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Secret Service

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Member Reviews

Thanks Netgalley/publishers for the e-arc and the chance to read the book Secret Service.  I haven't read any of Tom's books before, so this was an excellent introduction. 

It's a  really exciting fast paced espionage adventure with a  twist. The main character Kate is a wife and mother and trying to balance family life with her job. She's trying to figure out who the perpetrators are, while  tracking foreign agents, politics and avoiding assassins, with many ups and downs along the way.

You're also kept guessing until the very end.

I could imagine this book being turned into a short tv series and feel it would be very well received.

A very enjoyable read and I would recommend to everyone who enjoys a thriller.  I'll definitely look out for Bradby's other books.
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‘You can pick a destination, but you can never predict the journey.’

On the surface, Kate Henderson would seem to have an ordinary life. She has quiet job; a nice husband and they have two teenaged children.  Sadly, Kate’s mother has dementia, but she’s well cared for.  But appearances of ordinariness can be deceptive.  

Kate is a senior MI6 officer. She receives information which leads her to insert a young woman, recruited under duress and in the guise of a nanny, into a Russian oligarch’s yacht.  The young woman has instructions to place a listening device.  The listening device reveals that the British Prime Minister has cancer and will resign, and that one of the leading candidates to replace him could be a Russian agent of influence.   

MI6 are sceptical, but when the Prime Minister suddenly announces his resignation for medical reasons, they need to act quickly. There are a couple of possible candidates to replace the Prime Minister, including Kate’s husband’s boss.  Kate doesn’t have long to discover the truth.

‘It’s hard to erase things in the House of Secrets if you know where to look.’

Kate’s job is made more difficult by a series of complicated personal relationships between many of the main characters.  She also must keep in mind that the Russians might be simply playing games, but she can’t assume that: the stakes are too high.

The tension increases.  Kate’s family life suffers, as do her relationships with some of the key characters.  And, along the way, some lives will be lost, and others destroyed.

I enjoyed this novel, although I had to concentrate hard at times to keep the backgrounds of some of the characters clear.  If you enjoy well-written contemporary spy novels, then you may also enjoy this.  The story is made more credible by recent international developments.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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The Russians have a mole at the top of the British government . The intelligence departments are playing what we find is ours we do not share. There is great intrigue and atmosphere throughout this story. You follow the cat and mouse games played and try to uncover the moles. Kate is MI6 head of the Russia desk when Lena one of her undercover operatives gets killed it all becomes very personal who amongst the small select group who knew about the operation is a traitor. This is a well crafted story with real characters who you can relate to doing an impossible job making difficult decisions daily.
I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I haven't read any of Bradbury's work prior to this book, and this may have put me at a disadvantage. The book launched head first into a story and without any prior background it was confusing. I fumbled along throughout the book, the story keeping me intrigued enough to want to continue but I was easily distracted with it. The characters seemed very conceited and I didn't really like any of them, the story was interesting but the ending was obvious. Overall if you have read his previous work you may enjoy this more so will try others in the future but on its own it was very confusing in parts but predictable in places also.
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Wow, this was not what I was expecting. I have never read anything by Tom Bradby and my only knowledge of him has been from the news so I was prepared for something a little dry and journalistic and that is not what you get. 

This is an exciting thrill ride of a book that starts with Kate, a member of the secret service, recruiting a young girl, Lena, to plant a microphone on a Russian oligarchs yacht while working there as the nanny. This sparks a chain of events that leads to Kate trying to find a mole in her office that is leaking their information to the Russians, as well as trying to discover who is involved at Westminster after the shock resignation of the Prime Minister - something that the Russians knew before anyone else.

There are twists and turns galore, you suspect everyone and the ending is fascinating. This covers current and recent events so feels really relevant too. 

