The Echelon Vendetta

( 23 )

Overview

CIA agent Micah Dalton is a "cleaner." He takes care of other agents' mistakes. When a friend and mentor commits a grotesque suicide, Dalton's investigation leads him into the snare of a madman, into the arms of a beautiful, mysterious stranger-and into a conspiracy within his own agency. Dalton knows only one thing for certain-this job is going to get very messy.

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The Echelon Vendetta

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Overview

CIA agent Micah Dalton is a "cleaner." He takes care of other agents' mistakes. When a friend and mentor commits a grotesque suicide, Dalton's investigation leads him into the snare of a madman, into the arms of a beautiful, mysterious stranger-and into a conspiracy within his own agency. Dalton knows only one thing for certain-this job is going to get very messy.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
David Stone's first novel is well-written, intelligent and sometimes funny, but most of all it is violent.
— The Washington Post
Tucson Citizen (Arizona)
A fast and terrifying ride.
Washington Post
Well-written, intelligent and sometimes funny... show[s] us what life is really like on the front lines.
Booklist
A smoothly written spy thriller...packed with the kind of nitty-gritty detail that draws espionage fans. A promising debut.
Military.com
Stone not only knows the espionage scene but also how to plot a complicated, fast-paced thriller. Take [it] for an adrenaline-fueled test drive.
Entertainment Weekly
As he follows a trail from Tuscany to London to CIA headquarters to the Rocky Mountains, Dalton encounters government spooks, Native American mysticism, hallucinogens, and gruesome violence with which he seems creepily comfortable.
Publishers Weekly

Somebody is killing the former CIA agents who took part in a brilliant but highly illegal top secret operation known as Echelon. A couple of ghosts may also be involved, real or imagined, but they don't interfere with the credibility or the sustained excitement of the pseudonymous Stone's debut thriller. His hero, Micah Dalton, is a "cleaner"—a special operative sent in under cover to make sure no agency dirt gets into the public air. When his friend and colleague, Porter Naumann, is found savagely slaughtered in a Tuscany hotel, Micah tries to find out what happened. Cool and endlessly resourceful, the likable Micah does whatever it takes to clean up the mess. Also memorable are a shrewd Italian policeman, who can tell when something isn't kosher, and Micah's immediate boss, Jack Stallworth, "a short, sharp, bullet-headed hard-nosed razorback hog with all the languid charm of a quick knee to the jaw." The author, who has served in the military and been an intelligence officer, clearly knows his way around the higher levels of official treachery. 75,000 printing. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Someone is using intricate knifework to murder CIA agents in batches, and it's up to cleanup guy Micah Dalton to stop the bloodshed. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hallucinogens, Indians, orchids, butchery, treason, ghosts and politics pop up in Venice, London, Washington, Simi Valley, Butte and the high western desert in a smashing debut thriller by a pseudonymous former military intelligence officer. Micah Dalton is a "cleaner" for the CIA. Cleaners go in and tidy up messes, and the mess left by the grotesque suicide of Dalton's friend and colleague Porter Naumann is a doozy. Naumann was found outside a chapel in a Tuscan hamlet having apparently ripped out his own throat. The shrewd Carabinieri intelligence officer on the scene, Major Alessio Brancati, recognizes that someone or something drove Naumann to suicide, making the spy's death a murder. Brancati allows Dalton to follow up on the very few clues associated with the murder, but he turns up again when the investigation takes Dalton to Naumann's old haunts in Venice, where the agent falls victim to a near-fatal dose of the same vicious psychotropic drug that figured in Naumann's death. The effects of the drug dog Dalton for the rest of the book as Naumann's sardonic, pajama-clad ghost materializes whenever things get hairy-which they frequently do. Dalton enjoys a brief poignant flirtation with a gorgeous Venetion dottoressa but is called much too soon to London where Naumann's unpleasant family was found butchered in their Belgravia home. The intercontinental fiend seems to be an extraordinarily tall, long-haired, American Indian in silver tipped cowboy boots who has also been doing in a number of minor ex-CIA operatives in the western states. Dalton saw his backside in Venice, but the man has the power to cloud cameras, a bit of technology available only to the very best spies, and it isthat connection Dalton must unravel, a process that takes him back to the Agency and a long-hidden Company disaster that set the grizzly plot in motion. Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming. Everything you want in a thriller. First printing of 75,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515144024
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/25/2008
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 454,869
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stone is the cover name for a man born into a military family with a long history of honorable service. Stone himself has served in the military and has worked both as an intelligence officer and as an investigator for a state-level law enforcement agency. He has lived in North America, Central America, and Southeast Asia.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    A new author for our fiction library

