When Cassandra Sashakovich, a bright but arrogant economist and consultant, is in Riyadh completing a financial forecasting assignment, her cover is blown by a mole from her intelligence agency. A covert agent whose call sign is "Swiftshadow," she barely survives an encounter with a hit man and escapes to Washington, where she is fired by her agency for becoming a liability.
Hunted by terrorists who fear she may have hacked details of their pending operation, Cassie must identify the mole and neutralize the terrorists to recover her life. She finds help in the arms of another rogue agent, Lee Ainsley, and learns how to deal with life on the run from a homeless teen, Ann Silbee.
From Riyadh to the halls of power in Washington, from New York's homeless to Hong Kong's center of technology, from the remnants of Silicon Valley to Al Qaeda's Afghanistan, Cassie desperately races against the clock to expose plots by both her own government and the terrorists; an operation that could result in the deaths of millions of Americans. Cassie must come to terms with her own nature, find and use skills she never knew she had.
even if she survives, will the experience change her into someone worse than those who want her dead? And if she survives is there some way for her to emerge more mature and self-reliant, no longer a naive tool of her country?
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.
Cassandra Sashakovich must use her superlative hacking skills and her Agency training to unravel the tangled web of deceit that threatens her life and the very existence of the United States. With each plot twist, Cassie must grow in knowledge and power in order to survive. She is a strong female protagonist in a genre dominated by male characters. Author D.S. Kane, a former spy, weaves a complex tale filled with page-turning suspense, graphic violence, and steamy sex. He uses knowledge from his career in espionage to create his tale of high-level intrigue and international conflict. A must-read for thriller fans!
Cassandra Sashakovich is recruited by an American intelligence agency after her fiancé is killed in Afghanistan. That's the end of her normal life as an economics and business consultant; after intensive training she becomes agent Swiftshadow, doing what she used to do, but now stealing from the bank accounts of terrorists.
After her cover is blown in a Middle East country Cassie is almost killed and she flees in shock and distress, evading capture by desperate means. Unfortunately she then finds that her bosses at home have no further use for her. I did find this odd - her skills could have been well used at a desk. But we accept that the amoral agency workers are covering themselves and their other agents, so Cassie's employment is severed. Realising that her silence could be better secured if she is dead, and that the terrorists could well have sent agents after her, the resourceful young woman then puts her training to good use by going on the run.
While this main character is female there are aspects of the story, such as violence against women, which are not easy to read and we come to admire Cassandra the more as a survivor. She has no hope of a settled life or relationship and bends all her efforts to finding the terrorists before they find her.
Author DS Kane has thrown in wholesale the tools of this trade - hacking, lock picking, passport faking, money forging, travel without crossing a Customs line. And occasional killing, when required, but not as an easy option. There is so much going on that the standard major terrorist plot almost seems unnecessary, but this does serve to remind us why spy agencies are so well funded. We also meet other characters who are distinct individuals, balancing the drama with quiet human reminders that this is no life of glamour. Swiftshadow will appeal to fans of spy thrillers and to those who want to know more about this background.
Kirkus Reviews, on Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series, by DS Kane:
"In the third installment of Kane’s (DeathByte, 2014, etc.) Spies Lie series, a covert operative–turned-fugitive must use her formidable intellect to figure out who betrayed her to terrorists.
Brilliant young economist and computer hacker Cassandra Sashakovich takes a job working for an unnamed U.S. intelligence agency, feeding false economic reports to terrorist organizations and hacking into their financial resources. However, when a mission in Riyadh goes terribly awry after her cover is blown, Cassie finds herself being burned by the agency and left for dead. Utilizing every shred of her considerable ingenuity, Cassie goes into hiding and starts a secret consulting firm, hoping she can dig deep enough into the world’s dirty laundry to figure out who might be the agency mole that gave her up to the terrorists in Riyadh. What she discovers shocks her and forever changes the way she sees international intelligence. Teaming up with rogue security analyst Lee Ainsley and an army of mercenaries, Cassie decides to get revenge—both on the terrorists who destroyed her life and the U.S. government that let them... In Cassie, Kane has created a female protagonist who bears a striking resemblance to the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, from her extraordinary hacking talents and resourcefulness to her fluid sexuality and tendency to be targeted by evil men who underestimate her ability to survive... “Cassie felt his hand touch her robe, slip inside, and grope her breast, squeeze a nipple. When his other hand reached between her legs to stroke her, her legs grew unsteady.”
