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Darker Place, A(CD)(Abr.) [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Jack Higgins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 6 2011 Sean Dillon Series (Book 16)
A famous Russian writer and ex-paratrooper named Alexander Kurbsky has gotten fed up with the Putin government, and decides he wants to "disappear" into the West. He is under no illusions, however, about how the news will be greeted at home, having seen too many of his countrymen die mysteriously at the hands of the thuggish Russian security services, so he makes elaborate plans with Charles Ferguson, Sean Dillon and the rest of the group known informally as the "Prime Minister’s private army" for his escape and concealment. It’s a real coup for the West except for one thing: Kurbsky is still working for the Russians. The plan is to infiltrate British and American intelligence at the highest levels, and he has his own motivations for doing the most effective job possible. He does not care what he has to do or where he has to go...or whom he has to kill. Filled with suspense, driven by characters of complexity and passion, A Darker Place once again proves that, in the words of the Associated Press, “When it comes to thriller writers, one name stands well above the crowd — Jack Higgins.”

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Review

Praise for Jack Higgins: 'Open a Jack Higgins novel and you'll encounter a master craftsman at the peak of his powers ... first-rate tales of intrigue, suspense and full-on action.' Sunday Express 'Higgins is a master of his craft.' Daily Telegraph 'A thriller writer in a class of his own.' Financial Times 'The master craftsman of good, clean adventure.' Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Since The Eagle Has Landed—one of the biggest-selling thrillers of all time—every novel Jack Higgins has written has become an international bestseller. He has had simultaneous number-one bestsellers in hardcover and paperback, and many of his books have been made into successful movies, including The Eagle Has Landed, To Catch a King, On Dangerous Ground, Eye of the Storm, and Thunder Point. He has degrees in sociology, social psychology, and economics from the University of London, and a doctorate in media from Leeds Metropolitan University. A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an expert scuba diver and marksman, Higgins lives in Jersey on the Channel Islands.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Your reaction to A Darker Place will depend a lot on three things:

1. You feel comfortable with Mr. Higgins' premise that the Communists are still in control in Russia and running things pretty much the same way they always did.

2. You would like a change from Sean Dillon shooting up whoever the Russians send after him or the person Dillon is protecting.

3. You like some character development to balance your killings.

For me, the premise doesn't really work, but I am tired of the predictable Sean Dillon bloodbaths, and I like a balance between character development and "wet" work in my thrillers.

Alexander Kurbsky is a contradiction in one person: a successful Russian novelist, ex-soldier, and assassin who was happiest while living in the UK as a young man. Now, the powers-that-be in Russia want Kurbsky to penetrate Ferguson's operations in the UK. Kurbsky is "encouraged" to play along by the promise that his sister will be released from a remote gulag.

As the story is told, we know what Kurbsky is doing . . . and it isn't very easy to accomplish. Flashbacks help us understand the forces that have created today's Kurbsky while we also learn more about Major Roper. This is primarily Kurbsky's story, and it's interesting to guess which way he will turn next and whether he will be able to carry off the deception or not.

This is such a change from recent novels that it almost seems like a new series. That shift will cheer some and disappoint others.
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By RoyCan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The last few books have less about Dillon and, as a result, not as enjoyable. Let's hope this is / was only temporary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The author at his best Jan. 26 2014
By Dr. Tim Parker TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
An interesting continuation of the series, with some background filling that has been missed from the previous books. For example, we finally find out more about Roper and his experiences in Ireland. The premise of the book is plausible, there's nothing beyond the stretch of imagination, and as usual the book is a solid read. Another of Higgins at his best. Recommended for fans and for newcomers to this author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Darker Place to Be Feb. 9 2009
By Rosa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is Jack Higgins at his finest. Alex Kurbsky wants to defect. And hopes that Fergusion and his crew will help. But all is not what it seems. Once again Sean Dillon springs into action. This is a fast-paced and action packed. I couldn't put it down and finish it in one day. You won't be disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read May 28 2009
By Bob Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Higgins' books today are not as good as the earlier ones. It seems he does not take the time to think out the plot ahead of time and instead makes it up as he goes. Unfortunately he is in a rut of repeating plots over and over again. This is another example. I am hooked on reading all of his novels hoping for the spark of the Higgins of old but this is another disappointment.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's in the Details April 20 2009
By Bryan Cassiday - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Not one of his best efforts, "A Darker Place" shows evidence of slapdash writing by Higgins. To wit, Kurbsky, according to Higgins, is shot by Ali Selim in his left hip on page 330. However, on page 332, Kurbsky says he was shot in his right hip. Oops! The devil's in the details.

I also found the Russian soldier's abrupt fling with the maid at the hotel where Kurbsky was staying when he defected a bit contrived--as though the maid/lover was thrown in as an obvious plot device (she "happens" to see Kurbsky when he makes a run for it at the hotel and she notifies the Russians who were guarding him).

That being said, despite its jerry-built sections, "A Darker Place" is better than most thrillers, even though it's not Higgins's best.

As for Sean Dillon, he seems to have mellowed out in his old age. He doesn't have that devil-may-care attitude he used to have. In this particular book in the series, he is, in fact, irrelevant.

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read Oct. 20 2009
By R. L. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I find Professor Donald Mitchell's review to be the closest to my own take on this book.

Many of the negative comments from other reviewers left me wondering if these people had read the same book I did. I've read all of the Dillon stories and most of Higgins other books; he's one of my favorite authors.

OK, sure. He's writing entertaining, leave-your-mind-in-neutral stuff here---not great classics of literature. As a retired professional writer and communications consultant, I think I know the difference.

In spite of what many other critics have written, I think, for it's genere, this is a well-crafted, highly entertaining read. Dillon is a bit player in this one, but he is there, along with the usual supporting cast, and I especially enjoyed his new characters.

I give it an A+ as an enjoyable read.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Little Light, Please July 4 2009
By Stoney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a voracious reader (having posted over 170 reviews on Amazon), this is one of the few novels I've simply given up on at the half-way point.

There are so many flashbacks (and thus changes in the time-frame) that I could not keep track of who was who, and why who was doing what.

The individual little short stories of the flashbacks are well constructed and interesting, with very interesting characters---but that is all that kept me going to the half-way mark.

If there is an overall plot or story, I have no idea what it was.

I realize that this isn't a very helpful review. However potential readers need to be warned that this is not a novel to read a chapter or two every other day---you've got to pay attention, and perhaps you have to be a Higgins fan and already know the continuing characters.
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