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The Vault

Audible Original
Written by: Mark Dawson
Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

West Berlin, 1986. 

The Cold War has not yet thawed, political tensions inspire bloody retribution and trust is a rare commodity - even amongst allies.  

Harry Mackintosh is the head of MI6’s Berlin Station. When four of his best field agents are murdered by the Stasi during a failed defection operation, he has no choice but to respond. East German intelligence has become increasingly ruthless. MI6 has been overrun. Mackintosh knows that he won’t be able to fight back, unless he’s provided with a new kind of operative.  

London.  

Belfast-born Jimmy Walker is a career criminal, desperate to leave the world of organised crime behind. He’s made just enough money to think about going straight. He wants to be a family man. He wants to stay alive for his wife and son. He wants to be the man they deserve.  

He reluctantly agrees to one final job with the intention that it will be his last.  

Little does Jimmy know that he’s been set-up. The sins of his past are about to catch up with him.  

Framed, arrested and imprisoned, Jimmy is about to become a pawn in the politics, corruption and underground conflicts of Europe. Mackintosh appears in Jimmy’s Scotland Yard cell and makes him an offer. Go to Berlin to serve Queen and Country and he will be pardoned. The alternative? A life behind bars. Jimmy has no choice but to accept. He infiltrates East Berlin and, operating under cover as an arms buyer for the IRA, he works his way to the heart of the Stasi machine until he locates the defector. But all is not as it seems. Mackintosh has an ulterior motive. So does Jimmy. Neither man can trust the other and, as their objectives clash, it looks as if only one of them is going to get out alive. 

Set in divided Berlin at a pivotal moment in history, and soaked in '80s nostalgia, The Vault is a thrilling adventure set in Mark Dawson’s million-selling Group Fifteen world.    

Featuring: Atilla Akinci, Laila Alj Philip Arditti, Kieran Brown, Ben Cartwright, Stephen Critchlow, Vera Filatova, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Gerran Howell, David Menkin, Colin Morgan, Harry Myers, Erich Redman, Mac Keith Roach, Lizzie-Aaryn Stanton and David Thorpe.

©2018 Mark Dawson (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-01

It grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go!

I only got a few minutes into this audiobook before I was hooked. This story is intriguing and unpredictable, reminding me a bit of “The Man from UNCLE” in that two very different characters form an unlikely partnership (founded on blackmail) to carry out a seemingly impossible mission. Although they work together, neither character really trusts the other. I spent the entire audiobook on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next! There were a few plot twists towards the end that I didn’t see coming. 🙂
Great performances by all of the actors! As a frequent audiobook listener, I sometimes find audiobooks in which at least one performance is either dull/monotone or overly dramatic in a way that distracts from the storyline. In this audiobook, however, I enjoyed all of the performances! It was an interesting change to have the characters themselves narrating their thoughts instead of having the narrator tell all of those thoughts in third person. I think that this technique kept me more engaged and less reminded of the fact that the story is “not real life.” In summary, I enjoyed this audiobook and hope to find more like it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Trudy Owens
  • 2020-01-17

at least there's narration

The problem with these cast-of-thousands productions is you cannot tell who is speaking. And with the sound effects, you can't tell who is walking, who is knocking, who is sitting. It's like watching a movie but with the screen blacked out. All you get is the audio and no clues as to what is going on. This book is a little better than some because we have the wonderful David Thorpe narrating, which does fill in some of the questions. I listened for less than half an hour but there's no Milton, so that's a drag.

However, there are many people who seem to like this type of program, so maybe it will work for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Y
  • 2019-11-02

Compelling Audio Style

Well done perfectly cast production. Three methods of performance that flow together seamlessly: straight narration to provide background and setting, character dialogue in current setting, and selected character monologue of inner thoughts and struggles of conscience providing description and ambience. And my favorite audio performer, Colin Morgan, who does not disappoint. So there's that. Also my first introduction to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I'll be seeking out more of his work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zanoni Daniele
  • 2020-05-12

Compelling

Nice story, excellent narration, interesting characters. The story is placed in the end of the eighties, just before the fall of Berlin's wall and involves Northern Ireland, England, West and East Germany. Colin Morgan is again awesome in the way he reads his character.

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  • Carol A. Pelosi
  • 2020-03-31

Great Ensemble

Having lived through the fall of the Berlin Wall this was an interesting take on what might have been happening behind the headlines. Cast was uniformly good, but standout is Colin Morgan as Jimmy.

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  • ZUrlocker
  • 2020-02-09

Decent story, terrible adaptation

Unfortunately, this is a decent book spoiled by an awful adaptation. I am fine with a cast performance, or a radio style dramatization. The BBC does this spectacularly well. Unfortunately, this one falls into no man's land. Dawson's writing on his own is quite good. This is an obvious homage to Le Carre's works such as Smiley's People. It's not quite up to the same standard, the plot is a bit thin, the build-up weak. But the writing is still enjoyable. The cast is good when they aren't choking on lines that aren't in the original book. Unfortunately they are too frequently speaking a redundant narrative directly to the reader along the lines of: "Boy, I sure am worried about (the Nazis / this tunnel / my family / getting home) or whatever." You are better off with the ebook version. Or some other adaptation.

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  • beng caturay
  • 2019-12-22

came alive

The background music , sound effects and multiple narrator truly brought out the story...much like watching a movie.....better than a movie!




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  • Todd
  • 2019-12-01

Captivated

I was eager to listen to this book having read the description. I am a lover of Dawson’s books, all the series - and this one doesn’t disappoint!!! Outstanding presentation! I couldn’t stop.... the casting was fantastic and the added reading by Mark the author also fit wonderfully. Plus the story - regarding the early early days of Group 15, or the formation of, really gripping! I LOVED it!!!!