Featured Review: ‘Wolf Trap’ by Connor Sullivan


Following his Barry Award-winning debut novel (Sleeping Bear), Connor Sullivan, one of the most exciting new voices to emerge in the thriller genre over the last decade, delivers another unrelenting thriller that’s sure to blow readers away.

In a few short days, American President Angela Buchanan will score a massive political win while simultaneously achieving her lifelong goal of radically reducing the world’s carbon footprint when she leads a summit in Davos, Switzerland, where multiple countries, including the United States, are set to sign the Global Green Accord, a global pledge to becoming carbon-neutral while eliminating fossil fuels.

At least, that’s the plan.

Brian Rhome lives a simple life in Montana, but things weren’t always so quiet. And they won’t stay that way for long.

The story takes its first turn when seven of the world’s cutting-edge clean-energy reactors all suddenly melt down. Fowl play isn’t just suspected; it’s a near certainty. So too, is the derailing of Buchanan’s plan, even though it has support from some of the unlikeliest allies. Finding out who’s behind the attack is objective number one, but as new details begin to emerge, it becomes clear that merely failing to sign the Global Green Accord is the least of Buchanan’s problems—especially as the threat of another world war looms large as conspirators begin to emerge.

With few capable options to turn to, Rhome—who is still reeling from emotional wounds sustained from a previous life—is called back to action. Years back, Rhome was a paramilitary officer with Ground Branch, the CIA’s elite and very covert unit. Under the direction of the Special Activities Center in the Operations Directorate of the CIA, the agency is said to train its operators in the arts of “assassination, sabotage, infiltration, and guerrilla warfare.” And if he’s going to criss-cross around the globe in hopes of thwarting an attack that could forever change the history of America, if not the world, Rhome will need to apply all of his training . . . and even that might not be enough to save the day.

Forget any concerns over the dreaded “sophomore slump,” as Connor Sullivan schools the genre on how to go big and deliver a hit after already making a name for himself with a riveting, award-winning debut. Wolf Trap is a brilliant, masterfully written novel that falls somewhere between the works you might expect from C.J. Box and Brad Thor. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is that Sullivan manages to put together a rather smart, complex plot with a big cast and a lot of moving pieces, and yet, somehow, none of it feels overwhelming or hard to understand. Even when breaking down the science involved, Sullivan carefully walks the line of nailing even the most minute details, but is careful to never lose the reader by bogging things down in a way that’s hard to comprehend. Instead, Sullivan—on top of entertaining and delivering one well-timed surprise after another—teaches the reader everything they need to know about the subject at hand (whether it be climate change or the inner workings of the CIA) in a way that’s clear, concise, and helplessly addictive. Add to that a strong yet flawed hero in Brian Rhome—a man who’s been hiding in nowhere Montan in an attempt to heal, only to jump at the chance to take down a man he has some painful history with—and you’ve got all the workings of a blockbuster hit that should appeal to a wide range of readers.

He’s only two books into his young career, but it’s already clear that Connor Sullivan is a star in the making, and he puts the rest of the genre on notice with Wolf Trap, an early favorite for best thriller of the year.

Book Details

Author: Connor Sullivan
Series: Brian Rhome #1
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1982166428
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.95/10



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 is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord


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