Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book "Department Thirteen" by James Houston Turner

About the Book: Department Thirteen - the assassination and sabotage unit of the KGB - never officially existed, but retired KGB colonel Aleksandr Talanov knows that it did. It's but one of the many secrets he's worked hard to forget. Now living in Australia, Talanov and dozens of dinner guests are suddenly the target of assassins. Talanov and his wife are mistakenly spared, but soon find themselves running for their lives, hunted by the killers, blamed by the police, increasingly pivotal to an invisible network of death about which they know nothing. But someone thinks they know. For in 1983, a second Department Thirteen was created, and Talanov discovers they have but one purpose: to kill him, whatever the cost. Department Thirteen has been honored as a Winner in the "Fiction: Thriller/Adventure" category of the USA Best Books 2011 Awards and a Gold Medal from the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards for best Suspense/Thriller of the year!

About the Author: A native of Kansas, James turned to writing fiction as a result of his years as a smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. He has been on a KGB watchlist, organized secret midnight meetings with informants, located hidden mountain bunkers, and investigated legends of forgotten tunnels buried beneath the cobblestones and bricks of some of Central Europe's most venerated cathedrals. A former journalist in Los Angeles, he holds a Bachelor's Degree from Baker University and a Master's Degree from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. He and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, live in Adelaide, South Australia. You may visit him at

My Review: This is simply a masterpiece on espionage, a very intense thriller, like the good ones from the old days, when John le CarrĂ©, Ian Fleming and Frederick Forsyth were the master writers of espionage. Now the world has a new master! The story is superb and the characters very well develop. The plot is simple: an ex-KGB agent (Aleksandr Talanov) lives in Australia with his wife Andrea. During a farewell reception at his home in Sydney (they are planning moving to USA) for friends (ex-KGB agents and more), their guests are murder and he escape with his wife (by accident) and a wild persecution starts. The interesting part is that he has no clue what is going on, until he start linking some pieces together from his past with the help of trusted friends. Is there a second Department Thirteen?

Brilliantly written, this novel is a page turner that you read at the edge of your seat. You get so involved that you easily start cheering for our hero. And the end is superb. Really a masterpiece like I have not read in a long time. And things only get better with the sequel of this book, another masterpiece named "The Greco's Game", even better than this one, if that is possible! Read my review on "The Greco's Game".

This book was written by Mr. James Houston Turner and was published on September 2011. I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that loves thriller, espionage and a very well written novel that will keep you entertained for some hours. It took me around 11 hours to read this book.

The author was kind enough to provide me a book for reviewing in electronic format. I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinion expressed here is my own. Thank you James for the opportunity you gave me to review this wonderful book!

If you read this review, feel free to leave a message.

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