...the high stakes and dizzily paced action will hook genre fans from the first page." — Kirkus Reviews
Swiftshadow (Book 3 of the Spies Lie Series) by D.S Kane
Cassandra "Cassie" Sashakovich is a consultant of an Intelligence agency. Her cover is blown by a "mole" in the Agency and she loses her job. Now she is being hunted. No longer protected by the Agency she is on her own and on the run.
Not knowing who to trust, she travels across the country and world undercover, dodging the enemy. She soon learns life is not easy and she may have to do things she never imagined to stay alive. Life is a gamble, one she must take every day to stay one step ahead of the enemy.
A fast paced psychological/suspense. I really liked Cassie and watching her character develop. She is faced with tough choices which made the story even more intense. Swiftshadow is fantastic (as a stand alone).
But I strongly recommend reading the first two books in the Spies that Lie series: Bloodridge and DeathByte. D.S. Kane writes with vivid details, descriptions and engrossing dialog, which really transports you into the world of Spies, lies, deception & suspense. A must read for lovers of this genre.
In D.S. Kane’s Swiftshadow, we meet Cassandra. A smart, modern woman with an important job. She seems cool and in control when we first meet her. However, things soon fall apart as we learn of her boyfriend’s death in the armed services and the cracks start to appear.
Our protagonist is drawn into a web of intrigue and mystery. She finds herself going from one country to the next embroiled in political conspiracies. D.S. Kane draws on his own experience with the secret services to aptly deliver a well written and crafted piece.
I enjoyed this book and although, I haven’t read the other books I didn’t feel I’d missed out on anything.
If drama, spies and adventure are your thing I’m sure you’ll love this book. I did.
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue., October 17, 2015 By KAREN INGALLS Edit Review Delete Review Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: Swiftshadow (Spies Lie Book 3) (Kindle Edition) The lead character, Cassie, is a covert operative who is betrayed by her own government. The book is full of action, intrigue, political and highly technical computer information. I was impressed with the knowledge the author had about this subject...then I read his biography, but I am still impressed. Fast paced, kept me interested, strong characters, and well written. Thank you DS Kane for an enjoyable book.
This is the third book in the "Spies Lie" series and surprised me. It basically parallels the previous book but tells the story of a character (Cassie) that appears only briefly in the earlier book. It was very interesting to see what Cassie was doing while the action of the previous book was playing out. I'll continue the series of 5 books. Pretty good writing and stories.
This is book three in the Spies Lie series and centres around the main character, Cassandra Sashakovich, who currently works as a hacker and economist for the government as an NOC, a consultant who can work undercover in numerous different countries. She has been trained in many of the skills she will need, but only to act as a white collar agent, having no real training or experience in being a full agent in dangerous circumstances. Her jobs involve her travelling to places abroad and hacking into local networks to recover secret funds from terrorist groups. Her agent handle is ‘Swiftshadow’ and whilst undercover working a job in Riyadh, a man approaches her and uses her code name, but it is all a trap. A mole has released her identity and she is in mortal danger.
She barely escapes from this hitman and the horrendous things he did to her, making it back to Washington, but finding herself being held to blame for the events that occurred and being sacked from her job due to her possibly now being a liability. Unfortunately, the terrorist group are still after her and have far reaching arms. They believe her hacking uncovered more than just their funds, including their soon to be activated plans for a major hit against America. Cassie is stuck on getting revenge against the mole who leaked her details and finding out their identity. She gains some assistance from another computer agent, Lee Ainsley, who also ends up having to go rogue to save his own life.
