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Ward Larsen

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Ward Larsen was “born and raised in South Florida. Larsen graduated from the University of Central Florida. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served seven years as a pilot in the 95th and 75th Fighter Squadrons. Ward traveled widely across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, and flew 22 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. During his time in the Air Force, Larsen received two Air Medals, was trained in aircraft accident investigation, and attended USAF survival training where he learned, among other things, which snakes can be eaten, and how to resist “interrogation under hostile conditions.”  Ward Larsen’s military qualifications and positions include Expert Qualification in Small Arms Marksmanship, Four-ship Flight Lead, Instructor Pilot, Maintenance Test Pilot, and Flight Commander. Ward Larsen is the author of Stealing Trinity and The Perfect Assassin.

According to the book description of Stealing Trinity, “When the balance of world power is at stake, the fight for control could be explosive.  In the last days of WWII, the Third Reich makes a desperate grab to retrieve its most valuable asset, Die Wespe, a spy buried deep in the Manhattan Project. The man chosen for this mission is Alexander Braun---American born, Harvard educated, and a ruthless killer. British Intelligence learns of the Nazi plan. Unable to convince their American counterparts of the magnitude of the threat, they dispatch Major Michael Thatcher to track down Braun.

 

The trail leads to Rhode Island, where Lydia Cole, a young heiress, has unwittingly taken Braun back into her life. Braun is forced to run, and there is one place where he must go--Los Alamos, home of the Manhattan Project. On July 16, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb is tested – code named Trinity. In the days that follow, four people – a tenacious British investigator, a determined young woman, a killer, and the spy who could compromise America’s greatest scientific endeavor – will have a fateful rendezvous, all vying for control of the secret that will shape the world.”

 

Publishers Weekly said of Stealing Trinity, “Larsen (The Perfect Assassin) links the torpedoing of the USS Indianapolis shortly after the ship delivers an atomic bomb to the island of Tinian in the South Pacific to a Nazi plot in his second thriller, set in the waning days of WWII. Maj. Michael Thatcher, a tenacious British officer whose job is to hunt down Nazi spies, is intrigued when the words Manhattan Project come up in one of his interrogations. Meanwhile, in Germany, Col. Hans Gruber knows that a sleeper spy, Die Wespe, who's been working on the atomic bomb project in Los Alamos, must be smuggled out of the U.S. with his stolen plans so that those Nazis who survive the war can rearm and continue their goal of world domination. Charged with this mission is Capt. Alexander Braun, an American fighting in the German army. Braun is clever and ruthless, but once Thatcher catches his scent, he won't rest until Braun is captured or killed. An innovative, original plot marks Larsen as an author to watch.”

 

Booklist said of Stealing Trinity, “Leaders in the Third Reich see the end coming and decide to launch a bold plan. One of their most valuable spies in the U.S. is working on a top-secret initiative called the Manhattan Project, prompting the Nazis to send their top agent, ruthless killer Alexander Braun, to reconnoiter with the spy. Born in America, Braun heads back to the States with a personal agenda: visit the woman he was forced to leave behind when he left the country. He finds himself torn between his feelings for her and his mission. Meanwhile, British intelligence learns of Braun and sends one of its best agents after him. All of their lives collide at the dawn of the atomic age. This is well-trod ground—Joseph Kanon’s Los Alamos (1997), for example—and Larsen’s characters and story line provide no real surprises. Still, for readers who can’t get enough of the Manhattan Project in fiction, this is a serviceable thriller.”

 

One reader of The Perfect Assassin said, “Ward Larsen's 1st work is great - Has all the components to please just about anyone - Spy thriller, assassins, romance, race to avoid disaster, redemption...Larsen's David Slaton reminds me a little of David Silva's Gabriel Allon - both have had personal tragedies in their lives, both are proud of their ancestry, both excellent agents. It also does, as someone referred to, remind me of a Tom Clancy work, without the details-details-details - in other words Perfect Assassin is a complete reader's dream. You will enjoy it.”


The Perfect Assassin
Ward Larsen  More Info

Stealing Trinity
Ward Larsen  More Info

According to the book description of The Perfect Assassin, “The Atlantic:  A young woman sailing solo across the Atlantic makes an incredible discovery – a man narrowly clinging to life in the open ocean.  But the desperate survivor is more than he appears.  He is a Kidon – an Israeli assassin who forcibly commandeers her boat with a new destination in mind, England.  There the two are forced into an uneasy partnership as they run from a secretive and lethal organization.  The resulting wake of destruction brings Scotland Yard to the hunt – searching for an accomplished killer and a woman whose life has be capsized.  One Shot: The Kidon soon uncovers the true enemy – a manipulator responsible for the tragic event that shaped him to be what he is.  There is only one solution.   With deliberate, inescapable precision, he will hunt down the one who created... The Perfect Assassin.”

 

Publishers Weekly said of The Perfect Assassin, “Larsen's competent debut has many of the right ingredients for a successful spy thriller: plenty of action, technical detail that would do Tom Clancy proud, and a hero with almost superhuman skills. When Christine Palmer, an American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, retrieves the almost lifeless body of David Slaton in the middle of the ocean, Slaton commandeers her small boat and demands she deliver him to England. A member of Kidon (Mossad's special assassination team), Slaton is the sole survivor of a ship that sank with a super-secret cargo-a pair of unaccounted for nuclear weapons. Double agents within Mossad want to kill Slaton before he uncovers their convoluted plot to use the weapons to undermine Israel's international support. Needless to say, they're soon after Palmer as well. What's missing is that no character, except for Palmer, has an inner life.”

 

William Phenn for Reader Views said of The Prefect Assassin, “If anyone would know about "The Perfect Assassin," Ward Larsen should. Having been a medal winning Fighter Pilot for the USAF he flew his own rendition of the perfect killing machine. So when I say this book has the technical aspects down pat, I mean it. Ward keeps the technical jargon to a minimum, but still managed to give me an insight into the type of boat or aircraft by name or model. This added a pleasant depth to the book that some authors tend to neglect.

 

From the beginning, I was drawn to the realization that this book was not going to be boring. The fast pace of events kept me glued to page after page of intrigue. Suspense, Murder, Drama, they were all here within the first few pages. Larsen didn't waste any time letting the reader know that the Heroine of the book was in for trouble. From the time she rescued the stranger from the freezing waters of the Atlantic, till the harrowing experiences in England, poor Christine is on the verge of death.

 

As I read "The Perfect Assassin," I couldn't help but think that this book would make a very good Screen Play. The action is fast paced, the scenes short and at every bend in the road, there is danger. As a book, two scene changes per chapter for twenty seven chapters was a bit much. I would have preferred the author add fifty to a hundred pages to the book, extend each scene to where I could have gotten more out of it. I no sooner began to read a scene and started to get into it, when it ends and another is presented. Larsen explains in an interview how he, "Worked a lot to cut down and simplify". I think he should put back what he cut out; it would probably make for a more pleasurable read.”

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