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Phantom (Alex Hawke Series #7)

Phantom (Alex Hawke Series #7)

4.1 46
by Ted Bell

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The first and most bizarre event nearly becomes a monumental catastrophe when something goes awry at an American theme park, wreaking havoc on visitors looking for nothing more than a sun-splashed holiday. In a different part of the country, a USAF F-15 pilot, escorting another jet in the skies over the Midwest, inexplicably loses control of his plane, endangering the


The first and most bizarre event nearly becomes a monumental catastrophe when something goes awry at an American theme park, wreaking havoc on visitors looking for nothing more than a sun-splashed holiday. In a different part of the country, a USAF F-15 pilot, escorting another jet in the skies over the Midwest, inexplicably loses control of his plane, endangering the lives of several people and deeply puzzling those following his mission on the ground. Then, in the misty calm of a coastal California evening, the world’s premier scientist on the subject of artificial intelligence gets a strange phone call. When he hangs up, he quietly grabs his coat and leaves for an after-dinner stroll from which he never returns.

It’s up to Hawke and the brilliant former inspector Ambrose Congreve to find out what could possibly be happening. But how does one identify—and fight—an enemy one can’t see, a real phantom? Even these seasoned operatives are mystified. Is there really such a thing as an ultra-intelligent machine, a cyberweapon that can shift the geopolitical balance of power?

In a hunt that takes him from Palo Alto, California, to the Russian frontier, to Cambridge University and the glistening Mediterranean aboard his newly christened and armed super-yacht Blackhawke, Alex Hawke is joined by the unstoppable Stokely Jones and his ex-CIA buddy Harry Brock as he moves closer to unmasking the scientist behind these extraordinary events, going nose-to-nose with an enemy unlike any he’s fought before—and may never again.

“A hero to rival Bond by an author to rival Cussler.” — The Bookseller (U.K.)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the outset of bestseller Bell’s exciting seventh thriller featuring MI6 agent Alex Hawke (after 2010’s Warlord), Alex learns that his lost love, Anastasia Korsakova, the daughter of the present-day yet recently dead Russian czar, is still alive, held prisoner in a high-security Siberian KGB facility. While Alex fears he’s being lured into a trap, he travels to Siberia, where Anastasia gives him their son, three-year-old Alexi, for safekeeping. Back in England, Alex throws himself into fatherhood while fending off assassins from an organization of Russian hard-liners who blame Alex for the czar’s death. Meanwhile, an Iranian scientist known as Darius has built a computer dubbed Perseus that has almost attained parity with human intelligence. Alex must find Darius and Perseus in order to foil their dastardly plan for humanity. While the two distinct threats make for a sometimes disjointed plot, a terrific, final naval battle shows Alex at his fighting finest. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Mar.)
Newbern Sun Journal on Phantom
Phantom is a book you may not want to put down. . . . Hawke is the protagonist of this novel, and he is as cool a customer as this reviewer has run across for some time.
Iron Mountain Daily News on Phantom
“A thoroughly enjoyable spy novel . . . warm weather makes one want to dive into the summer beachside books and Ted Bell’s Phantom is a great start.”
Suspense Magazine on Phantom
“This is a scary book . . . Bell never lets up on the action in this very well written tale. . . . I had to pause to take a breath before seeing what came next.”
The Mystery Gazette on Phantom
“A terrific nonstop action tale . . . Gripping from the vivid Disney World disaster until the final confrontation with a brilliant Phantom.”
Booklist on Phantom
“[Hawke’s] most personal mission yet. . . . the story is tense and exciting. A perfect read for Clive Cussler fans.”
NPR on Warlord
“Hawke is . . . strong, shrewd and savvy, with an aplomb not seen since James Bond. In other words, Bond, eat your heart out . . . there’s a new spy in town.
Rankin Ledger on Phantom
“As enlightening as it is scary. . . . Ted Bell packs so many action-amped scenarios into Alex Hawke’s seventh adventure, it’s so often hard to catch one’s breath. If you crave spy thrills with a Bond on steroids, visit the bloody British world of Ted Bell’s Alex Hawke.”
Library Journal - Audio
The seventh installment in Bell's Alex Hawke series finds the globetrotting British agent attempting to foil an Iranian computer genius who has lost control of the world's most powerful supercomputer. The machine is enlarging its computing capacity on its own and has the capability of taking over other machines—including weapons—giving it the potential to wipe out humanity. While Hawke and American and fellow British agents rush to prevent worldwide destruction, he also battles Russian gangsters bent on killing him, his son, and Russia's president. VERDICT This fast-paced, over-the-top adventure story possesses enough action and colorful characters to hold the listener's attention. Veteran reader John Shea masterfully narrates this wild tale. Recommended for Bell fans and others who like the genre. ["Hawke's seventh adventure (after Warlord) is an action-packed technothriller.... As usual, Bell keeps the tone light and the level of derring-do high," read the review of the Morrow hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 2/3/12.—Ed.]—Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
Strange disasters are occurring around the world. These disasters include the unexplained explosion of ABM missiles in their silos in Alaska and the unlikely sinking of a U.S. cruise ship by a Russian submarine in the Caribbean. The supervillain behind the mishaps is a monolithic supercomputer called Perseus, which sits 2001-like beneath the Persian Gulf. In his latest fanciful globetrotting adventure featuring British counterintelligence star Alex Hawke, Bell (Warlord, 2010, etc.) projects a future in which Artificial Intelligence has advanced to the point where its human creators can only hope to contain it. In fact, Perseus' increasingly nervous quadriplegic inventor, Dr. Darius Saffari, who answers to the government of Iran, can only pretend to control his creation anymore. The world is at risk. Before Hawke can short-circuit the evil black tower, he must survive a dangerous personal mission in Siberia to rescue his true love Anastasia, long thought dead. In a previous adventure, he killed an old-style imperialist ruler embraced as the new Tsar. Here, vengeful soldiers who remain loyal to the Tsar target both Hawke and Alexei, the 3-year-old son he never knew he had.

