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This novel started slowly and the plot seemed somewhat improbable, but "Pushing Brilliance" really grabbed my interest about a quarter of the way through, and didn't let up! I greatly appreciate creativity, especially with character development, and Tim Tigner definitely has a gift in this regard. Kyle Achilles, aka "Achilles" (okay, maybe too much of an homage to Reacher), isn't the usual hero with a Special Operations Operator backstory. He IS an interesting person, and so are the main characters who are fellow heroes and villains.

The plot is also creative and fresh, and quite believable, which is a key element for my liking a novel enough to give it a five-star rating. I enjoyed "Pushing Brilliance" enough that I purchased the sequel, "The Lies of Spies" 30 seconds after finishing. (I enjoyed the sequel as much as the first book.) There's even a short prequel, "Chasing Ivan", which isn't half bad, and helps to understand why Kyle Achilles is the way he is.
24 people found this helpful
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on September 25, 2016
WOW! This was the last Tigner novel for me left unread. So I REALLY tried to drag it out for as long as possible. But if you really like a fast-paced plot, interesting techno thrillers, with a kick-ass protagonist, it is VERY HARD to not just sit down and read it in 1-2 days. Tigner's military background as a Special Forces -trained specialist well versed in Russian and Soviet counter-intelligence, and his civilian experience working in the post-Soviet Moscow with prominent multinational medical companies, and finally extensive experience working in silicon-valley as a CEO of a start-up launching new medical technologies is ALL evident in a most skilled plot with fascinatingly possible medical technologies and targeted bio-weapons. Like any good movie hero, the protagonist is bigger than life, and the "bad guys" are very evil. The personal combat series are very believable for a "not-too-old" CIA-trained biathlete. As someone who has written non-fiction medical books, I am frustrated by reviews who complain about "small print." Tigner I am confident has NOTHING to do with the selection of the cover-art nor the size of the text. I agree with thoughtful comparisons of Kyle Achilles with Brad Thor's Scot Harvath, and Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, Nelson DeMille's John Corey, and Brian Haig's Sean Drummond. Tim Tigner is "Brillyan(t)". Can't wait to see the movie. Also would really like to hear this as an AudioBook with either Dick Hill or Scott Brick.
28 people found this helpful
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on May 4, 2017
This is one never-ending, continuously suspenseful thrill ride with brief moments that allow you to catch your breath before it's unexpectedly stolen again! And it doesn't stop until the very end!! Sit down, get comfy, take a deep, relaxing breath before the first page because you might not get another before the last. Easily worth 5 stars!!! Probably more but I am still coming down from the high and calming my racing heart before I dive head first into the next in the Kyle Achilles series. :) Tim Tigner is one scary former counterterrorism specialist with either an imagination that's been starving for the action of his past work or one fertilized by those same experiences...and I don't think I want to know which it is! I'm just going to keep enjoying the benefits of his racing imagination and talented creations!
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on March 18, 2017
Just finished the book tonight. I love suspense novels with international drama. I actually enjoyed the escape and the information. But what really struck me most was at the end he thanked the reader. He explained that sticking with the book was appreciated. And the final turn surprised me. I found little suspension of belief about money and how long it takes to do some things. But I enjoyed the book and am an avid reader of all the suspense novel hero. My late husband and I always enjoyed reading a book and sharing the points we thought were interesting.

Will be going for more of his books.
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Kyle Achilles is a former Olympic biathlete and he likes to free climb. He's also got skills, other skills related to helping characters survive thrillers. And that's what writer Tim Tigner has his protagonist do throughout "Pushing Brilliance," the first in a series starring the former athlete. Achilles finds that he must do what he can to protect his brother's fiance after she suspects people are after her. Achilles has just gotten set up for the murder of his family. The cops are certain he's the guy, and Achilles has no real defense. An attorney working on his behalf can find no way to refute the iron-clad evidence against him. But Achilles isn't without resources. In fact, he doesn't worry much about the details when he decides to break out and figure out for himself what's going on. Amazon's pop-up adds said if I like Lee Child's Jack Reacher, I'd love Tim Tigner's Kyle Achilles. And I do love nothing better than consuming Child's latest novel, slowly to savor every description, every detail he includes in the narrative. Tigner is no Child. He's a pro, certainly. But he's his own guy. Achilles is a different kind of hero, one who when pressed to get into a building, decides to scale the outside despite a cold persistent wind. That stuck in my head for some reason. I could relate even though there is no way I'd do that. Achilles is more refined. He has a different toolbox than Reacher but no less defined. This book keeps going. Sometimes it gets a little intense. But it's timely, and it centers on a product created by the Russians that enhances mental acuity significantly. The drug isn't exactly what it appears and it drags with it a lot of baggage, most of it all bad. Achilles and his sidekick Katya find a way to resolve what threatens to eliminate them and endanger thousands.
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on August 1, 2016
In this second Achilles book, former Olympic biathlete and retired CIA operative Kyle Achilles has just returned from a year of free-climbing the peaks to attend his father's retirement as an entrepreneurial physician and a family reunion with his mother, brother Colin and Colin's fiancée, Katya. The morning after the party, Achilles is awakened to the news that his entire family has died. Katya is the only survivor and Achilles is a suspect in their deaths. Achilles is on his own to solve the crime before he can be tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

With Katya also under suspicion and by his side, the action swings back and forth between California and Moscow. Achilles uncovers an international pharmaceutical conspiracy that extends into the highest government levels of two superpowers. This story includes cutting-edge technology, edge-of-your-seat suspense and a growing bond between Achilles and Katya forged by their mutual grief and determination to find justice for those they lost.

Tim Tigner has combined an ingenious plot with a hero coming into his own as a force to be reckoned with. I could not put this book down and look forward to more adventures with Achilles. Well done!
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on November 26, 2017
Simply put, if you are a fan of bigger-than-life action/thriller heroes, Pushing Brilliance is for you. The book introduces Kyle Achilles, who unlike his namesake, appears to have no heel. Working with the beautiful, Russian mathematician Katya Kozara, they fight assassins out to kill them for reasons they can’t begin to guess.

Action is clearly the strong suit of this book. It starts early and seldom slackens. And each time you believe Tigner is about to wrap up this tale, our protagonists meet another challenge. Relaxation only comes when you finish reading. One doesn’t necessarily expect a great deal of character development in a thriller, and this book fits that mold. We get a glimpse of Achilles and Katya, but nothing in depth. Both are stereotypes, although Katya seems well beyond the norm on nerdiness. Do mathematicians really run their lives by calculating probabilities? Additionally, thrillers often struggle with the romantic connection between the leads – usually they just jump into bed. Tigner, in my opinion, handles this aspect of the story better than most.

While I like the bigger-than-life heroes on occasion, they can get old. There are just so many Olympic bronze medalists, turned CIA operative, turned competitive rock climber, turned invincible hero I can take (yes, that’s Achilles’ resume). Additionally, there was too much dialog on tactics and strategy with Achilles being the teacher and Katya playing the role of the ready-to-risk-her-life student. And some of the tactical insights seemed little more than common sense, although Katya was still in awe. Finally, there was a question if the target of this crime (I’ll leave that vague to avoid a spoiler) would really be as gullible as they are portrayed. Human nature became a bit warped in places.

But overall, for an action-packed ride filled with gun battles, plotting and counter-plotting, and a bit of technology and romance, Pushing Brilliance is tough to beat.
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on September 10, 2016
It is not difficult to write glowing remarks after reading this book. I wrote "you have got to read this book" after reading "Flash." I could write that again as the title to these words of praise for "Pushing Brilliance." About half way through the book (which didn't take long) I understood the weird title. Awesome scenarios throughout, a page turner, hard to put down, etc. If you have not read one to Tim's books, you need to start with Betrayal, then Coercion, the Flash and on to Pushing Brilliance. Amazing content and excitement throughout. Best books since Vince Flynn and a host of other action/suspense/thriller authors. You rock Tim!
4 people found this helpful
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on August 16, 2016
This is an incredibly explosive book from the first to last page! Kyle Achilles is accused of murdering his family. He's sent to jail, but he manages to break out to clear his name and find the guilty parties .. A bio weapon is in place to kill POTUS. I don't won't to spoil the book with telling you what happens... but if you like Lee Childs Jack Reacher books... you will salivate reading this!!! A stupendous read!!
12 people found this helpful
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on November 24, 2017
Nice plot with constant tension throughout. No long and laborious chapters. Things move, at just the right speed. You'll never find yourself getting bored. The characters are smart, and believable. The plot has been well thought out, and you can tell a lot of effort has gone into it. The hero is someone you can admire, with plenty of discipline - not someone that disappoints with immaturity or serious character flaws. The author does a great job of telling a story without annoying profanity, or gratuitous sex scenes. Basically, this is a story where you are caught up in the plot, trying to figure it out, and not left wondering why they writer has to resort to cheap tricks to keep your interest. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of the series. Excellent job, Mr. Tigner!
8 people found this helpful
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