The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent

by Francine Mathews
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The Secret Agent by Francine Mathews

In her acclaimed debut, The Cutout, former CIA analyst Francine Mathews defined a world of intrigue where only the savvy survive. Now, in The Secret Agent, Mathews propels us deep into the baffling history of a maverick American’s glittering life and his sudden, cataclysmic disappearance…. Here is the masterful story of secret agents of many kinds--in a realm where truth is the most dangerous secret of all.

Who was Jack Roderick?

Trained by the OSS, Jack Roderick plummeted into Bangkok one rainy morning in 1945 and never left. Silk King, pirate, ruthless collector of beautiful objects--especially women--Roderick was feared and respected as a foreign spy, a business kingpin, and a trader in men’s souls. And then, at the height of the Vietnam War, caught in a killing web of treachery and revenge that would determine the fate of his only son, Rory, Jack Roderick walked into the jungle…and vanished from the face of the earth.

Four decades later, can the mystery be solved?

International fund manager Stefani Fogg is recruited by a man whose job it is to know the unknowable. Wealthy beyond corruption, impervious to romance, and equipped with a mind that can crack any enigma, Stefani signs up for the adventure of a lifetime: playing Secret Agent to Max Roderick, grandson of Bangkok’s long-vanished Legendary American. A world-class skier tangled in a sordid Thai murder investigation, Max is consumed with the riddle of Jack Roderick’s disappearance--and with his own father’s death in the jungles of Vietnam.

Seduced by Max’s charm and intrigued by his family history, Stefani ignores the warning signs and follows her heart. But when Max’s quarrel with the Thai police turns deadly and a killer strikes, she knows she must return to the place where it all began, to unravel the lies, penetrate a deadly conspiracy, and expose a killing truth. She flees Max’s France for Bangkok’s khlongs--into the ruins of the Silk King’s dark past and the mesmerizing shadow of the Roderick family curse. What she finds, in Jack Roderick’s story and in the fate of his fighter-pilot son, is an American dream that crashed and burned in the rice paddies of Vietnam and a chilling legacy that haunts our own to this day.

Propelling us masterfully through half a century, from Manhattan to the Alps to the colorful and treacherous heart of Bangkok, and based on the life of American expatriate Jim Thompson, The Secret Agent is at once a murder mystery, a touching love story, and a lavishly atmospheric journey through the exotic landscape of love and history--an historical thriller of the first rank.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307568199
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/29/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 302,430
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Francine Mathews spent four years as an intelligence analyst at the CIA, where she trained in operations and worked briefly on the investigation into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. A former journalist, she lives and writes in Colorado.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Secret Agent 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
joaninoregon More than 1 year ago
I liked this the best of all she's written so far. What a page turner! She has no equal.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mathews does a masterful job telling the story of Jack Roderick, a fictionalized version of the legendary American, Jim Thompson, who disappeared without a trace in 1967. This is a thriller with a thread of romance that pulls the reader through the book. The plot is as tightly woven as a bolt of Thai silk, and the characters equally colorful. Details of southeast asian culture and landscape rounded out this engaging story.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The ¿Legendary American¿ joined the OSS during World War II and remained with the espionage group when it was converted into the CIA. In 1945 Jack Roderick enters Bangkok. Over the next two decades he lives in Thailand rarely leaving the country and becomes known as ¿The Silk King¿ perhaps for his successful merchant business or as many locals claim as his cover for his work as a foreign spy. However, in 1967, Jack vanishes never to be seen again at about the same time that his son dies in Nam.

Decades later, Jack¿s grandson, Olympic ski champion Max, demands that the Thai government turn over to him his grandfather¿s possessions including a spectacular house in Bangkok. Instead of owning a new home, Max finds himself embroiled in a deadly conspiracy. He turns to risk expert Oliver Krane and financial guru Stefani Fogg for help.

When this historical fiction focuses on three generations of Rodericks, it is an exciting story that will electrify the audience who need to know what happened to Jack THE SECRET AGENT, desire to understand more about Rory, and want to see what will occur to Max. On the other hand, the Stefani subplot detours the story line away from its prime theme. Still, Francine Mathews provides an interesting novel filled with plenty of action and an intriguing look back at Southeast Asia during the Nam period that will excite fans of twentieth century thrillers.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
Over and over and over and over, repeating endlessly the endless repetitions of redundancy. Ms. Matthews, develop your characters and get on with the story. I sat there, ossifying though endless repetitions of rehashed events, character nuance, and other trivia. Where were the car chases? Where were the topless women? Where were the things that make red necks like me read books? Seriously, the book was like a lemon meringue pie with too much meringue. When you got through all of the chick flick froth, there was only...a lemon.