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Spies Lie #1


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The night Jon Sommers finds out his fiancé Lisa Gabriel has died in a terrorist bomb attack, he is visited by spymaster, Yigdal Ben-Levy, who tells him that Lisa was not a fellow graduate student but a Mossad spy sent to bring him to Israel. Ben-Levy also tells him that the death of his parents was no accident and persuades Sommers to join Mossad to seek justice for Lisa's killer. But things get more complicated, and Jon finds himself at the center of a dangerous global conspiracy.

394 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 25, 2014

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About the author

D.S. Kane

13 books52 followers
DS Kane is the name I've chosen to write under. I worked in the field of covert intelligence for over a decade. During that time, my cover was my real name, and I was on the faculty of NYU's Stern Graduate School of Business. I traveled globally for clients including government and military agencies, the largest banks, and Fortune 100 corporations, and while in-country, I did side jobs for our government. One of the banks I investigated housed the banking assets of many of the world's intelligence agencies and secret police forces, including the CIA and NSA. Much of my work product was pure but believable fiction, lies I told, and truths I concealed. Secrets that—if revealed—might have gotten me killed. When my cover got blown, I fled the field and moved 3,000 miles.

Now, I'm a former spy, still writing fiction. Through my novels, I expose the way intelligence agencies craft fiction for sale to sway their countries and manipulate their national policy, driving countries into dangerous conflicts.

I've been published under my real name many times in financial trade journals on topics including global banking, computer fraud and countermeasures, financial forecasting, global electronic-funds transfer networks, and corporate finance, including one book on finance published by a major publisher. I've been a featured speaker at financial conferences and conventions. My children's book, A Teenager's Guide to Money, Banking and Finance, was published in 1987 by Simon & Schuster. I was once the CEO of an ebook publishing company.

I've been adjunct faculty at the Whidbey Island MFA program, and also teach a course at the Muse Online Writers Conference entitled Covert Training and Covert Operations for Fiction Writers, and taught one on a similar topic at California libraries, funded by a federal grant. I've taught a thriller-writing course at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference and was a featured speaker at a dinner meeting of the California Writers Club. I taught finance at the Stern Graduate Business School of New York University for over ten years, and am one of the co-founders of ActFourWriters.com, a unique email-based novelists' critique group.

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5 stars
157 (36%)
4 stars
154 (35%)
3 stars
85 (19%)
2 stars
24 (5%)
1 star
13 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for Clare O'Beara.
Author 21 books345 followers
December 10, 2016
I like that the story starts in London, nicely scenic; you can still tell it's written by an American as the main character hits the sidewalks, while I noticed a lack of past perfect tense. From one end of the book to another a lot of deaths occur. Violent deaths with exploding heads and the like. Too many for me, but then I am reading a modern spy story and it's not going to be pretty.

A young man named Jon Sommers who was orphaned as a child when his parents' mysterious activities caught up with them, suffers a second crippling loss. His fiancee is killed while visiting Israel. Jon was preparing to work in a bank and use his high mathemathical skills but when an agent from Mossad contacts him and reveals that his fiancee had been one of them, he changes his life. I'm in two minds about this plot point; Jon does some investigating first so he is not rushing into anything, but he's never been to Israel as far as we know, while he doesn't even do the obvious and ask what the pay would be. On the other hand, young men are full of testosterone and love adrenalin, making them idiots. I'd probably ask British diplomatic staff if I could do anything to help Israel, if I were British, as the two countries have aligned interests. Jon just goes to Israel. Any nation's secret service is going to consider a foreign national as pretty much disposable.

Methinks Jon should have asked for an office-based job, funds transferring or being taught to hack or something, but he gets the full whack of training (probably obligatory) and is thrown in at the deep end of an assassination. He has to run each day carrying fifty kilos; that's my weight. I have picked it up and carried it, but I wouldn't want to run with it. Rational reflection tells me it's not just strength training, it's preparing someone to run carrying an incapacitated person. But all the special coated clothing doesn't stop the enemy's bullets and he's the only survivor of a mission gone crosswise between Arab funded terrorists, the MI6 and his own bunch. His own? Well hold on, Jon gets reminded that he's a British subject working for an overseas power's secret service. Though UK doesn't publicly hang people any more as is mentioned. Whatever way you look at it, he's in a corner.

I'm not sure how much of this tale is based on truth, and I don't really want to know. With several switches of location and character it can be a little hard to follow at first; keep going and you'll get in the swing. Involving a Chinese hacker to exploit Russian files seems to be a different track altogether, but it does tie in. Depressing how often such convoluted trails lead back to oil. I liked the tale more when it got to the ins and outs of funds transfers in banks, oddly because that seems dryer, but it also seemed like what the author knew better and communicated better. I also liked when a small team form of their own choosing, and it immediately feels right, rather than the assigned units we've previously seen.

