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Paul Vidich has had a distinguished career in music and media. Most recently, he served as Special Advisor to AOL, Inc. and was Executive Vice President at the Warner Music Group, in charge of technology and global strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers and The New School for Social Research. A founder and publisher of the Storyville App, Vidich is also an award-winning author of short fiction.
Author photo © Bekka Palmer
An absorbing, penetrating, and intricately plotted spy novel that just thrums with tension. Former CIA officer Alex Garin is asked to return to Moscow in 1985 to assist with the exfiltration of a senior KJB officer. Garin himself is a complete enigma and trust is a valuable commodity. Linking to the espionage novels featuring George Mueller, which began with his debut An Honorable Man you don’t need to have read the other books by Paul Vidich to be able to fully enjoy this story as it successfully stands alone. However, I would recommend hunting down the previous novels because they come highly recommended and if you’ve read them, you’ll note the jump forward to the 80’s. This is a novel that you can just throw yourself into, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Paul Vidich kept me off balance and encouraged my thoughts to explore and at times run full tilt in different directions. The sense of place is vividly realised, Moscow broods and swaggers, while Garin is wonderfully complex. Everything begins to slides into place, and then the incredibly powerful ending hits. Highly recommended, Mercenary is a wonderfully crafted, convincing, and thrilling novel.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Reluctant 1950s spy George Mueller whom we first encountered in the impressive An Honorable Man, is posted to pre-Castro Cuba to investigate the possibility that an old friend, Toby Graham, a friendly CIA agent with whom he worked opposing the KGB back in Europe in earlier times, might have turned unexpectedly rogue and is now manipulating the passage of arms to the rebels that were intended for the Batista regime they are at war with, despite the obvious sympathies at the top of the Washington establishment food chain for the dictator. Unveiling layers of corruption across the board, this is a recognizable take of deceit at the highest level, of compromised ideals and ethics and warring American official agencies set against a lovely evocation of Havana on the eve of the revolution and the turmoil both action-wise and sentimental the protagonists have to steadfastedly beat their way through. A worthy follow-up indeed. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. An assured cold war thriller set in the 1950s in paranoiac Washington D.C. at the height of the McCarthy hearings. The CIA suspects they have a mole, known as Protocol in their ranks, leaking secrets to the Soviets and George Mueller, recovering from a broken marriage, is given the task of investigating. However, his own past in the Great Game of espionage is equally murky and ambiguous and he soon comes under suspicion himself as the connections come to light. Past and present crisscross effectively in a tale of treason, mixed loyalties in a tale worthy of Robert Littell, Charles McCarry and with shades of early Le Carre which won't fail to impress spy thriller aficionados who will happily add Vidich to their shelf and look out for the imminent sequel. Most satisfying. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. On one hand you have the spy adventures which run along in overdrive and combine adventure and exotica a la James Bond and, on the other, are the sometimes deliberatly drab but realistic tales of jigsaw plots and devious minds, characterised by the disillusioned realism of John Le Carre, Charles McCarry, Robert Littell and Olen Steinhauer. This debut thriller places Vidich firmly in the second camp and right at the top of the table with instant effect. Doublecrosses, terribly fallible agents and spy hunters, the heart of the Cold War: it's all been done before but when it's plotted and written so well, with a care for the humanity of its torn by loyalties protagonists and the vagaries of unreliable history, I'm always a sucker for more. Atmospheric, moving and enigma-laden, this is spy writing at its very best. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
1953: A government scientist, Hank Wilson, dies after falling from the ninth floor of a Washington hotel. 1975: The release of the Rockefeller Commission report on illegal CIA activities suddenly brings the Wilson case back into the headlines; did he fall or was he pushed? Wilson's family are demanding answers, but the White House will do anything to make sure the truth doesn't get out. Jake Newman, soon to retire from the CIA agency, is tasked with uncovering the truth behind Wilson's death, an investigation which rapidly. The closer Newman gets to discovering what really happened that night, the more he risks the lives of those he loves. How many lives is the truth worth?
';Paul Vidich's likable and reluctant spy, George Mueller, will keep readers guessing in this eerily real Cuba of 1958. The Good Assassin is a keen historical adventure from the best noir tradition.'Elizabeth Kostova, #1 New York Times bestselling author ';The Good Assassin opens up Hemingway's Cuba. Possessing Alan Furst's attention for period detail and the deft character touches of John Le Carr, Vidich has quickly carved out a place for himself among the very first rank of espionage writers. It's a masterful effort and the author's best work to date.'Michael Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicago Way ';The Good Assassin is first-rate literary espionage . . . Author Paul Vidich has evoked not only the intrigue and brutality of Batista's Cuba, but the island itself . . . a masterful work of noir fiction.'Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of A Hint of Strangeness Paul Vidich follows up his acclaimed debut spy thriller with a suspenseful tale of Cold War espionage set in 1950s Cuba, as foreign powers compete to influence the outcome of a revolution.Former CIA Agent George Mueller arrives in Havana in August 1958the last months before the fall of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batistato look into the activities of Toby Graham, a CIA officer suspected of harboring sympathies for the rebel forces fighting the unpopular Batista regime. Mueller knew Graham as an undergraduate and later they were colleagues in Berlin fighting the Soviet NKVD. Under the guise of their long acquaintance Mueller is recruited to vet rumors that Graham is putting weapons, covertly provided by the CIA to Batista, into the hands of Castros forces. Public exposure of the CIA weapons mission, and the activity of one rogue agent, threaten to embarrass the agency. Mueller uncovers a world of deceit as the FBI, CIA, and State Department compete to influence the outcome of the revolution in the face of the brutal dictatorships imminent collapse. Graham, meanwhile, is troubled by the hypocrisy of a bankrupt US foreign policy, and has fallen in love with a married American woman, Liz Malone. Paul Vidich has written a powerful story of ideals, passions, betrayals, and corrupting political rivalries in the months before Castros triumphant march into Havana on New Years Day 1959. This sequel showcases the widely praised talents of Paul Vidich, who Booklist says, writes with an economy of style that acclaimed novelists might do well to emulate.