Synopses & Reviews
Drummond Clark was once a spy of legendary proportions. Now Alzheimer's disease has taken its toll and he's just a confused old man who's wandered away from home, waiting for his son to fetch him.
When Charlie Clark takes a break from his latest losing streak at the track to bring Drummond back to his Brooklyn home, they find it blown sky high — and then bullets start flying in every direction. At first, Charlie thinks his Russian creditors are employing aggressive collection tactics. But once Drummond effortlessly hot-wires a car as their escape vehicle, Charlie begins to suspect there's much more to his father than meets the eye. He soon discovers that Drummond's unremarkable career as an appliance salesman was actually a clever cover for an elaborate plan to sell would-be terrorists faulty nuclear detonators. Drummond's intricate knowledge of the device is extremely dangerous information to have rattling around in an Alzheimer's-addled brain. The CIA wants to contain him — and so do some other shady characters who send Charlie and Drummond on a wild chase that gives father and son quality time a whole new meaning.
With Once a Spy, Keith Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare.
Listen to a clip from the audiobook:
"Huffington Post columnist Thomson's wildly original debut, a darkly satirical thriller, features an unlikely, if endearing, father-son spy duo: retired appliance salesman Drummond Clark, who at age 64 suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and Charlie Clark, a down-on-his-luck gambler who owes $23,000 to Russian loan sharks. Soon after Charlie rescues Drummond from the Brooklyn streets, where he'd been wandering, the older man's house blows up and the two barely escape with their lives. Clark and son begin an adrenaline-fueled cross-country flight in which they must evade ruthless CIA assassins long enough to understand why they're being targeted. During rare moments of lucidity, Drummond hotwires a car and effortlessly kills multiple assailants, suggesting to Charlie he was once much more than just a washing machine salesman. Poignant themes of love and redemption underpin an action-packed story line that includes exotic locales, high-tech gadgetry, and international intrigue." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"First-novelist Thomson has his tongue firmly in cheek in this clever, engaging, and frenetic tale....His knowledge of spook's tools, techniques, and mind-sets builds verisimilitude....A terrifically entertaining thriller." Booklist
"[A] breakneck thriller....Thomson's sharp humor, swift pacing and surprising twists are refreshing antidotes to the sober, overcooked, underwritten thrillers crowding the market." Kirkus Reviews
With Once a Spy, Thomson makes his debut on the thriller stage with energy, wit, and style to spare. A former spy now ravaged by Alzheimer's is thrust back into danger — and now his son is in deep as well.
About the Author
Keith Thomson is a former semi-pro baseball player in France, an editorial cartoonist for Newsday, a filmmaker with a short film shown at Sundance, and a screenwriter who currently lives in Alabama. He writes on intelligence and other matters for the Huffington Post.