“A novel that makes your heart race . . . a thriller that weaves diplomacy and national security together with espionage, terrorism and Washington infighting.”—Washington Post
An extraordinary thriller debut of twenty-first-century espionage, by a former deputy assistant secretary of state who “knows where all the bodies are buried—literally” (W. E. B. Griffin).
The Golden Hour: In international politics, the hundred hours following a coup, when there is still a chance that diplomacy, a secret back channel, military action—something—might reverse the chain of events.
As the top American diplomat for West Africa, Todd Moss saw a great deal about how diplomacy and politics actually work. But as he shows us, the results aren’t always pretty.
When Judd Ryker is appointed director of the new State Department Crisis Reaction Unit, he figures he has a mandate to help the United States respond more quickly to foreign crises, but he hasn’t reckoned with the intense State, Defense, Pentagon, White House, and CIA infighting and turf battles he would face. Then comes the coup in Mali. It is his chance to prove that his theory of the Golden Hour actually works—but in the real world, those hours move very, very quickly indeed, and include things he’d never even imagined.
As Ryker races from Washington across Europe to the Sahara Desert, he finds that personalities, loyalties, everything he thought he knew, begin to shift and change beneath his feet—and that friends and enemies come in many forms.
Set largely in West Africa, Moss's outstanding debut stars an Amherst college professor turned diplomat, Judd Ryker. An expert in conflict and coup-risk metrics, Judd believes in the Golden Hour principle: international political trauma can be reversed if dealt with swiftly and professionally. His timetable on coups d' tat is 100 hours. When he's named the director of a new State Department Crisis Reaction Unit just hours after a coup in Mali, where he once was part of a survey team assessing community water-management in Kidal, his theory is immediately put to the test. But Judd quickly realizes that every organization and country with an interest in Mali has an agenda and he soon finds himself inundated with misinformation and treated as a pawn in a game where the stakes are about more than simply securing a country's political freedom. An intriguing cast of morally dubious characters, an intricately constructed plot, and a tantalizing cliffhanger make this thriller a page-turner of the highest order. Advance praise from Douglas Preston, W.E.B. Griffin, John Sandford, and Francis Fukuyama bodes well for the book's success. Author tour.