A long novel that is short on suspense but still keeps the reader involved with its charmingly unflappable hero and narrative quirks, as well as the ease with which it unfolds on multiple continents, on land and sea and in air.

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Alex Hawke Series , #7
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Ted Bell, former writer-in-residence at Cambridge University, was chairman of the board and worldwide creative director of Young & Rubicam, one of the world's largest advertising agencies. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Warriors, Phantom, Warlord, Tsar, Spy, Pirate, Assassin, and Hawke, along with two YA adventure novels.

Customer Reviews

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Phantom 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Tomr More than 1 year ago
Mr. Bell does take liberties with his storytelling. In the beginning of Phantom, he mentions that Alex Hawke just turned 33. Then he makes reference to the Arab Spring (which took place in 2011). Then he talks about Harke being a POW during the first Gulf War, and having been a lieutenant. Was he a 12 year old lieutenant held in a POW camp during the first Gulf War? The book is fun to read, but please be consistent in the storytelling.
EmilyY1976 More than 1 year ago
Ted Bell draws us in, yet again, to the addictive Alex Hawke series with Phantom. Women love Commander Hawke's boyish charm and men admire his sense of adventure. In Phantom we are priviledged to explore Alex's new found fatherhood. His love of country and his need to fiercely protect his son takes us on a frenetic journey around the world. Phantom exceeds all standards. Spasiba Mr. Bell for inviting us on Alex's latest campaign.
2Be1Ask1 More than 1 year ago
I have read every one of Ted's books. I have even enjoyed reading about Nick McIver with my 11 year old twin boys. I think that his latest book, Phantom, was a gift and testament to his loyal readers. For the first time, he did not waste precious pages on elaborately filling the history of the previous books. He added just the right amount for a new comer, but I feel like people are late for class and the teacher (whose every word your hang on), is starting the lecture over for them! As a result, Phantom hits the ground running. Reminds me of the way the old mail bags used to hang over a train station, even when it did not stop, and get yanked from 0 to 75 mph by the speeding train. That was me, ripped out of my comfy chair from the start. Alex Hawke is better than James Bond! Ted Bell writes and capitalizes on distinct differences between Hawke and Bond. For starters, Bond is a freeloader. He jet sets around the planet on Her Majesty's dime or pound sterling for that matter. He has not skin in the game. In Phantom, he once again gives the reader the lavish James Bond 2.0 version where he has his own wealth. He is single handedly, and realistically I might add, taking on the world's bad guys using his own money and toys. Oh and the toys this time...The new Blackhawke is different and his renaissance to connect with his pirate blood. I just knew and waited for him to hoist that flag! Another great difference is that Bond usually keeps all interests at arm's length, especially the ones with the potential for love. I guess it is his weakness. Ted Bell gives us Alex and he wears his love, for Stokley (he's the man!), Pellham, Congreve, and now Alexi, on his sleeve. He is not afraid to profess is love for them and fight to the end for each and every one of them. This book did set an interesting stage for me, as I wondered how Anastasia could just drop off the pages, just like that? At first I raised an eyebrow and then realized that it looks like we're going to China next and I have a good feeling that Anastasia will want to check in with Alexi. I read Crash Dive, his short story the night before the release of Phantom. Well that was just a big tease. That one really ripped the `ole mailbag of the post! I think the Dragon might