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The American Mission
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The American Mission [Format Kindle]

Matthew Palmer

Prix éditeur - format imprimé : EUR 21,65
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse


“Palmer’s first novel offers an insider’s look at the world of American diplomats stationed in foreign countries…. Pair this one with John le Carré’s The Constant Gardener (2001).”
“A timely thriller... A satisfying finale and a nuanced view of the diplomatic life.”
Publishers Weekly
"The American Mission by Matthew Palmer cuts so close to the bone it could be nonfiction. It opens with one of the most horrific scenes I have ever read, which segues into a fast and furious story of international intrigue and corporate corruption, with nonstop action, vivid characters and crisp dialog. This is a thriller of great integrity and intelligence, written by an author who really knows his stuff. I highly recommend it."
—Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monster of Florence and co-creator of the legendary Pendergast series.

“Superb!  Embassy insider Matthew Palmer takes us inside the secret "club" of international diplomacy, and races his characters through political tightropes and hair-raising encounters.  I read this tale at warp speed, thrilled all the way.  With The American Mission, Palmer joins the exalted ranks of Follett, Forsythe, and Clancy.”—Tess Gerritsen, Internationally Bestselling author of Last to Die
“Talk about writing what you know — Palmer is a veteran diplomat and it shows on every page of his debut novel.  Crackling with authenticity that sizzles with emotional clout, this is a superb debut by a coming star in the thriller genre.  Five stars by any review.” —Steve Berry, New York Times and #1 Internationally Bestselling author of The King’s Deception
The American Mission is one of those wonderful novels, where great story telling is woven through with the intricate detail only a knowledgeable insider can supply.  I loved it!”
— Iris Johansen, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Hunting Eve
“Bristling with high adventure and low-down international politics has it all - unforgettable characters, razor-sharp dialog, insider details that only an American diplomat would know, and an exciting love story. Reminiscent of Graham Greene, Mr. Palmer is far better than John le Carre. This is the sort of book you don’t want to end, and when it does, you crave the next one. Mr. Palmer is a rare talent. You won’t want to miss The American Mission."
— Gayle Lynds, New York Times-bestselling author of The Book of Spies
"What a fantastic debut thriller...Only an insider with years of service in the diplomatic corps could detail the intrigues of the international and domestic politics of Africa."
—Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling and Barry Award-winning author of The Informationist

Présentation de l'éditeur

“There's the mission the public knows, and the mission we'll never see. Matthew Palmer knows both, which is what makes The American Mission crackle with complexity and authenticity. What a debut.”

—Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Fifth Assassin

Global headlines come to life as intrigue and international politics collide in the Congo in this electrifying debut thriller from Matthew Palmer.

After a devastating experience in Darfur strips Alex Baines, former rising star of the State Department, of his security clearances, he is faced with two choices: spend the rest of his career in visa-stamping limbo or move to the private sector. On the verge of resigning, he receives a call from his old mentor with an incredible opportunity to start over, restoring both his security clearances and his reputation.

The job isn’t quite what Alex imagined it to be when he finds a shady U.S.-based mining company everywhere he turns.

As violence in the political climate escalates, Alex struggles to balance the best interests of the United States with the fate of the Congo and its people. His loyalties are put to the test as he races to determine the right course of action.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1407 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 422 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0399165703
  • Editeur : Putnam Adult (26 juin 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00G3L14Y6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°76.390 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  41 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Evil Prevails When Good Men Fail To Act 28 avril 2014
Par Scott E. High - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Matthew Palmer has gotten dangerously close in his first novel to defining what many politicians' refer to as "defending American interests" overseas. Unfortunately, one way or another, it always seems to be about business and making money--especially in oil and minerals. The major difference in how this is accomplished comes in two forms: 1. The bad guys come in and play the corruption game, paying off the various players and raping the land for their own benefit, or 2. The good guys come in, bringing schools and medical care, introduce a new form of government and allow the population to share in the wealth and prosperity.