The impression I'm left with most deeply is how fast and thoroughly a person involved in any of this craziness loses their normal life. I see many parallels with another instalment Swiftshadow, which I preferred because the female character resonated with me more than the protagonist of Bloodridge. Action packed, detailed and immersive, Bloodridge is well worth a read. And there's a fun interview with the author at the end.
July 2, 2019
An interesting story

This started out fairly straightforward but got complicated towards the end. The plethora of intelligence and I use the term loosely) agencies and their interaction or lack of is puzzling. Each has their own agendas which may or may not reflect the "common good".
Profile Image for Suzanne.
1,671 reviews39 followers
October 13, 2014
This story is massive. It covers multiple countries' covert agencies, terrorist banking operations, hacking communities and higher education. It is a sprawling set piece with a plot that is fairly straight-forward in spite of the book's length. It is an awkward book to read in spite of the story and really needed a first-rate editor. Thrillers don't just work because of the taut tale; language use plays a critical role in building tension and capturing the reader's attention. The author over-writes in scene descriptions and dialog; we read a description of what is happening and then a character tells us the same thing. Literary devices are created and then unexplored, such as the ghost of girlfriend. Characters are interchangeable and don't seem to really matter; a spy is a spy. I'd be interested in reading more of the author's work once he becomes a more seasoned thriller writer.
Profile Image for Kristina Stanley.
Author 10 books93 followers
April 3, 2018
Loved the story and the author's writing style, which made me feel present in every scene. Bloodridge is full of thrills and tension, but smart and human, too. Jon Sommers is a character you want to cheer for. You can understand his motivation. The best part of this story is that it’s frightening because it’s so believable. I wonder if some of the scenes actually happened. The author makes you dive right into the life of a spy and have insight into what that might be like. I’ll definitely read more from DS Kane.
Profile Image for Jacob Peled.
412 reviews7 followers
July 4, 2020
I am an Israeli. After reading 25% of the book, I realized it is full of crap. The terms were wrong. The way things operate in Israel are different. Besides the story itself is absolutely childish. Moving on to another author.
Profile Image for John Dizon.
Author 76 books58 followers
October 11, 2014
Bloodridge by D.S. Kane is a well-crafted espionage novel set in three different countries at breakneck pace as we follow the action alongside major protagonist Jon Summers. After learning of the death of his intended, Lisa Gabriel, Jon meets with Israeli assassin Yigdal Ben-Levy who opens a Pandora’s Box that turns his life upside down. He learns that his parents were Jews working for the Secret Service and were killed in the same manner as Lisa. Jon signs up in seeking closure and finds himself taking on a role as Michael O’Hara, acting as the Israeli contact for Chinese hacker William Wing. Only it gives place to the main event as he finds himself on a collision course with Tariq Houmaz, a bombmaker for the fearsome Muslim Brotherhood.

Kane picks up the pace by introducing a botched deal between the US and Great Britain which allows Houmaz, a double agent for both countries, to complete a purchase from the Russian Mob. Nikita Tobelov, his Russian connection, accepts two hundred million dollars for the purchase of a nuclear sub from a base at Vladivostok. The clock is ticking as Jon is faced with the prospect of Houmaz and his men unleashing a nuke missile attack against the hated Israelis. The Jewish response in the form of their Jericho Sanction will result in a nuclear war across the Middle East, and only Jon Sommers may be able to prevent it.

This is a sizzler torn straight from tomorrow’s headlines. Bloodridge by D.S. Kane is one you won’t want to miss.
Profile Image for Babus Ahmed.
792 reviews47 followers
February 21, 2016
Bloodridge is a moreish conspiracy thriller with mystery, intrigue and suspense. Jon Sommers is left angry and devastated after the death of his fiance, Lisa. He soon learns more than he bargained for, when he meets a spymaster, who tells him his girlfriend was working for mossad and one of her aims was to recruit him. Jon also learns that his parents were also mossad and their death was not the car accident he was led to believe.

Jon, feeling an acute sense of betrayal nonetheless is driven to avenge Lisa's death and enroles in an accelerated training programme in Israel, but as he gets out in the field and zeros in on his quarry, Houmaz, the terrorist who made the bomb responsible for Lisa's death, he finds himself drawn further and further into a web of espionage where trust is a priceless commodity and allegiances questionable.

This thriller picks up speed as Jon gets further and further into the murky world of espionage and the stakes just seem to get higher and higher.

An exciting thriller, but I felt a bit waylaid by the narrative and felt it could have had more impact in the hands of a better editor. However, definitely one for conspiracy thriller fans.
Profile Image for C.A..
Author 13 books1 follower
November 8, 2014
First off I think the Author has potential
As others had said it's in need of a good american English editing..
Ok by the time I got to page 50 I felt I had enough information for a 300 page Brad Thor Novel...
This was written like a non-fiction book.. Think Dragnet TV show(I know I'm showing my age:)
I read somewhere that if a reader has to pick up a dictionary to find words..you've lost them :)
Ok... and when does I operative tell a trained killer how to enter a hostile area?? "Shooter Stance"? If I was the trained killer I would be worried who this nut was telling me my job..