A glorious read - I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. 
I loved it!
The book is set in the present day and following leaks of information (and misinformation) describes the search for  suspected mole/spy in the British government. During the investigation, we get to know various senior officials as well as the MI6 department central to the plot.
Kate Henderson the main character is a senior MI6 officer, her husband Stuart works with a senior government minister. As well as the main theme, the book follows detail in Kate's life , her mother with a form of dementia who has become vitriolic in her interactions with Kate.  Her teenage daughhter setting out on her own life and pushing the boundaries.Her husband and his own complex working relationships. We come to realise the tensions involved both in high office and confidentiality. The conflicts which have to be faced when getting to know new people and wondering why and what is behind the new relationship. The 'old boy network' is dealt with along with the challenges of being a woman in a man's world, there is blackmail and inducement.... 
There is action on a billionaire's yacht, in Greece, in a Dacha in Russia, at official government events, at news conferences. and in the day to day working lives of the main characters.
Nobody is above suspicion in the search for the source of the leaks. The final explanation, when it comes was for me unexpected and well delivered. The plot uncovers gradually and believably.
I loved this book and am off to see what else I can find by this author.
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An espionage story with a great twist. Not only is the main spy catcher female, she a wife and mother.

Dealing with domestic day to day life and balancing the mundane with a job that involves all the twists and turn of tracking foreign agents and avoiding assassins is a great take on the traditional spy story.

A very enjoyable read.
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Best read of the year so far!
A modern contemporary thriller where the author is bang up to the minute with his references to Russian interference in Western politics but taking it a step further in that one of the two contenders for Prime Minister is a communist plant. The story is neat with not too many characters so that we can concentrate our suspicions on relatively few people who were either politicians or secret service personnel and their past or present connections to each other.
A great read with the only faults being the departmental structure and 'job definitions' of some of the intelligence officers, therefore I drop one star.  
Thank you NetGalley and Random House UK for the opportunity to give an unbiased review.
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Maybe a bit too much focus on home life of main protagonist Kate, but the tactics are gritty and the political and terrorist dilemmas of Russians in other countries,  stirring up destabilising trouble is current theme alright.  And this author knows it!
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This is the first book I have read written by Tom Bradby; it will not be the last. The first chapter introduces us to Lena, a young shoplifter apprehended by Kate, who then introduces herself as a member of the British secret service. Lena is left in no doubt that she has now become, with little or no choice, part of a much bigger clandestine operation. Skilfully and with little fanfare the reader is led into the murky waters of international espionage. Topical events are woven into a spy story that defies the category of fiction. Fact and fiction, with Russian and British propagandists each embroiled in a cat and mouse game of manipulation with the very security and future of Britain at risk. Clues and dead ends, treachery and lies slowly weave their magic. No aspect of spying is omitted with little regard for loyalty or trust. Finally when everyone is a potential candidate as a traitor comes the final denouement.  Unexpected and yet once known, shockingly  obvious, heartbreakingly catastrophic and yet a conclusion that questions everything we know and believe about the world we now live in. Hoping that securing the film rights will result in the story eventually coming to the big screen to be watched and enjoyed all over again. Top class fiction. Loved it.
Many thanks to publishers, Author and NetGalley for this opportunity to review Secret Service.
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Kate an agent on the Russia desk in MI6 is convinced there is a mole in her office but who is it. Good spy thriller with action and surprising twists. The author makes it a very easy read, no complications or complex plots. The book explores the delicate relationships between Russia and other states showing how these relationships are shrouded in total mistrust. Not your George Smilely novel but for me a better alternative and more entertaining.
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Having been seriously underwhelmed by Frank Gardner’s efforts as a spy novelist, I approached another book in a similar vein by a TV journalist with a certain degree of trepidation.

However, Mr. Bradby has written a fast-moving, very readable novel which is ideal for a long journey or the beach. With its focus on Russian interference in our democratic processes, it’s very topical and sadly, very believable. Unlike other books in this genre, I also liked the way the author kept the plot very tight without drifting off into too many subplots. The focus on  Kate’s private life and the problems of trying to balance a high-flying career whilst managing a dysfunctional teenage family, also ran true.

