Top Secret

( 23 )

Overview

From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author, a brand-new series about the Cold War—and a different breed of warrior.
 
In the first weeks after World War II, a squeaky-clean new second lieutenant named James D. Cronley Jr. is spotted and recruited for a new enterprise that will eventually be transformed into something called the CIA. One war may have ended, but another one has already begun, against an ...

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Overview

From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author, a brand-new series about the Cold War—and a different breed of warrior.
 
In the first weeks after World War II, a squeaky-clean new second lieutenant named James D. Cronley Jr. is spotted and recruited for a new enterprise that will eventually be transformed into something called the CIA. One war may have ended, but another one has already begun, against an enemy that is bigger, smarter, and more vicious: the Soviet Union.

The Soviets have hit the ground running, and Cronley’s job is to help frustrate them, harass them, and spy on them any way he can. His recruiter thinks he has the potential to become an asset—though, of course, he could also screw up spectacularly. And in his first assignment, it looks like that’s exactly what might happen. He’s got seven days to extract a vital piece of information from a Soviet agent, but Cronley’s managed to rile up his superior officers (he seems to have a talent for it), and if he fails, it could be one of the shortest intelligence careers in history.

There are enemies everywhere—and, as Cronley is about to find out, some of them even wear the same uniform he does.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/09/2014
This mildly diverting first in a new thriller series from bestseller Griffin and son Butterworth charts the birth of the CIA in the fall of 1945. When 2nd Lt. James D. Cronley successfully secures a half ton of uranium oxide carried by a German U-boat that might have been sold to Soviet agents in Argentina, he’s promoted to captain by Harry Truman, awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and given command of Operation Ost, which sneaks Nazis out of Germany into Argentina. Maj. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, “the German intelligence officer who ran Abwehr Ost,” trades all the files and assets of his spy organization in return for protecting his men from the Soviet Union. Those readers expecting action will be disappointed as a host of characters make plans, read secret memos, and engage in interior monologues. Those who are happy with lots of interesting period history, dry humor, and clever scheming will be amply rewarded. Agent: Robert Youdelman, Rember & Curtis. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-29
Opening his Clandestine Operations series, Griffin (Empire and Honor, 2012, etc.) drafts warriors from his Honor Bound series to confront post-World War II communist aggression. It's late 1945. Army Lt. James Cronley, scion of a Texas ranching family, has played a significant role in frustrating die-hard Nazi attempts to cache bomb-grade uranium in Argentina. By direct order of President Harry S. Truman, Cronley's promoted to captain for his exploits. He returns to Germany and his Army assignment at a Counterintelligence Corps project wringing intel out of "good German" remnants of Abwehr Ost, an intelligence unit that developed critical information about the Soviet Union. Cronley's soon trapped in a bureaucratic knife fight among veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (covert operations warriors), CIC loyalists, other Army units and the FBI. Set mostly at an isolated and abandoned Bavarian monastery and elsewhere in Germany, the narrative's ripe with meetings, confrontations, lies and subterfuge rather than gunplay. The dialogue is standard Griffin sarcasm and one-upmanship, driving a plot which requires getting a captured Russian agent from the Abwehr Ost camp to Argentina. Back in the U.S., Cronley elopes with a young American woman he met during his Argentine expedition, but his bride is killed in a car wreck a day later. Less than a week later, he sleeps with a colonel's wife, and it becomes clear that Griffin's male-female interactions will be sex rather than romance. The Griffin style remains immutable: short chapters, macho attitudes, stiff upper lip when threatened, no-sweat heroics, much love for military equipment and weaponry and protocol. That familiarity makes the occasional minor error more notable, and it makes one good-guy escape from the hangman problematic. In keeping with Clandestine Operations' raison d'être, Griffin's sketch of the immediate post-WWII bureaucratic territorial clashes has purpose; it's an outline of how the demobilized OSS hot-war heroes became passionate CIA cold warriors.G-fans will not be disappointed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399171239
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: A Clandestine Operations Novel Series , #1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 15,204
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

W. E. B. Griffin

W. E. B. Griffin is the author of six bestselling series—and now Clandestine Operations.
 
William E. Butterworth IV has worked closely with his father for more than a decade, and is the coauthor of many books with him, most recently Hazardous Duty and Deadly Assets.

Biography

With more than 40 million books in print in more than 10 languages, bestselling novelist W.E.B. Griffin enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a master of the military thriller.

Griffin began his career not as a writer but as a military man like the type he would eventually make millions writing about. After growing up in both New York City and the Philadelphia suburb of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, Griffin took the step in 1946 that -- little did he know at the time -- would set the course for his literary life: He enlisted in the United States Army. After finishing basic training, he went through counterintelligence instruction at Fort Holabird, New Jersey, and was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany under Major General I. D. White, commander of the U.S. Constabulary.

In 1951, while attending Philips University, in Marburg an der Lahn, in Germany, Griffin was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He again served under General White, both at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and in Korea, where he earned the Expert Combat Infantry Badge and served as a combat correspondent and as acting X Corps (Group) information officer. Upon his release from active duty in 1953, Griffin was appointed chief of the Publications Division of the Army Signal Aviation Test & Support Activity at the Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Although he first wrote under various pen names, Griffin didn't begin writing his bestselling string of military novels until he was well into his 50s. His first Brotherhood of War novel, The Lieutenants, was published in 1982 and touched off Griffin's well-known reputation for writing with historical accuracy and fascinating detail. Publishers Weekly noted that this first novel "captures the rhythms of WW II army life... in an absorbing account of life among military men." Griffin would go on to pen additional books in the Brotherhood of War sequence and to launch other bestselling series -- including The Corps, Badge of Honor, Honor Bound, and Men at War, among others.

