Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book "November Echo" by James Houston Turner

About the Book: Every spy has a beginning, and for Colonel Aleksandr Talanov of the KGB, that moment occurs one summery night in 1985 on the Costa del Sol, at the height of Cold War tensions between the Americans and Soviets.
As a signatory to the Biological Weapons Treaty of 1972, the United States had already destroyed its military stockpiles of weaponized pathogens. The Soviet Union, however, responded differently to the signing of that treaty. They created a network of forty-seven top-secret production facilities spread across Russia. Called Biopreparat, it was the largest biological weapons program in history.
So when a scientist from one of those facilities decides to defect, Talanov has the assigned task of bringing him back. But after tracking the scientist and his family to Spain, Talanov is betrayed and the scientist and his family are murdered.
The only survivor is their teenage daughter, Noya -- short for Noyabŕ -- in English, "November" -- and what happens in an impulsive moment changes the course of Talanov's life by placing him in a desperate race to save Noya from the deadliest and most vicious adversary he will ever encounter: the KGB.

About the author: James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, as well as numerous other books and articles. Talanov the fictional character was inspired by the actual KGB agent who leaked word out of Moscow back in the 1980s that James was on a KGB watchlist for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain.
James Houston Turner's debut thriller, Department Thirteen, was voted the Best Thriller of 2011 by USA Book News, after which it won gold medals in the 2012 Independent Publisher ("IPPY") Book Awards and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
A cancer survivor and 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). After living in South Australia for nearly twenty years, he and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, now live in Austin, Texas. Visit his website at

My Review: James Turner did it again. When we thought that it would be impossible to get better, he delivered this masterpiece of espionage. Using his unique writing style, Turner goes back in time and shows us a young Colonel Talanov working for the KGB, trying to bring back to USSR a doctor (Gorev) who was trying to defect with his wife (Anna), daughter (Noya) and parents, seeking asylum in USA. Nobody knows where the doctor is, but Talanov thinks he is going to Spain to meet the Americans. When he gets permission to proceed and go to Spain, the condition is that he takes a designated partner with him, a young and beautiful lady named Sofia Dubinina. Americans suspect that Dr. Gorev was part of a team that was developing biological weapons in USSR. What Talanov does not know is that Sofia is a very well trained agent from Department Thirteen...
This is a story of romance, betrayal, loyalty, political intrigues and above all, the story of a man trained to kill and to feel no emotions, that is caught in his internal turmoil by a very young lady that reads his soul like nobody else ever did. Not even himself.
After things get completely out of course, he starts a desperate race trying to save Noya, at that point the only survivor of the family, from the grasps of KGB.
We are already in November and definitely this is one of the best stories I read this year, together with Greco's Game. This could be turned into an excellent thriller Hollywood movie!
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any serious reader who loves thrillers, espionage and a very well written book that will keep you entertained for hours. It took me around eleven hours to read the whole book.
James Houston Turner was kind enough to send me an electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own. 

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