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"Le Carré said we live in 'coded times,' and SHAKE OFF is a book that takes that idea to hypnotizing levels. A novel about identity and sadness and love, it is also a hellaciously entertaining chase thriller. But the achievement of the novel rests in its orphan main character; Michel is a great character, one of the finest heroes I've seen in the spy genre simply because he is like so many of us, desperately searching for who he is and where he came from. This is a novel that is as much about personhood as it is about tradecraft, and it succeeds on both counts. My highest recommendation."—Will Lavender, New York Times bestselling author of Obedience and Dominance
"Poignant and human. ... a unique and engaging voice ... deftly drawn ... Powerful and thought-provoking, this is a book that stays with the reader. Mr Hiller's Shake Off is hard to shake off."—The Economist
"The best spy novels not only spin a great story, they also take us into the minds of characters who are mysteries even to themselves. SHAKE OFF is as deceptive as it is perceptive, an intimate portrait of a man veering away from one tragedy and possibly straight into another one."—Thomas Mullen, author of The Revisionists
"In the best Le Carre tradition ... Hiller brings to his work not only a craftman's skill but also a compassion for his characters that proves infectious."—Haaretz (Israel)
"Ingeniously plotted and skillfully paced ... interlaces compelling human stories with political espionage. The suspense builds until the very end."—Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)
Posted May 23, 2013
This is a riveting story, that is very hard to put down. The first half of the book treats the spycraft activities of Michel like it is a harmless game, a game with no reap point. He lives in a cheap rooming house, and slowly falls for his neighbor, an uninhibited girl who seems to be more that meets the eye. By the end of the book you find out that most of what you have learned about the characters is off the mark. And, the second half demonstrates that being a spy, no matter how well trained, is a really dangerous occupation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2013
Posted August 27, 2012
Never having read author Mishca Hiller before, I was not sure what to expect. Certainly, the idea of reading a spy thriller about the Arab/Israeli conflict appealed to me but I was pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of the story. This book is really a character study of a man who is a Lebanese refugee, whose family is murdered, and his main mission is to avenge their killing. As a writer, Hiller is particularly skilled in character develpment and his smooth writing style encourages one to turn every page in anticipation of the interesting story he unravels. I really enjoyed Hiller's writing style and look forward to reading his earlier book, "Sabra Zoo". Perhaps Hiller will continue with this character, Michel in another book. This first book offers readers a chance to become intimate with a vulnerable man who is directed at a young age to fight an enemy he is not sure of and to experience relationships he does not fully understand. Trying to overcome the horrendous childhood experience of witnessing the demise of his family, his injured soul relies on codeine to cope. I won't tell you anymore, but be sure to read this gripping story...you won't be sorry. It's a very good book and I hope the author will consider a sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2013
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