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Dead Spy Running

(Legoland Trilogy #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Daniel Marchant, a suspended MI6 officer, is running the London Marathon. He is also running out of time. A competitor is strapped with explosives. If he drops his pace, everyone around him will be killed, including the US ambassador to London. Marchant tries to thwart the attack, but is he secretly working for the terrorists?

There are those in America who already suspect
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Blue Door (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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GS Nathan
Good story premise, lots of deception and spying, but a bit jerky with large chunks of the story being not well delineated and left to the imagination of the reader. There is a big Indian angle to the whole story with a South India based terrorist cell working with the Iranians to create havoc in the West, which is a pretty tall story. The author has definitely tried not to mangle up the Indian names and to get the place names and the rest of it correctly, but has slipped up quite a bit, but sti ...more
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Espionage fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Ten years ago, I read and loved Jon Stock's debut thriller The Riot Act -- about a young counter-cultural class warrior forced to go undercover. It was lean, taut, and had a corker of an ending. Four years ago, I was rather less taken with his followup, The Cardamom Club, which had problems of pacing, over-elaborate plotting, and somewhat sappy romantic content. Now comes his third book (the first of a projected trilogy), which bears all the hallmarks of the blockbuster international spy thrille ...more
The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Thriller fans
Good stuff - quick paced and page-turning. The book opens with suspended MI6 spy, Daniel Marchant, spotting a suicide bomber while running the London marathon. The bomber has to stay running above the 8 minute mile speed or he and all those around him will blow up (remind you of anything?). Despite the already-used formular, this was still really well done and hooked me from the off. The rest of the book follows Marchant across several continents while he tries to a) trace the perpertrators and ...more
Evanston Public  Library
I know, I know... This isn't a romance, nor is it a gentle read. This is a spy novel, pure and simple in the style of John Le Carré, Robert Ludlum, and Ian Fleming. What makes this better than the average book is the subtly of the storyline. A few years ago, I read Bangkok 8 by John Burdett. At the time, I was intrigued by Burdett's character, Buddhist police detective, Sonchai Jitplecheep's, half Thai-half American perspective. When reading Dead Spy Running, I felt that same feeling of watching ...more
Sean Randall
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Certainly a high-octane thriller, I can see why people contrast Marchant's escapades with those of Bourne and Smiley. ludlum lacks le Carré's contempt for the Americans, of course; here, there's a great scene where an MI6 officer completely fubar's the CIA following him and I think that's one of my favourite's of the book (chapter 23, if anyone wishes to read an extract as a point of reference).

There's also an inevitability about the British working with the Cousins, of course, but I suppose tha
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First time author Jon Stock has created an exciting International thriller. It's a clash between competing security agencies, MI6, MI5, the CIA and international terrorists. I only hope that the Wake County Library System buys this book. It is a well-paced exciting thriller that doesn't let you down for one minute. It is as fresh as today's headlines and doesn't miss a beat . A terrific first novel and a must read!!
Dale Flower
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well I picked this up from a charity shop for 70p and wasn't really expecting much. How wrong was I?! Absolutely loved it as it turned out to be the exact kind of book I like. Fast paced with plenty of twists and turns. I will be keeping an eye out for the next in the series!
Feb 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrorist cells, disenfranchised MI6 agent, disagreement among the services, waterboarding...we've read this before. Stock lost me at the waterboarding.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Quick, fast-paced read. Good if you're in the mood for action rather than a deep and meaningful book with character development.
Klaus Langkilde
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Could not put it down. Read it in three days. GREAT. Go get it! Waiting for the movie to come out in 2013.
Rich Parker
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Jon Stock is a very talented writer. I know he is able to descend into his characters heads and explore the emotional world as well as any, and I enjoyed Dead Spy Running (first in the Legoland Trilogy) both from that standpoint and from the geopolitically well researched and intriguing plot. It is an excellent spy read. But the following two in the Legoland trilogy I found, though enjoyable, not quite as captivating. They seemed more like screenplays, though in all fairness they moved at a bris ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!! Did I mention this book was awesome?
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spy
First read of the author. Great start. Pacy story, twists and turns. Will read the next one.
Sam Allen
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pacey thriller - enjoyed this one.
Keith Mills
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A good, complex plot, but lacking real, believable characters (they are cyphers). For me a truly successful book needs both.
Kelley AC
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exciting. Unexpected twists. Very British.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shut the doors, lock the windows, hide the phone put the car away. Once you start, you're not going anywhere until you finish reading this one.

More addictive than the contents of a warehouse just the other side of the Mexican border, more twists and turns than the road up into the mountains from Innsbruck to Seefeld we travelled on this last summer.

You really shouldn't reckon on putting 'Dead Spy Running' down until you're done.

