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Reviews: Spider 2-3


  28 Responses to “Reviews: Spider 2-3”

  1. An amazing piece of writing.

    What an amazing piece of writing for a first novel. I look forward to reading about the next JP adventure – or even better, seeing him on the big screen.

    Laurie Marsh

  2. Galloping, believable narrative

    Spider2-3 delivers the freedom… it’s the guitar riff you’ve always wanted to strut in front of nasty people… galloping, believable narrative… big boys’ stuff and non the worse for that.

    Michael Wilson

  3. ‘It’s started. They’ve got her.’

    Robert Vallier comes from one of the world’s most distinguished musical families – a direct link with Clara Schumann and the Romantic greats. He spent much of his life in music management, covering international touring, recording and theatre production. Yet aside from his artistic ventures Robert is a practiced pilot him the ability to send over 5 ½ tons of books to children in South Africa in working libraries – a tremendously impressive humanitarian contribution – as well as flying handicapped and sick children and their parents up into the air in fun charity flights, bringing some much-needed respite to the families.

    So one wonders, ‘Where does this seemingly practiced skill in writing espionage thrillers derive?’, as this is Robert’s writing debut. One only needs to read the first page of chapter one ‘Berlin. The Present ‘ to sense the compelling multifaceted intrigue the rest of the book heightens. ‘The elevator doors opened. The night receptionist looked up from her keyboard and glanced at the man. She noticed the light brown coat, the dark shoes, the grey hair. No-one important. She put away her empty smile. It would be the last smile he’d ever see. The man walked briskly, the bushy white eyebrows drawn together beneath lines of worry, his darting brown eyes sharpened by months of danger. He pushed through the revolving doors and stepped out into the Kurfürstendamm, and cursed as there were no cabs in sight. He didn’t have that far to go. He pulled his coat closer around him as the cold air hit, and turned left to walk up the street. The central reservation split three traffic lanes either side and was filled with cars parked up for the night. The pavement was wide, with rows of square advertising kiosks and mature trees along the curb that splayed a graceful umbrella of spring foliage. Although Berlin at night was far from deserted there were fewer pedestrians at 2am midweek and those were lovers or prostitutes or drunks who were not interested in him. He broke into a run. His legs were tired and his chest heaved from too much smoking for too many years. He crossed one street, and then another, but at Uhlandstrasse a grey Mercedes screeched to a halt as he ran out in front of it.’

    The synopsis of this complex tale suffices: ‘A murder in Berlin… A kidnapping in the Caribbean… A girl held hostage and forced to reveal vital secrets. The terrorist Malekka has joined forces with a Russian traitor from the upper corridors of power in the former KGB. Together they plot a raid on a military centre in South Africa. It’s the first action of his international plan. His parents died. Now he’s going to kill over 3 million people. Where is the attack to be? The United States? Great Britain? Jim Peregrine and the British intelligence are one step behind and play a deadly game of catch-up. Waiting for the breakthrough. Yet all is not as it seems. Who exactly is who, and what side is being played, and by whom? JP sets out to unravel and defeat the plan. And find the girl. Revenge is sweet. JP means to take it. And so does she.’

    All one can hope after reading this book non-stop is that there will be subsequent Jim Peregrine novels. Robert Vallier makes a very impressive debut.

    Grady Harp

  4. A powerfully moving read that’s hard to put down…

    Spider 2-3 is the kind of thriller that takes the familiar theme of international espionage and elevates it to a whole new level. Within this genre lie the usual suspects: murderers, kidnappers, traitors and spies, and intelligence games played on all sides of the international arena.

    If it’s nonstop, staccato action that’s desired, readers should definitely choose Spider 2-3 above others: the adventure starts with cool observation (“The elevator doors opened. The night receptionist looked up from her keyboard and glanced at the man. She noticed the light brown coat, the dark shoes, the grey hair. No-one important. She put away her empty smile. It would be the last smile he’d ever see.”) but moves quickly to the streets of Berlin and the mission of a man who walks -then runs – straight into darkness.

    Fast forward to the Caribbean three weeks later for a change of scene that at first seems unrelated to events in Berlin. The beaches of paradise are the last place one would expect to find the intrusion of international intrigue – but JP and Stella head into the heart of danger when a disappearance brings heartache into the picture: “Those emotions were fighting the strong practical approach that he knew he had to maintain.”

    Readers easily follow the give-and-take action, largely because of Robert Vallier’s attention to exploring emotion, motivation, and the complexities of international affairs that enter into the story line and give it added flavor and a logical progression of events : “In discussion with the Chief of Police, JP pointed out that when the kidnappers make contact it would be with Stella’s family in South Africa and so he should leave the island immediately to be with them. The Police agreed – if there had actually been a kidnapping. So far there was only a missing person, and so they were understandably reluctant to let JP off the island; what if the woman turned up dead? There would be a murder investigation and the prime suspect would then be JP himself.”

    As international agents and confrontations rise to the forefront, a myriad of subplots engage in satisfyingly vivid descriptions that wind a series of events around the Spider, whose actions represent larger threats.

