The Contractor

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"Rick Behringer is an outside contractor working for the Central Intelligence Agency. He owns a small company that, in the light of day, provides communications security for government offices, including the CIA. In the shadows, though, Rick's a spy. He runs overseas agents for the CIA and, through his firm, buys foreign-military technology that the Agency wants to inspect but can't be seen purchasing." "The divorced father of two little girls, Rick carries on a cold war with his ex, Liz, and a hot romance with his sexy girlfriend, Frannie. He
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The Contractor

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Overview

"Rick Behringer is an outside contractor working for the Central Intelligence Agency. He owns a small company that, in the light of day, provides communications security for government offices, including the CIA. In the shadows, though, Rick's a spy. He runs overseas agents for the CIA and, through his firm, buys foreign-military technology that the Agency wants to inspect but can't be seen purchasing." "The divorced father of two little girls, Rick carries on a cold war with his ex, Liz, and a hot romance with his sexy girlfriend, Frannie. He still broods over the mysterious death of his father, a high-level CIA officer during the Vietnam War, who committed suicide when Rick was thirteen." Through contacts in what he calls the "Black World," Rick hears of a mysterious Pakistani Islamist, a rogue nuclear physicist who is trying to acquire highly enriched uranium in order to construct "an Islamic bomb" a scheme that is all too credible. In tracking him down, Rick encounters a host of characters, some willing to help, many more willing to take his life. And in the explosive conclusion, he struggles in a deadly game of wits with Russian gangsters and the terrorist who is plotting nuclear mass murder in America.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Middle East expert MacKinnon (Morning Spy, Evening Spy) puts a fresh twist on the stolen suitcase-nuke plot in this smart thriller. Rick Behringer runs Global Reach Technologies, a company that designs communications systems, but his real job is as a contractor to the CIA. Rick specializes in what is known as "foreign matériel acquisition," which means he buys weapons illegally from other countries and passes them along to the CIA. The money is good, and Rick has a strong sense of patriotism, but mostly he likes the adrenaline high that comes with this outsourced spy work. When Rick comes across a Pakistani, Ahmed Sajid (aka "the Engineer"), who's attempting to acquire nuclear material from a Russian gangster to build an atomic weapon for terrorist purposes, Rick's CIA handlers push him to investigate. Soon Rick finds himself in serious trouble. This fine espionage procedural should please spy and adventure fans alike. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“Middle East expert MacKinnon puts a fresh twist on the stolen suitcase-nuke plot in this smart thriller. . . . This fine espionage procedural should please spy and adventure fans alike.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] fast-moving, nail-biting thriller.” Tucson Citizen

“A grabby and gutsy thriller . . . with in-depth characters and finely tooled writing.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A truly compelling contemporary spy thriller.” —Booklist

Praise for Morning Spy, Evening Spy

“MacKinnon . . . shows great insight into the inner workings of U.S. intelligence. His clipped prose style, descriptive discipline, and tone-perfect dialogue elevate this thriller above the pack.” Publishers Weekly

“This CIA procedural . . . pays off in a gut punch of an ending.” Booklist.

“A richly drawn, splendidly written novel. . . . If you’re a thriller reader, snatch this one up. It’s the best of the year, by far.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“MacKinnon has a quiet, spare style and a knack for nailing down just the right details. . . . A nicely written thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312355784
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin MacKinnon is former chief editor of Middle East Executive Reports. He is the author of the well-received novels Finding Hoseyn and Morning Spy, Evening Spy. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife, Diane.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    superb spy thriller

    Rick Behringer may manage Global Reach Technologies, but he uses the communications designs firm as a front to hide his covert operations as CIA contractor. The agency uses Rick when it needs sensitive retrieval. As a ¿foreign materiel acquisition¿ expert, Rick purchases weapons from black markets and rogue nations that he delivers to the CIA.<BR/><BR/>In Pakistan, Rick learns that Ahmed ¿the Engineer¿ Sajid is offering plenty of money for nuclear material. The Engineer hopes to entice a Russian Mafiosi to steal the nuclear material and sell it to him. His plan is to create a nuclear weapon. Rick reports the market place rumors to his handlers who outsource to him the investigation.<BR/><BR/>The key to this superb spy thriller is the extrapolation of the Bush outsourcing of the Iraq War by contracting out to the private sector espionage covert activities; those who prefer ultra small government will especially appreciate the concept of a CIA with a few Contracting Officer Representatives. Rick is not a CIA civil servant, but instead a contractor hired intermittently as needed as an expert in his case retriever. Fast-paced and exciting, sub-genre fans will relish this terrific stolen nuke thriller.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 4, 2013

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    Posted April 6, 2009

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    Posted February 14, 2009

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