help the old Ted Bell crack head over here. In Phantom, Bell really brings in real figures, like Putin. He weaves them into the story as if he made them up. It works so well and is so realistic. Now, the real stunner of this novel, is the introduction of "Singularity". This is the point in time when artificial intelligence surpasses human knowledge. This had me really uncomfortable and the thought of singularity had me creating doomsday scenarios in my head. His explanation and integration of a "new" and scariest villain was flawless. I was able to fly along and visualize every detail. I must say, the afterword was the most provocative and substantiated part of the book. I am really impressed with the depth he immersed himself into in order accurately portray his story. Bottom line, this was a fantastic novel, except that Ted Bell should write books, just for me, that are longer than War and Peace. I cannot get enough! like I said, I feel like an Alex Hawke crack head. It will be interesting one day to see if Alexi goes into daddy's business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ted Bell you have done it once again. Arrived on my nook the day it came out. Waited 3 months. Could not put the it down. So real. Not enough words to express my thoughts and feelings on your best ever. Did not want the book to end. If you like Vince Flynn you' love Ted Bell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this isn't the best of the best, I don't know what is. These Hawke novels consistently deliver stay up all night plots, pulse-throbbing action, humor, sex, the kitchen sink basically. No one does it better. Alex Hawke, saving the planet one bullet at a time. Start with the first one, Hawke, and work your way through. Great way to spend the summer, imho.
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth Alex Hawke book that I have read and it was the best one yet! Could not put it down because it was so good. Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this author in previous books. This one just seemed predictable and shallow.
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Name: Unknown # Age: Unknown # Outfit: A black Tuxedo with a red mask covering his entire head, showing nothing. The eyes are pure black, a white scare going over the left eye of the mask. # Voice: Very deep and rumbling # Height: 6'1 # Gear: Voice disguiser, Derringer(Small 2 shot pistol) hidden under his Tuxedo shoulder, Hologram cloak(Can look like any human being), old fashion 6 shooter under his vest, and a poisoned blade that slides out from his coat sleeve into his hand.
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
When you are a trillion times more powerful than a mosquito, do you think twice about swatting it? What’s this now? I didn’t see that coming at all! Ted Bell done went and flipped my world upside down again, how does he keep doing it? This book, the seventh of the Alex Hawke series, continues to astound and surprise me. It makes me a little nervous for the future. How can he keep this up? I don’t know, but these stories only seem to be getting stronger. My favorite book in the series had been Tsar (book five) and this one is at least as good. Very emotional, twisty and powerful. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.
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Is a silver white shecat with blue eyes. She has massive paws and she is expereanced..loveing and gental and kind...and respectful..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:shinerdust. Persontality:loving but feirce shell do anytging for her family. Wants kits:yes. Appearamce:small ears and a long tail her black fur shines she has a heart mark on her tail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Clover fo short * Gender: She * Description: Beautiful jet black cat with peircing green eyes. Her fur shines in the moonlight. * Personality: Sweet, Loving, Gentle * Mate: None, wants * Crush: Yep * Kits: None
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