The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen: A Novel

The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen: A Novel

4.2 7
by Thomas Caplan, Bill Clinton

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A former soldier turned movie star turned spy must stop a catastrophic nuclear weapons deal.

This gripping thriller from Thomas Caplan propels readers around the globe-from Hollywood to Rome, the Black Sea to the Mediterranean-and to the very brink of nuclear abyss.

The novel's charismatic hero, former covert operative Ty Hunter, has become,

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A former soldier turned movie star turned spy must stop a catastrophic nuclear weapons deal.

This gripping thriller from Thomas Caplan propels readers around the globe-from Hollywood to Rome, the Black Sea to the Mediterranean-and to the very brink of nuclear abyss.

The novel's charismatic hero, former covert operative Ty Hunter, has become, almost by accident, the number one film star in the world. When he is recruited on a clandestine mission to thwart the transfer of nuclear warheads into rogue hands, he must deploy every skill he has as an actor, soldier, and spy. Donning his fame as a disguise, Ty matches wits and muscle with the enigmatic billionaire Ian Santal and his nefarious protégé Philip Frost-two supremely sophisticated adversaries- even as he falls in love with the entrancing young woman closest to them both, the jewelry designer Isabella Cavill.

In prose that is both elegant and powerful, The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen gives us a breakneck parable of good and evil-and a hero in the tradition of James Bond and Jason Bourne, who is sure to become an icon of the genre.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Leading man Ty Hunter, “the number one box-office star in the world,” uses his good looks, acting ability, and celebrity the way other action heroes use their ninja warrior and advanced weaponry skills in this well-crafted but subdued thriller from Caplan (Grace and Favor). At the Cannes film festival, Ty attends a party aboard a yacht owned by a wealthy businessman, Ian Santal, who with the help of Philip Frost, an American in Russia working to decommission surplus nuclear weapons, has managed to steal three of the nukes. Soon after the party, where Ty falls under the spell of Ian’s ward, the beautiful Isabella Cavill, the U.S. president asks Ty, a former covert operative, to lead an investigation into the theft of the nukes. The rather tepid action that follows will lead readers to hope for more gunplay, explosions, and thrills in Ty’s next adventure. Former president Bill Clinton, a roommate of the author’s at Georgetown University, provides an introduction. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“There is wisdom as well as considerable pleasure to be extracted from the stylish, involving, utterly contemporary puzzle that is this novel.… The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen will keep you under its spell and stiffen your resolve to make the world a safer place for our children.”

—President Bill Clinton, from the Introduction

"Thomas Caplan has crafted an absorbing thriller of intrigue and menace that draws you into a vortex you can't escape until the end. The Spy Who Jumped Off The Screen is the most ingenious thriller I've ever read."

—Clive Cussler, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kingdom

“A fanciful, enjoyable romp that centers on three stolen nuclear warheads—the fate of mankind!—even as it carries us deep into the world of people who are as dangerous and degenerate as they are rich. . . . [Caplan’s] portrait of [decadent billionaires] is a delight.”

—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

“A fascinating thriller.”

—Greta Van Susteren, Fox News

"You can trust the former president when he tells you to read this diverting spy thriller, which stars Bond-Bourne love child Ty Hunter. He’s a triple hyphenate—actor-soldier-spy—and he’ll need all three of those personas. . . . There’s really nothing more menacing than the threat of nuclear annihilation. You’ll believe Caplan’s well-constructed, globe-trotting story—and that his hero has the goods to save the day.”

—Los Angeles Magazine

“A kick-ass premise. . . . The novel boasts great, James Bond–style supporting characters. . . . And it has a story that, with its action and intrigue, is guaranteed to keep readers glued to their seats. . . . An excellent, don’t-dare-miss-it kind of thriller.”

—Booklist (Starred Review)

“With a dashing hero, an attractive jewelry designer, and a megalomaniac billionaire villain worthy of James Bond, Caplan brings to you a thriller for the modern day. You’ll sail on a luxury yacht and get lost in foreign locales. Filled with passion and betrayal, technology and money hungry men, this book will bring you up to a new level of story telling, and keep you there for the entire ride. . . . Caplan gets into the minds of the main characters, showing faults, quirks, loves and regrets, and how history affects the present. . . .  Be ready for an adventure worthy of another classic battle between good and evil.”

