From acclaimed spy novelist Paul Vidich comes a taut new thriller following the attempted exfiltration of a KGB officer from the ever-changing—and always dangerous—USSR in the mid-1980s.
Moscow, 1985. The Soviet Union and its communist regime are in the last stages of decline, but remain opaque to the rest of the world—and still very dangerous. In this ever-shifting landscape, a senior KGB officer—code name GAMBIT—has approached the CIA Moscow Station chief with top secret military weapons intelligence and asked to be exfiltrated. GAMBIT demands that his handler be a former CIA officer, Alex Garin, a former KGB officer who defected to the American side.
The CIA had never successfully exfiltrated a KGB officer from Moscow, and the top brass do not trust Garin. But they have no other options: GAMBIT’s secrets could be the deciding factor in the Cold War.
Garin is able to gain the trust of GAMBIT, but remains an enigma. Is he a mercenary acting in self-interest or are there deeper secrets from his past that would explain where his loyalties truly lie? As the date nears for GAMBIT’s exfiltration, and with the walls closing in on both of them, Garin begins a relationship with a Russian agent and sets into motion a plan that could compromise everything.
George Mueller knew that the night ahead would be about stamina. Stamina for waiting, for worry, and stamina for fear. He understood that he had to be ready for the moment, when everything would suddenly change and he would be a man on the run. He wouldn’t get off that roller coaster until the mission succeeded or his luck ran out. Hardened nerves, cold resolve, and a tolerance for nausea were things he would have to possess if he was going to get through the night. He had memorized his route through Moscow and took care to anticipate what could go wrong, knowing that he was no longer a young case officer who could jump off a cliff and hope to find his wings on the way down.
Five minutes after four o’clock in the evening, December 31. Mueller noted the time and date for the report he’d later write. The Agency’s new rules made it important to document an operation, and failure to do so was a poor mark on any case officer’s career, but date and time were important to Mueller for an entirely personal reason. At sixty-three, he was a few months from voluntary retirement. He didn’t want to end his storied career with a failed mission.
The cable from Headquarters that came into Moscow Station had been succinct. The walk-in Soviet intelligence officer who had approached Mueller, throwing an envelope in the open window of his car when he was stopped at a traffic light, was potentially the most valuable Soviet asset to ever offer his services to the CIA. Recruiting the man known only as GAMBIT took precedence over all other activity in Moscow Station.
Thank you, Paul Vidich and Random Things Tours
About the Author
Paul Vidich has had a distinguished career in music and media. Most recently, he served as Special Advisor to AOL and was Executive Vice President at the Warner Music Group, in charge of technology and global strategy. He serves on
the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers and The New School for Social Research. A founder and publisher of the Storyville App, Vidich is also an awardwinning author of short fiction. His novels, An Honorable Man, The Good
Assassin and The Coldest Warrior, are available from No Exit Press.