David Hagberg’s Next Thriller Will Tell Kirk McGarvey’s Origin Story (With Details)

After twenty-three books written over three decades, New York Times bestselling author David Hagberg is going back in time to finally tell CIA operative Kirk McGarvey’s origin story. 

After he first introduced McGarvey in his 1989 thriller, Without Honor, Hagberg, 75, has consistently delivered one book a year to his fans, rarely going more than twelve months between new releases. In fact, this year, he’s set to put out two books — Flash Points, which came out back in March, and Face Off, which releases on October 9th. 

Though few series, especially in this genre, have lasted as long as Hagberg’s, the author has been known for his ups and downs. A streaky writer, Hagberg has strung together numerous hits, several of his latest books have fallen flat (The Fourth Horseman, End Game) or missed the mark altogether. Flash Points, for example, wasn’t up to the standard Hagberg set for himself with past books and might be his weakest title to date. Thankfully, the author does rebound with Face Off, a massive step in the right direction, but part of the problem with this series falls outside of the writing itself and has to do with the formula growing tired. Keep in mind that McGarvey was a “former” CIA operative back in 1989, and has basically spent the last thirty years doing the hokey pokey with the agency ever since. 

That one foot in, one foot out approach worked for a while, and other authors have flirted with similar concepts (Daniel Silva comes to mind, though Silva has proven to be one of the best spy novelists of his time), but it’s no secret that fans of McGarvey have found recent books to be a bit stale and repetitive. The fix, apparently, might be to take readers back to a time when McGarvey was actually with the CIA, revealing his origin in a prequel novel titled First Kill

hagberg-2008Renowned thriller writer David Hagberg continues his New York Times bestselling Kirk McGarvey series with this riveting origin story for the CIA assassin

It is the beginning of Kirk McGarvey’s career as a CIA black ops officer. Fresh out of the Air Force OSI, he receives his first assignment: assassinate a Chilean general known as the Butcher of Valparaiso, a monster who has tortured and killed more than one thousand dissidents at a soccer stadium in Valparaiso.

McGarvey manages to cross the border over the mountains from Argentina without being discovered, and even makes his way to the general’s remote compound. But the odds are stacked against him. Chile’s National Intelligence Agency, the ANI, has been warned of his approach and wants him to fail―and someone back home in Washington is working to make sure he does.

For this newly-minted assassin, killing the butcher is only the beginning.



Stay tuned for more information and updates on First Kill, including a look at the final cover art, in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, fans of David Hagberg can pre-order Kirk McGarvey’s origin story, currently slated for publication on May 7, 2019, wherever books are sold. 


Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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