—Suspense Magazine

"Thomas Caplan channels Ian Fleming in this gracefully written, fast moving, all too pertinent thriller."

—Robert Stone, author of Dog Soldiers

"A highly sophisticated and entertaining thriller! With enviable finesse and accelerating tension, Caplan introduces us to a world of high and low life, West Wing officials and computer paladins, Hollywood stars and global financial wizards. Don't pick up this book if you have made plans for the evening."

—Philip Bobbitt, author of The Shield of Achilles and Terror and Consent

"The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen is a thrilling novel of espionage and derring-do, high jinks and high stakes, that unfolds rapidly against a canvas of seductive international glamour. But its grace note is the siren song of Hollywood that, out of nowhere, attracted then transformed its astonishing hero."

—Kevin Starr, author of Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance

"What an exuberant cast of characters—arms dealers, spies, movie stars, beautiful maidens, stolen nuclear warheads -and in Thomas Caplan, a gifted and sophisticated writer to direct the ensemble. The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen is an entertaining romp."

—David Ignatius, author of Bloodmoney

"An elegant thriller by an author with keen insight into the world of international intrigue, with finely crafted characters who will stay with you long after you have closed the book."

—Ted Bell, New York Times bestselling author of Warlord

"Caplan's business and international background, reflected in three earlier novels (e.g., Grace and Favor), give authenticity to this fantastic tale of intrigue.”

—Library Journal

Library Journal
Founder of the Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction and the author of three novels, Caplan jumps into frothier territory with this thriller featuring covert operative-turned-Hollywood superstar Ty Hunter. Asked to help keep a bunch of nuclear warheads from passing into the wrong hands, Hunter uses all his actorly skills as he goes up against billionaire Ian Santal. Sounds promising, and you can't ignore the introduction by President Bill Clinton.
Kirkus Reviews
Caplan's (Line of Chance, 1979, etc.) adventure novel shoots for high concept by assigning hero duties to a soldier turned film star turned spy. Ty Hunter is an accidental actor who made it big in Tinseltown. He was a special-ops–tested military intelligence officer recovering from injuries when he met a film producer. But Caplan doesn't rush Hunter into play. First there's a stop in Kansas City to meet Wilhelm Claussen, owner of an international construction company. Claussen's ready to back out of a deal with a Russian group. The scene shifts to a missile installation near Russia's Sea of Azov where warheads are being removed. Next it's the Cannes film festival. There Ty enters the narrative and encounters Ian Santal, once a science guru, once a money manipulator, and now a billionaire financier. Also on the scene are Santal's protege, Philip Frost, part of the official nuclear-weapons watchdog team at Azoz, and Isabella Cavill, celebrated jewelry designer, Santal's goddaughter and the novel's requisite love interest. Ty is next called to Camp David to meet the president and his top security adviser. They enlist Hunter to go undercover. Rumors are circulating that Santal has nefarious contacts. It develops that Santal's megalomaniacal idea is to assure peace by reframing the balance of nuclear power--while earning a tidy profit. Ty's mission-almost-impossible is to discover if Santal threat is real. Caplan litters the pages with exotic locations, beautiful people and more than enough scene-setting, exposition, sparkling conversation and back story to present a tutorial on the lives of the mega-rich. The denouement comes at Gibraltar, where good guys and bad guys meet aboard Santal's yacht, Surpass. That's a fitting moniker, since everything within the story involves stratospheric superlatives--"sleek furnishings," "most amazing stones," "great eclectic mansion," "far too sophisticated." Characters are stock players, including Middle Easterners with disposable billions, a quartet of computer nerds and a bad guy escaping to plague Hunter in Caplan's next Bondian escapade. An adventure where atmosphere dominates action.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Thomas Caplan, a founder of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, is the author of three previous novels, Line of Chance, Parallelogram, and Grace and Favor. He lives in Maryland.

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