Forge, Oct 2002, 24.95, 352 pp.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner