The Names of the Dead
They locked him up. Now he’s out—for revenge.Former CIA officer James ‘Wes’ Wesley paid the ultimate price for his patriotism when he was locked up in a French jail for an anti-terror operation gone wrong—abandoned by the Agency he served, shunned by his colleagues and friends, cut off from his family.Now he is shattered by the news that his ex-wife, Rachel, a State Department analyst, has been killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. He also discovers that his young son, Ethan, is missing. But Wes didn’t know he had a son—until now.Why was Rachel in Spain? And why did she keep his son secret from him?Granted early release, Wes takes flight across Europe to search for the truth and exact his revenge. But can he catch the spies who betrayed him before they track him down? In order to find the answers and save his son, Wes realises he must confront the dark secrets in his own past—before it’s too late.

The Names of the Dead Details

TitleThe Names of the Dead
Author
ReleaseFeb 1st, 2020
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781542000000
Rating
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Mystery Thriller, Business, Amazon, Spy Thriller, Espionage, Novels, Action

The Names of the Dead Review

  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    A bomb goes off in a small courtyard in Granada killing several people, including Rachel Richards. James Wesley - Wes, ex-CIA is in prison in France for shooting down ‘the wrong helicopter’ but he’s been set up by fellow CIA agent and former friend Sam Garvey. Rachel is Wes’s ex wife. Their son Ethan, whose existence Wes was unaware of until the bomb, is missing. Where is he? Why is Rachel dead? What corruption lies at the heart of CIA operations in the Middle East that led to Wes’s A bomb goes off in a small courtyard in Granada killing several people, including Rachel Richards. James Wesley - Wes, ex-CIA is in prison in France for shooting down ‘the wrong helicopter’ but he’s been set up by fellow CIA agent and former friend Sam Garvey. Rachel is Wes’s ex wife. Their son Ethan, whose existence Wes was unaware of until the bomb, is missing. Where is he? Why is Rachel dead? What corruption lies at the heart of CIA operations in the Middle East that led to Wes’s incarceration? Wes is released from prison early to search for his son. This is the premise of this fast paced and easy to read conspiracy/espionage thriller which I really enjoyed. I like the characters in this book and you feel invested in Wes being successful. Although he is dispassionate about what he has to do to get to the truth and he has gained a reputation for being a determined officer, he has a kind of honour to him too. He is dogged in his pursuit of his son and to get to those who set him up and try to kill him. He meets Croatian Mia Pavic who I think is a fantastic character. She is undoubtedly autistic but I love her way of looking at situations and her straight forward approach to life. She is very religious and likes to visit cathedrals and churches during the search and I love the way she uses biblical quotes to convey messages to Wes. The setting is good too - they travel across France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and to Croatia where there is a dramatic conclusion and Wes gets what he hopes for. Overall, a good thriller which kept my attention and interest throughout. Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for the ARC Expected publication in the UK 1/2/20.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    The Name of the Dead is the third book I have read by Kevin WignallI had also enjoyed The Traitor's Story, and To Die in Vienna. However I must admit that this espionage/thriller was my favourite so far. I am rating it a 4 star, but if I could - I would give it a half star moreIt starts off in Granada Spain where Former CIA officer James ‘Wes’ Wesley's wife is killed in a terrorist attack, and the pace does not let up throughout the book.The spot where the opening scene takes place sounds very The Name of the Dead is the third book I have read by Kevin WignallI had also enjoyed The Traitor's Story, and To Die in Vienna. However I must admit that this espionage/thriller was my favourite so far. I am rating it a 4 star, but if I could - I would give it a half star moreIt starts off in Granada Spain where Former CIA officer James ‘Wes’ Wesley's wife is killed in a terrorist attack, and the pace does not let up throughout the book.The spot where the opening scene takes place sounds very similar to a spot where I had visited only two years ago, so this caught my immediate attention!Kevin Wignall does a great job not only with the pace and storyline, but also has a way of bringing the reader along in relating to the characters.Really good book, that I would highly recommend to all those fans of his books, and also those who have not read any of his at all.Thanks you to Author Kevin Wignall, NetGalley, and Amazon Publishing UK. for my early release copy, to review#TheNamesoftheDead #NetGalley
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    The Names of the Dead is a thrilling espionage story set in Europe though the backstory to it is set in the Turkish border areas to Syria and Iraq. It is the story of an agent betrayed by his team, abandoned by them, set up, sent to prison for three years and left to wonder what happened. Upon his early release for his ex wife’s death in a terror bombing, his worst fears are realized when the agency has turned against him. And he has to make his way to Spain to unravel the mystery and pick up The Names of the Dead is a thrilling espionage story set in Europe though the backstory to it is set in the Turkish border areas to Syria and Iraq. It is the story of an agent betrayed by his team, abandoned by them, set up, sent to prison for three years and left to wonder what happened. Upon his early release for his ex wife’s death in a terror bombing, his worst fears are realized when the agency has turned against him. And he has to make his way to Spain to unravel the mystery and pick up the pieces of his former live. As a now rogue agent with only one ally in the world, Mia, an unusual woman who came upon Wes by happenstance and stuck with him, perhaps recognizing in him a warrior such as her late father, a beloved figure in Croatia.The Names of the Dead stands out from the usual espionage fare because of how quickly and personally the reader is drawn to Wes’ story. You can immediately feel how alive he is and how determined to find the truth. The pacing of the story works perfectly and it is believable. This could really work well as a movie with the right cast.
