Author: Mark Hosack
Narrator: Mark Hosack
Length: 10h 19m
Publisher:Wide Awake Audio⎮2017
Release date: Jan. 19, 2017
Jake Boxer, investigative journalist and host of the conspiratorial news show Bullseye, is in serious trouble. Not only is his soundman murdered by Russian intelligence agents while reporting on a secretive New World Order, but his network cancels his show, leaving Jake humiliated and spiraling into a deep dark depression.
Years later, a condemned murderer, who claims he was abandoned by the CIA, and who starred in an early episode of Bullseye, is finally executed for killing two supposed Soviet spies back in the 1970s.
Jake Boxer, still trying to piece his life back together, is on his honeymoon in a posh ski resort in the Alaskan mountains when he gets word of the inmate’s execution . . . and the old killer’s final words: “The good spy dies twice.”
Those five words, seemingly meant for Jake, draw the ex-reporter from his forced retirement and into a complex and deadly global conspiracy involving his newlywed wife, the secretive New World Order, and the hotel’s hundred or so “guests.”
Everyone is a suspect.
Described as James Bond in a Stephen King novel, THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE is the explosive first book in the Bullseye Series. Part spy thriller, part whodunit, this fast-paced novel introduces an exciting new hero, the intrepid, conspiratorial journalist, Jake Boxer.
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Mark Hosack is the author of THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE (Book 1: The Bullseye Series, nominated for the 2016 RT Source Award), and IDENTITY (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote on the web series SEQUESTERED for Sony Crackle, the screenplay for GIVE 'EM HELL, MALONE (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), and he both wrote and directed the award winning independent film PALE BLUE MOON. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a brood of gremlins who insist on calling him Dad.
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HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio book review. Overall rating clarification 3.5. The Good Spy Dies Twice is a contemporary conspiracy thriller from author Mark Hosack that apart from the flashbacks, places readers in the US, post-2016 election time frame. It is tense and at times intense. Our main character, Jake Boxer, is not at all the typical lead man readers would expect in this kind of story; rather, he is deeply flawed, which for me is a refreshing break from the stud hero spy guy.
Due to some occupational hazards in his former line of work as an investigative reporter, Jake suffers from paranoia – but then, with all that transpires, doesn’t he ultimately have a reason to be paranoid? Jake is an unreliable narrator because the reader can’t be sure if what he’s saying/feeling/doing is because he’s paranoid, under the influence of his pain meds, haunted by his nightmares, or being visited by ghosts (real or imagined). He is mostly operating in a fog, but he also has his moments of clarity, and even brilliance as we come to the big reveal, which surprisingly happens with a fair amount left in the story.
The premise is excellent, the characters are interesting and even intriguing, Hosack’s descriptions are detailed and realistic, and the plot is intricate and full of twists and turns and surprises – all elements that kept me listening. Where I struggled was in the details. There are decisions characters make that don’t ring true (especially for survival situations). There are procedures that seem illogical and unrealistic (and even incorrect – land lines that aren’t digital do not need electricity to work), and there are a lot of deus ex machina solutions and resolutions. YET. . . that story kept my interest piqued.
The narration by author Mark Hosack at times slips into a Rod Serling-ish vibe, but it is performed with passion and real emotional investment. Jake’s fears, paranoia, and anxiety are depicted very well. There is some inconsistency in the voices of other characters (primarily Al, the concierge), but overall, author and narrator Hosack does an admirable job carrying the story and the tension. I did find the pace a little slow at regular speed, but bumping to 1.25x was perfect for me (and probably even adds to the tension ramping up.) An unexpected aspect to the audio book was the inclusion of some sound effects and musical transitions that sometimes work well (especially towards the end of the story) and other times feel awkward.
I listened to The Good Spy Dies Twice while on a road trip, and I have no regrets that I spent my time that way. As is always the case with audio books while driving, the downside is that I can’t retain specific quotes - and there are some good ones - and I don’t have the luxury of being able to flip back pages to do some re-reading to clear-up any confusion. I’ll be looking forward to book two of the Bullseye Series, The Chaos Agent, hopefully coming later this year.
Thank you to Audiobookworm Promotions for providing me an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
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