    As heroes and villains clash and the killings escalate, a desperate race against time ensues, with subterfuge and secret motivations powering events surrounding nuclear weapons, espionage, international money matters, and more.

    Thriller readers who appreciate a blend of nonstop action and a romp around the world chasing Muslim extremists and facing chess-like moves on an international playing board will find Spider 2-3 a powerfully moving read that’s hard to put down.

    Diane Donovan
    Senior Reviewer
    Midwest Book Review


  5. Subtle homages to Ian Fleming’s 007 – an excellent spy thriller

    Action-packed thriller. Subtle homages to Ian Fleming’s 007 novels while standing on its own as an excellent spy thriller. Certainly recommended if you’re in the market for adventure and espionage.

  6. New writer New storyline

    Maybe this is a fresh story since this is a new series written by someone who is new at writing fiction. Although many similar stories exist today this new writer has certainly raised the bar with a fresh interesting story with very believable characters and plot. Thanks

  7. Fiction based on reality.

    When Stella Fincrest- a young heiress to the family empire in South Africa and girl friend of a former British Army special forces officer- Jim Peregrine or J.P is kidnapped while they are on a romantic Caribbean holiday, J.P is alarmed at her mysterious disappearance and gets back to join force with British Intelligence Agency MI6 to track down his love and unravel the master plan behind the kidnapping which has its roots deeply set in terrorism.

    ‘Spider 2-3’ is a well plotted and well thought out read where author Robert Vallier keeps his narration simple, straight forward and fast paced with intriguing mystery, packed with palpable trepidation oozing out at the turn of every page. With well developed characters and multi dimensional twists, author smartly crafts out a fictional read based on realistic situation faced by the world due to growing terrorism, showcasing his wealth of knowledge and imagination in his subject.

    This mystery thriller grabs you from the opening pages and wont let go until the very end with its strong story line. Those looking for an engaging thriller with strong life-like characters, ‘Spider 2-3’ is a sure recommendation.

  8. Couldn’t put it down

    Some strangely complicated characters, interesting plot twist. The hero is a cross between Superman, and James Bond.

  9. Four Stars

    A great read, it had a surprise ending which I loved.

  10. Great Action Book

    Great book lots of believeable plot twists and plenty of action

  11. On a par with David Baldacci & Tom Clancy.

    Spider 2-3 was such an enjoyable read from start to finish. The story captured my imagination from the very opening few paragraphs and never let up! It is imperative for an author to provide a story-line that flows and comes together without too much unnecessary text. This is masterfully done while taking us all on a great journey through Europe, South Africa and beyond. I liked the way as a reader, I was taken into the story with great descriptive scenes that allowed me to feel as if I were actually there witnessing it all and not just reading a book. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing, captured my imagination, and had me fully engrossed throughout.

    JP, the protagonist of the story, is an intriguing character. A sequel is a must for us who want to know more. As others have stated, the book was obviously well researched, and the hard work did not go unnoticed. On a par with my favorite authors in this genre; David Baldacci, Tom Clancy, Olen Steinhauer, and John le Carré, to name a few.


    Mark R

  12. I did enjoy the plot and story ending

    Fast moving adventure with a lot of twists and turns. Well written. Unless you know Russia and other countries you could get lost in the varies travels. Same with the names. I did enjoy the plot and story ending.

  13. An Exciting Book, with Stylish Writing

    So much writing these days is badly crafted, containing grammatical errors, coarseness, profanity and bad plot structure. But Robert Vallier’s substantial thriller is above all that.

    The book is in five separate Parts over 435 pages and 33 chapters, with the first 26 pages (Part 1) setting out the story. It moves along at a terrific pace and the cleverness of the novel is clear early on. You don’t know where the international plot is taking you, through the turns and surprises, and this book I could not put down – I had to get to the next bit quickly to see what happens.

    The characters are totally believable. Stella, the heroine, is perhaps the bravest of them all. The Falcon – Jim Peregrine – is a formidable protagonist who has thought out the counter-plot to defeat the terrorists and although in love with Stella has to remain cold and calm throughout. The threads of the story are well played out by the author and are eventually all drawn together in a terrific action sequence that the reader thinks is the finale, but which in fact isn’t, there is still more to Jim Peregrine. We only get to see the full picture finally right at the end.

    The book is extremely well researched

    Breathless !

    David Lyon

  14. I really enjoyed getting into this one

    Just got through reading this. I really enjoyed getting into this one. You can tell this author spent a lot of time researching the things needed to make this story as realistic as possible. The plot kept me intrigued and I can’t wait for the next one!!

  15. Robert Vallier did a fabulous job with this novel. The plot and characters were well developed and solidly constructed. The thrill and anticipation throughout the entire novel kept me on my toes to the very end. It is adamant the storyline was well thought out with thrilling closing scenes. I highly recommend this book.

  16. Four Stars

    Good UK book

  17. Thriller that keeps you guessing!

    Spider 2-3 is a book that keeps you interested and guessing from the first page to the last. It has a clever plot set around the world, and what’s more it’s a realistic plot. Good wins out over evil, it has lots of action and a great ending.

