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Dec 7 2017 4:00pm

Watch the Official Trailer for Netflix’s Upcoming True Crime Docuseries Wormwood

Biological warfare. LSD. CIA conspiracies.

Netflix’s upcoming true crime documentary has all this and more. Directed by the legendary Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line), Wormwood deals with the mysterious case of Frank Olson, his involvement with the CIA and the MK-ULTRA project, and his apparent suicide.

A biological warfare scientist and bacteriologist, Frank Olson worked with the CIA on a top-secret U.S. bioweapons program beginning in 1943. In 1953, at a retreat at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, the head of the CIA's Technical Services Staff (TSS), Sid Gottlieb, spiked a bottle of Cointreau and dosed an unknowing Olson with LSD. After subsequently suffering from paranoia and a nervous breakdown, Olson allegedly jumped out of his 13th-floor hotel window, dying shortly after the fall. Many, including Olson’s family, believe that Frank Olson was murdered by the CIA.

The six-part docuseries explores the strange details of the case and follows Frank Olson’s son, Eric Olson, as he digs for answers about his father’s unusual and untimely death. Did the CIA murder Frank Olson? If so, what were they covering up? Watch Wormwood when all six episodes drop on December 15!

[Watch the trailer for Wormwood...]

Jun 26 2016 11:00am

The Yemen Contract: New Excerpt

Arthur Kerns

The Yemen Contract by Arthur Kerns is the 3rd book in the Hayden Stone Thriller series, where Stone finds himself in Yemen trying to save his kidnapped partner and foil a terrorist plan that only he can stop (Available June 28, 2016).

CIA operative Hayden Stone has his work cut out for him. Abdul Wahab seeks to make a power grab in the exotic land of Yemen and establish a terrorist base from which to launch an attack on Europe.

Wahab lures Stone to Yemen by kidnapping his partner CIA officer Sandra Harrington in Sicily. Stone comfortably operates in this world where tribal leaders vie for power with the central government, al Qaeda exerts its influence through murder and mayhem, and double-dealing among Bedouin and townspeople is a national pastime.

The cat and mouse game goes from the capital Sana’a, to the deserts in the far east of the country, and to the mountain villages in the north. Stone has a personal stake in this mission, but can never keep his eye off of the greater plot developing, the one that puts millions in peril, and that only he can stop.

[Read an excerpt of The Yemen Contract here...]

Jun 21 2016 2:00pm

How Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism Has Changed

One night, after working on a murder mystery that was going nowhere, I toyed with the idea of starting an espionage thriller series. Along with tossing around possible locations and when the action would take place, I had to come up with realistic characters. Who would be the protagonist?

Naturally, all the interesting people I met through the years who had served in the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence organizations came to mind. My hero, who I named Hayden Stone, had to have a unique face and behavior, perhaps a composite of all those people I knew. However, what experiences in his intelligence career would shape Hayden Stone at this particular time in history—the post-World-Trade-Center-attack world?

[Read more from a former FBI counterintelligence agent...]

May 26 2016 11:00am

Now Win This!: True Crime Thursday Sweepstakes

Sometimes, real life is scarier and stranger than fiction—find out how by registering to win these 8 true crime tales for True Crime Thursday, here at CrimeHQ!

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry. Promotion begins May 26, 2016, at 12:00 pm ET, and ends June 9, 2016, 11:59 am ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.

[Register to win 8 great titles!]

May 9 2016 10:00am

Under the Radar: Movies You May Have Missed—RED / RED 2

Hollywood tells us that the world of espionage is glamorous, dangerous, sexy, and unpredictable. It's full of femme fatales, debonair secret agents, car chases, and equal parts gunfire and explosions.

Bond, Bourne, Hunt: these are our heroes. They're handsome, muscular, and always ready with a quip. They go through women like tissue papers—women who are always smokin' hot and rarely to be trusted.

But what happens in twenty, thirty, forty years? What happens when the world's best spies are grey-haired—or have no hair at all—and their respective governments decide their work is a “young man's game”?

[What happens is RED and RED 2...]

Apr 30 2016 11:00am

Assassin’s Silence: New Excerpt

Ward Larsen

Assassin's Silence by Ward Larsen is the 3rd David Slaton novel (Available May 3, 2016).