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  • Christi M
    January 1, 1970
    An espionage revenge story spanning from prison in France to several European countries. The book starts with an explosion in Granada that kills several people, including Wes’s ex-wife Rachel. Wes is in a French prison that holds war criminals when he learns of her death, but also that the son he didn’t know he had hasn’t been found yet. He has known for a while he was setup for what he is in prison for and who exactly had set him up, but now he has reason to believe that those responsible are An espionage revenge story spanning from prison in France to several European countries. The book starts with an explosion in Granada that kills several people, including Wes’s ex-wife Rachel. Wes is in a French prison that holds war criminals when he learns of her death, but also that the son he didn’t know he had hasn’t been found yet. He has known for a while he was setup for what he is in prison for and who exactly had set him up, but now he has reason to believe that those responsible are trying to tie up loose ends. Soon the French prison lets Wes out due to these special circumstances, but it’s literally minutes into his release when things start escalating.One of the best things going for this story is a very interesting supporting character in Mia. Most of the time in espionage stories you might see another character who is very skilled in something spy-related, perhaps they have a network of contacts, or know how to handle explosives. However, Mia is not like this in any way, shape, or form and I doubt you will find another espionage story with a supporting character like her. I loved how she was presented within the book, from the questions she asks to her outlook on life, not to mention all the conversations between Wes and Mia as he tries to explain things to her, or their discussions regarding deep matters of conscience or morality. Any scene with her in it and her interactions with others was my absolute favorite part of the story.Another positive is how the various famous sites and locations in Spain and Portugal are used or referenced. There are no dead-drops in the tourist sections that you might see in other spy books, but instead we follow Wes and Mia as they navigate through the various locations Rachel went to prior to the explosion at the cafe giving us a book-tourist view of the countries.In comparing this story to other espionage stories it should be pointed out that this is not a high-tech type book and isn’t one that constantly uses all the latest gadgets and whistles. Instead, it is just a lot of retracing Rachel’s steps and trying to find out what they can from the little bits of conversations they have with various individuals they meet. And although there is action in the story it is not constant action, which I appreciated since it allowed me to enjoy all the conversations and moments with Mia in it.Rating: 4 stars
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    Here is an author everyone should read if they like the modern spy genre.I was therefore delighted when I got the chance to read this Advanced Reader’s Copy, ARC and of course, naturally pumped, to share my review.I never start a book assuming it will be a page turner; a can’t put down enchanting escape or a must read, based purely on the writer.However, with authors you have previously enjoyed, you pick up the book with anticipation and a knowing sense of reader’s joy. That is, the sense that Here is an author everyone should read if they like the modern spy genre.I was therefore delighted when I got the chance to read this Advanced Reader’s Copy, ARC and of course, naturally pumped, to share my review.I never start a book assuming it will be a page turner; a can’t put down enchanting escape or a must read, based purely on the writer.However, with authors you have previously enjoyed, you pick up the book with anticipation and a knowing sense of reader’s joy. That is, the sense that the book is going to be a treat and a pleasure to read.I was not disappointed. I never got lost along the way and with each passing page it was like spending time with a special friend.Wignall applies great insight into the grey areas of agents, spies we used to call them, but those operatives that carry out dark policies in foreign lands which a state can distance themselves from and deny involvement in.Wes is languishing in prison as a result of a friendly fire incident, consequently he has been disavowed by his government and deemed a rogue operative who exceeded his mandate and deserves his punishment.Meanwhile in Spain a terrorist attack has left a number of tourists and local people dead. Wes has no idea that this event, seemingly unconnected to him will change his life and offer a chance to redeem himself, even clear his name.The author layers his novels so well; little is wasted in the telling of the story, all actions and motives are usually clear and understandable. I like this trust in his readers and it makes a more simple but richer story. It is a novel about finding yourself; listening and accepting what others think about you.A clear action thriller that takes Wes across Europe in his search for the truth and justice. The idiosyncrasies of one of the characters is so wonderfully written, the book is worth reading for all of their interactions alone. However, it is a must read simply because is is that good. Buyer beware for new readers to this author you have just discovered a gem there are so many other stories in print to source and purchase. All of which I equally recommend. I almost envy the journey of discovery that awaits you.
