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The Kill Zone Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (October 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312873344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312873349
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hagberg (Eden's Gate) resumes his CIA thriller series featuring veteran agent Kirk McGarvey with this rousing entry. Happily reunited with his wife after a separation, 50-year-old McGarvey is ready for the slow lane after a quarter-century of service with the CIA, but his work isn't over-the president nominates him for the post of interim director, which would make him the youngest man ever to serve in that capacity. He jumps at the opportunity, but his "preternatural awareness" warns him that something's not right. His research assistant, Otto, discovers that former KGB doctor Anatoli Nikolayev has fled Moscow with an armful of old classified documents from the Network Martyrs File, which held the Cold War plans for the assassination of key U.S. government figures. The assassination plans were developed years ago by an old enemy of McGarvey's, but have somehow been reactivated now that McGarvey has been appointed to his new post. Rigged helicopters, exploding vans, faulty car brakes and killer skis place McGarvey, his family and Otto in grave danger, and an attempt on his pregnant daughter's life throws McGarvey's wife, Kathleen, into an emotional tailspin. Otto rushes off to France to get some answers from Nikolayev, while McGarvey tries to keep it together for his confirmation hearings as a callous senator dissects his long-buried, sordid past. In reliably meaty prose, Hagberg once again delivers compelling characters, animated political intrigue and a plot that speeds along at a steady clip.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

If readers are counting correctly, this is Hagberg's thirty-first novel, including some written under the name Sean Flannery. This time, Hagberg brings back the CIA's Kirk McGarvey, who, after 25 years with the agency, has been named interim director by the president. Although the cold war is over, McGarvey finds he is the target of a 20-year-old Russian plot in which an assassin brainwashed by KGB doctors at long last receives the signal he has been waiting for. The setting is worldwide: Russia, France, the Virgin Islands, the U.S., and even a luxurious company plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. There are safe rooms, secret files, encryption programs, passwords, aliases--and, of course, good guys (us) and bad guys (them). This may sound much like Hagberg's other novels, but his readers never seem to care. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

DAVID HAGBERG is a former Air Force cryptographer who has traveled extensively in Europe, the Arctic, and the Caribbean and has spoken at CIA functions. He has published more than twenty novels of suspense, including the bestselling Joshua's Hammer, Soldier of God, and Allah's Scorpion. He makes his home in Sarasota, Florida.

Customer Reviews

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As a reader, I'm going to thing thrice before buying another Hagberg book.
J. J Kamlani
I found the plot to be very slow moving, the characters somewhat wooden and the whole story to be a huge disappointment.
John R. Linnell
I was well past page 100 before anything happened and figured out the "villan" 2/3 into the book.
B. L. Renwick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on May 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You may have noticed that I am in the distinct minority with my rating of this novel, but I call them like I see them and this is how I see this. I have loved the Kirk McGarvey novels by David Hagberg and I was really looking forward to this one. In this story, McGarvey has been nominated by the president to be head of the CIA (DCI). Some in the Senate Committee that hold hearings on his nomination are less than pleased with this turn of events, but someone else is even less enthusiastic and attempts are made on McGarvey's life as well as that of his wife, daughter and his trusted side kick Otto Rencke. It seems that long ago in Russia a plot was hatched to kill McGarvey if he was ever nominated to this position and trick is to find out who it is that is trying to kill him and how they are planning to do it. I found the plot to be very slow moving, the characters somewhat wooden and the whole story to be a huge disappointment. The mystery of who is trying to kill him doesn't turn out to be that much of a mystery either. I wish I could report otherwise, but that is how I see it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After spending a quarter of the century spying in various hot spots, Kirk "Mac" McGarvey looks forward to spending the rest of his life in the arms of his wife and child. However, the President nominated Mac to replace recently retired CIA Director Roland Murphy, the dream culmination of a dedicated career man. Still Mac wonders if he wants the aggravation as teaching Voltaire seems more appropriate right now. Still Mac accepts the offer and his senate confirmation hearings will convene shortly, but in the interim he is the acting director.