The book wasn’t without faults. The gay Muslim sidekick seemed like an exercise in box-ticking and if Mr Brady can find a Muslim originally from Pakistan and going by the fine Hindu name of Ravendra Singh, he’s a better man than me. I also struggled with the apparent management structure at MI6. Kate is being earmarked as the next head of the organisation yet still seems able to fly around Europe getting involved in violent scraps. Couldn’t really see Stella Rimington doing that. On a more serious note, whilst I didn’t guess the ending, I felt it was rather rushed and not really fully thought through.

However, these criticisms aside, I really enjoyed this entertaining book and have no hesitation in recommending it. I will certainly look out for some of Mr Bradby’s earlier novels.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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Kate is Russia desk at MI6.  She discovers that not only does the Prime Minister have cancer but that one of the probable successors is a Russian asset. Kate's husband is a senior civil servant who works for one of the ministers aspiring to succeed the P.m.. In addition there is a mole in the department, who can only be one of half a dozen people - one of whom is Kate herself.  The story moves quickly, and bloodily between London, Greece and Russia.  A highly readable page turner which will keep you interested.  You do wonder how credible the plotting is - but then is not everything that really happens in the Secret Service slightly incredible?
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Kate Henderson is a senior MI6 officer. She presents a very normal face to the world, happily married with two teenage children, she is about to face a crisis in both her home and work life.
Intelligence she receives suggests the Prime Minister has cancer and is about to resign. This information is proved true when the PM does indeed confirm this and announces his almost immediate resignation. Kate also discovers that one of the candidates to replace him is a Russian spy and that there is a mole in MI6.
We are led down lots of blind alleys in this pacey plot. Lots of intrigue that keeps you wanting to find out more.
I found the characters and the plot really engaging so thoroughly recommend giving this a go.
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This was an enjoyable read and quite a page turner. That being said, I felt  it was highly implausible. At risk of sounded sexist, I would call it a spy story for women. It had a female as the main character and one who was trying to juggle her family life with her job. I didn't really feel that it was very realistic and found myself thinking, surely she wouldn't have been so indiscreet. It, did, however keep you guessing until the end
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Entertaining political thriller. A Prime Minister resigns due to illness and the rumour is one of the candidates to succeed him is under the thumb of the Russians, and that the Russians have a plant named Viper somewhere within the Secret Service. Kate needs to work out who are the good and bad across both politicians and secret service staff - complicated by the fact her husband is political advisor to one of the candidates to take over as PM. Plot motors along and moves with the type of realism you would expect from the author who has spent 30+ years as a political correspondent and tv news anchor. This reads very much like a story waiting to be filmed, the characters are well drawn and the plot moves between Kate's professional and personal life to keep the tale moving towards the pleasing conclusion. A good read.
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Wow what an absolutely fantastic book this was to read.  Really kept you intrigued from the off wondering what was going to happen next right up until the very last page.  Highly recommended!
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and once i started i found it hard to put down. This book kept me guessing right until the end. Kate Henderson is an MI6 officer who needs to uncover the Russian mole as well as trying to be a wife and a mother. There are lots of twists and turns, and im hoping for a sequel. I didn't want the book to end and will certainly be on the lookout for more books by Tom Bradby
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When MI6 agent Kate discovers details of a Russian mole at the heart of the British Government, she and her team have to work fast to uncover their identity before it’s too late. Hampered by the knowledge that her husband works closely with one of the suspects, Kate’s enquiries lead her around Europe as she battles interference from all sides.

This was the first Tom Bradby book I have read. I can see why his previous novels have been such a success, as this was a great read, keeping me guessing as to the identity of the Mole. The final scenes felt slightly rushed, however the earlier scenes more than made up for this.  The drama pulled me along, desperate to find out how the story would pan out, and whether Kate would be successful in capturing the Russian spy.

A fast paced story.
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Unlike some other spy thrillers, I found this title easy to read and to follow! The characters were introduced at easy intervals and were interesting, believable and convincing. I liked that the issues described were modern day political intrigue and included the home lives of the secret service.  The outcome had me guessing throughout and at one time I was correct, before I changed my mind yet again.
Could Russia have an influence over over the British political system? Never say never.
Although not my normal genre, I have no problem recommending this title.
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