The Right Hand

( 2 )


"A one session rocket of a thriller.: -Financial Times (Best Books of 2012)

Meet Austin Clay, the CIA's best-kept secret. Clay executes missions that would be disavowed by his own government were he ever to be compromised. His team consists only of his trusted handler and himself. His missions are among the most important and dangerous in U.S. history.

Clay is sent to track down a missing American operative, a man who was captured near Moscow, ...

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The Right Hand

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"A one session rocket of a thriller.: -Financial Times (Best Books of 2012)

Meet Austin Clay, the CIA's best-kept secret. Clay executes missions that would be disavowed by his own government were he ever to be compromised. His team consists only of his trusted handler and himself. His missions are among the most important and dangerous in U.S. history.

Clay is sent to track down a missing American operative, a man who was captured near Moscow, in the Russian countryside. Soon he discovers that the missing officer is only the beginning of the mission, and Clay finds himself protecting a desperate woman who believes a mole has penetrated the top levels of the U.S. government, throwing the international balance of power into jeopardy.

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Editorial Reviews

Deadly Pleasures
"Fast-paced with lots of believable action."
"Haas spins a riveting page-turner with just the kind of sharp dialogue one would expect from someone who writes for the movies. Readers will want to see more of Austin Clay."
Shawna Seed
"The novel begins literally with a bang and never lets up. His writing manages to be both economical and evocative. Pure genius."
Financial Times
"A one session rocket of a thriller."
Jeff Abbott
"Derek Haas is a vivid and cinematic writer and THE RIGHT HAND is a roller coaster of a novel."
Oline H. Cogdill
"Screenwriter and novelist Derek Haas confidently strides into espionage with his adrenaline rush The Right Hand. A lean, no-nonsense plot....the vigorous pace never slows as Haas' sparse prose propels the plot that crisscrosses Europe. Haas introduces just enough spycraft to add intrigue, but never to overwhelm his story."
David Benioff
"Derek Haas knows how to capture your attention with his first sentence and keep you in his thrall until his final words. THE RIGHT HAND is impossible to read in small bites. You devour it like a shark, hungry for more until you've swallowed every gob of flesh, every drop of blood. Haas doesn't know how to write a boring page; THE RIGHT HAND, like a triple shot of espresso, will keep you up all night, eyes darting back and forth, wondering how it's all going to end."
Publishers Weekly
This hard-edged contemporary spy thriller from Haas (Dark Men) covers a lot of ground with great narrative economy. Austin Clay, “an intelligence officer for 15 years, six of those in black ops,” executes missions so secret that his CIA bosses will never acknowledge their existence. Clay goes undercover in Russia to bring back a missing fellow agent, Blake Nelson, who “was doing some very sensitive work near the Caspian Sea.” Clay’s superiors fear that the Russians have captured Nelson and may torture him into revealing U.S. intelligence. The case quickly spins beyond Clay’s control with the entry of a beautiful Hungarian woman and a stream of Russian hit men. The discovery of a mole in the CIA’s upper echelons raises the stakes. Forceful, cinematic scenes show off the lean grace of Hass’s prose. Cleverly placed plot twists and spycraft details help make this a standout. Readers will hope to see a lot more of Clay. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Nov.)
New York Times Book Review

"A devastatingly cool series."

Library Journal
Austin Clay does deep-secret jobs for the government, the latest being to hunt for a missing American operative outside Moscow. Soon, he's teamed with a woman who's convinced that there's a mole somewhere in the U.S. government. Hollywood screenwriter Haas (e.g., 3:10 to Yuma) is editor of, which presents short stories by top novelists and screenwriters.
Kirkus Reviews
Once more to Moscow and the Russian tundra on a supersecret mission goes a solitary hero in a thriller that makes the familiar seem fresh. There's little in this book that thriller aficionados haven't encountered--agents who may be double agents, an attractive woman who holds vital information, and sources trustworthy and treacherous. From all this, author Haas (Dark Men, 2011, etc.) has crafted a lean and mean tale laced with wit, mordant insight and, at perfectly judged moments, flashes of sharp prose. The "right hand" of the title is Austin Clay, who carries out "covert missions so black no one in the American government, and almost no one in intelligence" is aware of his exploits. Shrewd perceptions and nearly superhuman agility and shooting skills keep Clay atop his game as he plays "dirty street chess, the kind played in Washington Square Park in New York…where half the game is guff, intimidation and smack." For the mission at hand, Clay's handler packs him off to Russia to learn what has happened to missing agent Blake Nelson, who may have become a double agent or may have been murdered. Once in Moscow, sources lead Clay to believe Marika Csontos, a missing 18-year-old nanny, may have been passing Nelson information about clandestine dealings between Iran and Russia. Deftly dispatching pursuing Russian agents, Clay heads to Vladivostok where he finds Marika, who of course, is attractive. The two head back to Russia--with more Soviet agents in pursuit--to search for Nelson. Screenwriter Haas (3:10 to Yuma) paces his tale with crack action scenes that, however well they read on the page, may soon have film directors calling "Action!" These high-octane scenes, however, never detract from Haas' canny plotting, which is capped by a final, unexpected twist and a poignant fade-out. It's not the game, but how well you play it, and Haas plays it very well indeed in what clearly seems a series launch.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316198493
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 12/10/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 811,140
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek Haas is the co-writer of the films The Double, Wanted, and 3:10 to Yuma, and The Assassin Trilogy: The Silver Bear, Columbus and Dark Men. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite ¿The Right Hand¿

    Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

    “The Right Hand” is the code name for Austin Clay, a special type of CIA agent. Clay is black ops (anything the CIA will not acknowledge). This time his assignment is to find and retrieve CIA agent Blake Nelson from Russia. The CIA is uncertain whether Nelson has turned sides or is a captive. They want him back dead or alive. Clay discovers that Marika Csontos is involved and a target for elimination. Clay has never had time for romance and yet he finds himself strangely drawn to Marika.

    Derek Haas has successfully set the base for a new series. Haas has created a strong leading character in Austin Clay. Clay’s flaws are explained by his childhood. He was held captive on his uncle’s boat for years after he was orphaned. After eight years of abuse he finally managed to physically escape his uncle but the mental and emotional scares are still there. CIA Agent Clay is bigger than life and at times seems indestructible. He is a man ready for action, crafty and intelligent. He reminds me of James Bond. “The Right Hand” is a short book with only 272 pages. The author makes the best use of each page keeping the plot moving along swiftly. The plot is complex, intense, thrilling and well done. The plot would play well on the big screen. This is a book fans of spy novels will not want to miss. I’ll be watching for more books by Derek Haas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    Great read

    Finished it in one evening! Ending was inevitable, but nevertheless a great read and im satisfied. I'll be reading his other books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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