DEAD MAN SWITCH by Matthew Quirk

DEAD MAN SWITCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An underground network of U.S. operatives contracted by the government to kill terrorists has been exposed, leaving the Special Ops and their families vulnerable to foreign assassins.

A "human sequel" to the CIA's killer drones, the lethal shooters of the Cold Harvest operation have wiped out terrorist threats, freed kidnapped Americans, and stopped the transfer of nuclear technology. Maintaining the program's ultrasecrecy is so complicated that battle-scarred hero John Hayes must convince even his closest allies that he's sold out and gone to work for the other side. For two years, he was in self-imposed exile overseas, where he was pursued as an enemy of the United States. Now his job becomes even more perilous when Hynd, a German baddie for hire in possession of the home addresses of Cold Harvest's agents, begins having them eliminated. He's out for vengeance for Israeli intelligence's U.S.–backed killing of his father, a nuclear engineer who worked for the Egyptians. Hayes finds himself pitted against not only Hynd, but also Carol Duncan (real name: Claire Rhodes), an assassin Hayes mentored himself. Traumatized by the killing of her husband in a car fire, she's emotionally fragile, on the run—and may not be working on the same side as Hayes. Quirk's deft plotting (beware the explosion awaiting in Manhattan!) and superior action scenes are what make the book tick. But the author also has a nice way of getting the most out of his characters and his varied locales without falling back on clichés.

An excellent follow-up to Cold Barrel Zero (2015), this is a standout thriller.

Pub Date: March 21st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-316-25923-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2017




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