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  • Ben Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, a decent novel, but the game of developing exciting plots and characters has changed. This book is commercial, and wants to reach readers who love stories about Special Forces soldiers who have made their way into private enterprises by way of government secrets. My reading habits have changed. I want to read more creative plots with enlightening characters with controversial personalities with purpose beyond the usual kill shots, redemptions, and revenge. I want CREATIVITY, plotting Overall, a decent novel, but the game of developing exciting plots and characters has changed. This book is commercial, and wants to reach readers who love stories about Special Forces soldiers who have made their way into private enterprises by way of government secrets. My reading habits have changed. I want to read more creative plots with enlightening characters with controversial personalities with purpose beyond the usual kill shots, redemptions, and revenge. I want CREATIVITY, plotting and sub-plotting without kill-shots, without Special Forces, plotting that expresses life beyond redemptions and revenge. Mia was my most favorite person in this book, a wealthy young woman whose wealth was by way of a moral Croatian criminal who dies in prison, a woman who didn't want to be touched by anyone.The deadly plot was terminal. The main character Wes was a feel good killer. I like killers who murder the bad guys, and live to explain their killing careers that changed lives forever.
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  • Peg
    January 1, 1970
    Rockingly good ride.
  • Dave C
    January 1, 1970
    Broken Characters An entertaining and well written Kindle First book; what a rare treat!Memorable, unique characters help the story move along at a good pace. The main character, released from prison early due to the death of his wife, manages to outwit the team of killers set to pick him up. He is “rescued“ by the strange daughter of one of his former prisoners. Together they travel Europe hunting for a lost child and ultimately finding something else.The writer does an excellent job of Broken Characters An entertaining and well written Kindle First book; what a rare treat!Memorable, unique characters help the story move along at a good pace. The main character, released from prison early due to the death of his wife, manages to outwit the team of killers set to pick him up. He is “rescued“ by the strange daughter of one of his former prisoners. Together they travel Europe hunting for a lost child and ultimately finding something else.The writer does an excellent job of creating a sense of place from France across the Iberian Peninsula into Croatia and ultimately to Italy. The hotels come to life as do the small quiet places. The supporting characters all add to the story and each have logical connections to the main characters. The quest itself makes a few leaps that don’t always add up but all in all, the story holds together well.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I am perhaps a bit biased when reading this authors books because before I start any of them I just know they are going to be excellent, and i have never been disappointed. From the Childrens books to the action packed thrillers, this author, for me, always delivers.Wes is a former CIA agent, serving time in jail for an operation that went wrong, an operation that in his eyes was intended to fail so he would end up where he is now.Wes learns that his ex wife has been killed in a terrorist I am perhaps a bit biased when reading this authors books because before I start any of them I just know they are going to be excellent, and i have never been disappointed. From the Childrens books to the action packed thrillers, this author, for me, always delivers.Wes is a former CIA agent, serving time in jail for an operation that went wrong, an operation that in his eyes was intended to fail so he would end up where he is now.Wes learns that his ex wife has been killed in a terrorist bombing in Spain and a son he never knew about is missing. Granted an early release from prison, Wes sets out to find those responsible and to look for his son. Set across Europe this is a fantastic read, with great characters and settings.#netgalley #thenamesofthedead
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up. I enjoy this author but I don’t think that this is his best work. It isn’t bad, but he had other novels that are better. One of the things that I like is that while his books are spy/action thrillers, they also have a human interest element to make the story more interesting than just a bunch of men sneaking around and shooting each other in the name of justice. The element in this book was Wes’ search for his young son who is discovered to be missing after his mother (Wes’ 3.5 stars rounded up. I enjoy this author but I don’t think that this is his best work. It isn’t bad, but he had other novels that are better. One of the things that I like is that while his books are spy/action thrillers, they also have a human interest element to make the story more interesting than just a bunch of men sneaking around and shooting each other in the name of justice. The element in this book was Wes’ search for his young son who is discovered to be missing after his mother (Wes’ ex-wife) was killed in a suicide bombing. Wes also befriends Mia, the autistic (?) daughter of one of his fellow inmates. Together they search for Wes’ son and the men who killed his ex-wife and framed Wes for crimes that he served time for. The best part of the book for me was Wes’ interactions with Mia, who I thought was the best character in the book. The reason for the 3.5 star ranking and not higher is that the action elements of the book were lacking. Wes makes some boneheaded moves that defy belief that he was a member of an elite special forces “grey team.” For instance, after he kills a former colleague, he sits around and ponders life for a while instead of getting the hell out of there. He uses his real name and passport to travel around, knowing that the CIA and other US government agencies consider him a highly dangerous criminal. And he does these boneheaded things all the while telling his adversaries that they aren’t as smart as him. Sigh. Wes gets lucky a lot but you do have to suspend some belief when you read these types of novels so don’t think too much and enjoy the read.
