The Last Spymaster Reader Reviews
I just finished “The last Spymaster” — what a clever, clever book. It kept me from my bed, distracted me from my work, and thoroughly disrupted my life for the 24 hours in which I devoured it! In the end I felt exhausted. So well crafted, I can still feel the echoes of the plot which make you ponder the truth of so many cold war histories, supposing…. Anyway, power to your pen, keep stoking that imagination – toddle pip.
Have read your books faithfully for years; just completed “The last Spymaster,” and wanted to email you in admiration of the best espionage fiction novel I have read. Please keep in mind that I have read all 15 mentioned on your website home page. Thank you for a marvelous trip!!
I just finished “The Last Spymaster.” That was a “couldn’t put down book.” It kept me on my toes, and every time I thought I had something figured out, the next chapter would prove me so wrong! I loved this book!!
I wish to commend you on your writing style. I first read you on the Covert-One novels with Bob Ludlum. Your books were the best ones of the Covert series. I was disappointed when you discontinued. I then found out you wrote your own books. They are terrific. I have read all of them. I just finished The Last Spymaster and really enjoyed it. My only complaint is you do not write enough books. I love the flow of the books. They are not cumbersome to read and really keep one’s attention. I have read about 800 books in the last 30 months, and your books are at the top echelon, along with Sydney Sheldon, Michael Connelly, Stuart Woods, James Patterson, David Baldacci, Tami Hoag, Robert Ludlum (predeath). Hope to see many more works. You are “good.”
Just to encourage you to keep up the great work, Gayle, and I look forward to your forthcoming books. I have been thrilled reading your books and rate you with the top writers…Ludlum, Grisham, Cussler, Forsyth, Baldacci, & Clancy. Thank you for enriching my life.
I just finished THE LAST SPYMASTER. With the development of the characters, and a challenging and changing plot and nearly realistic action, you are to be commended for providing me, the reader, with one of the few such books that can be placed in my top two or three. You are going to challenge my number one author, Wilbur Smith. THANK YOU!!
At age 81, my main joy in life is reading. I picked “The Last Spymaster” at random off a library shelf and, once started, could not put it down. It is one of the most stimulating exciting books I have read in a long long time. Have ordered a copy for my book shelf and two for Xmas gifts for friends. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant writing abilities. I am off to the library to get another of your books.
Keith P. Radbill
I have seen all of the comparisons to Ludlum and the others, but your books are much different. With yours, I read very slowly to thoroughly enjoy each character, as well as the twists and turns of the plot. Your writing is unique and does not compare to the others. It is new, genuine, and comes off with much more credibility when compared to the cold war novel giants.
I finished The Last Spymaster a few minutes ago and had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed it … the characters, the complexity of the plot, and the action itself. I also loved the way you wrapped up the plot so we know what ultimately happened to the characters we’d come to care about. I’m ready for your next novel! Thanks again for a great read!
I have read each of your books and have found that THE LAST SPYMASTER is your best writing to-date. I usually pass over women authors, but once I picked up MASQUERADE, I was hooked on your writing. I am, not so patiently, waiting for your next novel. Keep up the great work.
Just finished THE LAST SPYMASTER. It had me on the edge of the seat. Absolutely loved it — could not put it down. I started it last night and just finished it. Does that tell you how great your books are?
Great. Riveting! I finished in two days. You have captured the essence of the NOC world again. Woven layers of intrigue, adrenaline, betrayal, love and longing, all leading to a fitting ending. HUMINT will never die.
THE LAST SPYMASTER was the most exciting book I’ve read in a month of Sundays and rates as unputdownable. I wrote a limerick for you:
Let’s hear it for spy author Gayle,
Whose Spymaster breaks out of jail.
With action nonstop
You’ll run till you drop.
The forfeit is death if you fail.
Alan M. Wells
I really enjoyed every minute reading this book! I particularly liked and got a lot out of the way you let the reader get to know about and experience the feelings of the characters. I think you are a great writer and storyteller.
