An extraordinary international thriller by the former deputy assistant secretary of state and author of the national bestseller The Golden Hour.
In the life of every country, at a moment of extreme national disruption, there is a brief period of breakdown, when everything is uncertain, events can turn on a dime. That is the moment to act, to shape events how you want them to go. That is Minute Zero.
Fresh off the harrowing events of The Golden Hour, State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker is suddenly thrown into a quickly developing emergency in Zimbabwe, where a longtime strongman is being challenged for the presidency. Rumors are flying furiously: armed gangs, military crackdowns, shady outside money pouring in, and, most disturbing for the United States, reports of highly enriched uranium leaking into the market.
And that’s all before Ryker even lands in the country. It gets much worse after that. If he can’t get control, shape his Minute Zero, a lot of people are going to die—not least of all himself.
Moss's fine second novel of diplomatic intrigue featuring Judd Ryker (after 2014's The Golden Hour) takes the U.S. State Department troubleshooter to Zimbabwe, to oversee a dicey presidential election. Once on the ground in Harare, Ryker discovers that the country's entrenched strongman, Winston Tinotenda, is facing Gugu Mutonga, a female opponent who's surprisingly tough for a foe of Tinotenda's, and that heavy foreign money is fueling both candidates. With U.S. policy squishy, Ryker eventually determines that the situation is ripe for a concept known as Minute Zero, the idea that after political upheaval, a narrow window opens when power is up for grabs to anyone who can maneuver adroitly. The action moves relentlessly, shifting between Harare and Washington, D.C., and among several well-drawn characters. A former U.S. diplomat in Africa, Moss maintains a high level of authenticity throughout. At times, Ryker comes across as a bit na ve, particularly in dealing with his wife, whom he doesn't know works for the CIA, but this is a minor flaw. Author tour.