"Immensely talented… Christy’s muscular, vivid writing and John le Carré-esque talent for thrusting us deep into unfamiliar territory ensure that what could lapse into cliché instead sounds fresh and exciting… Klay is a great, flawed hero, in the vein of the classic hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-loving loner.”--New York Times Book Review
In this intricate and propulsive thriller--from National Geographic's founder of Special Investigations--Tom Klay an investigative reporter leading a double life as a CIA spy, discovers that he has been weaponized in a global game of espionage pitting him against one of the world's most ruthless men.
Tom Klay is a celebrated investigative wildlife reporter for the esteemed magazine The Sovereign. But Klay is not just a journalist. His reporting is cover for an even more dangerous job: CIA agent. Klay's press credentials make him a perfect spy--able to travel the globe, engage both politicians and warlords, and openly record what he sees. When he needs help, the Agency provides it to him, and asks little in return. But while on assignment in Kenya, Klay is attacked and his closest friend is murdered. Soon Klay's carefully constructed double life unravels as his ambition turns to revenge.
The CIA has an answer. Klay is offered a devil's bargain to capture the man who killed his friend by infiltrating the offices of the woman he once loved, South Africa's special prosecutor, Hungry Khoza. But Klay soon discovers that he and Hungry are part of a larger, more lethal game--one that involves a ruthless mercenary and a global superpower. The deeper he digs, the more Klay realizes that everything he thought he knew about his work may have been a lie, and his sworn enemy may be his only ally. In this riveting, timely thriller, the lines between good and evil blur, and absolutely nothing is as it seems.
Christy (The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers) makes his fiction debut with an exceptional adventure thriller. In Samburu County, Kenya, American journalist Tom Klay, who also works for the CIA, and his friend Capt. Bernard Lolosoli, who commands a privately funded counter-poaching force, have information that local crime kingpin Ras Botha is going to kill a world-famous elephant for its massive tusks. In the ensuing ambush, Klay is wounded and Bernard killed. Back in Washington, D.C., Klay broods, drinks in his favorite bar, and begins organizing a hunt to bring down Botha. Once Klay returns to Africa, he runs up against Terry Krieger, the head of the world's biggest private military company, who claims to be a conservator of the earth and likes to relax by killing large animals. A riveting plot, complex characters, deep backstory, and an engrossing setting enhance this finely written novel about justice, personal responsibility, and saving the environment. Readers will come away eager for whatever Christy, the founder of Special Investigations at National Geographic, turns his hand to next. Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the author's role at National Geographic.