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The Orpheus Deception by David Stone

The Orpheus Deception

by David Stone

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After reading David Stone’s first Micah Dalton thriller, The Echelon Vendetta, I was eager to read The Orpheus Deception, the second in the series. Orpheus starts almost precisely where Echelon ends, with a few new characters and, of course, a new threat to the Western World. Both have constant danger, sexy women, sadistic bad guys, and lots of testosterone. But while Echelon had a mysterious bad guy who made you wonder who, how and why, Orpheus is plotted more like an Ian Flemming novel from the Sixties – you know who the bad guys are, what they’re up to, and why just doesn’t seem to matter much. It’s a page turner, all right, an airplane read, but not a worthy successor.

In the absence of a first-rate plot, Stone’s shortcomings are more apparent. He’s still a first-rate writer of descriptive “scene-setters” and his dialogue isn’t bad, but some of the gore seems both superfluous and downright sick. Is he writing to appeal to our latent sadism, or is he a sadist himself, who enjoys writing about torture and disembowelment? This volume also abounds in racism, homophobia, snide remarks about liberals and “hippies” and xenophobia. I’ve got to think that it’s more than the characters speaking these words.

Echelon was good. Orpheus isn’t, and I won’t sample Mr. Stone’s output again. ( )
  wdwilson3 | Aug 29, 2011 |
Very much a genre book, this thriller chases a strained but workable plot right up to the last chapter, which has an incoherent twist that renders most of the preceding story pointless. I found the author's unrestrained conservatism unpleasant. It crops up in casual disparaging asides about liberals -- a dangerous place to be is compared to being between Al Gore and a ham sandwich; the keening of a wounded man is said to be so high pitched that only Nancy Pelosi could hear it (an indirect if strange way of calling her a dog). In that sense, reading this book is like listening to a snide, conservative talk-radio host. On a deeper level, the author's worldview creates a more significant problem for the story, flattening the characters into cartoons. All the women agents are sexually attractive and come on to their colleagues; an effeminate man is inevitably a moral degenerate, and probably a psychopathic villain; moral manhood is reduced to the physical condition of having functioning male genitals and being able to kill people. I won't bother with another novel by this author. ( )
  bezoar44 | Aug 25, 2011 |
Did not realize it was a continuation of previous book, The Echelon Vendetta, but read well without having read it. This reminded me a lot of the current James Bond movies. Action packed and a tiny bit of romance. ( )
  libraryclerk | Sep 19, 2010 |
Terrific Y chromosome spy adventure with exceptionally good writing style--fun & funny descriptions. ( )
  paulsikora | Jun 9, 2010 |
Almost immediately after beginning The Orpheus Deception I began to wonder whether it and its predecessor The Echelon Vendetta had actually been written as a single long novel. The story is probably a bit more straightforward in the thriller mode, but it is the interesting characters that really drives Stone's books.

These books absolutely must be read in order! ( )
  MSWallack | Sep 21, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0515146048, Mass Market Paperback)

CIA cleaner Micah Dalton returns for another go-round of the international espionage, government cover-ups, and high-intensity pursuit that have cemented this series in the best of spy fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An assassination attempt on the rainy streets of Venice sets CIA agent Micah Dalton on a collision course with a vengeful Serbian warlord as he tries to uncover the links between an act of brutal piracy in the South China Sea, a missing CIA agent, and the real nature of an elusive hospital ship known only as The Orpheus.… (more)

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