Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review - November Echo by James Houston Turner

Book Summary from Amazon

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.

Published - October 2013

My Review - 4

Talanov is one of my favourite characters of all time, intense with a brilliant mind, top notch spy for sure.  This was action packed as his other two books in this series, Department Thirteen and Greco's Game.  Espionage thriller at its best.

I respect James Turner more for always have strong female characters in his books also.  Sophia is Talanov's partner during an undercover job and she wants to prove to Talanov that she is just as good as he is.  The banter between the two is fierce and entertaining.

Every book gives us another side of Talanov.  I was such a fan when I was introduced to him in Department Thirteen, in November Echo we get to see the beginning of Talanov's life and getting into KGB.

These books are similar to Mission Impossible, Bourne Identity types, the perfect gift for men readers.  My only issue with all the stories is Talanov and others seem to have 9 lives, a few impossible moments in my opinion.

As I have said, I am a Talanov fan, very easy to cheer for and love.  At first I wasn't happy with him during this journey, he came across as a pompous ass where I always thought he was humble but superior in every way before. 

I will have to recommend to start with Department Thirteen, brilliant from beginning to end.

My Reviews

Department Thirteen - Favourite thriller of 2012

Greco's Game

Interview with James



  1. Definitely a new author I will have to check out! I love the Bourne books. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. I have got to get to these books! Have a great week.

  3. One of you favorite characters of all time - I may have to pick one of these up. It's been a while since I've read a good spy thriller.

  4. I checked and I don't have these on my goodreads wishlist! I just added Department 13.

  5. Thank you for your review, Marce. I agree with you completely: Talanov was indeed a cocky, pompous ass, which is what I needed in order to show the effect one person had on him: his victim, Noya. It was a risky character arc, I know, but I wanted him to fall from his perch and then rise a man with new character when confronted with the consequence of his own actions. Plus, not only will we meet Talanov again in Dragon Head -- which also forms the storyline for our film project -- but a few other characters likewise reappear in surprising roles. Thank you again, Marce, for taking the time to read and review November Echo.


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