Stonefish and the Salamander by Sly

Two enemies join forces to try to find a missing American philanthropist, but it seems the US army doesn't want them to succeed.

Notorious Australian assassin, Stonefish, and his elite squad of ex-military officers discover that their best client is missing. He is American billionaire, Saul Madison, a man not afraid of breaking laws to fix the world's problems.

The only way Stonefish can hope to locate Madison is by co-operating with his own deadliest enemy: Hiram Vanderlay, the top US civil servant who nearly destroyed his entire team. Vanderlay agrees to help because of the thousands of lives Madison's philanthropy has saved in the past and might save in the future.

These strange allies turn out to have even stranger opponents, including the US army as well as foreign terrorists. Someone who wields considerable power in America doesn't want Madison found, and Stonefish's squad rapidly becomes ensnared in a suicide mission.

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Complete; Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Aug. 20, 2012
  • Last updated Jan. 2, 2015
Stonefish and the Salamander
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  • 67 comments
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  • Kali N's avatar
    Kali N wrote 7 months, 3 weeks ago
    I have to say that this is way outside my normal genre of reading, and I haven't looked at the first one in the series, but I really enjoyed the first chapter. Tense, edgy, lots of action, 'exotic locales', some wry humour, and it sets up the main characters and foreshadowing. The prologue was intriguing and hooked me in immediately, torture and then discovery of the dead bodies of the hostage and their team mate. Powerful. nitpick - sp. medevac ...
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  • KJD's avatar
    KJD wrote 7 months, 4 weeks ago

    Hi Sly,
    Finally figured out how to download books to my Kindle. Yeah, I know, what took me so long? I'm old - go figure.

    Anyhoo - started reading again and remembered why I backed the book in the first place. I'll finish reading this time and comment regularly.

    There are so few books of real class on this site, I'm not letting SatS get past me again.

    Cheers,
    KJD.

  • Roman N Marek's avatar
    Roman N Marek wrote 8 months, 1 week ago
    Hi Sly, I remember hugely enjoying Stonefish when it was first on here about 4 years ago, so I was looking forward to reading this sequel. And I wasn’t at all disappointed. It starts with a truly gut-wrenching episode. It then continues with great action and slick story-telling. You really know how to grip the reader from the off, and then hold him/her throughout. The whole thing is laced with lovely flashes of humour and witty turns of phrase – ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • A.Paine's avatar
    A.Paine wrote 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Really really enjoyed this. Not my usual genre, but the quality of writing is such that i was hooked. it just seems so competent, and so sure of itself, the sign of an experienced writer. You certainly know your genre. "Inside, in his plush office, he carries out his duties, scratching some backs and stabbing others. Politically, he's unassailable." this is an example that shows the writing. Its just very crisp and easy to read. In terms of plot, It ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Angela J Elliott's avatar
    Angela J Elliott wrote 11 months ago
    First prologue I’ve read here that works. Quick and to the point. Quick change from third to first person but it loses nothing. Nice punchy writing, got into it straight away. There’s a touch of the Expendables to it. I’d buy this read this all the way to the end. My only cause for concern is whether you actually need to go into first person for Stonefish. It can still be his POV in third person. Otherwise, neat writing, plotting ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Retired user
    A.E.Kirton wrote 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    Another good Stonefish story I've finished the first two chapters and looking forward to what the rest of the extract reveals.

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Marina Freedman's avatar
    Marina Freedman wrote 1 year ago
    Hi Sly Return read/review comments I’ll put the disclaimer in just in case, although you know it already – this is just my opinion take what you think is worthwhile and ignore the rest as my ramblings. I am not a technical writer, I generally follow my instinct on what works and what doesn’t, so these comments are based on that. Overall - I’ve read the first 5 chapters (ie what you have posted). Overall I really liked what I ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Mellish's avatar
    Mellish wrote 1 year ago
    Prologue and Chap1 Overall assessment – it’s good. Kept me reading and interested. Your knowledge of military hardware and tactics was impressive, and I liked the team. The main character voice was interesting and you could take it even further – maybe you do later – by giving even more background on him - in addition to his mother. I liked Chap1 more than the prologue – which felt rushed and overall wasn’t very interesting even if very dramatic! Chap1 ...
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  • digsblues's avatar
    digsblues wrote 1 year ago

    This one is really keeping my interest, though it's not usually my genre. I love the phrase "an endless supply of self-disposing hotheads." So true.