This is the first novel I have read that explains what the State Department does at the local level in developing countries, both the mundane tasks Foreign Service officers deal with at the lowest levels and also what the senior players are involved in as far as political games. Fictional or not, this story walks you through a bloodless coup in the Congo and defies you to identify who the good guys and bad guys really are. Just when you think that you have a grip on it, someone you trust puts on a different hat and a new game with different rules begins. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

I found this novel to be extremely entertaining and refreshingly open about what roles Foreign Service officers are sometimes forced to play. Well written and candid in its presentation, you will find this an enjoyable read. Great debut novel!
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Pretty good debut effort 11 mars 2014
Par Brian Baker - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
"The American Mission" is a novel of political intrigue somewhat reminiscent of books from the 60s and 70s by authors such as Fletcher Knebel, or Burdick and Lederer ("The Ugly American"). It takes place in today's Congo, and follows the story of a career American diplomat -- previously disgraced for his actions during a massacre in Darfur -- who is reassigned to the American diplomatic mission in the Congo.

Alex Baines (the diplomat) is driven to rehabilitate his career in the State Department, and finds himself becoming involved with the people who inhabit a small village at the confluence of two Congolese rivers far in the backside of nowhere, who have discovered rich mineral wealth on their tribal lands.

When the villagers decide to develop those resources for themselves, they've placed themselves at odds with powerful national and international forces intent on securing that wealth for themselves.

As the conflict intensifies, Baines finds himself caught between several factions, trying to do what's right for the villagers as well as his own country, and finding that the differences seem to be irreconcilable.

As he tries to deal with international mining interests, Congolese rebels, the local dictator, adversaries in his own embassy, and invading rebels from neighboring Sudan, the game gets ever more deadly as the stakes continue to increase.

Though this book does start out a bit slow, the pace steadily builds. The plot is believable (and "classic", as I said), the characterizations are well-realized, and the settings are colorfully portrayed. It's a very interesting portrayal of a situation that's all too common and believable, as it takes place in Africa, the continent on which nothing ever seems to work out right, and where corruption is rife.

I think author Palmer did a good job, and I definitely look forward to more from him in the future, particularly as his skills mature.

A solid 4 stars.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well done debut thriller with intrigue, conspiracy and likeable characters 6 mars 2014
Par QueenKatieMae - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
The beginning chapter of The American Mission begins with a deadly raid on a refugee camp in the Sudan. American Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Alex Baines escapes, but the fallout ruins his career and changes his life. An ambassador in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and lifelong friend, calls Alex asking for his talents as a FSO that promises career redemption. Alex knows and loves the DRC having spent time there in the Peace Corp.

The DRC Alex remembers has changed greatly since his days in the Peace Corp. On his first day back he is sent deep into the jungle to negotiate a hostage release from the terrorist guerrilla leader known as The Hammer of God. A US-based mining company, Consolidated Mining, has lost its engineers and six Americans.

The first part of the book gives the reader a detailed look into what makes the Foreign Service such an important branch of American diplomacy throughout the world. And the author, having worked twenty years in the FS, is able to share his invaluable insight and knowledge in this debut novel. However, I wonder if the author ever lived a life like Alex Baines because the second half of the book reads like something out of a Clive Cussler novel. Surrounded by conspiracy and danger, Alex strikes out to make a change in a country invaded by terrorists and foreign mining companies.

While The American Mission is an exciting and entertaining read, it's only fair to let you know that nothing in the book will surprise an experienced reader of thrillers. If you read LeCarre or Ludlum, you will know the ending of this book. But that does not detract from the captivating story, it's likeable characters, or it's intrigue. And the fact that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gives it a thumbs up increases the book's street cred.

