The Kill Zone (Kirk McGarvey Series #9) [NOOK Book]

Overview

From the USA Today bestselling author of Joshua's Hammer


The President of the United States has appointed Kirk McGarvey interim director of the CIA while his nomination winds its way through Congressional hearings. But what should have been the culmination of McGarvey's career, has activated a twenty-year-old Russian plot sponsored by his former archenemy, General Baranov. Now, McGarvey is in the Kill Zone. He finds himself part of a plot that does know the Cold War is over, a ...

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The Kill Zone (Kirk McGarvey Series #9)

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Overview

From the USA Today bestselling author of Joshua's Hammer


The President of the United States has appointed Kirk McGarvey interim director of the CIA while his nomination winds its way through Congressional hearings. But what should have been the culmination of McGarvey's career, has activated a twenty-year-old Russian plot sponsored by his former archenemy, General Baranov. Now, McGarvey is in the Kill Zone. He finds himself part of a plot that does know the Cold War is over, a plot that comes at McGarvey full throttle--from the grave of an enemy McGarvey had buried decades before.


Step by inexorable step, the assassin--a sleeper agent for all these years--is awakened from a holding state of mind. Brainwashed by KGB doctors to pull the trigger, the killer has unknowingly waited for a signal that has finally arrived.


And as the story races toward its breathtaking climax, it's becoming clearer to McGarvey and his associates that the killer is someone within his inner circle.


A colleague or a friend.


Somebody very close.


Is there anyone McGarvey can trust when trust itself can kill him?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hagberg (Eden's Gate) resumes his CIA thriller series featuring veteran agent Kirk McGarvey with this rousing entry. Happily reunited with his wife after a separation, 50-year-old McGarvey is ready for the slow lane after a quarter-century of service with the CIA, but his work isn't over-the president nominates him for the post of interim director, which would make him the youngest man ever to serve in that capacity. He jumps at the opportunity, but his "preternatural awareness" warns him that something's not right. His research assistant, Otto, discovers that former KGB doctor Anatoli Nikolayev has fled Moscow with an armful of old classified documents from the Network Martyrs File, which held the Cold War plans for the assassination of key U.S. government figures. The assassination plans were developed years ago by an old enemy of McGarvey's, but have somehow been reactivated now that McGarvey has been appointed to his new post. Rigged helicopters, exploding vans, faulty car brakes and killer skis place McGarvey, his family and Otto in grave danger, and an attempt on his pregnant daughter's life throws McGarvey's wife, Kathleen, into an emotional tailspin. Otto rushes off to France to get some answers from Nikolayev, while McGarvey tries to keep it together for his confirmation hearings as a callous senator dissects his long-buried, sordid past. In reliably meaty prose, Hagberg once again delivers compelling characters, animated political intrigue and a plot that speeds along at a steady clip. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With Kirk McGarvey's return to action after a one-book hiatus, old pro Hagberg (Joshua's Hammer, 2000, etc.) shows that his hand's still firm on the thriller. McGarvey is 50 now and graying at the temples, but "the best field officer the CIA has ever known" maintains that "rugby player's physique," and, with those "honest gray-green eyes," he's no less the chick magnet than ever. Also-in this 14th venture into tricky, sticky, geopolitical quagmires-he's finally reached the pinnacle of his profession. In a couple of days, Senate confirmation hearings will begin on his appointment as DCI, Director of Central Intelligence. Not that he's absolutely certain he wants the job-it's dangerous in a variety of ways and thankless in every way-but since President Haynes wants him in the post, McGarvey, patriot that he is, feels he has no choice. Roiling the waters, however, is Senator Thomas Hammond, chairman of the pertinent subcommittee, whose view of McGarvey's qualifications runs dramatically counter to the President's. Vitriolic and venomous Senator Hammond does little to hide the fact that he views McGarvey as a loose cannon, that he dislikes him personally, and that he intends-by fair means or foul-to block his appointment. And he's got company. Consider Valentin Baranov, for instance, once the evil genius behind the most vicious of KGB operations. Never mind that he's dead, rendered so by a bullet from McGarvey's gun. What matters is that his demonic Operation Martyr isn't, and that it can be triggered posthumously in a particularly repellent way-triggered, that is, by someone in McGarvey's inner circle, someone he's always thought of as above suspicion. McGarvey now has to discover who, amongthose he loves and trusts, is most likely to be his betrayer. Le Carré manqué, true enough, but spymeister Hagberg can percolate an action scene with the best of them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429912419
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 12/7/2003
  • Series: Kirk McGarvey Series, #9
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 54,755
  • File size: 403 KB

Meet the Author

David Hagberg is a former Air Force cryptographer who has traveled extensively in Europe, the Arctic, and the Caribbean, and has spoken at CIA functions. He has published more than twenty novels of suspense, including the bestselling High Flight, Assassin, and Joshua's Hammer. He makes his home in Vero Beach, Florida.