When it comes to disappearing, David Slaton has few equals. Police in three countries have written off trying to find him. His old employer, Mossad, keeps no forwarding address. Even his wife and son are convinced he is dead. So when an assault team strikes, Slaton is taken by surprise. He kills one man and manages to escape.

Half a world away, in the baleful heat of the Amazon, an obscure air cargo company purchases a derelict airliner. Teams of mechanics work feverishly to make the craft airworthy. On the first flight, the jet plunges toward the ocean.

The CIA assesses the two spectacles: a practiced killer leaving a trail of bodies across Europe, and a large airplane disappearing without a trace. The two affairs are increasingly seen to be intertwined. Langley realizes the killer is a man long thought to be dead, and the lost airliner has been highly modified into a tool of unimaginable terror.

When their worst fears are realized, Langley must trust the one man who can save them: David Slaton, the perfect assassin.

[Read an excerpt from Assassin's Silence here...]

Apr 28 2016 1:00pm

Night Life: New Excerpt

David C. Taylor

Night Life by David C. Taylor is the 1st Michael Cassidy novel. It is nominated for the Edgar Award for “Best Novel.”

The Cold War is heating up. Senator Joe McCarthy is running a witch hunt for Communists in America. The newly formed CIA is fighting a turf battle with the FBI to see who will be the primary US intelligence agency. And the bodies of murdered young men are turning up in the city.

Michael Cassidy has an unusual background for a New York cop. His father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, is a successful Broadway producer. His godfather is Frank Costello, a Mafia boss. Cassidy also has an unusual way of going about the business of being a cop-maybe that's why he threw a fellow officer out a third story window of the Cortland Hotel.

Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment in Hell's Kitchen. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?

Meanwhile, a mysterious, beautiful woman moves into Cassidy's building in Greenwich Village. Is Dylan McCue a lover or an enemy? Cassidy is plagued by nightmares-dreams that sometimes become reality. And he has been dreaming that someone is coming to kill him.

[Read an excerpt from Night Life here...]

Apr 26 2016 9:00am

Better Dead: New Excerpt

Max Allan Collins

Better Dead by Max Allan Collins is the 15th Nathan Heller Thriller (Available May 3, 2016).

It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case.

Heller will have to play both sides to do this, and when McCarthy also tasks Heller to find out what the CIA has on him, Heller reluctantly agrees. His main lead is an army scientist working for the C.I.A. who admits to Heller that he's been having misgivings about the work he's doing and elliptically referring to the Cold War making World War II look like a tea party.

And then the scientist goes missing.

[Read an excerpt from Better Dead here...]

Apr 12 2016 9:00am

Left of Boom: New Excerpt

Douglas Laux and Ralph Pezzullo

Left of Boom by Douglas Laux and Ralph Pezzullo recounts Laux's story, who, after the attacks on September 11, 2001, felt compelled to join the CIA, go deep undercover to infiltrate the terrorist organizations responsible, and take them down.

On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire. Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, Doug confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contact and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers. Meanwhile, Doug had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend and friends—nobody could know what he did for a living—and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences.

[Read an excerpt from Left of Boom here...]

Apr 5 2016 12:00pm

Q&A with Doug Laux, Former CIA Case Officer and Author of Left of Boom

Read this exclusive Q&A with Doug Laux, author of Left of Boom, and then make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win a copy of this harrowing tale of how a CIA case officer penetrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda!

CE: What made you want to go into this line of work initially? What, then, made you want to write this book?

Doug: The most honest answer is because I didn't think it was actually a possibility—at least for a guy like me. I thought it was for Ivy League graduates only, and to a degree, there’s a lot of that, but I never in my wildest dreams thought they would take a guy like me. But once the process started, the snowball just kept building and it all became a reality, and one day I found myself sitting in Langley thinking, “What the hell just happened?”

The decision to write the book is almost the same answer in that I never thought it would happen either. My thought was, like anything in life, can’t hurt to try.

[Read the rest of the Q&A here...]

