Quick Review: HOUR OF THE ASSASSIN by Matthew Quirk (William Morrow)

QuirkM-HourOfTheAssassinUSA very fast-paced, political conspiracy thriller

Framed and on the run for his life, a former Secret Service agent discovers how far some men will go to grasp the highest office in the land…

As a Secret Service agent, Nick Averose spent a decade protecting the most powerful men and women in America and developed a unique gift: the ability to think like an assassin. Now, he uses that skill in a little-known but crucial job. As a “red teamer,” he poses as a threat, testing the security around our highest officials to find vulnerabilities — before our enemies can. He is a mock killer, capable of slipping past even the best defenses.

His latest assignment is to assess the security surrounding the former CIA director at his DC area home. But soon after he breaches the man’s study, the home’s inner sanctum, Nick finds himself entangled in a vicious crime that will shake Washington to its foundations — as all the evidence points to Nick.

Nick knows he’s the perfect scapegoat. But who is framing him, and why? To clear his name, he must find the truth — a search that leads to a dark conspiracy whose roots stretch back decades. The prize is the most powerful position in the world: the Oval Office.

To save himself and the people he loves, Nick must stop the men who rule Washington before they bury him along with their secrets. 

I’ve been a fan of Matthew Quirk’s novels ever since I got my hands on an ARC of his debut, The 500. I blitzed through it in one long, gloriously entertaining sitting (staying up way into the night). Since then, I’ve read most of his novels and each has been a fast-paced thriller set in and around American politics — often in and around D.C., specifically. Hour of the Assassin is exactly the kind of novel I expected from Quirk: fast-paced, entertaining, and filled with commentary on the state of modern politics. Continue reading

New Books (August)

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Featuring: Mary Adkins, David Annandale, Mike Brooks, Christopher Brown, Becky Chambers, Doug Cooper, Edward Cox, Evan Currie, Felicia Day, Rachel Harrison, Justin D Hill, Darius Hinks, Jonathan Maberry, Nathan Makaryk, Seanan McGuire, Téa Obreht, Matthew Quirk, Mo Rocca, Matt Ruff, Joseph Schneider, David Wragg

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Quick Review: THE NIGHT AGENT by Matthew Quirk (William Morrow)

QuirkM-NightAgentUSA fast-paced, gripping political conspiracy thriller

To find a Russian mole in the White House, an FBI agent must question everything… and trust no one

No one was more surprised than FBI Agent Peter Sutherland when he’s tapped to work in the White House Situation Room. From his earliest days as a surveillance specialist, Peter has scrupulously done everything by the book, hoping his record will help him escape the taint of his past. When Peter was a boy, his father, a section chief in FBI counterintelligence, was suspected of selling secrets to the Russians — a catastrophic breach that had cost him his career, his reputation, and eventually his life.

Peter knows intimately how one broken rule can cost lives. Nowhere is he more vigilant than in this room, the sanctum of America’s secrets. Staffing the night action desk, his job is monitoring an emergency line for a call that has not — and might never — come.

Until tonight.

At 1:05 a.m. the phone rings. A terrified young woman named Rose tells Peter that her aunt and uncle have just been murdered and that the killer is still in the house with her. Before their deaths, they gave her this phone number with urgent instructions: “Tell them OSPREY was right. It’s happening…”

The call thrusts Peter into the heart of a conspiracy years in the making, involving a Russian mole at the highest levels of the government. Anyone in the White House could be the traitor. Anyone could be corrupted. To save the nation, Peter must take the rules into his own hands and do the right thing, no matter the cost. He plunges into a desperate hunt for the traitor — a treacherous odyssey that pits him and Rose against some of Russia’s most skilled and ruthless operatives and the full force of the FBI itself.

Peter knows that the wider a secret is broadcast, the more dangerous it gets for the people at the center. With the fate of the country on the line, he and Rose must evade seasoned assassins and maneuver past jolting betrayals to find the shocking truth — and stop the threat from inside before it’s too late.

