During a CIA operation in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Agent Hector Kane finds his career and marriage at stake when he receives a call from a Saudi prince who claims that Hector's wife is a Chinese spy.
Life has never been the same since Hector Kane was tossed out of the Company two years ago. His marriage to the smart and beautiful Yubi is falling apart after the death of their son. His teaching career at the American Institute of Middle Eastern Studies in Cairo has not fulfilled him as he thought it would. His heart and mind are still in the trade. So when the CIA offers him a chance to redeem himself, Hector doesn't hesitate.
It's a "one-man job," as the Cairo chief puts it; if successful, Hector is set up to become the next deputy chief of the CIA's Cairo station. Hector will take his wife and five students to a remote island in the South China Sea. No questions, Hector; you'll be briefed in Asia. But in Asia, things get weirder by the day. First, Hector questions the nature of his mission when the CIA instructs him to infect one of his students with a deadly virus. Second, Hector receives a call from the Saudi Prince Mohamed bin Hakam, who claims that Hector's wife is a Chinese spy who has seduced and abducted his son.
Unable to tell the CIA, Hector must act alone. He has to contact the Chinese intelligence, locate the prince's son, and relearn everything he thought he knew about his marriage, his mission, and himself.
Praise for The Haze:
"Engrossing... Hawkes keeps the twists coming... Fans of superior post–Cold War spy fiction will be satisfied." - Publishers Weekly
"With its relentless pace, smart plot, and top-notch writing, The Haze makes for a most appealing and compelling read… The Haze is a must-read for fans of Spy Stories and is recommended without reservation." - Book Viral
"A thoroughly enjoyable contemporary spy novel recommended to fans of the well-known 'heavy hitter' espionage writers." - Reedsy
"Reading The Haze feels very much like going on a tour round the world and meeting diverse people, cultures, cities... The author's wordplay is quite fascinating. . . Also, to his credit is his in-depth knowledge of global geopolitics which he put to good use in giving the book a real life semblance. The Haze is a thrilling book that could make anyone's day." - Mary Jane Anderson, book blogger
Set in 2013, Hawkes's engrossing debut introduces CIA agent Hector Kane, who, years after being fired without explanation, is welcomed back to the agency. Hector's boss, George Moore (nicknamed the Cardinal because he "spent a year as a Jesuit monk novice before Langley entered his life"), who has managed to get the Senate to confirm him as the CIA director despite being considered the mastermind behind the intel that Iraq had WMDs, has a mission for Hector that involves the future of Egypt. Fifi Noman, the niece of the dean of the university where Hector was teaching between CIA stints, is the daughter of Ibrahim Noman, known as the Godfather of Egypt's 2011 revolution. The Cardinal's plan is for Hector to accompany Fifi and some others to the Southeast Asian country of Pulau, "a benevolent dictatorship," expose Fifi to its underbelly, and "impress upon her pliant head the Kantian tenet that democracy was a categorical imperative." Hawkes keeps the twists coming as Hector seeks to influence Fifi to promote the cause of democracy in Egypt. Fans of superior post Cold War spy fiction will be satisfied. (Self-published)
Customer ReviewsSee All
I was really surprised by this book. I thought it was a cheap thriller but it turned out to be a literary gem with mystery and political critique elements. This is hands-down the best espionage novel I have ever read. It took me on a tour around the world with exceptional characters: Hector Kane, the Canadian-American spy of Irish-Armenian descent; Ozgur, the Turkish-Greek-American; and Yubi, the Canadian nurse of Chinese-Korean descent. Most people in this novel are a mix of genes, which ties into the novel grand theme: identity or the loss thereof.
A work of genius.