• Spy

  • An Alex Hawke Thriller
  • By: Ted Bell
  • Narrated by: John Shea
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (917 ratings)

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Spy  By  cover art

Spy

By: Ted Bell
Narrated by: John Shea
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Publisher's Summary

"A border ain't nothing but a law drawn in the sand." So says a small-town Texas sheriff in Ted Bell's most gripping espionage thriller to date.

Things along America's southern border are rapidly reaching the boiling point. American girls are being snatched from their homes, ranches are burning, and the number of deadly confrontations along the Mexican boarder grows daily.

At night, armed Mexican troops cross the border at will in support of narcotics smugglers and illegal immigrants. By day, Americans take up arms and plan reprisals. An all-out border war is no longer inconceivable. It's happening!

On assignment for the British Secret Service, a man leads a mysterious expedition into the heart of darkness. Sailing up the furthest reaches of the Amazon River, he is captured by a brutal tribe of indigenous cannibals.

Forced into slave labor, he witnesses the unimaginable. Golden domes and minarets rise beneath the rainforest canopy. Vast terror armies are being recruited and trained in the jungle. Their goal: a vicious jihad that will unite one continent...and destroy another. They possess weapons only dreamed of by the Western allies. Somehow he must escape his captors and live to tell his tale.

With tensions on its southern border threatening to ignite into war, America must look to the one man who might be able to confront the demons in the jungle...and destroy them.

Alex Hawke, with the aid of brilliant Scotland Yard Inspector Ambrose Congreve, and an unstoppable force of nature named Stokely Jones, begins a river journey fraught with peril. Hawke once again takes listeners right to that thin border between fear and overwhelming terror. It's merely a line drawn in the sand. Cross it at your peril.

Cross it if you dare.

Take another thrill ride with Alex Hawke.
©2006 Theodore A. Bell (P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Think Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum meet Stephen King....Spy is the book of the summer!" (Glenn Beck, CNN Headline Prime)
"Bell ups the ante, and involves Hawke in what might be termed terrorism's perfect storm." ( Palm Beach Post)
"Here's an espionage novel that not only lends itself to audio, but also is topically current....Shea's characters, whether Texan, Latino, or Brit, are highly credible and give this thriller a real international flavor." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about Spy

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

AuShouldn't let his politics be so obvious...

Foolish, fear-driven drivel. The author is obviously pushing his political agenda.
This is the 2nd Ted Bell novel I've listened to. The first (Pirate) was very good. This book (Spy) was a huge disappointment. Bell is obviously a far right republican, which is okay, except when it makes his book stupid.
The book is replete with a Texas lawman saving the president (Bush Jr at his second inauguration) riding around on a horse in DC, Mexico wanting to take back the Alamo, Latin American countries banding together to overthrow the US, big semi-trucks driven by remote control all over the US, a Mexican border war (Please!! What are you guys so afraid of? Mexico is not having an army cross our border as illegals in order to attack us at some future date), Arabs in the Amazon, a British spy and investigator being tortured by the Arabs in the Amazon, etc....
The whole thing is crazy right-wing fear mongering. Bell would do well to remember that fear itself is what can destroy us as people.
Too bad that Bell ruined his characters with such crap. Bell writes well and the narrator is excellent. The book is awful -- save your money/credits.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

As good as the rest of Hawke's adventures

If you have enjoyed any of the other books in the series you will enjoy this one as well. The storyline is a bit far fetched but I enjoyed listening to this. Some of the minor characters are well defined and well used.
Enjoy!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my best reads of the year!

This was my first Alex Hawke book and I couldn't put it down! I just added the other 4 titles to my wish list. The publisher's short description doesn't do the book credit as to what it is really about. This was one of my best reads of the year!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable!!!

This is an incredible book with an excellent narrator. John Shea makes the characters come alive with all the different voices. Best I've heard since Jim Dale on the Harry Potter books. I agree with some of the other readers that his is James Bondish, but I consider that a good thing. Only regret is that I didn't find the Hawke novels sooner. Well worth the use of a credit.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Bad fantasy fiction

Armies of Mexican bikers invading Texas border towns? American border vigilantes (11 of them) having their heads cut off and set on their horses (horses?)sent back over the border by evil Mexican sadists? Islamic terrorists building city-sized bases in the tree-tops of the Amazon prepapring to invade -- yes invade -- the US across the Mexican border? British aristocratic spy-adventurer apparently under the discipline of MI-6 but wth his own private almost-battleship sized armored craft?

This is not intrigue or espionage fiction it is a kind of witches brew of right-wing fantasy and borrowed stereotypes. Willing suspension of disbelief is one thing: you need a lobotomy to get into this one.

