This year, Matthew Quirk wowed readers with his hit novel The Night Agent, one of the best political thrillers of 2019. Fans hoping for a sequel to that book, however, will have to wait as Quirk’s next project will be another standalone, titled Hour of the Assassin, and is currently on track to hit bookstores on March 31, 2020.
Though it isn’t set in the same universe as The Night Agent, Hour of the Assassin is another politically-charged thriller set in Washington D.C., and even features similar, torn-from-the-headlines themes. In exclusive remarks to The Real Book Spy, Quirk spoke about his highly-anticipated new book—offering insight into the story’s plot, and how he came up with the idea in the first place.
“When I was doing journalism in DC, I learned about a group of real-life specialists who sounded like they had come straight out of a thriller: security experts who work for the government and pose as assassins,” said Quirk. “They protect VIPs by finding the weaknesses in their defenses. I’ve been wanting to write about that world for a long time. Centering the story on a former Secret Service agent who has to put himself in the mind of the threats he once defended against seemed like the perfect way in.”
“Hour of the Assassin is a standalone novel like The Night Agent, and they have similar themes and origins. I love writing books that are inspired by real people, fascinating characters who let me pull back the curtain on how influence works and who really calls the shots in Washington.”
Check out the official cover art and plot details below.
Framed and on the run for his life, a former Secret Service agent discovers how far some men will go to grasp the highest office in the land in this electrifying tale from the author of The Night Agent—a propulsive political thriller reminiscent of the best early Baldacci and Grisham novels.
As a Secret Service agent, Nick Averose spent a decade protecting the most powerful men and women in America and developed a unique gift: the ability to think like an assassin. Now, he uses that skill in a little-known but crucial job. As a “red teamer,” he poses as a threat, testing the security around our highest officials to find vulnerabilities—before our enemies can. He is a mock killer, capable of slipping past even the best defenses.
His latest assignment is to assess the security surrounding the former CIA director at his DC area home. But soon after he breaches the man’s study, the home’s inner sanctum, it becomes clear that something is very wrong. Someone else is here—someone who has attacked the chief right under Nick’s nose. Desperately attempting to save the man’s life, Nick contaminates the crime scene. Now, investigators are sure Nick is somehow involved.
Nick knows he’s the perfect scapegoat. But who is framing him, and why? To clear his name, he must find the truth—a search that leads to a nefarious conspiracy whose roots stretch back decades. The prize is the most powerful position in the world: the Oval Office.
To save himself and the people he loves, Nick must stop the men who rule Washington before they bury him along with their secrets.
Matthew Quirk is the New York Times bestselling author of The 500, The Directive, Cold Barrel Zero, and Dead Man Switch. He spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crime, private military contractors, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. He lives in San Diego, California.
Readers looking to pre-order Hour of the Assassin can do so here or anywhere else books are sold. In the meantime, make sure you’re following Quirk on Facebook, Twitter, and his official website for more details.
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.