That surprisingly long synopsis does set up the plot for Matthew Quirk’s latest fast-paced thriller rather well. Peter Sutherland is languishing in the basement of the White House, working for two prominent administration staffers, in a strange, important-yet-unexciting job. Then, with a single phone call, his job and life is thrown completely out of whack. What follows is 400~ pages of breakneck paced thriller action and conspiracy. This is an entertaining, well-written thriller. Continue reading

New Books (August)

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Featuring: Mary Adkins, Jussi Adler-Olsen, David Annandale, Jessica Barry, Flynn Berry, Miles Cameron, M.R. Carey, Victor Montgomery Cornwall, Craig Davidson, Sebastien de Castell, N.S. Dolkart, Esi Edugyan, Ben Fountain, William W. Freehling, John French, Christopher Golden, David Gordon, Charlaine Harris, D.B. Jackson, Gregory B. Jaczko, Steven James, Eyal Kless, Sam Lipsyte, Jonathan Maberry, Mindy Mejia, Sara Paretsky, Matthew Quirk, Kim Stanley Robinson, Axl Rosenberg, Tom Rosenstiel, Michael Rutger, David Small, Anna Smith Spark, Arthur St. John Trevelyan, Martha Wells, Cherise Wolas, Chris Wraight, Jane Yolen

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Upcoming 2017… Mulholland Books

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Mulholland Books is one of my favourite publishers, releasing a whole range of excellent thrillers and fiction. Here are a few upcoming novels I’m looking forward to — I’m sure there are more, but these are the only ones I could find information about.

Featuring: Kathleen Kent, Richard Lange, Sarah Lotz, Stuart Prebble, Matthew Quirk, Scott Reardon, David Swinson, Felicia Yap

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New Books (January 2017)

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I had anticipated a slow month, but the first couple of weeks of January have seen a flood of new ARCs and eARCs come in, as well as a few that I’ve picked up myself. So, this is the first of probably two such posts this month. Any of the below catch your attention? Have you read any already? Feel free to leave a comment.

Featuring: Sara Blaedel, Barbara Bourland, Jordanna Max Brodsky, Titus Chalk, Susan Dennard, Nicky Drayden, Nicholas Eames, Robert Elegant, Gavin Extence, N.J. Fountain, Zoe Fraade-Blanar, Alexander Freed, Sarah Gailey, Aaron M. Glazer, Joe Haldeman, Jack C. Haldeman, Jaroslav Kalfar, Cassandra Khaw, Jennifer Kitses, Tim Lebbon, Mahvesh Murad, Mindy Mejia, K.M. McKinley, Julianne Pachico, Thomas Perry, Michael Ponsor, Brian Platzer, Matthew Quirk, Steve Rasnic Tem, Emily Ruskovich, Jared Shurin, Graeme Simsion, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Strout, Corey J. White, Deborah A. Wolf, Chris Wraight

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New Books (Jan)

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A post-Christmas and New Year smorgasbord of awesome has come flooding in, these past couple of weeks. On top of that, there have been some I’ve bought myself (I got a lot of wonderful book vouchers and Amazon credit, this year…).

Featuring: Tim Akers, Robert Jackson Bennett, Rob Boffard, Terry Brooks, Lindsey Davis, Liz de Jager, Christopher Farnsworth, Matt Gallagher, Carol Goodman, Thomas Christopher Greene, Louisa Hall, Glen Erik Hamilton, Joanne Harris, Kristopher Jansma, Richard Kadrey, Mike Lawson, Tim Lebbon, Patrick Lee, Jill Lepore, Sean McFate & Bret Witter, China Miéville, Megan Miranda, Simon Morden, Anthony O’Neill, Adam O’Fallon Price, Camille Perri, Heidi Pitlor, Matthew Quirk, Richard Russo, Lawrence M. Schoen, A.F.E. Smith, Christopher Sorrentino, Gav Thorpe, Lavie Tidhar, Glen Weldon, Jonathan Wood Continue reading

Review: THE DIRECTIVE by Matthew Quirk (Headline/Back Bay)

Quirk-MF2-DirectiveUKA series of unfortunate events met with terrible decisions

What if the only way to go straight is to break the law?

Michael Ford has finally escaped his chequered past to lead the respectable life he’s always dreamed of, preparing to settle down with his fiance Annie. But the quiet is shattered when his brother, Jack, comes back into his life.

Jack is a world-class con man who has finally overplayed his hand. He’s in way over his head in a conspiracy to steal a billion-dollar secret from the heart of the financial system. And in an effort to help his brother, Mike soon finds himself trapped by the dangerous men in charge — and responsible for pulling off the heist himself.

With Annie’s safety on the line, Mike tries to figure out who’s behind the job — and realises the only way to keep the honest life is to return to his criminal past. But will he get in too deep to save Annie’s life?

You may have caught my glowing review for Matthew Quirk’s debut, The 500. It was with considerable anticipation, therefore, that I awaited for his next book. The Directive, a direct sequel, failed to live up to my expectations. There are some good things to say, but sadly it had just as many flaws as strengths and they eclipsed much of what I enjoyed.
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