But: the reader is really good with accents.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Up till 4 am could not turn it off

This was my first Ted Bell listen. I was really impressed with the story line. It was interesting and exciting. As for the narrator "John Shea" fantastic !!! When you listen to this story you could swear there are a group of narrators each one being a different character. Sign me up as a new Ted Bell fan.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Ear-Candy for Thriller-Lovers

Thriller-lovers will enjoy the whole Alex Hawke series. Just don’t expect realism, O.K.? Alex Hawke is a cross between James Bond and Dirk Pitt: an impossible super-human super-hero. In the Alex Hawke series, the good guys always save the world in just the nick of time; our hero is a tall, dark, and handsome babe-magnet; the good guys always manage head-shots with one bullet, while the bad guys usually miss altogether, but might manage to hit our hero in the shoulder; and our hero always recovers from grievous wounds in record time, with no lingering sequela. Oh, and to top it all off: Alex Hawke — a Peer of the Realm, mind you — happens to have more money than God; so he can buy lots of great toys, like the fabulous armored speed yacht that our heroes use in “Spy” to root out the bad guys from their hidden Amazonian lair. If far-fetched, fantastic thriller plots offend you, I would steer you away from the Alex Hawke series. Maybe choose John Le Carré, instead. I, personally, use escape fiction to take a break from reality, so I enjoy the Alex Hawke series immensely.

On the other hand, I hope that Islamic terrorists don’t read “Spy,” because it might give them ideas! Here, Mr. Bell coins the word “Jihadistas” to describe an unholy alliance between Mexican Reconquistadores and Islamic Jihadists. He places the political hot-potatos of illegal immigration and the porous, violent Mexican/American border at the heart of “Spy”’s plot. The resulting scenario — if Mr. Bell is not making it up out of whole cloth — would be very scary, indeed ….

Narrator John Shea has a nice voice, and does a good job of dramatizing “Spy” for us. He has lots of voices and credible accents at his command to help distinguish the characters from one another. Although he makes little attempt to voice female characters differently from male characters, I hesitate to criticize him for that, since thespian attempts at gender-crossing sometimes flop hilariously. For the character of Stokely Jones — the big (“approximately the size of an armoire”), black co-hero of “Spy,” Mr. Shea always uses a laughing voice — which generally works, since Stoke usually does have pretty funny lines — but sometimes this voice for Stoke does not work in “Spy,” like when our good guys are engaged in hairy combat. Aside from those minor quibbles, I like John Shea’s narration of the entire Hawke series very much.

In summary, I would recommend “Spy” to all thriller-lovers, provided that you are not expecting realism, and that you are not thinking of illegal immigration as a racist issue. You can probably get away with listening to “Spy” (the fourth in the Alex Hawke series) out of series sequence, since each novel in the series does not rely too much on previous episodes. Indeed — as of this writing — we have no option but to listen to this series out-of-sequence, since Audible has not yet provided us with the 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 installment, “Hawke.” (Hopefully, by the time you read this, “Hawke” will have been published in audio form!)

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Barf

Would you try another book from Ted Bell and/or John Shea?

I doubt it

What do you think your next listen will be?

I do not know but it will be one that does not make me sick to my stomach.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Shea?

I have nothing against the narrator

What character would you cut from Spy?

I would cut the story so that there is no book

Any additional comments?

Nope, that will do it!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

You may have the tech and money, but story ?

It's probably me but I had a lot of trouble connecting with this story and characters.
I listened to some chapters 3 and 4 times because my interested just drifted away repeatedly. I really felt like I was going senile and stupid.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

TODAY'S WORLD! Publication date: 7/31/2007

Where does Spy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Spy ranks in the top 5. What insight to the future Hawke had.

What other book might you compare Spy to and why?

The Grey man series, Absolute power, and Ballistic. This was different because of our current problems on the southern border, acknowledged 7 years ago. Regarding today's problems , this was realistic.

Which character – as performed by John Shea – was your favorite?

John Shea is excellent in his wide range of voices , dialects and male , female differences. Very hard to pick one.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, however there is a thing called life and luckily there are a few areas that are convenient to stop. For instance, moving from the Amazon to Washington D.C.

Any additional comments?

I find it scary that Alex Hawke saw 7 years ago the immigration problem on our southern borders and the open gate for ALL to enter. The training ground for terrorist under the canopy of the Amazon jungle and a connection to Bin Laden was realistic and could be happening today. Robotic 18 wheelers, tanks, and paper thin explosives added to it being today's world. Great Job Alex Hawke !

1 person found this helpful