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  • Sharon May
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Kevin Wignall for the opportunity to read this espionage thriller. This is the first book I've read by this author; judging by this book, I've missed some good reads!CIA agent James "Wes" Wesley took the fall when a mission went badly. His team and country turned against him, his wife left him, and he ended up in a French prison. Wes is granted early release from prison when his ex-wife, Rachel, is killed in a terrorism event in Spain. His son Many thanks to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Kevin Wignall for the opportunity to read this espionage thriller. This is the first book I've read by this author; judging by this book, I've missed some good reads!CIA agent James "Wes" Wesley took the fall when a mission went badly. His team and country turned against him, his wife left him, and he ended up in a French prison. Wes is granted early release from prison when his ex-wife, Rachel, is killed in a terrorism event in Spain. His son is missing. But Wes didn't know he had a son, nor did he know why Rachel was in Spain. He sets off to find the people behind all these events before they find him. Along the way, he meets Mia, an autistic woman, who helps him along in his journey.This was a thriller but made even better by these characters, especially Mia. Her honest way of looking at the world were so refreshing. I also loved how Mia communicated thoughts to Wes with Bible verses. The various places the pair traveled to were wonderfully written as well.
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  • Sue Purbrick
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this fast-paced, well-written thriller. Wes learns his ex-wife Rachel has died in a terrorist bomb blast, and that the son he never knew he had, Ethan, is missing. He sets out to find the boy, helped by the otherworldly Mia, whom he meets by chance. She couldn’t be more different from him. She is “like someone stranded in a world for which she wasn’t properly equipped.” Wes and Mia make an odd couple as they drive through Europe on their search for Ethan. They are the perfect I really enjoyed this fast-paced, well-written thriller. Wes learns his ex-wife Rachel has died in a terrorist bomb blast, and that the son he never knew he had, Ethan, is missing. He sets out to find the boy, helped by the otherworldly Mia, whom he meets by chance. She couldn’t be more different from him. She is “like someone stranded in a world for which she wasn’t properly equipped.” Wes and Mia make an odd couple as they drive through Europe on their search for Ethan. They are the perfect foil for each other. He, popular and competent; She, otherworldly with useless interpersonal skills. This is a story full of similar contradictions– the bible, given to him by another camp inmate, full of words of inspiration and wisdom, but also concealing a weapon; men in prison for crimes against humanity, but good in their ways. We’re taken on a fascinating journey through Europe, and finally to Mia’s country of birth, Croatia, as Wes tries to retrace Rachel’s footsteps and uncover just exactly what happened to her, and their son. Recommended!
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  • Bob
    January 1, 1970
    The fifth entry in Kevin Wignall’s always good series is his best. One thing that really makes the novel work is his incredibly unique, strange and incredibly interesting female character, Mia. Great Ever changing European settings too. Easily read as a stand-alone.
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  • Lynn Horton
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy Wignall’s books, and this one is everything I’ve come to expect from him: a unique voice, quirky characters, and engaging locations. It’s a quick read too, which is perfect for those times when I want to relax my brain, but not make a long commitment to a literary marathon.The Names of the Dead is very competent international suspense.Recommended.
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  • Linny Kirwin
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book by this author. I really enjoyed it!! I didn’t feel like there were any slow parts. I enjoyed all of the characters. I kinda do wish he would have met his son but I get why the author did what he did. This is my first book by this author. I really enjoyed it!! I didn’t feel like there were any slow parts. I enjoyed all of the characters. I kinda do wish he would have met his son but I get why the author did what he did. 👍🏼👍🏼
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  • Margaret Webster
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty good book. Not riviting but not awful either.
  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent. Five stars. The author has a mysterious quality that strikes a responsive cord in me.Neither the book nor the characters were common place,and were definitely non-predictable. I’ve read most of his books, and this is good as his other novels.I will look forward to the next one.
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  • Doug Yonce
    January 1, 1970
    While the plot of the story is very good, where this book excels is in the the research done to create an amazing worldwide setting and a protagonist who feels real with hurts, successes, doubts, joys, and growth. If you’re looking for an action thriller with a strong storyline and believable characters, look no farther. I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laurie Tell
    January 1, 1970
    I've read numerous spy novels, and this ranks right up there. I was engrossed from the start, and all.the way through. I'm really hoping there is a sequel with these characters. I would buy that book in an instant. One thing that was different about this spy was that he actually showed a little personal growth. And he was flawed, not a one dimensional perfect person. I want to.thank the publisher and net galley for my ARC, which did not impact my review. This book was a really good read.
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  • Zita
    January 1, 1970
    With a death comes a second chance…As an officer for the CIA James Wesley understood the gray areas between right and wrong. Decisions made could lead to collateral damage and friendly fire where it was not welcome. Success of planned missions depended upon the value of the intelligence received and the possibility of it being incorrect existed. Yet Wes never expected that someone in his own team would set him up on purpose and non-targeted individuals died as a result of the wrong information With a death comes a second chance…As an officer for the CIA James Wesley understood the gray areas between right and wrong. Decisions made could lead to collateral damage and friendly fire where it was not welcome. Success of planned missions depended upon the value of the intelligence received and the possibility of it being incorrect existed. Yet Wes never expected that someone in his own team would set him up on purpose and non-targeted individuals died as a result of the wrong information he was given. For three years he’s been imprisoned in France with other political criminals. His agency abandoned him; his wife divorced him. Learning of the recent death of his ex-wife, Rachel, in Spain from a suicide bombing in a public area and that his son is missing, a son he never knew he had, Wes is granted early release. Rightfully believing his death warrant had been signed he barely escapes the agency’s assassination attempt and begins a journey to discover what really happened to Rachel and where is his son. Wes learns many things along the way including perspectives he’d never considered about himself. He receives guidance from Patrice, a prisoner he called a friend in the form of underlined Bible passages that were oftentimes appropriate and made him ponder. His companion is the daughter of a political prisoner who had recently died in the prison he’d left. Mia’s a young woman with a unique outlook on life and surprising tolerance for the life a man like Wes has led but then her father was a general who taught her to survive in a dangerous world. The dynamics between these two were quite interesting.This is a story of international intrigue and personal growth, this author humanized a spy who’d done questionable things in his career under the guise of patriotism yet managed to find a woman to marry, and he knew that losing her was in her best interests after his downfall. But did she ever lose faith in him? Wes sought the answers to many questions even ones he didn’t know needed answering.Wes’ humanity showed in the search for those answers and how he handled things with Mia’s presence and passive influence. He wasn’t the same man who first went into that French prison or the same man who left it, his eyes were opened. This story had great descriptions of the places visited and intriguing supporting characters, I very much enjoyed this story, was quickly immersed into the storyline and invested in Wes’s outcome, I would love there to be a sequel. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Vanessa
    January 1, 1970
    Kevin Wignall is a new author to me and OMG I loved the way he writes and will be looking out to read more from Kevin. The Names of the Dead was a brilliant fast pace read. I was hooked within the first few pages. James Wesley nick named Wes was a former CIA Officer who is locked up in a French prison for anti-terrorism operation that went wrong, he shot down the wrong helicopter and he's being set up by a former colleague and friend Sam Garvey. He has been abandoned by his Agency he served Kevin Wignall is a new author to me and OMG I loved the way he writes and will be looking out to read more from Kevin. The Names of the Dead was a brilliant fast pace read. I was hooked within the first few pages. James Wesley nick named Wes was a former CIA Officer who is locked up in a French prison for anti-terrorism operation that went wrong, he shot down the wrong helicopter and he's being set up by a former colleague and friend Sam Garvey. He has been abandoned by his Agency he served with, his close friends and even his wife Rachel divorced him. Whilst in Prison, several people are killed as a bomb goes off in a small court yard in Granada Spain. Several people are killed and one of the people killed is Rachel. James Wesley's has been informed of the death of his ex wife. Wes is granted early release from prison and his first thing he wants to do is find out who murdered his ex-wife! she was a a State Department analyst,He know's he has to be very careful, as People are out to Kill him as well.........being in prison was the safest place for him!!!Whilst Wes is investigating why Rachel was murdered he finds out some more shocking news......She had a small boy with her!But the boy Ethan was not with her when the bomb went off? Where was he? Why was she in Spain?Is it his son? Why didn't Rachel tell him she was having their child!!! All these secrets!!!!Will Wes get to the bottom of this? What corruption lies at the heart of CIA operations in the Middle East that led to Wes’s incarceration? before someone kills him! first!!Why so many secrets?WoW.......What a brilliant read! I highly recommend this book.Big Thank you to Kevin Wignall the author, NetGalley, and Amazon Publishing UK. for my early release copy, to review.
