Tag Archives: andrew kaplan

Scorpion Deception
by Andrew Kaplan

Scorpion Deception Reviewed by Allen Hott

Another Middle Eastern spy novel put together well by Andrew Kaplan.

Scorpion is the code name for an American agent who has been in several Kaplan books as he works for the U.S. attempting to keep up with the happenings in that area of the world.

A very clever hit squad broke into the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland killing all who were there and taking classified files. Some of these files include photos, identification, and other pertinent information about U.S. intelligence agents including Scorpion.

The opening chapter tells of a young Jewish boy in Iran in 1986 who was about to be shot after seeing his whole family massacred. He is saved by a woman who manages to get him away during a bombing that occurs right as the boy is lined up. Throughout the book no further mention is made of the boy but it turns out to be a very important part of the conclusion to the story.

Scorpion’s presence begins in Somalia where he meets a beautiful French woman doctor who is tending to the refugees as they run from continuous fighting in the area. Scorpion is traveling as David Cheyne an American who supposedly is there on a goodwill mission of his own. In truth he is trying to wind down and possibly leave his CIA connection as he is beginning to feel the pressure and is ready to quit.

Dragon Fire by Andrew Kaplan

Dragon Fire Reviewed by Allen Hott

Dragon Fire is a very real glimpse at the happenings in the Vietnam area after the United States had left the country. Even though they were gone the U.S. was very interested in the goings-on in that arena and American Intelligence agencies were prevalent at all times. This book follows some of those events when one of the U.S. agents, Sawyer by name, goes back to Vietnam to hopefully work out a deal with the Khmer Resistance.

Sawyer’s background in the country came from his service there during the Vietnam War and then when he became a full blown Intelligence agent. His modus operandi has also always been somewhat of a loner or maverick as he appears to walk to the tune of a different drummer. Extremely intelligent and in very good physical condition he is a prime candidate to carry out the wishes of the U.S. on this assignment. He does have one slight imperfection as he lost an eye in the war and has an artificial one now. This often works in his behalf as he can go with or without an eye patch which enables him to have a bit of additional camouflage or cover as it may be.

Scorpion Winter by Andrew Kaplan

Scorpion Winter Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Following Scorpion Betrayal, the “spy for hire” Scorpion returns in Scorpion Winter. The basic plot is this- Scorpion is spooked when he is contacted directly by a Ukrainian businessman instead of through normal channels. However Scorpion agrees to take the job, since the businessman wants Scorpion to intervene and prevent an assassination of a Ukrainian presidential candidate which would most likely cause a war between Russia and the Ukraine and could quite easily have global ramifications.

Set against the all too real troubled 2010 Ukraine election, Kaplan spins a fairly good thriller with the plenty of action, a very high body count and of course a beautiful woman. Scorpion is forced to work with or around as the case might be, several governmental agencies, the local police, secret police, NATO, the Ukrainian mob and of course the CIA.

Where things get a little messy with this book is that the plot is quite involved and a bit hard to follow. This is in part because of the insertion of foreign words and phrases throughout the book. While the reader pauses to figure out what is being said, the flow of the story is stalled. Also, there are many characters with foreign names so remembering who they all are is a bit of a task. Given the book is set in and around theUkraine, that makes sense, but it would have been helpful to have had a listing of the characters to refer back to while reading.

Scorpion Betrayal by Andrew Kaplan

Scorpion Betrayal Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

As Scorpion Betrayal opens, a covert meeting between a high ranking Egyptian official and an unnamed person takes place. In a mere seven pages, a fake terrorist attack is staged, the Egyptian assassinated and our unnamed man (later known as the Palestinian) is on the move leaving a bloodbath in his wake. All of this in just seven pages. That alone should give readers a fair warning as to what is to come.

The assassination has the world’s intelligence community on edge. The CIA is concerned that it is the prelude to a larger attack against the United States. The Mideast is edgy with a plethora of questions- why this man and why now and what does his killing mean is coming. But the worst thing for all of the agencies is that no one has any idea who the killer is or who he is working for.

Readers are then introduced to our man Scorpion. A former CIA agent who parted ways with the agency because lacks respect for chain of command and authority, the operative known by the code name Scorpion is called in to track the killer. The agency may not like him, but they respect his unique ability to find out the killer and his employer.