Gayle Lynds has surpassed her standing as a great espionage writer with her new book THE LAST SPYMASTER. It has everything one can expect from a master spy thriller such as a great story, suspense, in-depth character development, a vivid description of places in the story, several simultaneous plots and Gayle’s knowledge of covert actions, intel and expertise of technology.
I read the book in two sittings and it was a great page turner. I was able to feel in that short time that I really got to know and meet Jay Tice and Elaine Cunningham. I am a Gayle Lynds fan and feel strongly that this is her best novel to date and places her among the best espionage writers today.
Due to some other commitments, I couldn’t read THE LAST SPYMASTER until this week. Wow! I am so glad I didn’t miss this… To me, a devoted fan of Alastair MacLean, Helen MacInnes, Robert Ludlum, and John Le Carre, to name just a few, Gayle Lynds ranks up there with the rest of the masters. The nonstop action will keep you on the edge of your seat (or wide awake much of the night) until the very end. Do yourself a favor— make this your next read and, if you missed her other espionage novels, stop by your local bookstore (an indie if at all possible) and pick them up. You won’t regret it!
Theodore Feit of New York
And you thought the Cold War spy novel was finished. Think again. THE LAST SPYMASTER is in the classic tradition, but brought up to date with Muslim terrorists and illegal arms procurement. The good guys are retired Cold War CIA operatives, except for Charles Jay Tice, who we find in a Federal penitentiary in the beginning of this exciting, tightly plotted and well-written novel.
Tice was a legendary spymaster, but for some reason was convicted of consorting with the Soviet Union and sentenced to life imprisonment. One morning, despite the tight security, he escapes. Agent Elaine Cunningham is assigned to hunt Tice down so he can be recaptured before his escape becomes known. That’s when the plot thickens, and she becomes his ally in uncovering a vast conspiracy.
The chase is exciting, the complications and danger widespread. You are propelled forward with twists and turns at every juncture. What is real? Who can you trust? I urge you to run out and get a copy of THE LAST SPYMASTER.
Steve Gandy, Georgia
Robert Ludlum has long been considered by most to be the master of the espionage thriller. Few people, if any, realized when he asked Gayle Lynds to collaborate with him on the first ‘Covert One’ novel that he was ‘passing the torch’.
If there was any doubt as to the truth of that, Gayle’s latest thriller, THE LAST SPYMASTER, should put to rest any and all doubts.
From character development to plot she takes us on an unforgettable roller-coaster ride of unparalleled intensity that answers the age old question: “What does one do when they have reached the pinnacle of their profession?”
ANSWER: Set a new standard!
THE LAST SPYMASTER does just that and has locked in her rightful place as the ‘New Spymaster’.
Bonnie Toews, Ontario, Canada
In THE LAST SPYMASTER, Gayle Lynds’ riveting suspense novel embedded with literary finesse, she eclipses thriller stars John Le Carre and Robert Ludlum at the peak of their form.
Unlike Le Carre’s exhaustive angst and Ludlum’s lengthy detours into topics or causes that fascinated him, Gayle’s economy of language makes her political point without wasting a word while engaging the readers’ eyes, ears, nose, and heart.
Sprinkled throughout are awesome examples of ALLITERATION — Dense forests flowed dark; as the dark night deepened toward dawn; footsteps echoing in the emptiness—SIMILES — she seemed to shrink, grow calcified, as hard as a tombstone — METAPHORS — bolts of silver lightning speared the distant Alps — IMAGERY—she found a slot in which to wedge the Jag; sunlight filtered down in strawlike rays — and POETIC RHYTHMS — His family. But not his family. A charade, a farce, a travesty of the living and the dead. His eyes felt hollow.
Such devices are what writing groups and English professors can use as models of powerful literature, but if readers miss them, it is because they are stitched in seamlessly. THE LAST SPYMASTER is a classic because no one element or technique stands out over another—the sum of the parts makes it one great read and Gayle’s best work.
She gives us superb storytelling at supersonic speed and sets the bar, not only for her own future novels but also for every other author in the thriller genre.