I want you to understand I think the book has a lot of potential but needs to be simplified ....streamlined..Let the reader use his imagination, we don't need our hands held.. But in the same sentence keep your people..timelines..character traits straight because we will catch the mistakes..
One last thing...Don't you think a ghost would know who killed them ?

and one more :) Why "Mother" think James Bond...

I do look forward to your next book...
10 reviews
September 9, 2014
I received this through first reads giveaways.

It took me a good long while to finish this book. It had a good premise, but it was only averagely written. There were some continuity and plot issues that really bugged me. Aside from that, however, I did ENJOY the book. The story was good. I just think that it could have really benefited from some hardcore editing before publication. With a little polishing up, it could have easily been a four/four and half star book.
April 25, 2018
There are spies among us.

This book was not as exciting as I thought it would be, but it kept me interested. I was never slow. There were so many characters to try to keep track of, I lost several along the way. I will most likely read the next one though. May as well keep following Jon.
49 reviews
October 18, 2018
Too many twists and confusion with several key characters. .

I found this to be a difficult read. Just when you think someone is dead they show up again. Twisted story has too many competing agendas.
Profile Image for Cath.
951 reviews12 followers
October 3, 2018
The main character is Jon Sommers, who has just gotten a job in banking and proposed to his girlfriend, Lisa Gabriel. This has caused somewhat of a disagreement, as he wants to accompany Lisa to Tel Aviv, where she wants to tell ‘Mother’ of their news. She wants to do this alone first and says he needs to stay home this time. Unfortunately she dies in a terrorist attack whilst in Israel!

No one informs him and he spends days trying to find out if she’s just left him or if something has actually happened to her. Once he finds the news of her death, he goes into a rage and just wants revenge against the bomber, Tariq Houmaz, who killed her. Shortly after this, an old man, called Yigdal Ben-Levy calls on Jon and asks him how well he actually knew Lisa and then reveals that wasn’t her real name and she was really working for Mossad. Ben-Levy tells Jon that Lisa’s job was to recruit him for Mossad and to tell him what his parents really did before they died.

Jon joins Mossad on a rapid training programme and shortly finishing his training, after goes out on an undercover operation, but they are ambushed and all of the team are killed apart from Jon. The bomber, Tariq Houmaz, is again responsible. An extremely intelligent foe and one who thinks multiple steps ahead. Jon is rescued by another organisation and forced to be a double agent for MI-6. When Ben-Levy finds out, he puts out a kill order on Jon as an example to all the other recruits.

Houmaz has a large plot, in mind, against Israel and Jon finds some information about this plot, while working with MI-6. He has to tell his handler and boss, Ben-Levy, but needs a team he can trust to work with him on taking down Houmaz, once and for all. Millions of lives could be at stake and Jon may have to put aside his thoughts of revenge against the bomber, for the greater good.

A very interesting introduction to the making of a spy, with many twists and turns, leaving you wondering what will happen to the main character next. The start, for me was a bit confusing, as you have to get used to the different locations and time periods, but also unusual names and terms. Jon is interested in the Islamic banking system and is highly mathematical in his thought processes, so can lead you into places unfamiliar to most.

Once the story gets going, you are shown what would happen to a foreign national, who goes and joins another country’s intelligence service. Would he be treated the same by all or used as cannon fodder? His backstory, once you find out about it, helps a little, but you also have a handler that can order you to be killed, just to set an example to others, even when he promised your parents that he would always look out for you!

A very life like story of what could be happening in our current world and the world of terrorism. Hackers and banking systems. The funding of terrorist cells today and evidence of where the money has come from. The ease in which the Islamic banking system makes this so easy to exploit. All in all, a great spy thriller, with an unexpectedly, normal seeming young man as the main character, who goes on to seek revenge for his girlfriend and others.

Once you are past the start, you will definitely get engrossed in the plot and wanting to see if Jon can succeed or even survive till the end of the book. It isn’t easy to put down once the very realistic gun fights and so on, occur. If you want a realistic, modern take on fighting against terrorism and the mix of Mossad, MI-6 and the CIA, all showing up in the action, then this is the book for you!

I received an ARC copy of this book from Hidden Gems and I have freely given my own opinion of the book above. Although I haven’t given the book five stars, due to the slow start, I have gone ahead and bought this one and the next in the series, as I would love to see what the author will come up with next. This is totally set in our modern world and should frighten you in parts, with what the author shows you as reality.
Profile Image for Jeff Willis.
316 reviews4 followers
August 31, 2020
When I first read the synopsis of this book and found the author's biography indicated some personal experience in the world of clandestine operations, I was really looking forward to reading this book for a gritty, realistic look at the world of spies. Unfortunately, what I got instead was a novel with a lot of hallmarks of an inexperienced writer. In particular, plot holes and scenes where the characters say and do inauthentic things for the benefit of the story and not because those are things that person would actually do.

