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Arcade (2018-03-13)
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Thriller / suspense fiction


by Karpov, Max

A frighteningly realistic, fact-based thriller that delves into the secret corners of Vladimir Putin's Russia, exploring the shifting world order and the often murky realm of U.S.-Russia relations. This character-driven novel is also a cautionary tale, a warning about what can happen when a nation's citizens stop paying attention.

The CIA has learned that the Kremlin is about to launch a sophisticated propaganda operation aimed at discrediting and disrupting the United States and ultimately restoring Russia to great nation status. Intercepted intelligence suggests that the operation will hinge on a single, breaking-news event in Eastern Europe, supported by a sustained campaign of disinformation and cyberattacks. Code-named the "Children's Game" - a chess stratagem that leads to checkmate in four moves - it was probably conceived by a Russian billionaire and former FSB officer named Andrei Turov. For years Turov has been developing the infrastructure for a new kind of warfare that exploits weaknesses in western democracies and manipulates public opinion. His organization offers the Kremlin plausible deniability.

But the United States has its own secret weapon: Christopher Niles, a former CIA intelligence officer, who understands Turov's ambitions and capabilities. It falls to him and his small team - composed of his journalist half-brother Jon, a special forces operative he would trust with his life, and Anna Carpenter, a resourceful US senator with deep roots in the intelligence communityto unravel Turov's plot and restore truth to a world spiraling into chaos.

Max Karpov is the nom de plume of James Lilliefors, whose past fiction writing includes two critically acclaimed geopolitical thrillers, The Leviathan Effect and Viral, as well as the Bowers and Hunter Mystery Series.

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Gripping and powerful... a brilliant story written for our generation... a must read for any serious spy fan.

Quote: Michael Brady, author

A well-written, thought-provoking thriller that is extremely timely in light of the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Quote: Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author

A cerebral, ground-breaking, all-too-plausible thriller made all the more prescient by the current state of U.S.-Russian relations. Karpov peers into his crystal ball in crafting a tale that's so cutting edge, flipping the pages may result in bloodied fingertips. Every bit the equal of Daniel Silva... searingly sumptuous storytelling sure to please fans of Brad Thor, Brad Taylor and the late, great Vince Flynn.

Quote: Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

If you believe the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall - think again! Karpov's explosive novel shows how Russia's sophisticated troll factories and bot armies could topple Western democracies as effectively as their T72 battle tanks and nuclear warheads. Karpov's knowledge of the American intelligence community and Russian politics puts him on a par with John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth at their very best. But it is Karpov's analysis of the shocking power of a targeted post-truth and fake news attack that gives the book a contemporary and chilling atmosphere.

Quote: Christopher Hepworth, author

Uncanny in its timeliness and brilliant in its portrayal of disinformation as the most dangerous weapon of the new Cold War. Karpov has written a masterful thriller that is genuinely alarming in its plausibility. A must-read for 2018.

Quote: Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author

A tight, gripping tale of the men and women who face death in the hidden conflicts of superpower politics. Startlingly believable.

Quote: Ben Bova, six-time Hugo Award-winning author

A cleverly plotted and disturbingly plausible journey into the dangerous realm of cyberwarfare. Max Karpov is a Kremlin-watcher whose extensive knowledge shines on every page.

Quote: Carla Norton, New York Times bestselling author

Just about the timeliest novel I've read this year. But this is no mere ripped-from-the-headlines knockoff. This is a fast-paced, vivid, surprising thriller, featuring a great new hero for our troubled times, former CIA agent Christopher Niles. Don't miss this one. I can't wait to read more.

Quote: David Bell, author

Czech: Albatros (pre-empt)

Quote: Linda Biagi

A razor-sharp, bow-string-taut, brilliantly plotted example of the thriller-writer's art. For me the prose is up there with le Carre and Forsyth.

Quote: E.M. Davey, former BBC investigative journalist, author

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