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by Ted Allbeury

"Allbeury, like le Carré, is a master of the genre, and this novel represents some of his best work." — Booklist"A flawlessly structured plot." — Publishers Weekly"Uncannily predicted the rise of Donald Trump." — Slate.comIt's 1980 and the Cold War continues to rage. Seemingly out of nowhere, wealthy businessman Logan Powell has become President-elect and is only weeks away from assuming the most powerful position in the world on the twentieth day of January. Across the Atlantic, veteran British intelligence agent James MacKay uncovers shocking evidence that suggests something might be terribly wrong with the election. With the help of a reluctant CIA, MacKay sets out on a dangerous and daring mission to discover if the unthinkable has occurred: is President-elect Powell actually a puppet of the Soviet Union?Written by the bestselling author of The Crossing and Pay Any Price, this remarkably plausible thriller offers a heady mix of political intrigue and intense suspense — with the very future of America and the free world hanging in the balance."Allbeury's novels have won a reputation not only for verisimilitude but for crisp, economical narration and high drama … there's no better craftsman." — Chicago Sun-Times"A most knowledgeable chronicler of espionage." — The New York Times Book Review"When I say Ted Allbeury knows where the bodies are buried I mean it literally. Truly a classic writer of espionage fiction." — Len Deighton, author of The Ipcress File

Download The Twentieth Day of January epub
ISBN: 0586210059
ISBN13: 978-0586210055
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Ted Allbeury
Publisher: Grafton (August 11, 1989)
ePUB size: 1656 kb
FB2 size: 1702 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 991
Other Formats: mbr doc azw txt

The book was recommended by a friend, but I was leery abut the premise. My mistake, this is a good read! With only a few weeks to go,before the Inauguration of the fictitious US President Elect, time is of the essence to prove or disprove his Russian connection. Information has come to the attention of the powers that be, that the President Elect may actually be a Soviet puppet!
The story is a fast paced, action adventure which keeps you turning the pages as fast as you can! If you love espionage and adventure, this is the book for you!
A businessman turned politician wins the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He defeats his Democratic challenger and looks set to go into the White House, preaching policies favorable to Russia. Yet a British intelligence operative uncovers proof linking the campaign to the Russians, forcing an investigation that eventually leads not just to major campaign officials but to the President-Elect himself.

One might be forgiven for thinking about the 2016 election and the ongoing investigation that it's spawned. Yet it's equally applicable to a novel written and published more than thirty-five years before the most contentious Presidential election in recent American history. Written by the late best-selling author Ted Allbeury, The Twentieth Day Of January is an intriguing blast from the past from the Cold War era.

It's worth remembering that the novel was first published in 1980, firmly putting it into the Cold War era when the Watergate scandal that toppled the presidency of Richard Nixon was still fresh in readers' minds. The novel follows two spies, the British agent John MacKay and CIA agent Peter Nolan, on a journey that starts not long after the election of John Logan, an unlikely Presidential candidate. It is MacKay who sets the ball rolling and from there, the novel never really sets down as the pair work their way through the history of Logan's brief political career, his chief of staff, and a trail that leads across the United States and back to Europe.

There isn't much in terms of shoot 'em up action in the novel. Instead, Allbeury relies upon a formula similar to that John le Carré used in his masterpiece Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Nolan and MacKay work their way through people and evidence from the past and present, uncovering individuals who hold pieces of the puzzle. What Allbeury does differently here is that he also shows us parts of the Russian side of the equation as well, showing some of their efforts to thwart the CIA's investigation.

Allbeury isn't le Carré, it must be said, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing either. The novel lacks the more cerebral edge of le Carré or indeed some of the moral ambiguities to the world of intelligence work. There's a more streamlined style to his prose, often relying heavily on dialogue to move the plot along which can lead to what feels like pages at a time of nothing but short sentences. There's also a slightly more stable image to his spooks with Nolan having both what seems to be a steady home life while also being the sort of man that multiple women in the novel all but throw themselves at. The latter is something which helps to date the novel but all things considered, The Twentieth Day Of January holds up better than many works of its age.

Indeed, the reason it has gone back into print is due to its plot. Allbeury lays out a convincing set of events that would allow Logan to fall under Soviet sway thanks to his campaign team and the dealings of one member in particular. It's hard not to find pre-echoes of events well into the future after the Cold War ended, even down to a new First Family not living together. The novel also looks at the potential fallout from such a revelation to the public, its effect not just on the American public but the very psyche of the country and the democratic West in general. One might wonder what Allbeury makes of recent events but that would be impossible to know since he passed away in 2005, but it's hard to believe he saw so much of what might happen so clearly.

For those who are fans of the spy genre and political thrillers, The Twentieth Day Of January makes for interesting reading. Even though it's a Cold War thriller rather than something "ripped from the headlines," the novel is an interesting and quick read though not a classic of its genre. Perhaps more than anything else, with more than three decades of hindsight behind it, it's a cautionary tale that has perhaps caught up with us.
This book was published around 1980. Although it's fiction it has a similar story to our own election in 2016. The Russians sway an election to get their preferred candidate into the White House. The book does have more intrigue plus a bunch of KGB assassins knocking off the good guys than our own election but there are also quite a few similarities that made me wonder if Putin read this before he settled on Trump to be his close friend in Washington.
This sounds like this recent election. Great story, well written and captures you from the start .. makes you think that all this could be true
This thrilling yet prescient novel from decades ago has erie echoes of today.

US intelligence agencies learn of plans engineered by Russians to get their man installed as president of the United States. It isn't that the man, Logan Powell, knows that he is to be their puppet, but that he is malleable to their will. They make sure that he is put into the right situations at the right times so that he ultimatelly is elected to the US Presidency.

The group of men behind this plot note that even if they fail, the concept of creating a puppet US President will remain valid for the next time.
This novel, written in the 1980s, has become "timely" again with all the curiosity about our current president's links to the Russians. It's an interesting tale that must have seemed really farfetched when written, but now is a good quick read and not much more. It's quirky to find Allbeury's American characters dialoguing in British English.
Well written spy novel that almost predicts the Trump campaign and how he became president.

Several sections gave me a "politician" becomes president with a whole lot of help from foreign bad guys.
Wow! This book, written 37 years ago, is being lived today! As I read the book I had to keep going back to the "copyright" page - just to make sure it was actually written in 1980 and not 2017.