Dead Man Switch
by Quirk, Matthew

The suspicious deaths of two members of an elite undercover military team are investigated by Special Ops legend Captain John Hayes, who is horrified to discover that his prot‚eg‚e, a brilliant assassin, is the prime suspect.

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he joined The Atlantic and spent five years at the magazine, reporting on a variety of subjects, including crime, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. Quirk's bestselling first novel, The 500, is currently in development as a major motion picture. He lives in San Diego.

To make a silencer really muffle the sound of a gunshot, fill it with liquid or gel. Looking for an untraceable way to off somebody? Hold a mobile defibrillator to the victim's chest until the heart stops. Fans of special-ops thrillers will devour this latest entry in Quirk's fiery action series featuring bad-guy-but-not-really John Hayes. Members of an elite commando group Hayes assembled years ago are dying in suspicious ways, and his attempts to prevent more deaths-and comprehend what's going on-make for some fine, tense scenes. Quirk is a master at organizing details-smoke, a chill wind, a splash of water-to create suspense. And he knows that spies love to spy on each other. This is a fine thriller, but it's hard to resist the temptation to read it not for the story but for the insider dope, the way we read Tom Clancy to learn how to forge a passport or create a new identity for ourselves. Here we find out about using eBay listings to send secret messages. Tracking somebody? Watch the shoes. Unlike jackets or hats, they can't be changed quickly. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

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. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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