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  • J. F.
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall(Published by Thomas & Mercer)4.5 StarsWith a writing style so fluid and easy to speed-read, the author specializes in compartmentalized dust-ups, down-to-earth spy stories; no heads of state threatened, no nuclear devices defused, no major paradigm shifts in the singularity - and yet quite creative.The protagonists in his stories are flawed, shall have paid some, and are out to set things right. Which are precisely what make them compelling Book Review: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall(Published by Thomas & Mercer)4.5 StarsWith a writing style so fluid and easy to speed-read, the author specializes in compartmentalized dust-ups, down-to-earth spy stories; no heads of state threatened, no nuclear devices defused, no major paradigm shifts in the singularity - and yet quite creative.The protagonists in his stories are flawed, shall have paid some, and are out to set things right. Which are precisely what make them compelling and easy to empathize with. James ‘Wes’ Wesley in "The Names of the Dead", could easily be Dan Hendricks in "A Death in Sweden" (my favorite of the author's books thus far) or Finn Harrington in "The Traitor's Story".Where are Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and former Liberian president Charles Taylor, inter-alia, imprisoned?The author creates a yard for the stateless and for war criminals, presumably a version of the ICC detention center. James Wesley, ex-agent disowned by the CIA and his country, finds himself in a remote French countryside alongside some interesting characters of various deeds and misdeeds. It is a relatively benign setting for criminals against humanity. Was this a version of honor among thieves? There is a heavy sense of atonement. And a deep desire for retribution by the betrayed CIA spy.Outside the prison walls, former comrades and bosses working on the wrong side of freedom, who'd set him up as the patsy in Southern Turkey, are out to silence him - permanently.In the meantime, a bomb sets off in Spain where his wife is killed. One person survives. And then he finds out he's a dad. A down-to-earth spy, that paternal human instinct. What more does he have left to live for? The question is, does he get to be reunited with his hitherto unknown son, little Ethan. And as for his dark secrets..., Wes begs for a sequel! Review based on an Advance Reading Copy from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley.
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  • Jack Hrkach
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, so it is the Epiphany, but I actually had one - or maybe serencipity - when a few days ago I picked up his novel. I had just finished work on a 2017 trip I took to Southern Spain, and lo and behold! I was suddenly plunged into Granada, Seville and Madrid - three of the important scenes of action in the book, along with quite a leap, to Croatia, and finally to Milan.The book itself? I like espionage fiction, and though the lead character is no longer an agent (having been wrongly accused of Okay, so it is the Epiphany, but I actually had one - or maybe serencipity - when a few days ago I picked up his novel. I had just finished work on a 2017 trip I took to Southern Spain, and lo and behold! I was suddenly plunged into Granada, Seville and Madrid - three of the important scenes of action in the book, along with quite a leap, to Croatia, and finally to Milan.The book itself? I like espionage fiction, and though the lead character is no longer an agent (having been wrongly accused of an "atrocity" and in jail for three years as it begins, he uses much of what he learned as he deals with members of his former team. He is aided in this by a seemingly fragile and frail, pale young woman who has an inner strength and faith. I don't want to go into more detail on the plot except to say that It is often violent, so if that's not your idea of a good read, you may want to pass.It is not great espionage fiction, but except for having to summon a not always willing suspension of disbelief, the abilities of the hero straining my credulity, it is rather well written. It is also a very short and easy read - about 40 compact chapters (6-8 pages in length give or take a few of even less or a bit more in terms of page turning. As I write the last word I should note that I am an old guy with failing vision and read Kindles only these days, so I suppose I swipe rather than turn. Have a look if you like - it's short and diverting and features a few very cool locations (not described in detail, but a nice reminder for the reader if s/he has been or goad to those who want to travel) in Europe.