Cassie is now on the run, homeless and unable to family or friends without placing them in danger. She finds an immediate connection to a young teenage girl, Ann, who she finds in the tunnels of the homeless and this has a deep impact on her. The ramifications of what happened in Riyadh leave her in a dangerous place, where her image is captured and seen by many who believed her dead and gone! Her new identity is blown and she needs a way of making money quickly and somewhere to hide every day. Lessons from her original training at the ‘farm, on anti-surveillance practices are now having to be used as second nature by Cassie and now Lee.
Her training as a hacker is continually improving as she has to find other ways to make a living and her skill set is increasing. She also uses local self-defence courses to increase her chances, should she be faced with another assailant. She has to learn to trust Lee, not knowing if he is the mole or not, and use their combined skills to track the mole, make money from the terrorist groups and find out what their attack plans are. One of her new jobs, having set up her own consultancy firm, has her travelling to Hong Kong and tracking down a fellow hacker, who managed to steal her clients secrets. She has to destroy both electronic and physical copies and provide evidence of her findings to the client to be paid. She doesn’t realise how close the terrorist followers were to capturing her.
She soon finds out that someone high up in the intelligence agency, is the actual mole and has to work on getting them revealed to the rest of Washington and to end their plans. She and Lee have to raise an army of their own to go up against the terrorists at their bases in both Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, to find out the terror plans that could lead to millions of fellow Americans being targeted for death and destruction. She finds she is changing and sometimes not for the best, wondering if she will lose herself in her new persona and in what she is being forced to do, just to survive.
If she survives, she will be changed forever. No longer the naïve agent, just doing as she was asked and now looking into what those in charge had her doing. Making money from doing what she was trained to do, to fund her new life and the actions she is undertaking. This clears up a lot of what Cassandra (Cassie) underwent and how she became the hacker in Hong Kong, which I had read about, before reading this book, having not read the one I have so far, in order. It shows how Cassie became the person she did, what events in her life moulded her and how she came out of it all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what comes in the other books I haven’t read yet. I received an ARC copy of this book from Hidden Gems and I have freely given my own opinion of the book above.
This is a black ops story like none other. The protagonist is not a larger-than-life, super-skilled he-man, but a young woman whose skill is hacking. When she is outed by a mole in her agency, she is forced to hide and to learn how to defend herself. The suspense is high as she faces challenges from every side. The squeamish reader may find the graphic descriptions of torture and sex to be a little much. Certainly Cassandra, the heroine, endures much more than expected for a lead character. For the most part the other characters are realistic, although some members of the army Sasha assembles are a little stereotypical. Reading this story is like dragging through mud. The reader is in the midst of evil and violence all the way through. This is realism at its finest.
This third book in the Spies Lie series by DS Kane was definitely a most attention riveting suspense-filled action-adventure spy thriller all wrapped into one story with many subplots being exposed as the story develops. What started out as a simple undercover operative having her identity exposed which resulted in deadly assassins gunning for her expanded to much greater threats to many more people. The story walked a very tight line between being a very psychological thriller and an action-adventure, and so chose to be both, to the delight of the reader. This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Hidden Gems Books.
Enjoyed this, a bit graphic in places both violence and sex. However the story is well written and a possibility it could transpire if forces allowed it to. Cassie is a lean, mean killing machine in phases of the book and then suddenly seems quite "girly" however with Lee's help she identifies both the terrorist who raped her and the mole who got her "burned" Well worth a read
The author is very well acquainted with the world of spies and their tradecraft. And this goes further with the technology that is available to professional hackers. This is all in the backbone of this novel. A disowned agent who using her craft is determined to find out who exposed her and why. This leads us into another world and into the mind of Cassie. We become one with her in her quest to get to the truth no matter what. Fabulous read.