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  • A Standout in Espionage and Thriller Novels!

    Like so many who survived the ravages of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, attorney Jonathan Brooks is desperate to rebuild his business and resume a normal life. The lack of local clients forces him to take on an unusual business deal in Ukraine, but when his client's executive vanishes, he finds himself in over his head, struggling with intrigue and death threats in The Pyongyang Option. As if this weren't enough action, Jonathan's ex-wife, journalist Linda, is pursuing a dangerous international story that revolves around historic nuclear disarmament talks in North Korea. After she interviews local officials, she’s thrown into a web of hackers, spies, and assassins. Her discoveries draw Jonathan to Pyongyang as her investigation runs on parallel, dangerous lines. The Pyongyang Option is the third book in the Jonathan Brooks series, but no prior familiarity with the others is required in order to become immediately engrossed by this stand-alone thriller. It solidifies a sense of place by opening with street maps of Pripyat, Ukraine, and its proximity to the Chernobyl reactors; and Pyongyang, North Korea. The chapters that move between locales and characters are clearly marked, so readers will find it easy to follow changing scenarios and countries as the action heats up. As Jonathan faces murky assailants in muddy waters, international surveillance operations ramp up on all sides as exclusion zones are breeched and CIA operations exposed. One quandary among many is Jonathan's role in an increasingly dangerous cat-and-mouse game of subterfuge. By drawing together the events and secret operations of two very different nations, A.C. Frieden dares go where other thrillers would be hard-pressed to follow. In effect, Frieden creates two scenarios which juxtapose nicely on the thriller front, two main characters who each confront their pasts and futures (both separately and together), and two crises that move from simmer to boil with a blend of swift action and confrontational scenarios. Thriller fans will be especially pleased with the detailed sense of place that Frieden crafts, which solidify the different special interests and their uniform threats to the world. Fast-paced, engrossing, and steeped in the worlds of both Ukraine and North Korea, The Pyongyang Option excels in juxtaposing the personal and the political and holds a surprise conclusion that many readers won't see coming. All these facets make it a winning standout in the genre of espionage and thriller writings.

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