David Hagberg is a New York Times bestselling author who has published numerous novels of suspense, including his bestselling thrillers featuring former CIA director Kirk McGarvey, which include Abyss, The Cabal, The Expediter, and Allah's Scorpion. He has earned a nomination for the American Book Award, three nominations for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award and three Mystery Scene Best American Mystery awards. He has spent more than thirty years researching and studying US-Soviet relations during the Cold War. Hagberg joined the Air Force out of high school, and during the height of the Cold War, he served as an Air Force cryptographer. He attended the University of Maryland and University of Wisconsin. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, he now lives with his wife Laurie in Sarasota, Florida.
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Read an Excerpt




IT HAD BEEN MADE TO LOOK
AS IF HE HAD SHOT HIMSELF IN THE
TEMPLE WITH THE GUN.
MOSCOW


Dr. Anatoli Nikolayev was an old man, and the summer heat was oppressive to him as he hauled his thin 0body up the dark narrow stairs. He wasn't sure that he wanted the answers that he had come here to find. Yet with everything that he'd learned so far he couldn't simply turn his back like an old lover who'd found out he'd been betrayed.
His research was almost finished. He had ground his way through a million pages of old records, starting in 1917 with the Soviet Union's first secret intelligence service, the Cheka, until the breakup under Gorbachev and the dismantling of the KGB in 1991; the kidnappings and terrorism and sabotage; poisons, electric guns, honey traps, brainwashings, intimidation of countless thousands of officials and diplomats from nearly every country in the world. And assassination. The ultimate act of the state other than war. Bodies stretching back almost ninety years; piled to the rafters; more bodies than even Hitler had been credited with, making him wonder why the Soviet Union hadn't been as reviled as the Nazis were.
His boney, blue-veined left hand trailed along the cracked plaster wall, and he could smell the terror in the stifling air like last night's cabbage dinner; urine and shit from the overflowing communal toilets; the accumulated filth of ninety years of negelect.
When the KGB came it was almost always easier to commit suicide the moment the knock came on the door than to endure what would come next. But all of that was finally coming to an end. The money to operate the vast worldwide spy network was drying up.
Sleeper agents in place for years, some of them for thirty years or more, were being cut free from funds. Forgotten about. Their original missions no longer valid. They were the unmentionables. No one at the Kremlin wanted to know about them, let alone speak their names.
That meant trouble was coming. Agents cut off with no way out became desperate men. And desperate men sometimes did horrible things.
He stopped on the third floor landing in the rundown apartment building a few blocks north of the Bolshoi Theater and stared at the small, dirty window at the end of the hall. He waited patiently to catch his breath. His longish white hair was plastered to his neck. His research was almost done and he was afraid to think about what he had uncovered. What might be about to happen. He needed names. A way to stop the madness that he had been a part of a long time ago.
Last of three doors in the corridor. He'd asked at the Pivnoy Bar around the corner on Stoleshinkov pereulok for the exact address. General Gennadi Zhuralev lived alone with his books; no friends, no lovers, no trouble except his lights, which were always on until dawn. No one had thought to ask why.
"Tall man, was he? Broad shoulders, big ears, scar on his forehead?"
"No taller than average, but he always carries a canvas satchel. Heavy. Books maybe, certainly not money."
Dr. Nikolayev tried to dredge up a personal memory of the face from his own days as a psychologist with the KGB. But he could not. Zhuralev worked for General Baranov and the crowd in Department Viktor; assassinations, executive actions, they were called; wet affairs, mokrie dela, the spilling of blood; formerly the Thirteenth Department or Line F. It was Division 17 now though no one outside the SVR's First Chief Directorate was supposed to know it. He would recognize the man's face, though, from the photographs, and his voice, which had sounded gravelly on the phone.
He walked to the last door. The building was not quite silent; a radio or television played softly in one of the apartments, and in the other it sounded as if someone was practicing on a piano, tentatively, unsure of the notes. He hesitated out of old habit to listen for trouble sounds; the snick of a pistol slide being drawn back, sirens down on the street, boots on the stairs. The light filtering through the window was pale yellow, and his eyes were drawn to it like a moth to flame. The ceiling and walls angled inward to him, crushing his breath; he longed to escape to the clean air on the street.
There was someone inside the apartment who didn't belong there. He was hearing hard-soled shoes. At the Pivnoy they laughed and said that the old man always wore his bedroom slippers outside.
Nikolayev turned and went silently to the end of the hall, where he flattened himself in the corner next to the small window in the darker shadows. He hadn't brought a pistol.
The door opened, and two men came out. They were very large, their heads were shaved and they wore shiny leather jackets despite the heat. One of them carried a canvas satchel. Nikolayev's legs felt like straw. They closed the door, turned away and headed to the stairs. He watched the doorway until they were gone and he could no longer hear them on the stairs, wondering what he would have done had they turned around and seen him.
Zhuralev was part of the Baranov crowd. If anyone had the answers it would be him. Someone who had been there, someone who knew if the bridge still existed between then and now. He waited for a long time, thinking that he could walk away. The August heat seemed even more oppressive now.
He let himself into the overstuffed two-room apartment. Books and magazines and newspapers were strewn everywhere, but not as if the place had been searched. This was the way the man lived. The rooms were like a furnace, but filled with the odors of musty books, pipe tobacco and something else. Unpleasant. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled.
He went to the bedroom door. Gennadi Zhuralev, his blood-filled eyes open, lay on his back on the bed. He was fully clothed, carpet slippers on his feet, a silenced pistol in his slack hand. It had been made to look as if he had shot himself in the temple with the gun. But suicides did not usually go to the trouble of using a silenced pistol so that their neighbors would not be disturbed by the noise.
Nikolayev was conscious of his heart arrhythmia, a fluttering in his chest that made him dizzy and empty. With a feeling of deep despair he knew that he was utterly alone. He was an old man, and he valued his peace, but at what cost, he wondered, looking at Zhuralev's body. Lie down with the lions but don't expect to remain safe forever. He couldn't make his wife understand that; she loved the perks that his KGB colonel's rank brought them; food, apartment, dacha on the Istra, a car; until she bled to death on the surgeon's table. A simple gallbladder operation. But nothing was as simple as all that, not even in Moscow.
What was it that they hoped to cover up by killing a retired KGB officer who couldn't sleep nights and who wore carpet slippers? Nikolayev tried to feel some sorrow for the man, but he could not. Zhuralev had been a murderer.
What had died with him up here under the eaves? Nikolayev thought he knew the answer now, and he was frightened. Some important Americans were going to get killed if he was right and unless he did something. He could not turn away. It was far too late for that, no matter how dearly he valued his peace.
He got in his old BMW without windshield wipers, parked around the corner, and headed toward the Lefortovo Prison on Moscow's northeast side. They had gotten to Zhuralev, and he would be next because he had tinkered with the old files. He had to move decisively now--surprise them, give them pause long enough for him to get out. But he needed the proof first; otherwise, no one in the West would believe his fantastic story. What was in the satchel they'd carried out?
He was stuck, caught between a rock and a very hard place with no simple way out. He hadn't meant to uncover the operation. Hadn't meant for that to happen at all. But now it was far too late for him to turn back. Like an insect caught in the spider's web, the more he struggled, the more terrible his situation became.

