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A Darker Place
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Product Description

The New York Times- bestselling author and -dean of intrigue novelists- returns with a remarkable novel of espionage and revenge.A famous Russian writer and ex-paratrooper named Alexander Kurbsky is fed up with the Putin government and decides he wants to -disappear- into the West. He is under no illusions, however, about how the news will be greeted at home, having seen too many of his countrymen die mysteriously at the hands of the thuggish Russian security services, so he makes elaborate plans with Charles Ferguson, Sean Dillon, and the rest of the group known informally as the -Prime Minister-s private army- for his escape and concealment.It-s a real coup for the West except for one thing: Kurbsky is still working for the Russians. The plan is to infiltrate British and American intelligence at the highest levels, and he has his own motivations for doing the most effective job possible. He does not care what he has to do or where he has to go . . . or who he has to kill.Filled with suspense, driven by characters of complexity and passion, A Darker Place once again proves that, in the words of the Associated Press, -When it comes to thriller writers, one name stands well above the crowd-Jack Higgins.-

Customer Reviews:

  • Good read. Falls a little short of his best.
    The other reviewers have covered the ins and outs of this book. I will restrict myself to select segments.

    What I liked:
    Character development. Not everyone on the other side is a bad guy concept developed well.
    Familiar setup with old characters but still allowing newer characters to blossom.
    Surprising climax- even if less than fully fleshed out.

    What I didn't like:
    Less Sean Dillon. I really like his character a lot. Same goes for the Salters.
    Less action that most of his books. There is a good bit of it but a lot of the book is conversations.
    Too much of backstory. I liked the occasional flashbacks but it was too much of flashbacks and too little of the present.
    Interesting but less than fully satisfying climax....more info
  • "The Darkest Place"
    I pretty much agree with the Stites review. This is maybe the worst Jack Higgins that I have ever read. 1 1/2 stars would be appropriate but decided to downgrade it. Higgins has apparently decided to phase out Dillon. This would be like Parker phasing out Spenser (In the Spenser series) in favor of a new character. Book is just silly. Are we to believe that British Intelligence would accept a Russian defector which such little thought and pre-defection communication. However, unlike Stites I will certainly give Mr. Higgins AT LEAST one more chance....more info
  • Interesting New Characters and Lots of Intrigue Are Spoiled by a Flawed Premise
    Your reaction to A Darker Place will depend a lot on three things:

    1. You feel comfortable with Mr. Higgins' premise that the Communists are still in control in Russia and running things pretty much the same way they always did.

    2. You would like a change from Sean Dillon shooting up whoever the Russians send after him or the person Dillon is protecting.

    3. You like some character development to balance your killings.

    For me, the premise doesn't really work, but I am tired of the predictable Sean Dillon bloodbaths, and I like a balance between character development and "wet" work in my thrillers.

    Alexander Kurbsky is a contradiction in one person: a successful Russian novelist, ex-soldier, and assassin who was happiest while living in the UK as a young man. Now, the powers-that-be in Russia want Kurbsky to penetrate Ferguson's operations in the UK. Kurbsky is "encouraged" to play along by the promise that his sister will be released from a remote gulag.

    As the story is told, we know what Kurbsky is doing . . . and it isn't very easy to accomplish. Flashbacks help us understand the forces that have created today's Kurbsky while we also learn more about Major Roper. This is primarily Kurbsky's story, and it's interesting to guess which way he will turn next and whether he will be able to carry off the deception or not.

    This is such a change from recent novels that it almost seems like a new series. That shift will cheer some and disappoint others. ...more info
  • Higgins Quick Thriller
    Jack Higgins' books move quickly and enjoyably. Darker Place had more interesting and contemporary plot lines than many of his other novels. If you're looking for a lot of Sean Dillon, you'll be disappointed. But if you would like to get more of the tragic Giles Roper, this is your title....more info
  • A Darker Place shows Higgins stepping it up
    A Darker Place is one of the better yarns we've seen from Jack lately. The introduction of what could be a few new regular characters gives the author a broader canvas to keep things fresh. A Darker place, was typical Higgins and if you love him (and I do)you will enjoy the story.
    It would be nice to see more retrospective stories (i.e. The Eagle Has Landed) I miss Liam Devlin, but more importantly those story lines had suspense and intricacy. Maybe todays events are just more direct and less nuanced. A good read regardless, afterall it's Jack!...more info
  • A disappointing read
    Higgins' books today are not as good as the earlier ones. It seems he does not take the time to think out the plot ahead of time and instead makes it up as he goes. Unfortunately he is in a rut of repeating plots over and over again. This is another example. I am hooked on reading all of his novels hoping for the spark of the Higgins of old but this is another disappointment....more info
  • Turned Tables
    The characters in this long-running series are so familiar it might seem impossible to come up with a fresh approach. But Jack Higgins seems to do it effortlessly, even though in this novel they are relegated to a relatively passive role. All the action is left to two new protagonists, leaving General Ferguson, Sean Dillon, the Salters and Lady Starling to sort of supporting roles. Only Major Roper is active in his usual cybernetic detective mode.

