Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review: AN HONORABLE MAN, by Paul Vidich

Paul Vidich
Atria / Emily Bestler Books, 2016
288 pages
Spy / Thriller

AN HONORABLE MAN takes place during the early 1950s. America is in panic mode. Anything Russian, Communist-related, or homosexual is bad. Knee-jerk decisions, and chaos propel the government. In the middle of it all, and at the end of his rope is C.I.A. Agent George Mueller.

Operatives in the field, and confidential information is being leaked to the Russians. They seem constantly one step ahead. They know every turn before the US makes it. The only conclusion is a mole exists inside the agency, a traitor, a ... double agent. The C.I.A. has a name for the unknown traitor. They call him Protocol.

Mueller wants out. He's had enough. Too many people who became collateral damage haunt him. The things he's done, seen, it is more than he can take. However, the director needs his help. One last time. They must root out the mole, and expose the double agent. The safety of so many depend on the revelation!

Working within a group known as The Council, a list of likely suspects has been comprised: screw-ups, drunks, overspenders, those who held grudges against the agency. Mueller's connections can get him in close with Colonel Yuri Vasilenko. Mueller's peer, and somewhat of a friend, becomes his go-to guy in a time when trust is meaningless, and true identities are masks worn over masks.

Unexpected romance keeps Mueller off-balance. Handling feelings he otherwise kept concealed, and locked, and stored far from his heart, he finds his own mission compromised. Figuring out who is on the right side, and who is on the wrong side is not as easy as black and white. As the Council closes in on the identity of Protocol, Mueller realizes swift, and not-so-easy actions must be taken . . . It is the only way he can get out of the C.I.A. in one piece, it is the only way he can retire and live out his life as close to a normal person as possible.

In a taut cat and mouse game between governments, and dangerous politicians, AN HONORABLE MAN comes out the winner. What I first find most interesting is that this is Paul Vidich's first novel. Vidich has crafted a simple spy novel that is well written, tight, and kept me turning pages. He made me care about the characters. I had to find out what happened next. When an author can do that, the author has done their job. And Paul Vidich has done it well. I do hope he has more tales in the works. I will be anxiously following his literary career!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

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