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • KJD's avatar
    KJD wrote 1 year ago

    Hi Sly,

    Who the hell would give this excellent book a 1-star rating! There are at least three trolls out there who wouldn't know a well written book from a Mills & Boon boddice-ripper.

    I've only read the first three chapters of STONEFISH AND THE SALAMANDER so far, but it deserves full stars and the place on my bookshelf.

    Shame on you trolls - shame I say!

    Cheers,
    KJD

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • P Clifford Mills's avatar
    P Clifford Mills wrote 1 year, 1 month ago
    "Stonefish and the Salamander" by Sly Very professionally and competently written. You have a great grasp of the elements of fiction. The attention-grabbing prologue leaves two people dead, but seems unconnected to the early part of the plot. We discussed prologues. On your advice, I looked at one of Lee Child's, which I thought was a real teaser that led in well to the story. Sometimes your characters veer close to stereotype, though I'm not sure if too close. We ...
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  • Wiglaf's avatar
    Wiglaf wrote 1 year, 2 months ago

    The prologue's tense, fast-paced and hooks you right in. The rest carries on just the same; it reads like a Jack Reacher thriller, and your style matches the genre very well. I'm afraid I can't really find any flaws to highlight.

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • troy1174's avatar
    troy1174 wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    I like these genre of books, a lot. I haven't read the first Stonefish novel, though after reading the first chapter of this, I don't think that's relevant. The first chapter sets up the team and its goals really well. As mentioned by someone else earlier,KJD, there was no need for gore or violence at the end, the call said it all. Just one minor quibble, as i'm not sure if it was me or not, however there was one ...
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  • digsblues's avatar
    digsblues wrote 1 year, 2 months ago

    I seem to be following KJD around. He and I have similar tastes in writing. I read the first 2 chapters and will read the rest. On my W/L and high stars.

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • KJD's avatar
    KJD wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    Loved the Prologue, really pulled me in to the story and loved the writing style, which is tight and intense. Could do with a couple more attributions to the dialogue. There's loads to admire here and the story moves along at a cracking pace. "A scream tore the silence..." Excellent. I love the name Stonefish and the change of POV to first person, brings us right into the story. "Neither patience nor optimism..." tells us plenty about the narrator. "... ...
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  • CilWes's avatar
    CilWes wrote 1 year, 2 months ago

    This just gets better and better. Don't change a thing :)

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Damon Stentz's avatar
    Damon Stentz wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    Good writing, good action. The prologue could be fleshed out a bit more, because it doesn't show a whole lot. Add some more tags in the dialogue of the prologue, too, because it gets confusing in some places as to who's talking. But after that it goes very well. I like this type of high-action, movie-like writing, and I try to do the same with my writing. You should check out my two books, "The Kraken Slayer" and "The Kraken ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • CilWes's avatar
    CilWes wrote 1 year, 2 months ago

    A well-written and intense thriller. Well set out and the characters are described so they are easy to remember. I am really enjoying reading this. It is the genre of book i enjoy and i hope to eventually read the whole book. In the meantime i will keep reading.
    Good luck
    Priscilla

    This comment refers to an earlier revision

  • Sheena Macleod's avatar
    Sheena Macleod wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    Stonefish and the Salamander by Sly Return read. Genre- Thriller I enjoy the thriller genre, and am interested in the pitches. Stonefish is an assassin with his own band of men. A good first line, raising questions. The prologue was well written, very visceral. The stench, sounds and emotions are well presented. The time span moves forward six months, to chapter one. I like the tension of Ricky under the water, will he succeed in his mission? Ricky survives and ...
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  • Chris 1's avatar
    Chris 1 wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    I think this is an intelligently written thriller and displays a good knowledge of geo-politics, 'black ops', the workings of the 'powers that be'. Against this background are your characters strolling assuredly across the stage imprinting their personalities on my imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this - the first two chapters. My only complaint would be that the chapters - for a fast moving thriller - are too long. Chapter One (or the 'Prologue' - surely they can't be both?) ...
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    This comment refers to an earlier revision