The book comes out in June, just in time for beach weather and poolside reading.
Highly recommended.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining and thought-provoking 6 juillet 2014
Par L. G. Paisley - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Alex Baines is a Foreign Service Officer working in the visa department of the US Embassy in Conakry, Guinea, as a form of government purgatory related to his previous assignment. He is called by his old boss and mentor and is given the chance to be restored to inner circle of the Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He soon finds himself in a conflict between what is theoretically his job as a representative of the United States to advocate for economic opportunity for American companies abroad and defending the people and land of the Continent of Africa against exploitation by those same companies who want to extract the riches of the earth, even if it means destruction of lives and the land.

For some reason, Africa has remained the Dark Continent in contemporary fiction, getting passing attention from most authors (and probably little thought by most Westerners) . This story is set entirely in Africa in a way that reflects Palmer’s respect, admiration and hopes for the people of that land. He shows the humanity of the people and the common Western misconceptions of African politics and challenges without being condescending.

This book is in written in the ‘thriller’ genre and style, so you can’t look to it for lyrical prose or extended contemplation of some facet of the human experience. However, it goes well beyond the formulaic thriller cliches of a former military/police expert who is brought out of semi-retirement for one more mission who calls on his nearly super-human abilities to save the world. The American Mission has an important conflict that really goes beyond the pages of the book and uses an engaging story to describe it.

The prose is simple and effective--Palmer isn’t trying to wow anyone with descriptions or literary pretentions, and that is fine because the story moves on its own.

The conflict isn’t subtle, but Palmer doesn’t beat the reader over the head with it either. There is plenty to think about long after the story is finished. Frankly, this story should make Americans think twice about what their leaders are doing abroad and question how their values are represented to the world.

Palmer is a 20-year veteran of the Foreign Service and thus has personal insight into the workings of diplomacy and the less-glamorous grind of representing America abroad. The glimpses into the inner workings of diplomacy and embassy operations are fascinating and really add to the story.

I hope this is just the first in a series of intelligent, thought-provoking fiction by Matthew Palmer, shining a long-overdue light on Africa.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book with the expectation that I would provide an honest review.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Thriller! 30 juin 2014
Par Anthony Agbay - Publié sur
Every so often, a book comes along that you can't put down very easily. It doesn't have to be the most mind-blowing plot, or crazy adventure, but everything in it just works together correctly. I was lucky to get and advanced reader copy of The American Mission by Matthew Palmer. I really enjoy this genre of books and am always looking for new authors and novels. The American Mission is one of those books that you can't put down until the end. It has some flaws, but all in all, I really enjoyed the book.

The book follows Alex Baines, a Foreign Service officer working for the State Department. After witnessing a massacre in Darfur while he and other UN personnel stood by, he found himself stripped of his security clearances and unable to move up the career ladder. When his old mentor, Howard Spencer, asked him to join him in the Congo, Alex jumps on the opportunity to start his career again, but finds himself in a whole new set of trouble between political scandals and shady companies.

One of the strong points of the book is it's plot and it's realistic nature. Books like The American Mission rely upon realism to craft an engaging plot behind all of the action and controversy. As a former worker with the U.S. Foreign Service, Palmer has first-hand experience of the work and issues with working in diplomatic positions. His knowledge clearly makes itself apparent in the book in the form of extra little details that round out each scene and environment. Even the plot itself doesn't feel too far out of line with what could possibly happen in the modern world today. Nothing felt out of place and the plot never escalated out of control.

More importantly, it just was a fun book to read. The pacing was a little bit slow at the beginning as Palmer worked to set up all the parts for the end, but there were a few twists and turns sprinkled about that really kept things interesting. It's enough to keep you guessing and engaged without making things too complicated. The characters are fairly deep, each with their own motivation. I did feel that the end came a little bit abruptly. It could have used some more fleshing out, but it still was worth the wait.

Overall, I totally enjoyed The American Mission. The story line was really good, the characters were interesting, and all in all, it just was really fun to read. It isn't without it's flaws, but Palmer has made a very good impression with this book. I, myself, couldn't stop reading the book until the end. If you are interested in authors like Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton, this is a good addition to your shelf. Even if you aren't, then the book will be a perfect entry point to get you really interested in the genre.
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