Capping a twenty-five year career with the Central Intelligent Agency, first as a field officer and then as a freelance, The President of the United States has hired Kirk McGarvey as interim director of the CIA while his nomination winds its way through congressional hearings. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Hagberg (Eden's Gate) resumes his CIA thriller series featuring veteran agent Kirk McGarvey with this rousing entry. Happily reunited with his wife after a separation, 50-year-old McGarvey is ready for the slow lane after a quarter-century of service with the CIA, but his work isn't over-the president nominates him for the post of interim director, which would make him the youngest man ever to serve in that capacity. He jumps at the opportunity, but his "preternatural awareness" warns him that something's not right. His research assistant, Otto, discovers that former KGB doctor Anatoli Nikolayev has fled Moscow with an armful of old classified documents from the Network Martyrs File, which held the Cold War plans for the assassination of key U.S. government figures. The assassination plans were developed years ago by an old enemy of McGarvey's, but have somehow been reactivated now that McGarvey has been appointed to his new post. Rigged helicopters, exploding vans, faulty car brakes and killer skis place McGarvey, his family and Otto in grave danger, and an attempt on his pregnant daughter's life throws McGarvey's wife, Kathleen, into an emotional tailspin. Otto rushes off to France to get some answers from Nikolayev, while McGarvey tries to keep it together for his confirmation hearings as a callous senator dissects his long-buried, sordid past. In reliably meaty prose, Hagberg once again delivers compelling characters, animated political intrigue and a plot that speeds along at a steady clip. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 06, 2003
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Excerpt from The Kill Zone by David Hagberg
IT HAD BEEN MADE TO LOOK AS IF HE HAD SHOT HIMSELF IN THE TEMPLE WITH THE GUN.
Dr. Anatoli Nikolayev was an old man, and the summer heat was oppressive to him as he hauled his thin body up the dark narrow stairs. He wasn't sure that he wanted the answers that he had come here to find. Yet with everything that he'd learned so far he couldn't simply turn his back like an old lover who'd found out he'd been betrayed.
His research was almost finished. He had ground his way through a million pages of old records, starting in 1917 with the Soviet Union's first secret intelligence service, the Cheka, until the breakup under Gorbachev and the dismantling of the KGB in 1991; the kidnappings and terrorism and sabotage; poisons, electric guns, honey traps, brainwashings, intimidation of countless thousands of officials and diplomats from nearly every country in the world. And assassination. The ultimate act of the state other than war. Bodies stretching back almost ninety years; piled to the rafters; more bodies than even Hitler had been credited with, making him wonder why the Soviet Union hadn't been as reviled as the Nazis were.
His boney, blue-veined left hand trailed along the cracked plaster wall, and he could smell the terror in the stifling air like last night's cabbage dinner; urine and shit from the overflowing communal toilets; the accumulated filth of ninety years of neglect.