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A darker place


Publication Information:
[Grand Haven, Mich.] : Brilliance Audio, ℗2008.
Physical Description:
8 audio discs (approximately 540 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:

Compact discs.

Duration: 9:00:00.
In Russia, Alexander Kurbsky is both an infamous writer and an ex-paratrooper. Disappointed with the current government, he makes plans with Sean Dillon, Charles Ferguson, and members of the Prime Minister's private army to help him disappear into the West, even though many before him have died when attempting this journey.


Call Number
CD Higgins, J.

On Order



A famous Russian writer and ex-paratrooper named Alexander Kurbsky has gotten fed up with the Putin government, and decides he wants to "disappear" into the West. He is under no illusions, however, about how the news will be greeted at home, having seen too many of his countrymen die mysteriously at the hands of the thuggish Russian security services, so he makes elaborate plans with Charles Ferguson, Sean Dillon and the rest of the group known informally as the "Prime Minister's private army" for his escape and concealment. It's a real coup for the West except for one thing: Kurbsky is still working for the Russians. The plan is to infiltrate British and American intelligence at the highest levels, and he has his own motivations for doing the most effective job possible. He does not care what he has to do or where he has to go...or whom he has to kill.Filled with suspense, driven by characters of complexity and passion, A Darker Place once again proves that, in the words of the Associated Press, "When it comes to thriller writers, one name stands well above the crowd -- Jack Higgins."

Author Notes

Jack Higgins is a writer and educator, born in Newcastle, England on July 17, 1929. The name is the pseudonym of Harry Patterson. He also wrote under the names of Martin Fallon, James Graham, and Hugh Marlowe during his early writing career. He attended Leeds Training College and eventually graduated from the University of London in 1962 with a B.S. degree in Sociology.

Higgins held a series of jobs, including a stint as a non-commissioned officer in the Royal House of Guards serving on the German border during the Cold War. He taught at Leeds College of Commerce and James Graham College. He has written more than 60 books including The Eagle Has Landed, Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown, and Eye of the Storm. Higgins is also the author of the Sean Dillon series. His novels have since sold over 250 million copies and been translated into fifty-five languages.

His title's The Death Trade and Rain on the Dead made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

When world-famous Russian novelist Alexander Kurbsky decides to leave for the West in bestseller Higgins's suspenseful 16th thriller to feature former IRA man Sean Dillon (after Rough Justice), Kurbsky turns for help to Dillon and other members of the British prime minister's "private army." Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin persuades Kurbsky to infiltrate this elite group and spy for Russia by showing him current photos of his sister, Tania, who the celebrated author thought died years earlier in a student riot. Tania's release from a life sentence in prison is the price for Kurbsky's cooperation. Dillon and the others, most notably Lady Monica Sterling, Dillon's girlfriend, welcome Kurbsky into their circle in England, where the Russian begins to go about his deadly business. Several long flashbacks explore past events to good effect. The final dustup is a little rushed, but the crisp writing shows Higgins to be on top of his game. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

A high-profile Russian defects to the Brits (or not) in Higgins's latest thriller (Rough Justice, 2008, etc.). Alexander Kurbsky is an ex-paratrooper, a battle-scarred veteran of Russia's brutal wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He's also a bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist. In New York, as guest of honor at a United Nations literary function, he's introduced to the lovely Lady Monica Starling, double-billed in her own right. A glamorous member of the British aristocracy, she is, clandestinely, a member in good standing of "the Prime Minister's private army," that tiny but fearsome band of counterterrorists responsible, again and again, for the salvation of Western civilization. Kurbsky and Lady Monica get on famously, a meeting that ends with the Russian confessing an itch to cross over. Excited by the prospect of a big-time catch, Lady Monica immediately contacts master spy Sean Dillon, newly her lover, and an arrangement is made for an ersatz kidnapping. Meanwhile, Kurbsky is finalizing a different kind of arrangement, this one with the Russian prime minister. In the lionized soldier/novelist, Putin thinks he has the perfect mole who, reluctant or not, will make the required moves in the motherland's nonstop geopolitical chess game with the West. His reasoning seems flawless. Languishing in an infamous Siberian prison is Kurbsky's beloved sister, and as long as he keeps her there, Putin is certain he can count on the necessary leverage. But life and spy-craft are full of little surprises, and one never knows how an epiphany at just the right time will change the rules of the game. A potboiler, sure, but with his swashbuckling nonhero, Higgins demonstrates anew that an engaging character can fan sparks no matter how retro the formula. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

The veteran author of political thrillers turns in another lackluster performance. As usual, the story contains the raw material for a first-rate novel: a Russian writer makes arrangements with Sean Dillon, the IRA terrorist turned British intelligence agent, and his colleagues in the Prime Minister's private army to leave Russia and come to Britain. However, as Higgins reveals very early on, the writer is actually working for the Russians, and his deadly mission could wreak havoc at the top levels of the international intelligence community. Unfortunately, Higgins seems to be sleepwalking his way through the novel: the book opens, for example, with a clumsy scene in which one character tells another character something she already knows, purely for the benefit of the reader. The characters in the novel feel lifeless, even the ones whom the author has been writing about for years (there are more than a dozen Sean Dillon novels), and Higgins' decision to reveal the Russian writer's secret agenda at the beginning of the novel seems ill-considered: the story would have been more interesting, and certainly more surprising, if readers were left to wonder what this fellow was up to and whether he was keeping secrets. Higgins retains a large if shrinking fan base and that should ensure interest in the novel, but it's definitely not one of his best.--Pitt, David Copyright 2008 Booklist