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Cold Barrel Zero
     

Cold Barrel Zero

4.5 2
by Matthew Quirk
 

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A CODE HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT. A BLACK OPS TEAM THAT WENT TOO FAR.

John Hayes is a Special Operations legend who went rogue on a deep-cover mission and betrayed his own soldiers. Disgraced and on the run, he returns to the United States to get back to his wife and daughter and take revenge on his accusers with a series of devastating attacks.

Only one man can stop

Overview

A CODE HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT. A BLACK OPS TEAM THAT WENT TOO FAR.

John Hayes is a Special Operations legend who went rogue on a deep-cover mission and betrayed his own soldiers. Disgraced and on the run, he returns to the United States to get back to his wife and daughter and take revenge on his accusers with a series of devastating attacks.

Only one man can stop him: Thomas Byrne. He once fought alongside Hayes as a combat medic, but he gave up the gun. Now a surgeon, he moves from town to town, trying to forget his past, until he is called upon by a high-ranking government official to help capture the man he once called a friend.

Hayes and Byrne were once as close as brothers, but with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance and nothing as it seems, both men must decide whom to trust--and whom to betray. In a final, explosive battle for justice, they face off along a rifle's cold barrel.

Cold Barrel Zero brings together the blistering pace of Lee Child, the nonstop action of Brad Thor, and the richly drawn characters and moral stakes of Daniel Silva. An experienced reporter armed with deep behind-the-scenes research into America's Special Operations Forces, Quirk takes the military thriller to a new level of suspense.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A relentlessly paced military thriller . . . Sophisticated storytelling [and] whiplash pacing . . . Cold Barrel Zero delivers some clever twists and startling surprises. . . . There are layers of moral ambiguity and questions at every turn."—Art Taylor, Washington Post

"Matthew Quirk has elevated to must-read thriller status faster than seems possible. Cold Barrel Zero is a brilliantly researched and written tour de force from an author who understands both high-stakes action and fine writing."—Michael Koryta, bestselling author of Last Words and Those Who Wish Me Dead

"Thriller Award-winner Quirk goes flat-out explosive in this superior military adventure novel. . . . There's plenty of cool cutting-edge technology, but in the end it comes down to action, and the riveting battle scenes are among the best in the business. Readers will look forward to seeing more of the skilled and deadly John Hayes."—Publishers Weekly (starred boxed review)

"Deadly. High-tech. Characters are well drawn and motivated, and their exploits are hair raising. Quirk spins an adrenaline-fueled, military-based action adventure skillfully. Another hard-to-put-down adventure from Quirk .... even more chilling for its air of plausibility. A fine thriller."—Booklist (starred review)

"[Quirk's] best book yet . . . Quirk delves deep into the world of international terror and covert operations, and writes with such authority you half expect his prose to be riddled with redactions. The action dazzles. The characters feel authentic and fully fleshed. The threats seem all too real."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"Adrenaline junkies need look no further than Matthew Quirk's Cold Barrel Zero for their next fix. The action is relentless and exceptionally inventive. . . . This is a must-read for fans of Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher."—BookPage

"Quirk's fast-paced plot keeps the pages turning as readers journey with Byrne on a dangerous adventure. Highly recommended for fans of rapid action with down-to-the-wire conclusions."—Library Journal (starred review)

"A lethal game of cat and mouse fuels Quirk's third and best novel, a military spy thriller in which one all-out conspiracy is met by another. . . . The story is expertly stripped down, the action relentless, and the characters multilayered. . . . [Quirk] takes a major step forward."—Kirkus Reviews

"Matthew Quirk's Cold Barrel Zero is an unputdownable blast! The writing is spare and masterful, you care about the characters, and the action is hair-raising, authentic, at times even mesmerizing. Cold Barrel Zero is one of the must-read thrillers of the year!"—Ben Coes, bestselling author of Coup D'Etat and Independence Day

"What separates Matt Quirk from other military thriller writers is his insider chops as a journalist who has covered the real-world versions of the stories he tells. Cold Barrel Zero is gripping and utterly convincing. It's the tale real agents and operators would tell if they had Matt Quirk's storytelling genius."—Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The Afghan Campaign and The Legend of Bagger Vance

"Quirk's writings drips with the kind of eye for the telling detail that only a canny reporter, detective, or spy possesses....If you like Ludlum you are certain to like Quirk."—Ralph Benko, Forbes

