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As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, a coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elements from his past are gathering in Beirut, including ex-British counterespionage chief and Soviet mole Kim Philby, and a beautiful former Spanish Civil War soldier-turned-intelligence operative, Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga. Soon Hale will be forced to confront again the nightmare that has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named “Declare.”
From the corridors of Whitehall to the Arabian Desert, from postwar Berlin to the streets of Cold War Moscow, Hale’s desperate quest draws him into international politics and gritty espionage tradecraft—and inexorably drives Hale, Ceniza-Bendiga, and Philby to a deadly confrontation on the high glaciers of Mount Ararat, in the very shadow of the fabulous and perilous biblical Ark.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By art on 03-11-11
Oh Fish. Art Thou Constant???
This is a meticulously imagined and researched supernaturally themed alternate history of some events concerning the Cold War. The description above does a great job of laying out the scenario so I won't try. They story is told in flash backs and nothing is spoon fed to listener/reader. The characters really take time to unfold. It helps if you have some understanding of the time period but it's not necessary. It helps if you are patient and willing to re-listen. The reader does an awesome job and handles voicing the different characters admirably. Very impressive considering he has to pull off American, English, French, Russian, and Arabic accents as well as portray a female character and an arrogant stutterer. This is probably the most dense and difficult to follow of Tim Powers novels. If you find a lot of description and historic detail boring, this book probably isn't for you. If you are looking for something original and well read, then please be my guest. So far it doesn't seem that Audible has really done much to market this book and author. That is really a shame and a crime as both are excellent and worthy of the attention of any discriminating lover of fantasy.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
By DARBY KERN on 08-31-11
Crazy and entertaining, richly detailed and fun.
A trusted friend recommended that I read this book because he knows how much I enjoy a good spy story. I found a copy of the book on Amazon and bought it- for a great price too. Then I realized with my schedule I wouldn't have time to read it anytime soon. Fortunately for me I found the audio here.
Declare is a richly detailed, byzantine story of the cold war almost in the style of LeCarre', but with a supernatural angle that Smiley's creator wouldn't dare. But instead of the supernatural angle stopping the story dead in it's tracks it drives the tale forward in many ways.
Powers' story is too complex to explain here simply. Believe me when I say it's a humdinger. What really made this book come to life was the narration. Simon Prebble is in a class by himself. Accents, dialects, foreign languages and genders are no problem for this adept reader. Kim Philby's well known stammer is so well handled that you would swear Prebble is not acting. It's tour de force from beginning to end.
I'm glad I took a chance on this book for many reasons. I'll listen to all 21 hours of this interesting and well told tale many times in the future. Definitely one of the best.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful