True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers #1)by Published 01 Apr 2018
|True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg hits the ground running in a breakneck thriller where truth and fiction collide for the unluckiest writer alive.
When a passenger jet crashes onto the beaches of Waikiki, bestselling thriller writer Ian Ludlow knows the horrific tragedy wasn't an accident.
Years before, the CIA enlisted Ian to dream up terrorism scenarios to prepare the government for nightmares they couldn't imagine. Now one of those schemes has come true, and Ian is the only person alive who knows how it was done...and who is behind the plot. That makes him too dangerous to live.
Ian goes on the run, sweeping up an innocent bystander in his plight--Margo French, a dog walker and aspiring singer. They are pursued by assassins and an all-seeing global-intelligence network that won't stop until Ian and Margo are dead. Ian has written thrillers like this before, but this time he doesn't know how it's going to end--or if he will be alive to find out.
"True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers #1)" Reviews
Lee Goldberg is a very funny guy. He's also a prolific writer with something on the order of five dozen books to his credit, along with a host of television shows for which he has written scripts, and he's brought all of that experience to bear on his newest book, True Fiction, which is a terrific read.
The protagonist, Ian Ludlow, is, like Goldberg, a very successful writer. Ludlow has build a career around a series of novels featuring Clint Straker, an action hero in the mold of Jack Reacher or James Bond. Clint is an incredibly handsome, tough guy who thinks quickly on his feet and who has multiple ways of disposing of the villains who challenge him, no matter how great their numbers. And as scores of women can attest, he's also fantastic in bed.
Ludlow is nothing like his hero at all. He's an insecure schlub who exists largely on junk food and who hasn't had a meaningful relationship with a woman in ages. He's terribly out of shape and couldn't fight his way out of the proverbial wet paper bag. (He's obviously unlike his creator in this respect in that, as anyone can tell from his author photo, Mr. Goldberg is something of an international sex symbol.)
As the book opens, Ludlow is having trouble getting traction on his new book when someone remotely takes control of a passenger plane and crashes it into a hotel on Waikiki Beach. Watching the news, Ludlow is horrified because several years earlier, in an effort to stay a step ahead of the terrorist threat to America, the CIA had gathered together a group of thriller writers and asked them to dream up scenarios that bad guys might use to attack the U.S. Ludlow recognizes this plan as his very own and then discovers that all of the other writers who were at the meeting have had fatal "accidents" within the last few months.
A few weeks ago, Ludlow himself narrowly escaped death when his house blew up. Investigators determined that the explosion was an accident, but Ludlow suddenly realizes that it was no accident at all. Out of nowhere, he's been catapulted into a scenario straight out of one of his own novels.
When the realization hits him, Ludlow is in Seattle on a book tour, accompanied by a feisty young dog sitter named Margo who doubles as a book tour escort. Ludlow and Margo must go on the run in a desperate effort to stay one step ahead of the villains who are in hot pursuit and who are using every modern technological tool to track them down and kill them. Defeating these guys would all be in a day's work for Clint Straker, but sadly, Ian Ludlow is no Clint Straker--or is he? If he and Margo are going to survive, Ludlow will have to dig deep and plot a new scenario in which a thriller writer, rather than his superhero, can rise and save the day.
This is a hugely entertaining romp and a fairly quick read. The book is laugh-out-loud funny and is a great sendup of the thriller genre. Given his experience in television, Goldberg knows how to strip a scene down to its essence and how to keep the action moving at a breakneck pace. Ludlow and Margo are very appealing characters and I loved spending an evening in their company. I'm already looking forward to the second installment in this series.
“True Fiction” was my introduction to author Lee Goldberg. I had never read any of his previous books (nor seen any of the television shows he had written), so I had no idea what to expect.
My first reaction was that this book was an over-the-top, totally unbelievable story written by a new author (hadn’t yet seen Mr. Goldberg’s extensive bio) who had spent way too much time searching the Internet for conspiracy stories. As I continued to read, it dawned on me that the author had penned an incredible story, a believable tale that sometime bordered on farce with a plot woven so tightly that I could do nothing but sit back and admire Mr. Goldberg’s balancing act. The result is an adventure/thriller mix with twists and thrills that propel you from one chapter to the next.
While the plot is a five-star element, the characters are just as interesting. Successful author Ian Ludlow is likeable (and Mr. Goldberg’s excerpts of Ludlow’s writing – which demonstrate that Ludlow is a bit of a hack writer – are some of the most hilarious pieces of the book). Sidekicks Margo and Ronnie are active members of the story, providing much more than simple window dressing. While all the indications of a multi-book series are present, the book comes to a distinct and satisfying end.
Bottom line: “True Fiction” is a conglomeration of spy thriller conspiracy and tongue-in-cheek imagination blended into a tightly written story that races from page to page. Mr. Goldberg pokes fun at both the publishing and movie/television industries and pulls it off with a “Who? Me?” innocence that only adds to the book’s charm. Highly recommended. Five stars.
In a uniquely original plot premise Will Cross, the head of a major security company poses as a CIA chief looking for imaginative potential 9/11-type terrorist attacks from a small group of thriller writers in the interest of being proactive in defense of the homeland. Ian Ludlow, a successful screenwriter and thriller author suggests a "what if" scenario; terrorists hack the automatic pilot of a jetliner and crash it. Ian quickly forgets the meeting until three years later when a jetliner crashes on takeoff from the Honolulu airport and the other participants in the meeting all recently died of suspicious natural causes. On a book tour, Ian and his publishers escort Margo, run for their lives leading to Ian's realization that in order to survive, he must start thinking about what the Jason Bourne-like character he created for his current thriller series would do in his shoes!
Not only an enjoyably smart thriller from the standpoint of plot development but the characters are engagingly witty while running for their lives from what they think is the real CIA with electronic surveillance, black helicopters, drones with hellfire missiles, assassination teams, and a fully functional war room all aimed squarely at Ian and Margo. The good news is it's book #1 in a new series!
The idea of this novel is fantastic and what I thought would be a different, but similar, book for #CJSReads. What I got was something completely different than I had anticipated.
I am sincerely baffled on how I feel about this book. Is it satirical? Author Ian Ludlow's writing terrorism scenarios for the CIA start coming true. At least, he thought they were CIA. Ok, let me back pedal a little bit... I know authors do a lot of research for their writing, but this doesn't make them an expert, right? But I was intrigued that the CIA would find an author's point of view one they would take heed with for any potential terrorism that may happen. AHEM. (CIA or not, uh, what?) But, putting plausibility aside, I was highly entertained and very amused. The read is fast, the plot is paced decently (though it does slow down towards the end a bit).
What made me scratch my head a bit was the excerpts from his book thrown in and some gratuitous sex scenes that just kinda came out of nowhere. It may very well have to do with the fact that I just was reading a book that went even further with unnecessary sexual innuendos and scenes that made no sense that the scenes in this book just made that more of an impact. I really don't know. At least all the women had big boobs - even the blow up doll! HA!
As something satirical, I can honestly say that this is entertaining - really just put aside what you might have actually been expecting and go with it. If you do that, this book is a lot of fun. I don't think it quite worked for me.
Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and Amazon Publishing for this copy in return for my honest review.
Action packed and hilarious. This line says it all, “The books were about Michael Sang, an ex-priest turned assassin and restaurateur, who was an expert in all the martial, erotic, and culinary arts.” Don’t miss this witty, tongue in cheek page-turner.