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  • jeff popple
    January 1, 1970
    Kevin Wignall is an under-rated American author of spy novels.I have been a fan of his books for a long time now, although they can be hard to find in Australia, and have always felt that he does not receive the attention that other lesser authors do. This may be due to the cynical tone of his books, which eschews the patriotic fervour often associated with American spy novels and anti-terrorist thrillers. In style and content, he seems to be more of a British or European spy novelist, than Kevin Wignall is an under-rated American author of spy novels.I have been a fan of his books for a long time now, although they can be hard to find in Australia, and have always felt that he does not receive the attention that other lesser authors do. This may be due to the cynical tone of his books, which eschews the patriotic fervour often associated with American spy novels and anti-terrorist thrillers. In style and content, he seems to be more of a British or European spy novelist, than American.The Names Of The Dead is a fast moving and gripping novel that smoothly moves through its paces to a bloody climax. The characters of Wes and Mia, a wealthy young woman on the behavioural spectrum who accompanies Wes on his quest, are well developed and interesting and the secondary characters are also nicely done. The locations are across Europe are quickly sketched, but evocativeAlthough The Names Of The Dead is primarily an action based spy novel, Wignall smoothly weaves in religious and moral discussions and reflections, especially through the presence of Mia, whose father was a notorious Croatian general imprisoned with Wes. In all, The Names Of The Dead is an enjoyable thriller with some good action sequences and a nice sense of menace throughout. The ending is perhaps a little too simplistic, but this does not stop it from being a very entertaining read.See my full review at https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/t...Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book for review
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  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    January 1, 1970
    ‘They didn’t even need to discuss it.’James ‘Wes’ Wesley is a former CIA agent. He was part of an anti-terrorism operation that went awry: the wrong helicopter was shot down. Abandoned by the CIA, Wes has been locked up in a French prison for three years. Isolated from friends and family, Wes is devastated to learn that his ex-wife Rachel was killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. Wes also learns that he and Rachel had a son, Ethan, who is also missing. What he doesn’t know is why Rachel was in ‘They didn’t even need to discuss it.’James ‘Wes’ Wesley is a former CIA agent. He was part of an anti-terrorism operation that went awry: the wrong helicopter was shot down. Abandoned by the CIA, Wes has been locked up in a French prison for three years. Isolated from friends and family, Wes is devastated to learn that his ex-wife Rachel was killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. Wes also learns that he and Rachel had a son, Ethan, who is also missing. What he doesn’t know is why Rachel was in Spain, and why she’d not told him about their son.Wes is released from prison on compassionate grounds and sets out to try to find out who killed Rachel and why. But nothing is straightforward: some of his former colleagues would rather see him dead.Wes joins forces with Mia, the daughter of a fellow inmate who’d recently died. Together they try to stay ahead of those pursuing Wes while trying to find Ethan and to uncover the truth about why Rachel was killed. Wes’s search for answers takes him into the past. Dangerous territory where he can’t be sure who he can trust.This is the first of Mr Wignall’s novels I’ve read, and I’m keen to read more. The story moves at a rapid pace, travelling through several different European locations. Mia is an enigmatic character who complements Wes well on his quest. And the ending? I really wanted to know what would happen next.Note: My thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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  • Mindo'ermatter
    January 1, 1970
    CIA Corruption, Deceit, and Intra-Agency Conflicts The slow, deliberate pace of this spy-world thriller set in modern-day Europe makes it a great escape read, but without too much trauma. The believable storyline is punctuated with the realistic thoughts and engaging introspections of a wronged and somewhat insecure man seeking truth and justice. Filled with drama, this novel focuses on an ex-CIA agent, trying to make sense of being betrayed, sent to prison, and then suddenly released into a CIA Corruption, Deceit, and Intra-Agency Conflicts The slow, deliberate pace of this spy-world thriller set in modern-day Europe makes it a great escape read, but without too much trauma. The believable storyline is punctuated with the realistic thoughts and engaging introspections of a wronged and somewhat insecure man seeking truth and justice. Filled with drama, this novel focuses on an ex-CIA agent, trying to make sense of being betrayed, sent to prison, and then suddenly released into a hostile world of uncertainty and too many questions. Who can he trust? What plans can he make without getting caught or killed? Lots of surprises and plot twists. This was my second read by author Kevin Wignall, and I was not disappointed with either his storytelling skills or his plotline structure. He creates flawed but interesting characters you want to understand better, as the story unfolds and suprising truths are revealed. I enjoyed the author's descriptions that make the story come to life, while not distracting from the reading experience. My only regret was the Audible narration was not available when I read the short and satisfying book that could be either a standalone novel or Book 1 for an interesting series. I will definitely read more of Wignall's smooth writing!