As other reviews have mentioned, there are a lot of issues with the chronology (e.g., the character undergoing training or convalescing from injuries that would normally take months or years in a matter of days), and a lot of time is spent detailing individuals, settings, clothing, etc. that never really factors into the actual story.

Overall, I was hoping for a more realistic spy thriller and was ultimately disappointed to get one the ended up feeling more like a cheesy action movie toward the end.
Profile Image for Jay Williams.
1,710 reviews21 followers
June 8, 2017
While this book had all the elements I look for in a black ops thriller, it did not draw me in as I would have hoped. Most of the characters were described in depth, but the dark side of all the personalities involved just dragged me down. The interplay between the various spy agencies of different countries was depicted in depth, leading to a certain amount of fright as the reader has to wonder if the countries involved are allies or enemies. It is probably a realistic description of the situation, but it is scary. The character known as "Mother" is surely the coldest and most evil person I have found in a book, and I have read many dark stories. The rating would have been higher if the writing had been a little more crisper.
31 reviews
March 27, 2020
I'll be honest and say I'm not a political kind of person so once I got into this, I didn't enjoy it. I'd say I feel bad giving it a poor review because of storyline preference but then again I've encountered politics in other reads and was still able to enjoy the story simply because the book offered a better story telling experience outside of the political details.

That being said, I'm not sure it was written very well. It seemed a bit stilted. It seemed the entire story read more like mission report; written for facts only with minimal storytelling. Beyond that assessment, I'm not sure what else to say.

1,061 reviews10 followers
April 2, 2020
OMG, I don't think the author, DS Kane, could have put his main character, Jon, through more trials and obstacles in his way to becoming a spy than he did in this opening book in the Spies Lie series. This book had action, betrayal, double-cross, mayhem, murder, revenge, romance, suspense, and of course lies, in spades. The reader didn't know whom to trust or whom to believe as the spies lied to each other and to other agencies. I have already added book 2 to my TBR. This is a voluntary review of this book.
Profile Image for Martin Pingree.
897 reviews11 followers
August 18, 2018
The first chapter or two kind of left me confused and I wondered where this story was going. I marched on and I am very glad I did. This international espionage thriller will keep your heart pounding from start to finish. Great cast of characters with loads of action make this a truly fun read. Once you get into it you won’t be able to put it down !
783 reviews3 followers
October 7, 2017
Finding out your entire life (including your parents and fiancee) is a lie creates resentment and hate. Intelligence services including the Mossad only value you when they can benefit from your services. I rate this a 4.0
92 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2019
A Spy is made from an accountant.

Jon Sommers is living a lie. Unaware of his deceased parents' true identities. He is unaware of his godfather who is controlling his destiny until the day he is recruited to take the road pa an agent for Israel as his parents were.
78 reviews2 followers
November 19, 2019
Real page turner

Told by a retired covert operative, this book has an attention to detail that speaks to realism at the same time as being a real page turner. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Jan Kazimi.
125 reviews1 follower
October 13, 2017

Great book. I read from start to finish.
A new twist just when you thought it was finished.
I recommend to all
129 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2018

Very interesting book, lots of twists and turns. Surprises throughout the book. Highly recommend this book.
Now onto the next one by Mr. Kane.
119 reviews
February 27, 2018

New author for me. Strong story line. Will recommend my friends . have a place in my heart for Israel be it fact or fictiin
Profile Image for Joan Cameron.
150 reviews
October 7, 2018

Lots of action. Interesting characters and story line. Descriptive scenery and plot. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

70 reviews1 follower
October 8, 2018

I loved the characters,main and minor. The plots were very well integrated. It kept me on my toes. Nicely done.
October 19, 2018

Loved the detail and description of the Israeli characters. Fast paced, but engaging. Modern spy novel. Useful glossary and appendix
94 reviews
October 19, 2018

Really enjoyed the story. Assuming that It has a bit of reality to it and is current. Thought provoking topics. Thanks
November 28, 2018
Keep your eyes open

Nothing is as it seems! No one is who they are. And everything changes while you watch. And we all die.
Profile Image for Adrion Kusant.
64 reviews
March 13, 2019

Great thriller. Hard to put down. On a par with Robert Ludlum. Kane is a former spy, so draw your own conclusions.
Profile Image for Joan.
2,529 reviews89 followers
September 7, 2019
This was one of thirty-something freebies I downloaded as a group. I just don’t have much interest in spy novels these days, so I abandoned this one at 30%.
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