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Minute Zero (A Judd Ryker Novel) Hardcover – September 15, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Judd Ryker Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Golden Hour is a novel that makes your heart race . . . a thriller that weaves diplomacy and national security together with espionage, terrorism, and Washington infighting.”
The Washington Post
 
“[An] outstanding debut . . . An intriguing cast of morally dubious characters, an intricately constructed plot, and a tantalizing cliffhanger make this thriller a page-turner of the highest order.” —Publishers Weekly

“Moss certainly has the politics and players down. Readers of political and military action novels will appreciate his ultracurrent scenarios and characters, and fans of W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy should know there is a new storyteller on the map.”-- Library Journal

I don’t feature many thrillers in my Top 10. However, when a book has blurbs from James Fallows and Chester Crocker, you know it’s not the same old, same old. Moss knows about ‘the golden hour’ firsthand. Washingtonians of many stripes will find their pulses racing as the diplomat protagonist tangles with intelligence operatives, revolutionaries, and many other villains.” --Washingtonian

“A former diplomat, Moss knows of what he writes. Ranging from Washington to London to the Sahara Desert, the book effortlessly ups the tension while piling on surprises. For those who want to know what it’s like to get caught up in a modern coup, this is a good place to turn. A strong debut about a good man in Africa who gets tested at every turn.”   -- Kirkus Reviews
“Read this novel as a window into politics, power and practice at the U.S. Department of State and you’ll find yourself in the middle of troublesome scenes that ring all too true.” --Dallas Morning News

“An exciting, multilayered look at international politics and the people who rule nations.” --Mystery Scene

“Moss takes readers behind the scenes in a very realistic way. Negotiations and developing American policy in light of events, changing policy according to more current intelligence, cooperation and its opposite among various government agencies are all familiar but Moss tells it with authority and immediacy....THE GOLDEN HOUR is a riveting read.” --Deb Shoss, Reviewing The Evidence

About the Author

Todd Moss is vice president and senior fellow at the Washington think tank the Center for Global Development, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. In 2007–2008, he served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of African Affairs, where he was responsible for diplomatic relations with sixteen West African countries. Moss lives in Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Judd Ryker Novel (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (September 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399168680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399168680
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
“Minute zero” is the moment of chaos that follows crisis: if you are ready to step in then, you have a brief opportunity to reshuffle the deck in your nation’s favor before the situation stabilizes and rigidifies anew. There’s an election pending in Zimbabwe: an aging dictator is being propped up by a vicious general but for the first time in decades he is vulnerable. A personable, able and honest woman lawyer is running against him. If all else were equal --read that to mean if if the elections were being run fairly and the incumbent weren’t willing to declare the election results void and declare a state of emergency if the results go against him—she’d win handily. But things aren’t equal and if something isn’t done, the country faces more years of corruption and oppression. This is the second novel featuring policy analyst Judd Ryker, who now heads a small free-wheeling unit within the State Department whose mission is to assist in dealing with crisis in countries that are destabilizing. In The Golden Hour, he headed off a crisis in Mali, assisted by his agronomist wife Jessica and a few other allies. They return in this installment to manage impending crisis in Zimbabwe. As Ryker’s mentor told him years before when he was headed towards a career as an academic rather than policy wonk: you don’t manage crisis, you ride it. It’s like whitewater rafting. You don’t control the flow of events, you just try to ride them out, giving your vessel a nudge now and then to secure a favorable outcome. Minute Zero is a crisp, well written thriller. The author, formerly deputy assistant secretary of state under G. W, Bush, obviously knows the world he writes about: his charge at the State Department was the Bureau of African Affairs, where he was responsible for diplomatic relations with sixteen West African countries. Judd Ryker and his super-competent wife Jessica are attractive characters, as are many of the peripheral Good Guys. The Bad Guys? Well, they’re satisfyingly bad.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The African setting and local politics intrigued me. Thinking about how leaders over turn one another and how outside forces interfere, I thought some of this book as education by fiction. The ending surprises me, especially secrets kept from marital spouses. Fascinating narrative.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What appealed to me about "Minute Zero" was the idea that the story combines political diplomacy with national security.

With current events and the presidential election debate, a book about election would be of interest even if the nation is Zimbabwe.

State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker is sent to Zimbabwe to attempt to quell a developing emergency. Ryker is to stop an emergency and provide a solution before the situation gets out of hand.

In the 1980s thousands of civilians in Zimbabwe died during an operation and no one was held accountable.

Now President Winston Tinotenda known as Tino is set to have another term as president in an election that he has rigged. He as a corrupt security adviser and gets money from illegal diamond mines and elsewhere.

Ryker brings in the CIA and some old friends to stop the bleeding and allow to elected president to assume her rightful office. How he does this and what he must overcome is the basis of the story.

I enjoyed the story and compared the situation to what is going on in certain countries today and it also gives the reader the idea that it might have been useful if Ryker had done his magic to prevent other countries from going to rebels or illegal dictators.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rave reviews led me to order this title. I liked it. The only drawback for me was pronouncing some of the names, I wanted to call one evildoer Chimichanga and it didn't help me that the great hope of the nation rested on a character named GuGu.
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This is a very timely book, using a fictional format to describe events in the world that are seldom brought to public attention. I found that the first book by Todd Moss, The Golden Hour, raised my awareness and my interest in the complex issues facing any person trying to affect change in a developing country. The title alerted me to expect that crucial decisions had to be made fast, sometimes with little opportunity for seeking clearances. The new book, Minute Zero, underscores that urgency. Characters are believable, complex and relatable. I've had some experiences in Africa, although not these countries, so I can appreciate the challenges. Anyone interested in how the world works (or does not) will enjoy both of these books and learn from them, as well.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First time reading anything from this author, and I am very impressed. The subtleness of the plot was unique, and whilst you are drawn into the politics of Zimbabwe and South Africa , you are also learning about the power behind the election process; the world powers view of ‘let us not rock the boat’ even though doing the right thing should be for the good of the people.
I loved the characters and the complicity they played in the plot, and to say the least, everyone is not what they seem to be on the surface, and then all is explained! Sometimes the power does not lie in the title that you have, but in the information you have and how you can use it! Build your own super powers! Loved it. Well written, nothing dragged and the story moved very smoothly. Whilst some violence was necessary as we are talking about the atrocities that has plagued that part of the world, it was not over the top to make a point. I love when there is some history behind the fiction, as I would not have known about many of what the people in that part of the world faces: beautiful, very enjoyable read, and I look forward to the next novel.
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