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  • BestBooksy Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    We’re counting our lucky stars thus far in 2020, having kicked off the year with some smashing reads. The Names of the Dead, appealed to us from the get-go, as at BestBooksy we’re always on the lookout for a great thriller, particularly one that has espionage and a ton of mystery to boot. We came in with high expectations and oh-boy, we weren’t disappointed, this is one an expertly crafted mystery. We immediately fell in love with our hero CIA Agent, James ‘Wes” Wesley, and we were intrigued We’re counting our lucky stars thus far in 2020, having kicked off the year with some smashing reads. The Names of the Dead, appealed to us from the get-go, as at BestBooksy we’re always on the lookout for a great thriller, particularly one that has espionage and a ton of mystery to boot. We came in with high expectations and oh-boy, we weren’t disappointed, this is one an expertly crafted mystery. We immediately fell in love with our hero CIA Agent, James ‘Wes” Wesley, and we were intrigued from the beginning of how this intricate mystery was going to play out. The novel takes you on a wild international journey from France to the Iberian Peninsula, Croatia, and eventually to Italy. Being seasoned travels, a lot of these regions were familiar to us, which added to the way we experienced this book…yes, it triggered a lot of memories. If you’ve never been, get ready for a hell of a journey.The author, Kevin Wignall, writes in a clean and gripping style that is addictively immersive. We’re honored to crown The Names of the Dead as our pick of the week, and it rightly gets five stars from us.
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  • Michelle Tuite
    January 1, 1970
    Reading 2020Book 17: The Names of the Dead by Kevin WignallThis was one of my Amazon First Reads selections this month. The expected publishing date for the book is sometime in February.Wes is a disgraced CIA agent in prison for giving the order to shoot down a helicopter full of friendly passengers. He gets early release when his ex-wife is killed in a bombing of a cafe in Spain. A young son, Wes has no idea even existed, is missing. Wes must clear his name, the CIA wants him dead, and find his Reading 2020Book 17: The Names of the Dead by Kevin WignallThis was one of my Amazon First Reads selections this month. The expected publishing date for the book is sometime in February.Wes is a disgraced CIA agent in prison for giving the order to shoot down a helicopter full of friendly passengers. He gets early release when his ex-wife is killed in a bombing of a cafe in Spain. A young son, Wes has no idea even existed, is missing. Wes must clear his name, the CIA wants him dead, and find his son once he gets out of prison. Help will come from unlikely places as Wes moves across Spain, Portugal, and other places in Europe.So this book, hmmmmm. I was ready to abandon it at one point, but stuck it out and finished. The writing was simplistic, easy for me to skip over some of it as not important to the story. I did like Wes and his sidekick Mia, would have liked more about Mia, and that may be what made me finish the book. As far as spy books, or books that involve a kill or be killed theme, this was not close to my favorite, not Jason Bourne or anything (Colin would say "My mum fancies him". Anyone know where this quote comes from?) . My rating 2.5 ⭐️ .
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    Wes finds himself imprisoned in France after a military operation goes terribly wrong and results in the death of civilians. His wife, Rachel, divorced him and he has resigned himself to prison life, made bearable by his friends like Patrice.While he is imprisoned a terrorist attack takes place in Spain and Rachel is among the casualties, Wes then discovers that he has a son who is missing. A strange early release is arranged for Wes and his paranoia as to the motive proves to be warranted. Wes finds himself imprisoned in France after a military operation goes terribly wrong and results in the death of civilians. His wife, Rachel, divorced him and he has resigned himself to prison life, made bearable by his friends like Patrice.While he is imprisoned a terrorist attack takes place in Spain and Rachel is among the casualties, Wes then discovers that he has a son who is missing. A strange early release is arranged for Wes and his paranoia as to the motive proves to be warranted. Assistance comes from an unexpected quarter in the form of Mia, whose father, the war criminal General Pavic, died in prison. Mia is an enigmatic character, who appears to have little grasp of social interaction. They set off to find Wes's son and uncover who supplied the misinformation that landed him in prison.It may not appear very different from other novels with this plot, I did however really enjoy the cast of characters, the story flowed well and kept my attention.Thank you to #Netgalley and #AmazonPublishing for the ARC of #TheNamesOfTheDead in exchange for my honest review.
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  • rick.
    January 1, 1970
    This doesn't have the hyper-competent lone operator typical of the genre, nor the compelling character we get in some of Kevin Wignall's other efforts. Everything just seems to work out for James Wesley - not due to his training or intelligence, but simply good fortune. The right person drives by, or randomly leaves, or provides just the right information out of left field. There are leaps of logic made and accepted without comment, which immediately prove prescient. I have enjoyed The Traitor's This doesn't have the hyper-competent lone operator typical of the genre, nor the compelling character we get in some of Kevin Wignall's other efforts. Everything just seems to work out for James Wesley - not due to his training or intelligence, but simply good fortune. The right person drives by, or randomly leaves, or provides just the right information out of left field. There are leaps of logic made and accepted without comment, which immediately prove prescient. I have enjoyed The Traitor's Story, To Die in Vienna, and A Death in Sweden far more, and would guide you to one of those if you are interested in Wignall's work.
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