The Chicago Sun-Times: “Nonstop action, thrills, and more escapes than Houdini in his lifetime.”

The Newark Star-Ledger: “Roadrunner meets Columbo.”

"It takes a huge talent to blow dust from the corners of today's comfortable thriller genre. Keith Thomson has that talent, in spades."—Lincoln Child

The Calgary Sun: “It's hard to make a spy novel both funny and suspenseful, but Keith Thomson manages to pull it off…A great read.”

The Globe and Mail: “It takes a lot to engage me in a spy novel. I want smarts, thrills and some realism in the spycraft. My icons are writers like John le Carré and Len Deighton, and not too many spymasters can hit those peaks. Once A Spy, a debut novel by Keith Thomson, gets close. This tale of a doddering old spy and his slightly addled son has plenty of twists and turns, and you’ll find it very difficult to put aside.”—Margaret Cannon

“With great characters, nonstop action, and dark humor, all told in a fresh, energetic voice, Keith Thomson's Once A Spy is the most appealing debut thriller I've read in years.” —Chuck Hogan


Publishers Weekly:Huffington Post columnist Thomson’s wildly original debut, a darkly satirical thriller, features an unlikely, if endearing, father-son spy duo: retired appliance salesman Drummond Clark, who at age 64 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and Charlie Clark, a down-on-his-luck gambler who owes $23,000 to Russian loan sharks. Soon after Charlie rescues Drummond from the Brooklyn streets, where he’d been wandering, the older man’s house blows up and the two barely escape with their lives. Clark and son begin an adrenaline-fueled cross-country flight in which they must evade ruthless CIA assassins long enough to understand why they’re being targeted. During rare moments of lucidity, Drummond hotwires a car and effortlessly kills multiple assailants, suggesting to Charlie he was once much more than just a washing machine salesman. Poignant themes of love and redemption underpin an action-packed story line that includes exotic locales, high-tech gadgetry, and international intrigue.”

Crimespree Magazine: “…As a reader, I am a hard sell on the spy thriller, but Keith Thomson is a top-notch salesman and I walked away a happy customer.…”  [full review]

The Birmingham News: "An engaging tale of father-and-son redemption wrapped up in a pedal-to-metal thriller that's told with much humor and great enthusiasm, Thomson's Once a Spy gives the tried-and-true secret-agent suspense a fresh twist…” [read the whole story]

Kirkus Reviews: Thomson’s sharp humor, swift pacing and surprising twists are refreshing antidotes to the sober, overcooked, underwritten thrillers crowding the market.”