Spy Killer

Spy Killer

3.3 56
by L. Ron Hubbard
     
 

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American Sailor Kurt Reid is a hothead and a hard case—a man who hits first and asks questions later.  As scrappy and rough around the edges as Jimmy Cagney, it’s no wonder that when the ship’s captain turns up dead, it’s Reid who takes the rap.

Falsely accused and under the gun, Reid jumps ship and vanishes into Shanghai…  See more details below

Overview

American Sailor Kurt Reid is a hothead and a hard case—a man who hits first and asks questions later.  As scrappy and rough around the edges as Jimmy Cagney, it’s no wonder that when the ship’s captain turns up dead, it’s Reid who takes the rap.

Falsely accused and under the gun, Reid jumps ship and vanishes into Shanghai —only to get caught in a web of intrigue, betrayal, and murder.  In a world where nothing is what it seems and everything is for sale, he’s soon out of his depth, drawn into a spy game in which the winner takes all . . . and the loser takes a knife to the back.

Will Reid live up to his reputation as the Spy Killer? He’ll have to learn the rules fast, because with players like sexy Russian agent Varinka Savischna in the hunt, the game is about to turn as seductive as it is sinister. 

As a young man, Hubbard visited pre-Communist China three times, where his closest friend headed up British intelligence.  In a land where communists, nationalists, war lords and foreign adventurers schemed for control, Hubbard gained a unique insight into the intelligence operations and spy-craft in the region—a knowledge that informs stories like Spy Killer.

 “Vividly written, super-fast-paced.”
—Ellery Queen

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This classic 1936 Hubbard tale takes listeners to pre-Communist China where a man named Kurt Reid has fled murder charges only to find himself thrust into the exotic world of foreign espionage. This multicast performance brings an air of the old radio theater shows of the '30s and '40s, transporting listeners to another time and place. An exceptional performance by Lori Jablons is a true highlight of this production, as she assumes the role of the mysterious and beautiful Russian rebel, Varinka Savischna. With the perfect blend of background sounds that are often as simple as crowd murmuring or distant animal noises, the result is a genuinely entertaining listening experience. A Galaxy Press paperback.(Sept.)

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Midwest Book Review
Offering the reader a true 'roller coaster' ride of intrigue, suspense, action and adventure, Spy Killer is pulp fiction at its best.
Library Journal

Hubbard wrote a ton of pulp stories in every genre during the 1930s and 1940s. Galaxy is reissuing all of them in paperback-80 books in all (told you it was a ton). Each book features a killer pulp cover along with other illustrations, a glossary (parts of a ship for the briny swashbucklers, etc.), and background on the author.


—Michael Rogers
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—"Kurt went to the back of the room and found the round-faced, slit-eyed proprietor." So goes the story of Kurt Reid, who has been accused of murder, and his adventures on "the Yellow Continent." Originally published in 1936, this is part of a series of stories by L. Ron Hubbard that have been recorded by a full cast, with music and sound effects. Like a lot of pulp fiction from that era, there are obvious stereotypes and distinct language that will make it a difficult sell to today's audiences. The narration is very dramatic, but the accents used for the Russian and Chinese characters border on ridiculous. Unless it is tied to a lesson on cultural stereotypes of the past or American pulp fiction, skip this title.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
From the Publisher

“His stories could be counted upon to give you a little chill and a little laugh also.” —Ben Endick

“A master of the fast-action short story.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“This classic 1936 Hubbard tale takes listeners to pre-Communist China… With the perfect blend of background sounds that are often as simple as crowd murmuring or distant animal noises, the result is a genuinely entertaining listening experience.” —Publishers Weekly  

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592126170
Publisher:
Galaxy Press, LLC
Publication date:
09/08/2008
Series:
Mystery & Suspense Short Stories Collection
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
121
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Read an Excerpt

As he wrung the water from his clothes he discarded his memories one by one. As mate of the Rangoon, he had been known as a bucko sailor, a hard case who struck first and questioned afterward, renowned for a temper as hot and swift as a glowing rapier.