    A world famous novelist, Alexander Kurbsky, who served with distinction as an officer in Afghanistan and Chechnya, son of a GRU Colonel, is brought to the Kremlin and offered a deal for the release of his sister from a Siberian Gulag (he thought her dead for many years) for serving the Motherland by infiltrating the highest levels of British intelligence. The ruse is he offers to defect, and Ferguson and the others take Kurbsky in with open arms, completely unaware of the plot.

    But the best laid plans go askew, and Higgins is able to introduce two new members of the cast in the form of Kurbsky and his friend Yuri Bounine, who was his second-in-command in Afghanistan and Chechnya, as Alex learns certain facts and develops a new moral attitude. All leading to a thrilling conclusion.

    Highly recommended.
    ...more info
  • A Darker Place is wasted dollars
    Want to waster $20? Here's a way to do it!. I am a major Sean Dillon fan so I bought this book. Dillon barely plays even a supporting role. This is the last Higgins book I will pay for. The last two I thought were getting pretty formula. Now this mess. From now on I read him from the library....more info
  • Bored, so painfully BORED....
    I was so hoping that this would be a good read - I was waiting and waiting, but to no avail. Where are the characters I loved? What happened to them? Did their clones take over? Where they in a coma, because they were not in this book. Higgins is still putting this book in the Sean Dillon series, but I don't understand why - he was barely in the book.

    Dillon in love - fine, but where is Dillon!?!?!

    Higgins - word of advice, if you don't want to do Dillon anymore than drop him. If you lost the ability to write well - stop, because this is weak and pathetic. ...more info
  • Is Jack Hungry?
    Not up to Jack Higgins standards!!! Sean Dillon was basically nowhere to be found, unless it is at Cambridge with his new girl friend. Jack are you punching out the novels just to write something? You are too good to have this book published as it was....more info
  • Where's Sean?
    I absolutely love the character of Sean Dillon. It's been fun to watch his character grow and change since he was first introduced. But here, his role is barely that of a cameo. In fact, when the trouble comes up on the train, Sean SLEEPS through it?!?!?!?

    And I'm going to have to find a hard copy and see if it ends in the same place as the Kindle version. I know the review with the book description said that the3 final dustup was rushed... but the last page in the Kindle version doesn't even feel like and ending. I thought maybe the next book was intended to pick up the story, but after reading the description of the new one coming out in July, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    BRING BACK SEAN!!!...more info
  • Deceit, defection, and double-cross; an East - West spy thriller
    In "A Darker Place," Jack Higgins tells the story of Alexander Kurbsky, a Russian soldier turned famous author who wishes to defect to the West - to Britain, specifically. He makes contact with a high level British intelligence cell whose members aid him in his defection attempt. However, we are told early in the book that the defection is not real but rather a plot by Russian Prime Minister Putin to infiltrate the intelligence cell known as the "Prime Minister's private army."
    The book goes on to describe how the Kurbsky defection will be accomplished, how he can remain anonymous in Britain, and what actions he takes in the London area.

    Jack Higgins (pseudonym of Harry Patterson) is an English-Irish soldier turned educator turned author with 60 novels to his credit. Unfortunately, "A Darker Place" is not one of his better works. The plot is at best shaky. Two flashback chapters - which could have been replaced by two paragraphs - interrupt the story. Actions of the British intelligence unit are not credible. There is often two much detail in the settings which tends to slow down the story. There is too much dialogue, conversations don't sound natural, and there's often a need to stop and figure out who's speaking. Higgins is capable of better.

    Reviewed by Douglas McWilliams...more info