A Book Spy Review: ‘End Game’ By David Hagberg

51rIYwL-0bL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgIt’s been twenty-seven years since bestselling author David Hagberg first introduced readers to Kirk McGarvey. Since then, the legendary CIA operative has faced numerous threats, challenges, and daunting circumstances.

Nothing, though, compares to his current mission…

In End Game, the twentieth novel in Hagberg’s series, McGarvey must face off against a young assassin with an extraordinarily lethal skill set.

When a string of murders claims victims from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, all the way to a prison in Athens, the world’s most notorious spy agency must find a way to stop the killer at work.

But stopping a killer requires the skills of a superior assassin, and no one has had a more storied career than McGarvey. So with few reliable options on the table, the old spy is summoned to head up the murder investigation.

As McGarvey searches for the killer’s end game, he discovers that someone has carved a cryptic code into the iconic statue known as Kryptos, which sits in the courtyard just in front of the CIA’s headquarters. The code, McGarvey believes, provides a motive for the killer’s actions and ultimately leads him to the city of Kirkuk, where he must unravel a mystery that reaches back to just before the first Iraqi war. 

Using the real-life statue Kryptos, which has boggled some of the greatest minds on the planet and still remains partially unsolved to this day, isn’t an entirely new plot point (Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol) on its own. However, Hagberg, a former Air Force cryptographer, is uniquely qualified on this subject matter and offers expert insight and an entirely new take on things, making End Game surprisingly fun and unique.

McGarvey, for his part, continues to get better with age. And while he may have lost a step or two since his younger days, he makes up for it by relying on his instincts and experience to give him an edge over younger, more physical opponents. 

While The Fourth Horseman (Hagberg’s previous novel) completely missed the mark, End Game delivers a precision shot at center mass by mixing adrenaline-pumping suspense and hair-raising conspiracy. 

This is probably David Hagberg’s best novel since The Cabal (2010), and proves that there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank for fan-favorite Kirk McGarvey.

Book Details

Author: David Hagberg

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

Publisher: Forge Books

Release Date: September 6, 2016 (Order now!)

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