Once a Spy by Keith Thomson

Once a Spy is today Kindle Daily Deal and on sale for $1.99.  Well worth reading at that price.

Once A Spy: A Novel

Takeaway: An original take on the traditional spy novel.

I originally heard about Once A Spy from Books and Culture Magazine podcast and then an article.  The premise is too good to pass up.

Drummond Clark, age 64, is a spy and he has advanced stages of early onset Alzheimer’s.  This leads to a problem for the spy masters.  How much does he know, who will he tell.  Enter Charlie, his estranged son that is in debt to a Russian loan shark over some gambling debts.

Charlie has no idea that his father is a spy.  He thinks is father is a mediocre sales manager for a mediocre appliance manufacturer.  Turns out Drummond Clark is a super spy that would shame James Bond or Jason Borne.  It is just that he believes the best spy is one that no one pays attention to and no one remembers.  Drummond Clark fits that mold perfectly.

The book has everything that I like about spy novels, action, bad guys pretending to be good guys, good guys pretending to be bad guys that might still be good guys, or maybe they really are bad guys.  Lots of action and over the top situations.  The Alzheimer’s really adds a different touch.  Unlike real Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s of the book has Drummond suddenly erupting to periods of full capability, and then just as suddenly falling into periods of senility.  There is a real sense of loss of capacity in the book.

Alzheimer’s runs in my family, so I have seen my own Great Grandfather and right now my Grandfather lose capacity.  The emotion runs fairly true even if the science does not.  I have heard that some are offended by the treatment of Alzheimer’s in the book.  But someone will be offended anytime a serious subject is taken on.

If you like spy novels, this is an original take.

Purchase Links: HardbackPaperbackKindle EditionAudible.com Audiobook

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Shields, Adam Shields. Adam Shields said: What happens when a super spy get Alzheimer's? Read "Once a Spy by Keith Thomson" Great original take on the spy novel http://bit.ly/b7rzmJ […]

[…] is reunited with him. Great original take on a traditional spy story. I reviewed it on my blog. Once a Spy by Keith Thomson | Mr Shields: I'm a reader not a fighter I just finished up Hitchhickers's Guide to the Galaxy. Amazon has the ommibus edition (all five […]

Twice a Spy by Keith Thomson | Bookwi.seMarch 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

[…] a Spy is a sequel to Once a Spy, one of my favorite books last year.  The basic premise is that Drummond Clark, a retired […]

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