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David McCloskey. Moscow X (WW Norton, $30.00 unsigned).
A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?
CIA officers Sia and Max enter Russia under commercial cover to recruit Vladimir Putin’s moneyman. Sia works for a London law firm that conceals the wealth of the superrich. Max’s family business in Mexico—a CIA front since the 1960s—is a farm that breeds high-end racehorses. They pose as a couple to target Vadim, Putin’s private banker, and his wife, Anna, who—unbeknownst to CIA—is a Russian intelligence officer under deep cover at the bank. As they descend further into a Russian world dripping with luxury and rife with gangland violence, Sia and Max’s only hope may be Anna, who is playing a game of her own. Careening between the horse ranch in northern Mexico, the corridors of Langley, and the dark opulence of Putin’s Russia, Moscow X is both a gripping thriller of modern espionage and a raw, unsparing commentary on the nature of truth, loyalty, and vengeance amid the shadow war between the United States and Russia.
David McCloskey is the author of Damascus Station. He is a former CIA analyst and former consultant at McKinsey & Company.
While at the CIA, he wrote regularly for the President’s Daily Brief, delivered classified testimony to Congressional oversight committees, and briefed senior White House officials, Ambassadors, military officials, and Arab royalty.
He worked in CIA field stations across the Middle East throughout the Arab Spring and conducted a rotation in the Counterterrorism Center focused on the jihad in Syria and Iraq. During his time at McKinsey, David advised national security, aerospace, and transportation clients on a range of strategic and operational issues.
David holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, where he specialized in energy policy and the Middle East.
He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
Paul Vidich. Beirut Station (Pegasus, $27.95 Signed).
A stunning new espionage novel by a master of the genre, Beirut Station follows a young female CIA officer whose mission to assassinate a high-level, Hezbollah terrorist reveals a dark truth that puts her life at risk.
The Israel-Hezbollah war is tearing Beirut apart: bombs are raining down, residents are scrambling to evacuate, and the country is on the brink of chaos.
In the midst of this turmoil, the CIA and Mossad are targeting a reclusive Hezbollah terrorist, Najib Qassem. Najib is believed to be planning the assassination of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is coming to Beirut in ten days to broker a cease-fire. The spy agencies are running out of time to eliminate the threat.
They turn to a young Lebanese-American CIA agent. Analise comes up with the perfect plan: she has befriended Qassem's grandson as his English tutor, and will use this friendship to locate the terrorist and take him out. As the plan is put into action, though, Analise begins to suspect that Mossad has a motive of its own: exploiting the war’s chaos to eliminate a generation of Lebanese political leaders.
She alerts the agency but their response is for her to drop it. Analise is now the target and there is no one she can trust: not the CIA, not Mossad, and not the Lebanese government. And the one person she might have to trust—a reporter for the New York Times—might not be who he says he is…
A tightly-wound international thriller, Beirut Station is Paul Vidich's best novel to date.
PAUL VIDICH’S sixth novel, Beirut Station, will be published by Pegasus Books in October 2023. His previous novel, The Mercenary, was selected by CrimeReads as one of the top 10 espionage novels of 2021. His debut novel, An Honorable Man, published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as a Top 10 Mystery and Thriller in 2016. It was followed by The Good Assassin, also published by Simon and Schuster. His third novel, The Coldest Warrior, was widely praised in England and America, earning strong reviews from The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. It was shortlisted for the UK’s Staunch Prize and chosen as a Notable Selection of 2020 by CrimeReads. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, LitHub, CrimeReads, Fugue, The Nation, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. Junot Diaz selected his story “Jump Shot” as a winner of the 2010 Fugue Short Story Contest and his story “Falling Girl,” was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize and appeared in New Rivers Press’ American Fiction, Volume 12: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers. His story collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Vidich received his MFA from Rutgers-Newark, and he was a co-founder and editor of Storyville. He lives in lower Manhattan.
Prior to turning to writing, Vidich had a distinguished career in music and media at Time Warner, AOL, and Warner Music Group, where he was Executive Vice President in charge of global digital strategy. He was a member of the National Academies committee on The Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era and testified in Washington before rate hearings.
He presently serves as an independent board director, angel investor, and advisor to Internet media companies in video and music. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he was a Trustee and received a Distinguished Alumni Award, and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the boards of directors of Poets and Writers, The New School for Social Research, and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
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