Featured Review: ‘Perfect Shot’ by Steve Urszenyi


Coming out of the gate strong with a riveting, high-flying debut novel, author Steve Urszenyi introduces readers to an exciting new hero and makes his presence in the thriller world felt right off the rip with Perfect Shot, a page-turning adventure that packs a mean punch.

Special Agent Alexandra Martel thought her days on the battlefield were behind her. A former combat medic who later became one of the Army’s most feared snipers, Martel is now working as an FBI agent when readers first meet up with her here. Though not chained to a desk, her life is far from action-packed, that is, until Alex—who is on temporary loan to Interpol, discovers that an MI5 officer she once knew was killed under suspicious circumstances.

Teaming with a CIA officer and diving in head-first to investigate her friend’s death, Alex follows a trail of clues left by the former British intelligence officer that eventually leads to a startling revelation: Someone has managed to steal a nuclear warhead.

As Alex relentlessly pursues the missing nuke, the rest of the picture slowly comes into focus, and soon, she realizes that whoever is behind the stolen warhead is planning to use it in Paris during the unprecedented gathering of world leaders for a global peace summit. That sets a ticking clock, which echoes loudly in the background as Alex—who moves from London to Turkey and then Paris—runs from one gunfight to the next, all in hopes of saving the day before it’s too late. But with the odds stacked against her and time quickly running out, Alex will have to become the feared operator she once was if she wants to outlast the bad guys and bring them to justice . . . and when Urszenyi finally puts her behind the scope of her long gun, it’s as good as anything else the genre has to offer.

Standing out in the crowded field that is today’s thriller market is never easy, but Steve Urszenyi has managed to do just that with his first book, which reads like a cross between Stephen Hunter and Brad Taylor. There’s a ton of action, and while it’s easy to get lost in that—and done well enough, frankly, to stand up against anyone writing today—there’s also a healthy dose of character development for Alex and the cast around her. Speaking of Alex, she’s a fantastic new character who brings much-needed grit and heart to the genre. Urszenyi is often at his best between the action sequences when Alex isn’t just squeezing triggers but solving puzzles and, in doing so, helping readers understand the urgency of the unfolding problems at hand. To that end, the plotting is tight and well done, with a few twists that’ll surprise many as they follow along. Moreover, the pacing is also excellent, making Perfect Shot an incredibly quick read that hooks readers and forces them to keep turning pages as Alex races to piece together the growing conspiracy. Altogether, it’s an impressive feat for any first-time author and certainly makes this series one to keep an eye on moving forward.

Perfect Shot is a perfect strike for debut author Steve Urszenyi, who dials up the kind of globe-trotting, action-packed adventure that thriller fans everywhere are sure to enjoy.

Book Details

Author: Steve Urszenyi
Series: Alex Martel #1
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 250879108
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: November 14th



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. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, comes out on August 8th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. To talk books and connect with other readers, join the discussion over at The Real Book Spy Discord Server.


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