  18. Gripping and brilliantly written

    As a Pilot and having worked in some of the Countries in this book over the last 20 years I am well up to date with the Politics and superb “Storyline” of Spider 2-3. The accuracy of the content is perfect. The role of JP as the hero and leader and the involvement of Stella is to me totally current and up to date. The entire book has total Synergy and is excellent. Future development of the Characters and on going “World Events” make it a book that can be continued on to the next stage in sequels.

    I could not put the book down and read the whole thing in FIVE EVENINGS!!. This puts it on a Par with Cussler /Forsyth and the other Greats.

    Excellent writing, gripping and brilliantly written and even better researched.

    James Crabbe

  19. A First Class Read

    Very enjoyable. A clever and inventive well written story with impressive detail and lots of twists and turns that hold your attention right to the end.

  20. Robert Vallier does a brilliant job in his debut novel

    Robert Vallier does a brilliant job in his debut novel. The characters are thoroughly developed and the plot is well thought out. Mr. Vallier succeeds in immersing you into the thick of the action and I literally lost track of time while reading this book. That doesn’t happen often but when it does I know I’ve come across a very, very well written novel. I cannot wait to see how the adventure continues to unfold!

  21. Brilliant capture of characters, events and places… enthralling, a must read!

    Spider 2-3 is a thriller, criss-crossing continents with terrorism as the backbone of the story. Capturing you from page one with intrigue, revealing a grand conclusion by craftily exposing the terrorist plot.

    A crafty and involved plot written in a similar enthralling vein as Alistair MacLean, Ken Follett or Wilbur Smith.

    Brilliant capture of characters, events and places has made this enthralling, a must read book by Robert Vallier. Congratulations on a well written, well researched with up to-date events one can relate to in this debut, looking forward with anticipation to the next book.

  22. Breathless, First-rate, Gripping…

    A hotbed of deception, terrorism, and global intrigue fuels this debut thriller.

    Inspired by the works of Scottish adventure writer Alistair MacLean, distinguished former music manager-turned-novelist Vallier admits that his book finds “parallels to much of its story in the real world.” His narrative opens with both a communications technology expert and a military sergeant stalked and killed in Berlin. Stella Fincrest, a young South African heiress to a family empire and the lover of former British army Special Forces agent Jim “JP” Peregrine, is kidnapped while the couple enjoys a romantic Caribbean holiday. At the center of these crimes is powerfully connected Islamic terrorist Barakah Malekka, a man with ties to the 9/11 attacks. He hopes to surpass that historic carnage with a meticulously calculated extremist mass murder plot to infiltrate a military research and development center in South Africa (where Stella is director), steal a Russian nuclear ballistic missile called Spider 2-3, and deploy it, killing millions in Israel. Meanwhile, JP, finding the disappearance of Stella alarming, and foreseeing this as just one piece of a larger nefarious scheme, joins forces with British intelligence agency MI6. Will Stella surrender the company’s security access information, setting in motion Malekka’s plan to steal the missile and destroy the facility? As intricately presented and unpredictable as the action is, Vallier is careful to fully develop his characters as well. He establishes both beneficial chemistry and enemy antagonism throughout, while JP uses his years as a resourceful intelligence agent to untangle a snarl of espionage efforts, blatant attempts on his life, and ambitious plans to stop Malekka’s mass annihilation scheme and rescue Stella, hopefully unharmed. Also adding texture are descriptions of the technological wizardry employed by both sides and exotic atmospheres that the author expertly depicts with both literal descriptions and evocative historical background, particularly on South Africa. This breathless, first-rate novel’s gripping, satisfying conclusion leaves plenty of room for sequels featuring JP, the “Falcon.”

    A tense, complex, and cleverly plotted work of international suspense with more than enough heroic gusto for future promised installments.


  23. Spider 2-3 will keep your adrenaline pumping!

    Spider 2-3 is better than most novels I have read in my lifetime! The Author in his reveal has written a great story. I recommend this read for those who enjoy the suspense and adrenaline rush that it provides.

  24. This a gripping, page turning read. Full of intrigue, terror, plots and sub plots. The main characters JP and Stella fight terrorism in their own unique way. This is the perfect holiday read, as the story keeps you guessing to the very end. Hopefully there will be a sequel.

  25. Excellent first novel

    Congratulations.. this is an excellent first novel written in the swashbuckling style of Clive Cussler yet with very accomplished attention to detail. I only hope that the research involved won’t delay the follow up novels that this episode fully deserves.

  26. Difficult To Put Down!

    A book I found difficult to put down. Its hard to believe this is a debut novel. A current events plot with a fast moving storyline. Interesting characters with twists and surprises until the very end. I’m looking forward to the next story.

  27. Great Plot

    I loved the plot line, but got lost in the details sometimes. Other than that, it was a great storyline and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I want JP`s title and toys too!!!

  28. Spider 2-3

    A cleverly written book, full of excitement and intrigue!
    JP, our hero, and Stella make a compelling couple as they struggle to survive almost
    insurmountable horror and personal sacrifice to prevent a catastrophe from terrorists bent on destroying millions.
    I could not put this book down.