The nomination triggers a brainwashed assassin to rise from sleep with the object to kill Mac. As someone stalks Mac and his family, the acting director begins his own inquiry. He concludes that an inner circle associate is obsessed with his death, but whom? Unbeknownst to Mac is that his deadliest Cold War foe General Baranov has left behind a legacy from his grave, an executioner who silently awaited the trigger to kill Mac.

When it comes to exciting Cold War and Post Cold War dramas, no one provides a more exhilarating and horrifying fiction than David Hagberg renders. His latest espionage thriller has been used before (Manchurian Candidate), but rarely at the level of gripping suspense as THE KILL ZONE contains. The story line is fast-paced while seizing the full attention of the audience because Mac, his wife and their daughter are a warm family that no one wants harmed except for an awakening sleeper agent and a dead Russian. This is a triumph for the Cold War espionage crowd.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melvin Hunt on January 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After 25 years of service to the CIA Kirk McGarvey had been nominated to be the Director of the spy service.His nomination triggers a plot to assassinate that was put into place by his old arch enemy General Baranov.Baranov is reaching from hi grave to gain vengance.The assassin was brainwashed by Baranov to kill McGarvey should he ever be nominated for the Director of the CIA.
Attempts are made on the life of McGarvey.his wife Katy and their daughter Elizabeth.The identity of the assassin is a shocker. This is another good book by David Hagberg.Be sure to read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dean Reid on February 9, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wallace Mahoney was Hagberg's wiley anti-hero, written many years ago under his pseudonym, Sean Flannery. Mahoney was a cold warrior who battled with his wits, not his brawn. I miss Wallace Mahoney...wish I could enjoy his type of intrigue again.

Hagberg attempts to create a Wallace Mahoney-like story in Kill Zone. He succeeds on some accounts but fails in others. The story does plod along...he spends the first 140 pages building up the relationship between the protagonist, Kirk McGarvey...recently nominated to head the CIA, and his wife, Kathleen, who rarely played a major role in the series before. McGarvey seems to be slowing down in this novel, not nearly as clairvoyant as in earlier installments. And there isn't much in the way of high tech or thrills. Its written competently enough, though and held my interest even though the plot was transparent.

If you are new to Hagberg, I certainly wouldn't start here. The book is much like the last installment in the Wallace Mahoney series...a bit of a greatest hits novel. But if you get hooked on his work (read Crossfire, Countdown, or Assassin and you will be), you'll likely end on this novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on May 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the MAIN reasons I have gravitated towards novels written by Hagberg is because he knows how to cut out the fat in his techno-thrillers, unlike Tom Clancy who never passes a chance to include reams of useless information in the majority of his otherwise great books. What is left over is a meaty, action-packed thrill ride. With the exception of just a couple of novels over the past 8 years or so, I believe Hagberg has become one of the best thriller authors working today.
After 'White House' and 'Joshua's Hammer', two of the best examples of techno-thrillers printed in the past decade, we see the next evolution in the roller-coaster career of CIA operative Kirk McGarvey. The President, who owes Kirk after having literally saved the lives of the First family, has appointed the controversial spy the interim Director of the CIA. This unwittingly sets in motion a series of events which become the central storyline of 'The Kill Zone'. Along the way, there are scenes which prepare us for the action which, unfortunately for some is not what fills the bulk of this particular tale. For those wanting and craving a 'thrills oriented' Hagberg novel, you may be a little disappointed (see many of the reviews), but if you approach this story from a different standpoint, I think it can and should be enjoyed.
For those not familiar with the endless amounts of political red tape in Washington, becoming appointed to a position such as CIA Director can certainly seem like the longest most incredibly boring series of events in all of human history -- which I am happy to say Hagberg handles rather well, all things considered.
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