While Griffin's public persona is a bit of an enigma -- he's not one to make the talk show rounds -- it's clear that he both knows and appreciates his readers, especially his fellow military men. On his official web site, Griffin reflects, "Nothing honors me more than a serviceman, veteran, or cop telling me how much he enjoys reading my books."

Good To Know

Griffin was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Military Fiction from Norwich University.

He was vested in the Order of St. George by the U.S. Armor Association.

Griffin addressed the Corps of Cadets for the United States Military Academy.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Edmund Butterworth III (real name); Alex Baldwin, Webb Beech, Walter E. Blake, Jack Dugan, John Kevin Dugan, Eden Hughes, James McDouglas, Allison Mitchell, Edmund O. Scholefield, Blakely St.
      W.E.B. Griffin
    2. Hometown:
      Coppell, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newark, New Jersey

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    After spending good money on that travesty called 'Hazardous Dut

    After spending good money on that travesty called 'Hazardous Duty," a book that spent the first 200+ pages telling me what I had
    already read in the previous books in the series, I'm going to wait until someone reads this thing and tells me if they have found their
    way back to a book worth reading. That last book left me feeling ripped off. Shame on you guys. Did you just get lazy or stupid?

    6 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    THIS BOOK LIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE IS SAD. IN THIS NEWEST BOOK GRI

    THIS BOOK LIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE IS SAD. IN THIS NEWEST BOOK GRIFFIN HAS MADE HIS MAIN CHARACTER AN INCOMPETENT IDIOT WHO IS CONSTANTLY VIOLATING HIS TOP SECURITY CLEARANCE. THE END RESULT WAS AN ENDING THAT WAS REDICULOUS.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    I've read almost every book that the author has published and th

    I've read almost every book that the author has published and this one is as good as any of the previous books. One other reviewer mentioned that the author "rehashes" what is in other books in a series and that is true to some degree.
    However, I think that each book could stand alone, so retelling parts of the story is necessary. As the first book in a new series, this book does a good job of laying the foundations for future stories with these characters. I look forward to future books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Admittedly this is a rehash of the Honor Bound novels but it doe

    Admittedly this is a rehash of the Honor Bound novels but it does give a good telling of the beginning of the CIA and the political climate that started all the hostilities today. I am like others who have read the authors from the start wanting a better retelling of the history that is retold ad nauseum in every book since the first volume in a series. 

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2014

    Very disappointing from previous books from years past. I wish h

    Very disappointing from previous books from years past. I wish he would finish the Korean War story line. This protagonist was very immaturely written and developed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Keeps you wondering about what's going to happen in the book

    From the beginning of the book my attention was grabbed and I could not stop reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    This book just like Hazardous Duty  is straying from telling a g

    This book just like Hazardous Duty  is straying from telling a good story to politics and basically trash. Don't waste your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2014

    Highly recommended

    W.E.B. Griffin & company do not disappoint. Once again the bring us a fast moving espionage thriller with believable characters and situations. Mr. Griffins' understanding of the military psyche is flawless. Don't miss this one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2014

    Another GREAT read !

    I enjoyed the intrigue and the story, just like I LIKE ALL of W E B Griffin's books. I have been reading his works since the late 1980's and whether it's WWII or Police or current - they are all good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2014

    The Saga Continues

    The authors have again hit a home run with this new episode in their ongoing thread of books. This time they bring back characters last seen in the early Series following the careers of US Army officers from World War II through post-Vietnam in support of their latest protagonist and his dealings with the Gehlen Organization following the surrender in Europe. This was another volume I hated to put down and I trust there will be more forthcoming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2014

    Griffin Is Back On Track

    I have complained about the WEB Griffin " formula books" ending abruptly after a designated page number is reached, but I buy them anyway. Fans of this author will know what I mean. This time he doesn't disappoint as details and characters were adequately developed as the story unfolded. I'm ready for the next installment!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2014

    HORRIBLE BOOK

    After the last Griffin book I vowed I would not read him again. However I gave it another try as I felt this may represent a new story line. Big mistake. The level of writing in Top Secret is sophomoric at best. As usual half of the book attempts to flashback to the plots of his last four to five novels. The new material in this could have been covered in 75 pages! It's almost worse than a soap opera! The dialogue between characters is comedic and thoroughly unbelievable. The sexual aspect of the storyline is laughable as well as top brass military wives sitting in on high level discussions. In short - this book is a travesty!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2014

    Another example of highly recommended writers

    This book was well written and I would recommend it as one of the best from Griffin. It will keep you interest from the front to the back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 26, 2014

    Usual revisionist tripe from W E B

    Not a whole lot to add from other folks who read these series.
    Would of bought this on Audible but the narrator reviews are horrid.

    I don't understand why W E B or his son don't read the reviews and figure out his readers are really tired of the repeated repeatedly repeated recaps of his previous books in a series.
    As the characters say "for pete's sake we've heard [read] that story 15 times".

    You could see the end of this book coming half way through the book. Don't always understand why there are these character shifts in senior officers into toxic leaders who are only out for number one. Is it a search for an antagonist?
    The plot twists are strange also. The car accident early in the book? Strange sex acts?
    Sometimes i wonder if W E B isn't on some long delayed guilt trip?

    Meh, not a bad book, maybe W E B will stop repeating previous books from the way back machine on the next in the series. One can only hope the editor reads the reviews?

    Cheers
    Mike

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2014

    This is a good follow on to the Honor Bound series. The main cha

    This is a good follow on to the Honor Bound series. The main character is out of his depth, but often luck works as well as skill, and this book is fiction. Note the Honor Bound at 1 to 4 starts depending on the book. This book was not as good as any of the books in "The Corps or Brotherhood of War".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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