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/18/2016
Thriller Award–winner Quirk (The 500) goes flat-out explosive in this superior military adventure novel. Ex-Marine John Hayes has assembled a team of special ops agents who have been put on a U.S. government kill list by mistake. In an effort to obtain evidence that will exonerate them, they pull off a spectacular armored car hijacking, seizing a mysterious 1,300-pound crate shipped from the Emirates to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Thomas Byrne, a former combat medic who served with Hayes, is vacationing in Southern California when he’s arrested on trumped-up charges and brought to meet Colonel Riggs, who’s in charge of the military task force to capture Hayes. Byrne has no idea whether to trust Riggs or his old buddy Hayes, with whom he later connects. The explanation for all the mayhem rests in a war crime that Hayes supposedly committed, but as usual with this author, facts are slippery and doubts abound. There’s plenty of cool cutting-edge technology, but in the end it comes down to action, and the riveting battle scenes are among the best in the business. Readers will look forward to seeing more of the skilled and deadly John Hayes. Agent: Shawn Coyne, Endeavor Agency. (Mar.)
Library Journal
★ 02/15/2016
There is nothing worse than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially if you're innocent. Quirk's (The 500) latest thriller finds Tom Byrne, a combat medic-turned-doctor, vacationing in California with his girlfriend. After an early morning jog, Byrne is arrested by FBI agents and taken to be questioned. The most alarming charge is terrorism. Close to Byrne's location, John Hayes, who had served in Byrne's combat unit, has stolen a weapon of mass destruction. Unable to prove a connection, the FBI releases Byrne, who discovers that his assets have been frozen. After being told by a Colonel Riggs about Hayes's past violence against innocent civilians, Byrne is then kidnapped by the culprit, who denies any wrongdoing. His recent robbery is his attempt to stop a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. But what is in that stolen container? Whom should Byrne believe? Can he help stop a terrorist attack? Or will he unknowingly assist one? VERDICT Quirk's fast-paced plot keeps the pages turning as readers journey with Byrne on a dangerous adventure. Highly recommended for fans of rapid action with down-to-the-wire conclusions. [See Prepub Alert, 10/4/15.]—Susan Moritz, Silver Spring, MD
Kirkus Reviews
2016-01-10
Former combat medic Tom Byrne finds himself in the ultimate squeeze when he's caught between the FBI, which falsely arrests him for stealing government secrets, and a Special Ops veteran he once fought with who's accused of committing terrorist acts. Threatened and cajoled by both sides, who should Byrne trust? Hayes, the man behind the shocking theft of intelligence files containing the cover identities of every U.S. operative in the field? He swears to his old friend Byrne that he's only acting to clear his name. Or Riggs, leader of a government task force that says Hayes was responsible for a massacre of women and children in Afghanistan and now is putting the U.S. at grave risk of a terrorist attack? More than 10 years after returning home from the war, Byrne is still recovering from the guilt of "los[ing] myself in the killing when I should have been saving lives." Now he has to survive a deadly contest of wills involving drone attacks, fierce car chases and boat getaways, secret codes, a female martyr who may or may not be fake, and frozen bank accounts (his). Quirk, author of a pair of so-so urban thrillers involving callow protagonists (The Directive, 2014, etc.), takes a major step forward with this far more sophisticated effort. The story is expertly stripped down, the action relentless, and the characters multilayered. Having Byrne narrate his sections while everything else is told in the third person is a bit awkward, but Quirk makes it work. A lethal game of cat and mouse fuels Quirk's third and best novel, a military spy thriller in which one all-out conspiracy is met by another.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316259194
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/31/2017
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
91,211
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he joined The Atlantic and spent five years at the magazine reporting on a variety of subjects including crime, private military contractors, the opium trade, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. Quirk's bestselling first novel, The 500, is currently in development as a major motion picture. He lives in San Diego.

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Cold Barrel Zero 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jayfwms More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best of the Black Ops genre I have read. Layers of deceit and conspiracies keep the characters and the reader guessing as non-stop action prevails. The story is realistic, but quite imaginative. Some of the characters are recovering from deep hurts and obsessive guilt. From time to time this clouds their judgment and leads to major problems. It is hard to rave about this book without giving away to much. Suffice it to say, you can't go wrong if you like well-told, suspenseful thrillers. Note: the summary does not do justice to the actual story, which is much richer in terms of characters and relationships.
Monnie777 More than 1 year ago
The first thing I thought when I finished this book was "this should be a movie". This book is high impacted, intense and action packed. If you like reading or watching a great action movie or book then this is the book for you. This book is none stop from beginning to end. It makes you keep guessing who's side you should be rooting for. The really should make a movie out of this book. *Gifted copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*