Once a Spy

  • by Keith Thomson
  • Narrated by Danny Campbell
  • 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions. Now Alzheimer's disease has taken its toll and he's just a confused old man who's wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him.
When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high - and then bullets start flying in every direction. At first, Charlie thinks his Russian creditors are employing aggressive collection tactics. But once Drummond effortlessly hot-wires a car as their escape vehicle, Charlie begins to suspect there's much more to his father than meets the eye.
He soon discovers that Drummonds unremarkable career as an appliance salesman was actually a clever cover for an elaborate plan to sell would-be terrorists faulty nuclear detonators. Drummond's intricate knowledge of the device is extremely dangerous information to have rattling around in an Alzheimer's-addled brain. The CIA wants to contain him - and so do some other shady characters who send Charlie and Drummond on a wild chase that gives father-and-son quality time a whole new meaning.
With Once a Spy, Keith Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare.

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What the Critics Say

"Huffington Post columnist Thomson's wildly original debut, a darkly satirical thriller, features an unlikely, if endearing, father-son spy duo....Poignant themes of love and redemption underpin an action-packed story line that includes exotic locales, high-tech gadgetry, and international intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Off beat thriller

I loved this non-formulaic, quirky spy story. The titular spy has Alzheimer's and is therefore a threat to his former employers. He connects with his estranged compulsive gambler son as they try to save themselves. It is an unusual mix of seriousness and levity and these characters were likeable and had dignity instead of being melodramatic or pathetic. It is over the top as far as action goes - way too much gunfire and killing - and that detracted from the story for me, but that is my only complaint. It was a very enjoyable listen and I recommend it.
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- Jami E. Nettles

Action all the way!

This is a non-stop action novel, where the father & son protagonists constantly escape the frying pan only to end up in the fire. Charlie, is something of a ne'er-do-well, suffering in the midst of the mess he has made of his life. On top of his own troubles, Charlie discovers that his aging father, Drummond, was once a spy, and is now marked for death. Drummond has alzheimer's disease, which could cause him to reveal high-level secrets that he carries in his head. The two manage to escape hopeless situation after hopeless situation throughout the story. Along the way Charlie gains respect for his father and confidence in his own talents. This is what I would call a "guy" story, and for me the constant action/escape sequences got repetitive. But the characters were so likable, that overall it was quite enjoyable.
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- Ranch Girl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio