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Extended Audio Sample Shake Off, by Mischa Hiller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (134 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mischa Hiller Narrator: Fleet Cooper Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An internationally acclaimed thriller of love, espionage, and subterfuge, in which Middle East meets West with dangerous consequences.

Years of training have transformed Michel Khoury into a skilled intelligence operative. A refugee whose family was murdered by extremists, he has one mission: the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict that upended his life.

An alluring enigma, he attracts the attention of Helen, a pretty English girl who lives in the adjacent apartment. As their relationship develops, Michel is unable to tell Helen about his past—or the collection of passports and unmarked bills he’s concealed in the bathroom they share.

When Michel’s secrets turn deadly, Helen and Michel find themselves pursued through the streets of London, Berlin, and the Scottish countryside, on the run from the very people they thought they could trust.

A critically celebrated novel that “recalls the cool detachment and compelling eye for ordinary detail that characterized the early thrillers of Graham Greene” (Independent on Sunday), Shake Off is that rare breed of riveting tale—of intrigue and suspense, love and betrayal—that announces a bold new voice for our increasingly global times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ingeniously plotted and skillfully paced ... interlaces compelling human stories with political espionage. The suspense builds until the very end. Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)
  • Successfully mixes the suspense and fast pace of a spy story with a set of complex, compelling characters and unexpected situations. The Jordan Times (Jordan)
  • Gripping [and] taut ... recalls the cool detachment and compelling eye for ordinary detail that characterized the early thrillers of Graham Greene. Independent on Sunday (UK)
  • Melancholy and dreamlike, Hiller's neat upending of conventions movingly captures the realpolitik of a conflict perpetrated by the shared interests of enemies. Telegraph (UK)
  • Excellent ... A fast-moving, literate thriller. Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
  • “In its memorializing of the 1982 massacres, Hiller’s fiction joins great Arabic novels such as Love in Exile by Bahaa Taher, Egyptian winner of the inaugural ‘Arabic Booker’ prize in 2008, and Elias Khoury’s Gate of the Sun. His own strengths are understated humor and an eye for irony.”

    Guardian (London)

  • Hypnotic ... A spy thriller of the highest class. Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of The Trinity Six
  • Poignant and human. ... a unique and engaging voice ... deftly drawn ... Powerful and thought-provoking, this is a book that stays with the reader. Mr Hiller's Shake Off is hard to shake off. The Economist
  • In the best Le Carre tradition ... Hiller brings to his work not only a craftman's skill but also a compassion for his characters that proves infectious. Haaretz (Israel)
  • “Hiller tackles complex issues with sensitivity and his portrait of a traumatized survivor is also deeply affecting…Shake Off is a satisfying read and a clever thriller…More than enough proof that this British-Palestinian writer is an upcoming talent to watch.”

    Indepedent (London)

  • Shake Off is more than a straightforward spy thriller…Both poignant and human.”


  • “Beautifully written…A closing twist puts an entirely new perspective on Michel’s life, beliefs, and loyalties. Literary fiction fans will appreciate the sensitive, realistic portrayal of Michel and Helen’s love affair.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “An arrestingly low-key espionage novel, as much about human longing as derring-do. There is more than enough tradecraft, suspense, and double-dealing to satisfy a wide range of espionage aficionados.”


  • “Moving from Lebanon to Cyprus to Berlin to Moscow and then to London, a city that Hiller knows and makes central to the story, the author writes believably of the world of undercover spies, both about the practicalities—picking locks, coding messages, using false identities—and the atmosphere of constant paranoia, continual double-dealing, and amorality. An entertainingly complex, quick-moving psychological thriller.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Parvathy | 1/28/2014

    " An espionage thriller with the Palestinian conflict as background. Very Le Carre in mould. Except that Hiller's plot tends to tackiness, and the climax is a terrible let-down. But is an interesting read, if only for the rarity of reading any form of British fiction from a Palestinian POV. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Patrick Schultheis | 1/27/2014

    " A fine follow up to Sabra Zoo. The main character is a survivor of the Sabra massacre who is recruited to help the Palestinian fight for freedom. This book has a great plot, solid (if not compelling) characters and is well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica Howard | 1/11/2014

    " Good! (To be reviewed for Shelf Awareness soon) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bhaskara Marthi | 1/9/2014

    " Great example of the genre, following in the footsteps of John Le Carre and Graham Greene. "

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