In character development, for instance, individual idiosyncrasies that distinguish her previous heroines—Asperger’s syndrome, cellular memory, conversion disorder and a peacenik aversion to violence—make way for a broader scope. This time she tackles the universal flaws of globalization within today’s political framework in her portrayal of power brokers—whether greedy or altruistic—competing in the war on terrorism. Using her characters’ perspectives and personal agendas—we have turncoat Jay Tice, hunter Elaine Cunningham, sleeper Raina Manhardt, arms dealer Martin Ghranditti, Muslim militant Faisal al-Hadi, retired mentor Palmer Westwood, and CIA Deputy Director Lawrence Litchfield—she masterminds a maze of crossover subplots and merges them on the final ramp of “the last spymaster’s” odyssey. Also weaving through the maze is a classic love tale, lovers who are sadly doomed yet deeply passionate without being sexually explicit.
That’s art. And in addition to compelling storytelling, the ultra ‘smart’ inventions and security technologies Gayle introduces make Orwell’s vision of the future seem primitive.
Against such a backdrop of global conspiracy, I looked for cynicism or disillusionment seeping into her writing, because the more we learn the more we see how much our governments lie to us. Instead, with a keen journalist’s nose for truth, she relentlessly sniffs out the corruptive realities existing inside the covert catacombs of international intelligence, while keeping her eye on the ultimate sacrifices and dedication of those who serve to protect us.
As Gayle explains in a Question and Answer dialogue with readers, “Holding on to one’s ideals while working for a better world is the most difficult personal challenge. Those who succeed against such odds are the stuff of quiet legend, occasionally receiving secret honors and awards, and living out their days without telling tales . . . They pay high prices personally, and they deserve our respect.”
THE LAST SPYMASTER chronicles such hope in a ‘tour de force’ that catapults Gayle Lynds to the top of the thriller genre. As a member of the Association for Intelligence Officers, the Military Writers Society of America and co-founder/co-president of International Thriller Writers, Inc., she can be proud of the brilliant work she has delivered to represent their high ideals of service.
Jeff Edwards, Award-Winning Author of TORPEDO, California
I finished reading THE LAST SPYMASTER two days ago and my heart is STILL pounding.
Jay Tice was a living legend in the intelligence world—the most cunning and effective covert operative in the CIA. Admired by his allies and feared by his enemies, he was a master of black operations. He was also a double agent, spying for the Communist bloc until a twist of fate unmasked his treachery and landed him a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.
But the old spymaster’s betrayals are not yet complete. He has escaped from prison, and disappeared into the underworld, bent on putting one final desperate plot into action.
CIA operative Elaine Cunningham must track him down before he can wreak whatever vengeance he has in mind. Elaine is an exceptionally skilled hunter, but the trail she must follow winds through treachery and murder into darkness and chaos. THE LAST SPYMASTER is a brilliant fusion of Cold War spy craft and cutting-edge techno-espionage.
Gail Foster, California
Oh, Gayle…..you did it again! I’m sitting here with tears running down my cheeks as I’ve just finished your phenomenal book. It was well worth the wait! More than worth it!
What incredible, indelible characters you’ve created with this book … Jay, Raina, Elaine …. and Ben and Houri … Thank goodness you didn’t kill off Ben and Houri or I think I would’ve just stopped reading! The explosion of heart-pounding suspense of the battle on the ship was almost too much to bear but so glad that you ended it the way you did. Gotta love those remote islands. And yes, that’s when the tears started. So much devastation and unhappiness through their respective lives and finally, at long last, complete total contentment!!!
Now tell me … those StarDust computers and that Mirror-Me fabric with the tiny nanometric video cameras, etc … are they for real???? [Gayle says: they’re based on real science and on the drawing board.) I’ve read about the new bullet-proof fabric in other super spy novels of late, but the StarDusts … it’s fascinating and so chilling that we’ve come up with stuff like that!
This book is absolutely brilliant. I’m already talking it up. Well, I will be just as soon as the tears go away…..
Thanks, Gayle, for another amazing, phenomenal, intelligent, sophisticated thriller!!!