And the reputation had not helped him when the captain had been found dead in his cabin and when it was discovered that the safe was open and empty. Kurt Reid had been the last man to see the captain alive, so they thought.

Shanghai stretched before him, and behind it lay all of China. If he could not escape there, he thought, he deserved to die. His only regret now was the lack of money he had been accused of stealing. A man does not go far on a few American dollars.

L. Ron Hubbard


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Meet the Author

As one of the 20 top bestselling authors of all time, with more than 325 million works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard stands alongside an illustrious company of writers. But he also stands alone—as an author who actually lived many of the stories he wrote.

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Spy Killer 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! This was great. I love mystery stories and this one was great. Talk about a twist that you don't expect. What a great story. I felt as I was listening that I was right there in the story. No audio book has captivated me like this one! Really Really good!
DeniseDQ More than 1 year ago
What a great book. I couldn't put it down until the end. I especially liked the setting in China. This author is truly a master storyteller! His writings are so exciting and colorful! This is a good book for all ages.
Jasonjwillis More than 1 year ago
An adventure story that sucked me in and kept me turning the pages far later than I should have into the night. L. Ron Hubbard never dissapoints! He promises great adventures and he delivers what he promises.
tomjohnson1940 5 months ago
Bucko sailor Kurt Reid is accused of killing his captain, and placed in the brig. When a chance escape is presented, he takes it and jumps ship, figuring he can disappear in China. But things seem to conspire against him, and he meets a beautiful White Russian woman who asks him for help. From then on, he’s either threatened by the Chinese or Japanese conquerors for immediate death. Ordered by the Chinese to assassinate a Japanese spy, he must penetrate Japanese-controlled area, and avoid capture. Was his escape actually a set up to throw him into this mess, and if so, will he get out of it with his life? The author is a master storyteller, and weaves a thrilling spy adventure in the heart of China during the Japanese occupation. This is an exciting tale, and lots of fun. Highly recommended to the spy adventure lovers, or just reader who love a good tale.
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
I think we will have a very enjoyable trip, bucko mate.  These Galaxy Press editions of Stories from the Golden Age are pretty fantastic. Without them I never would have had a chance to read these stories which as far as I know can only be found in the pulp magazines in which they were originally published. They’ve been lovingly reprinted here, even including the cover art from the April 1936 issue of Five-Novels Monthly and a few illustration peppered throughout. I was surprised that this story is actually one story, not several as in Under the Diehard Brand which I had previously read, and it’s a good classic spy thriller too, featuring a unique bad guy and a different take on the femme fatale. I’m glad these stories are seeing the light of day again, Hubbard is a great writer and I’ve never been disappointed with any of his fiction which I have read. I dare you to buy and read only one of these!
ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
We find the protagonist, Kurt Reid, reflecting over his past. He is at a nightclub watching a beautiful woman from across the way. He starts up a conversation. That is his first mistake. This could cost his life. Now he running around Japan trying to find someone to trust. I am not a big fan of pulp mystery but I figured this would be better then Hubbard’s Science Fiction. It was and it wasn’t. I found myself skimming a lot of description because it seemed like one page he was getting away from the girl or mob boss and the next chapter he wanted to find them. Every chapter was back and forth with such repetitiveness that I didn’t really care what happens to any of them.  Overall it is better than Hubbard’s sci fi but not better then the fantasy. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this pulp fiction, L.Ron Hubbard immerses us in the mysterious tale of Kurt Reid, an American sailor, who has been accused of murder and larceny. Reed flees to China and Shanghai, the dark and mysterious city where he meets the exotic and glamorous White Russian Varinka Savischna. Startled and captivated by her beauty, Reid unwillingly begins a descent into the underworld of blackmail, espionage, and intrigue. Reid manages to save Varinka from death, finds himself captured by a Chinese death squad, and then complicates his life by being involved in an assassination plot of a Japanese spy. The intrigue escalates when events, facts, and characters are not what and who they appear to be. Hubbard successfully manages to trick and treat the reader with a fast paced adventurous journey of many twists and turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
90 pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Action and suspense. Have you ever wanted to be a spy as a kid? Then you'll love this story.
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