This is the first in the current Marchant trilogy (I say 'current' m
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it
While I don't agree with the publisher's claim that this is as good as the Bourne novels, this is a perfectly acceptable thriller to pack in your holiday suitcase. Reading it reminded me in many ways of the British TV series Spooks: it's equally fastpaced and equally unrealistic. The storyline centres on Daniel Marchand, an MI6 officer who has been suspended after his father (the former chief) was linked to an Indian terrorist and forced to resign. Daniel and his girlfriend Leila (another MI6 of ...more
Juliette Swett
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-suspense
I know, I know... This isn't a romance, nor is it a gentle read. This is a spy novel, pure and simple in the style of John Le Carré, Robert Ludlum, and Ian Fleming. What makes this better than the average book is the subtly of the storyline. A few years ago, I read Bangkok 8 by John Burdett. At the time, I was intrigued by Burdett's character, Buddhist police detective, Sonchai Jitplecheep's, half Thai-half American perspective. When reading Dead Spy Running, I felt that same feeling of watching ...more
Esther Bradley-detally
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A friend told me about Dead Spy Running. Said it referenced Baha'is, or those persecuted in Iran as a substory, and the main stuff was about spys, and water boarding, and the English, American, Polish, and Iranian spies, a tale rich with intrigue.

It was a gripper; I am biased because I am a Baha'i and very little fiction thusfar covers any mention of this Faith. But Jon Stock kept the pace going; didn't mention names, but conditions, and I found it informative as far as spy machinery goes, and k
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Manchard is the spy on the run. He is the son of the former MI-6 head and his father's disgrace and his own suspended status are closely linked. This book has an opening that is among the most interesting and electrifying that I've read. In addition, the quality of Stock's writing is quite assured, and all of the characters are complex and interesting, even the bit players. How Manchard stays alive and learns the truth makes an absorbing book. There is a passage involving water-boarding al ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
3 stars for the clever title alone ... sorry, you won't appreciate that until you read it. Liked it, good entertainment, but falls prey to my pet peeve: the woman protagonist, while having believable motives, is way too much of a super-hero. The male protagonist remains realistic with the exception of being the world champion at resisting water-boarding torture (What are the odds?). I could imagine an author being given the assignment, "Write about what the children of the Tinker Tailor Soldier ...more
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
A pretty good first effort. The plot was well thought out, the writing was solid, but the characters were quite superficial. The book starts out with a bang--a marathon runner with a bomb strapped around his waist who is shadowing the U.S. ambassador to England, how disaster is avoided, and eventually the CIA taking a British intelligence officer rendition style to a secret prison in Poland to waterboard information out of him. Unfortunately the story line weakens a bit but is still an enjoyable ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
The American ambassador to England is running in the London Marathon. Two British agents are also running. They are suspicious of one of the runners; he has a belt with cylinders on it. Daniel runs near him and starts up a conversation. He comes to believe that the runner was forced to be a bomber. Somehow they are able to save all the participants. But then the book moves into Daniel being accused of setting the whole thing up because his dad had also been a British spy and had been accused of ...more
Selina Griffin
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I bought this because the start is about an ex MI5 agent who, at the start of the London marathon, thinks he sees someone with a bomb. I assumed (wrongly) that a large part of the book would be taken up with the marathon and a kind of "speed" thing where the guy gets tired and our hero has to encourage him and urge him on for chapters and chapters, while they tell stories to keep morale up. This wasn't the case. I enjoyed the book, but had come into it with the wrong idea, which marred my enjoym ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a page-turner, that's for sure. The action is brisk, globe-spanning and authentically written; the political intrigue is, similarly, great to read. Where the book falls is in the characterisation and description; Stock isn't one for detail (beyond the minutiae of the plot), and therefore the locations and characters lack a certain sense of grounding. It's one of few books that I think could be easily expanded and be all the better for it.
Tim Corke
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My first Jon Stock book and I've instantly taken a great delight in his story. Evocative, exciting - Bond-esque in the way Marchant, the main protagonist, is renegade yet fiercely loyal but with a handler who trusts, if not despairs, at the manner in which he operates.

Dead Spy Running is a twisty, exciting, 'young' novel that won't disappoint - there's plenty of guts in it! I eagerly await to find another one of Jon Stock's novels!
Bev Taylor
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
first novel i have read by this author

never marry a sp - u will never know when they r lying! when they leave the service - where they do NOT play happy families - they shuld become professional poker players. would make a damn sight more money!

plot was topical although that not original. was pretty clear how it would an out bu did have a twist at the end

try it

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J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of British author Jon Stock. Jon read English at Magdalene College, Cambridge and lives in Wiltshire with his wife and children.

The Other you, his latest J.S.Monroe psychological thriller, was published in January 2020 to widespread critical acclaim. "I doubt many other psychological thrillers published this year will be as propulsive and fun" - Daily Telegraph; "A clev

Other books in the series

Legoland Trilogy (3 books)
  • Games Traitors Play (Legoland Trilogy #2)
  • Dirty Little Secret (Legoland Trilogy #3)

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