Sunday, April 30, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Good Spy Dies Twice (Bullseye Book 1) by Mark Hosack

Author: Mark Hosack

Narrator: Mark Hosack

Length: 10h 19m

Publisher:Wide Awake Audio⎮2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 19, 2017

Jake Boxer, investigative journalist and host of the conspiratorial news show Bullseye, is in serious trouble. Not only is his soundman murdered by Russian intelligence agents while reporting on a secretive New World Order, but his network cancels his show, leaving Jake humiliated and spiraling into a deep dark depression. Years later, a condemned murderer, who claims he was abandoned by the CIA, and who starred in an early episode of Bullseye, is finally executed for killing two supposed Soviet spies back in the 1970’s. Jake Boxer, still trying to piece his life back together, is on his honeymoon in a posh ski resort in the Alaskan mountains when he gets word of the inmate’s execution . . . and the old killer’s final words: “The good spy dies twice.” Those five words, seemingly meant for Jake, draw the ex-reporter from his forced retirement and into a complex and deadly global conspiracy involving his newlywed wife, the secretive New World Order, and the hotel’s hundred or so “guests.” Everyone is a suspect. Described as James Bond in a Stephen King novel, THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE is the explosive first book in the Bullseye Series. Part spy thriller, part whodunit, this fast-paced novel introduces an exciting new hero, the intrepid, conspiratorial journalist, Jake Boxer.

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Mark Hosack is the author of THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE (Book 1: The Bullseye Series, nominated for the 2016 RT Source Award), and IDENTITY (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote on the web series SEQUESTERED for Sony Crackle, the screenplay for GIVE 'EM HELL, MALONE (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), and he both wrote and directed the award winning independent film PALE BLUE MOON. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a brood of gremlins who insist on calling him Dad.


Hosack did an amazing job on “The Good Spy Dies Twice.” I couldn’t get enough and was up late listening every night until I was finished. The plot kept thickening and getting more intense and the characters were extremely well written and felt real to me. The audio was done very well with the deep tone of Hosack’s voice which made the story even that much better. Overall, I highly recommend this book. 
How did you come up with the title?

Well, I had many titles for this one. The first being Titan… the second being The Scarecrow of Mad River (don’t ask)… the third, and longest-running, being Bullseye, and then, about a month before we published… The Good Spy Dies Twice.

I can’t get into the why without entering spoiler territory, but It’s a key phrase in the book and works on a couple of different levels.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If you ever find yourself trapped in a posh hotel in the remote Alaskan hotel with a bunch of questionable millionaires, your life is most likely in danger.

What books have most influenced your life?

I grew up reading fantasy - the Dragonlance series, Forgotten Realms, The Hobbit - and while I don’t read as much fantasy these days, I think the core ideas of these - the battle between good and evil - persists.

In high school, I was introduced to Kurt Vonnegut, which was a big game changer for me. I read everything he wrote. Around the same time, I discovered the Coen Brothers in film. That combination sent me down the path of dark comedy/satire for quite a while.

I didn’t start reading thrillers until my thirties. Out of them, Stephen King and Dennis Lehane are probably the biggest influences. I also found Hitchcock in my thirties - he’s also a big influence.

What book are you reading now?

All The Light We Cannot See.

It’s fantastic.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Oh sure - I just discovered A.S.A. Durphy, who wrote a great detective novel called The Thing Speaks for Itself, and a friend of mine, Michaelbrent Collings, somehow puts out a new book every few months. If you’re into horror/thrillers he writes really gripping stuff.

What are your current projects?

I’m wading through the next Bullseye book, of course, and editing a recently completed dark comedy.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I worked on this one a long time. And having narrated it the audiobook, I really poured over it. I was very happy with it when we released it. Sure, there are things I'd change, but if I concentrated on that, I’d never produce anything new. So I try not to think about it.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, the Good Spy Dies Twice is part thriller, part mystery. It’s a different sort of spy thriller. It doesn’t star a spy but rather a disgraced journalist trying to redeem himself after an on-air nervous breakdown sinks his ratings, then his show. It’s probably as much psychological thriller as it is spy thriller--for a good portion of the book, we aren’t sure if Jake’s suspicions are rooted in reality or conjecture. There’s a big Hitchcock / Stephen King element in the claustrophobia of it all--him being stuck in this hotel in the dead of winter. When I started this one, I’d just completed a bunch of action screenplays, and I think I was a bit burned out by explosions and gunfire, so I wanted to write a book full of suspense, and very little in the way of “action on the page,” to see if I could maintain a sense of dread throughout.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The last third of a book or a script is always the hardest for me. I usually charge out of the gate like a racehorse, then flounder for months, rewrite after rewrite, outlining / notecarding / etc figuring out how to piece it all together to make a compelling ending.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Right now it’s Dennis Lehane - he writes with a tremendous sense of impending doom, probably because his characters are so well realized.

Do you travel much concerning your book(s)?

For my first book, Identity, I spent about a week crisscrossing San Francisco, learning the city. I visited a lot of old hotels in San Francisco and Los Angeles for The Good Spy Dies Twice, but sadly never made it to Alaska.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The toughest part was working through the last act. That’s always the hardest for me.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

It’s all hard! Well, not all of it. The beginning, as I mentioned above, is usually a rush. But really I suppose the hardest thing is making a habit of it. I’m a big believer in writing every day, if possible, but it doesn’t always happen for me. I think the best analogy for writing is to imagine you’re a car on a dark highway with your lights on - you can only see what’s in your headlights - and you don’t know what’s at the end of the road until you get there. The only way to get there is to write the damn thing. Along the way, you gotta keep your foot on the gas, fix the flats and make sure you don’t overheat so you can get there. This one started as a script, then turned into a book, which I rewrote several times. All told, it probably took a few years to write. That’s a long road to drive! But there are lots of good folk driving down their own roads right next to yours - it’s good to meet them - if for no other reason than to learn which rest areas have the cleanest bathrooms.


  Apr. 18: Dab of Darkness 
  Apr. 19: Lomeraniel 
  Apr. 20: terriluvsbooks 
  Apr. 21: Spunky-n-Sassy 
  Apr. 22: Blogger Nicole 
  Apr. 23: Read Day and Night 
  Apr. 24: The Bookworm Lodge 
  Apr. 25: Desert Rose Reviews 
  Apr. 26: Read Day and Night 
  Apr. 27: Hall Ways 
  Apr. 28: Lilly's Book World 
  Apr. 29: Between the Coverz 
  Apr. 30: A Book and A Latte 
  May 2: Shh I Am Reading 
  May 4: 2 Girls & A Book 
  May 5: Holed Up In A Book 
May 6: Gota Love Books 
  May 7: Bound 4 Escape 

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