    My husband and I have a large library, we often collect our favorite authors of fiction work. There are times when we look for a new author though, and here we found David Stone on B&N's bargain table. We began with The Echelon Vendetta and have since gotten his other books. The main character, Micah Dalton, is a CIA "cleaner", called in to clean up CIA operations (those that have gone either well or badly). Stone develops this character with depth: of course he has those necessary CIA skills that make the novel exciting and good for escapism. But Stone's character Dalton is different in that he has some personal issues and background that lead to self-doubt. In The Echelon Vendetta Dalton is called in to clean up the mess involved with the death of his friend and coworker Naumann. Despite being a professional, what happens (I won't give it away) leads to self-doubt too. It's also bizarre enough to be pretty funny, which makes this book entertaining too (at times laugh-out-loud funny!). The action takes place in scenic parts of Europe and America and there's some romance involved. The plot is good without being confusing. (I just hate when the plot gets SO convoluted in its attempt to be interesting that you're so lost you just give up. Nor do I like it when the main characters are just SO perfect they're superficial and unbelievable.) All in all this was such a great read that we went back and got the rest of Stone's books with this Dalton character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    A great thriller

    I just finished the book, and it is a modern version of the old Cold War spy thrillers. The main character is Micah Dalton, a "good guy" agent of the CIA. The author really lets you get to know his character, which I always appreciate in any novel. The story takes place over various locations, via twists and turns during the two-week period of the whole book. The story follows Micah through death, mayhem, and assorted other adventures in the Thriller genre. However, this book is much better written than most, and there are some unusual plot twists and more ingenious events than in the average thriller. The author is actually a former CIA agent himself, and David Stone is just his "cover name." Supposedly....<BR/>Anyway, I would very highly recommend this book if you appreciate edge-of-your-seat & well-written spy stories or thrillers. It is long, but keeps your attention riveted. Makes a good book for a couple of long winter evenings, or on a vacation, or just... whenever!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

    A character with flaws is always more acceptable

    A pretty decent book. A good one to pass on as I don't think it's one to read over and over.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great!

    I don't know why this book is in the Bargain section. It is quite original in both plot and characters. The scenes are will defined and in unique style which I found very entertaining. I really like his writing style. I'm impressed! I'll be reading more of his works.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2007

    A Thriller Masterpiece

    David Stone's writing is a masterpiece of writing. It is one of the very best thrillers I have read in many years. The characterization is full and complete -- and the scene descriptions bring me RIGHT THERE! The storyline is described above -- but the IMPACT of David Stone's writting sets a new benchmark for simply great, exciting, in your face, visceral reading -- the scenes and smells and touch come alive in your hands. Read The Echelon Vendetta! Amazing experience! Wow!

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    AN INTRIGUING NEW PROTAGONIST

    Quite often discovering a new and intriguing protagonist is akin to making another good friend, someone you know you'll enjoy, a person you want to spend time with. Such was my feeling when first coming upon Micah Dalton in The Echelon Vendetta. He's unique, having formulated his own morality system. He's also very much aware of the best and the worst in people. Cynical, romantic, often approachable, courageous, determined all describe Dalton. He works for the CIA as a 'cleaner' - precisely what the name implies. It's up to him to clean up messes made by others or step in when undercover operations go dramatically awry. His best friend and mentor is or better said was Porter Naumann. It appears to have been suicide when Naumann's body is found in a chapel courtyard in the beautiful hillside town of Cortona, Italy. However, Dalton isn't buying any of that suicide nonsense and decides to do a little investigating on his own beginning in Venice where Naumann lived. (Don't you love this author's locations?) The deaths of Naumann's family in London corroborate what Dalton was beginning to suspect - there's a mad man on the loose, a killer hunting those with ties to the CIA and someone has to stop him. Known primarily for his outstanding work in stage productions, Firdous Bamji delivers a suspenseful reading of this too-close-for-comfort tale. His narrative is well paced, his diction scrupulous, and his voice masterful. - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Remember the name David Stone

    In the parlance of the CIA, Micah Dalton is a ¿cleaner¿ the person sent in when it is time to fix whatever goes wrong in the field. He is sent to the roman chapel of San Nicolo in Cartona Tuscany to examine the body of field agent Porter Naumann. The police think he mutilated his body before he killed himself but Micah has doubts. A man going by the name of Rainwater drugs him causing him to have hallucinations that clear up in a few days.------------------------- He is sent by his superiors to Porter¿s London home where his wife and two daughters are found murdered and mutilated. Several agents who were part of the Echleon project in the Rainwater group are being killed by the same man who killed Porter and his family in the same gruesome manner leaving behind a picture that point to an Indian as the murderer. As Micah follows the clues, he doesn¿t know he is being used for an evil purpose or who the people running him are.------------------ Remember the name David Stone because in the future everyone will know him as a top thriller writer. The protagonist is trying to find the killer, shake off the effects of the poison and obtain justice for his friend who often appears to him in his ghostly form. Readers will wonder if he is hallucinating or not. THE ECHELON VENDETTA takes the reader into the shadowy areas of a CIA operation that is a normal activity for the agency.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 14, 2010

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    Posted August 25, 2009

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    Posted October 18, 2010

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    Posted March 29, 2009

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    Posted November 16, 2008

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    Posted January 30, 2010

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    Posted August 10, 2011

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