Copyright © 2002 by David Hagberg
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2011

    The Catholics get bashed again. Don't buy it.

    Pretty easy to figure out who the bad guy was. Hagburg obviously has it in for the Catholic Church. This was my second book by him. The first was OK, but I have deleted them both from my Nook and won't be buying any others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    To All

    This is such a weak group!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2015

    WICKED is good

    Reply to WICKED if you know what i mean by WICKED is good

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Skotos

    She flies in.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Disaster

    :,O

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Dimfang 艓 - All

    [Get to Camp..v-v And, I know, Jail.]

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Veil

    x.x

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Dark

    I actually might stay...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Nm

    Nono

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Flamepelt

    Well you did good today go catch somthing then head back see you tommlrrow

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    Big Dissapointment

    Long on character development and short on action or thrills. I was well past page 100 before anything happened and figured out the 'villan' 2/3 into the book. Not as good as his other books. Just goes to prove that when hunters are hunted the story is not all that compelling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2003

    Hagberg tops himself again

    David Hagberg has once again outdone himself with another Kirk McGarvey saves the world, except this time, its McGarvey saves himself and his family. Hagberg finds himself and his family in the Kill Zone, except this time he doesn't know who he can trust, since the evil Russkies planted a sleeper assassin around him many years ago. Now, not only does McGarvey have to simultaneously navigate the Senate confirmation hearings to be named CIA director, but he's got to figure out who around him is trying to plant a bullet in his head. It's McGarvey at his finest. B & N lists Kyle Mills, Dale Brown, Clive Cussler, Paul Kemprecos and Ken Follett as similar writers. But in reality, none can hold a candle to Hagberg. Hagberg is truly the master of the adventure genre!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    great espionage thriller

    After spending a quarter of the century spying in various hot spots, Kirk ¿Mac¿ McGarvey looks forward to spending the rest of his life in the arms of his wife and child. However, the President nominated Mac to replace recently retired CIA Director Roland Murphy, the dream culmination of a dedicated career man. Still Mac wonders if he wants the aggravation as teaching Voltaire seems more appropriate right now. Still Mac accepts the offer and his senate confirmation hearings will convene shortly, but in the interim he is the acting director. The nomination triggers a brainwashed assassin to rise from sleep with the object to kill Mac. As someone stalks Mac and his family, the acting director begins his own inquiry. He concludes that an inner circle associate is obsessed with his death, but whom? Unbeknownst to Mac is that his deadliest Cold War foe General Baranov has left behind a legacy from his grave, an executioner who silently awaited the trigger to kill Mac. When it comes to exciting Cold War and Post Cold War dramas, no one provides a more exhilarating and horrifying fiction than David Hagberg renders. His latest espionage thriller has been used before (Manchurian Candidate), but rarely at the level of gripping suspense as THE KILL ZONE contains. The story line is fast-paced while seizing the full attention of the audience because Mac, his wife and their daughter are a warm family that no one wants harmed except for an awakening sleeper agent and a dead Russian. This is a triumph for the Cold War espionage crowd. Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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