in a small town in the west of England.

Lancaster University - degree in Politics &
International Relations.


Also writes as K.J. Wignall

“It already felt a lifetime ago, prison years being like dog years.” 0 likes
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