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Hostile Intent Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle - Kensington (Sept. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786020423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786020423
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #902,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I started writing this it was getting longer and longer, adding spoilers and so on. I'm trying to simplify.

I thought it started out well, with an interesting premise. Unfortunately by the halfway point there were already gaping holes in several places where the plot would jump forward and there was absolutely no indication how the characters got to where they were. The ending was rushed, and by the end the hero and evil mastermind both annoyed me as weak-minded fools (and for several other reasons as well).

My biggest peeves with the book are:
References that made no sense or were incorrect, that feel like they were thrown in just because they looked impressive when any reader with an ounce of technical knowhow would say "Huh? (Bluray mouthpiece, IMDB Pro, etc)
The absolutely atrocius plot jumps involving a couple of side characters. I actually kept flipping back thinking that either my kid had been playing with my bookmark, or checking to see if a chapter had fallen out of my book. Sadly, no.

I would be surprised if I read anything by Walsh again, there are a number of other authors whose works I would prefer to read for the 4th or 5th time than to put myself through this again.

The only thing I was happy about was that I waited until I could get this book from the library and didn't blow my own cash on it.

In summation, rather than billing Walsh as the "next Vince Flynn", I would suggest waiting for the next Flynn, Thor, Child, etc, book to arrive. Or dig out some of the classics.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I've read by this author and it's pretty darn good. The hero is interesting, albeit a bit infallible. The opening is cold and harsh and the villains are villainous. One of the public reviews was a bit effusive in its praise and this usually puts me off, but I would suggest that if you read a lot, and enjoy espionage fiction, this book is worth the time and investment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 97 reviews
36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely loved it!! Aug. 30 2009
By karmaqueen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book!!! I could not believe it was free, and as I read it, I kept thinking that it was as good or better than most of the spy/thriller that I had purchased for 9.99 or more. The action is fast paced, and it hooked me almost inmediately.
I am puzzled by some of the reviews that state that the author used intricate vocabulary. I only read the reviews after finishing the book, and I can honestly say that I did NOT find the language contrived or anything different from other fast paced Action/Thrillers.
If you love and wait patiently for the newest Thrillers, get this book. You have nothing to lose (its free), and will be on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. I looked up the author, and was willing to buy full price, but it seems that this is his first (and only) novel of this genre.
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Fast-Paced and Well-Written Aug. 28 2009
By D. Buxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hostile Intent is an excellent book that grabbed my attention from the first few pages and didn't let go. Oftentimes in this genre, the author attempts to introduce a legion of characters and settings in such a whirlwind of activity that I have trouble keeping everything straight. In this instance, while the book maintains the convention of several key characters and simultaneous scenes, I found the organization coherent enough to keep track and maintain my interest in each of the various plot lines. The pace was exciting enough to keep me reading well into the wee hours of the morning. This book is well worth the price (free as of this review) and, more importantly, worth the time it takes to read it. In the current political environment, I wouldn't say this book is politically correct, but it is a page turner.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Succeeds as a Thriller, but Fails as a Polemic Sept. 4 2009
By Joseph DeSantis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is hard to ignore the right wing politics of this book, which is a shame, because it is a genuine page-turner with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, a more than adequate beach read that anyone of any political persuasion should be able to enjoy.

I say this as a conservative who largely agrees with the author, Michael Walsh's, not so subtle message about the West's 50 year attempt at suicide through a combination of low birth rates, a culture that celebrates mediocrity, and our cult of guilt over doing what it takes to survive in a dangerous world.

But the various characters' long inner monologues on these and many more topics get old by the middle of the book, and I found myself skimming over these sections to get to an actual plot development. In fact, Hostile Intent reminded me a little of the writings of Ayn Rand, in that the stories are simply a vehicle for her morality lessons. Combine Alex Berenson with Ayn Rand, and you probably get something similar to Michael Walsh.

Walsh says he wrote Hostile Intent to honor the intelligence officers and secret agents that live lives of extreme danger and even greater loneliness. This is certainly a laudable goal, especially considering the beating the CIA is now taking over their interrogation practices, but if he wanted to honor these men, he might have started by making the hero of the story likeable. Instead, we get Devlin, an arrogant and fundamentally immoral, highly trained and lethal government agent of an elite, unknown agency who does what he does not for any love of country, but only because it is what he was raised to do.

So rather than illustrate the case for allowing the men and women of the military and intelligence communities to do what it takes to protect the American people, Walsh creates a character guided by no sense of shared humanity with those he is working to protect. This is exactly the caricature of the CIA and many of our fine fighting men and women that the Left is so rightly criticized for trying to depict.

Walsh tries at times to make you feel for Devlin and give you a glimpse of his humanity. For instance, at one point, Devlin kills some FBI agents who were being used as pawns against him. The brief pang of remorse he shows toward one woman agent is later ruined when you find out the callous way in which he piles up their bodies for the authorities to find. Similarly, Devlin's romance with a mysterious Arab woman comes across as absurdly rushed and totally unbelievable.

The chief villain of the story, Emmanuel Skorzeny is far more interesting than the protagonist. The character of Skorzeny is pretty much just equal parts a Bond villain, Leigh Teabing from The DaVinci code, and George Soros. Still, this makes his long soliloquies and rants about the fall of Western civilization are less frustrating, because it comes across as more believable from a villain. Furthermore, Walsh adeptly keeps you guessing through most of the book as to what Skorzeny's true goals and motivations are.

Hostile Intent's other main failing is the incessant amount of techno babble. Yes, a spy novel is inherently going to involve some pretty cool and far-fetched pieces of technology - that's part of the appeal, but Walsh really lays it on thick, and the result is entire paragraphs that are pretty much gibberish, at least to the typical reader. Simply put, the fantastic technologies just didn't come across as believable, and the invasiveness of them again undercuts, I think, Walsh's stated goal for the book, as a rebuke to those who so reflexively demonize our intelligence communities.

So why am I giving this book 4 stars? Because it succeeds as a thriller. There are lots of twists and turns and it kept me guessing to the very end. Furthermore, Walsh writes actions scenes very well, and you can really see the fight scenes play out in your head as you read along. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, especially considering the price - I nabbed it for free during one of the Kindle promotions.

I just wish the politics of the book were a little easier to overlook because novels with an overtly political message are inherently going to be judged that way. This either alienates those who come from an opposite point of view, or frustrates people like me who find the way it is dealt with clumsy.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Painful.... Jan. 22 2010
By Murky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I seldom submit reviews for books I've read. But then, I don't stop people on the road to tell them the road is good, either. But, if I hit a pothole or there's some hazard on the road, I feel it's my duty to warn others. This book is a pothole. Even if you overlook the fifty-cent words poorly injected throughout and the tedious character development, the plot convolutions will have you scratching your head. Mostly unbelievable, from beginning to end. Unbelievable too that I read the whole thing, though I did just skim the parts that hurt too much. Definitely a pothole.
24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Seriously? Dec 9 2009
By John Covington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, I had no idea that a book could continue to worsen throughout its reading this much. I was excited by the quote on the cover "Vince Flynn for the 21st Century" and tore into this book, only to be left feeling gypped. The author never settles for regular prose when a 50-cent word is available, and I just found the writing to be wandering and a bit aimless at times, with plot twists that made no sense at all. I never really write reviews, but felt that I owed it to somebody to pay it forward, and hopefully prevent them from reading this poor book. Oh yeah, Vince Flynn is the Vince Flynn for the 21st century.

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