Feb 17 2016 10:30am

The Fourth Horseman: New Excerpt

David Hagberg

The Fourth Horseman by David Hagberg is the 20th installment of the New York Times bestselling Kirk McGarvey series featuring a rogue CIA agent claiming leadership of Pakistan that Kirk McGarvey must track down and kill (Available February 23, 2016).

Pakistan is torn apart by riots in the streets. The CIA sends Pakistan expert David Haaris to meet with leaders of the military intelligence apparatus which all but controls the country, to try to head off what appears to be the disintegration of the government.

But Haaris has other ideas. After disguising himself, he beheads the president in front of a mob of ten thousand people and declares himself the new Messiah. He says he will bring peace and stability to the country by allying with the Taliban.

At that moment, miles to the south on the border with Afghanistan, one of four stolen nuclear weapons is detonated.

Pakistan has become the most dangerous nation in the world. Legendary former director of the CIA Kirk McGarvey is given a mission—assassinate the Messiah, code name: The Fourth Horseman.


The Messiah


At midnight a private Gulfstream biz jet that had just arrived from Paris touched down at the newly opened Gandhara International Airport near Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad. David Haaris, the only passenger, made a telephone call.

He was a slightly built thirty-eight-year-old man wearing khaki trousers, an open-necked white shirt and a dark blue blazer. He had the long, delicate fingers of a concert pianist and a round, pleasant face, slightly dark, as if he’d been spending his weekends in the sun. His eyes were wide and jet black, and held intelligence and power that were immediately obvious to anyone meeting him for the first time. His voice was soft, cultured, with a hint of an upper-class British accent, and his vocabulary and grammar were almost always perfect. At the Pakistan Desk in the CIA his was the last word on proper usage.

His call was answered on the first ring by a man speaking Punjabi, Haaris’s first language. “Yes.”

“I’ve arrived.”

“I’ll expect you in my office the moment you’re clear. Good luck.”

“Are you looking for trouble?”

[Read more from The Fourth Horseman here...]

Feb 16 2016 10:00am

Cover Reveal: First Strike by Ben Coes

First Strike by Ben Coes is the 6th thriller in the Dewey Andreas series where ISIS troops invade U.S. soil and take 500 college students hostage. Pre-order your copy today! (Available June, 28 2016)

The violent terrorist group ISIS has launched a major military campaign to take over Syria. But as they commit more and more public atrocities, their sources for ammunition are drying up. However, their charismatic and tyrannical leader, Tristan Nazir, has a major card left to play, which will get a new secret shipment of arms underway.

Dewey Andreas is sent into the field to meet Mallory, the Milan CIA station chief who has explosive proof about the source of the terrorists group’s original funding. While ISIS operatives take out both Mallory and his source, Dewey escapes with the proof—the group’s original munitions were provided by a black-ops program from deep within the Pentagon itself.

The program unravels in time for the arms shipment to be stopped before it reaches its destination. But Nazir isn't finished. He launches a bold strike into the heart of America, sending a team to take over a dorm at Columbia University, capturing nearly 500 college students as hostages. Among those hostages is CIA Director Hector Calibrisi's daughter, Daisy. For every hour that the shipment of weapons is delayed, the radicals will publicly execute one student. A frontal assault will result in untold number of dead students. Sending the shipment will give Nazir and his followers the means to capture Syria and its resources, creating a terrorist run nation.

In a situation with no solutions, there remains only one option—Dewey Andreas.

To learn more or pre-order a copy, visit:

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound!Buy at Barnes and NobleBuy at Books a MillionBuy at Amazon



Ben Coes is the author of the critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling Dewey Andreas books, including Power Down, Coup d'Etat, The Last Refuge, =Eye for an Eye, and Independence Day. He is a former speechwriter for the George H. W. Bush White House, was a fellow at the JFK School of Government at Harvard, and is currently a partner in a private equity company out of Boston. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Jul 3 2015 8:00am

Rainy Day Women: Exclusive Excerpt

Kay Kendall

Rainy Day Women by Kendall Kay is the 2nd Austin Starr mystery set in 1969 amidst the Charles Manson murders and the Woodstock Music Festival (available July 7, 2015).

In 1969, during the week of the Manson murders and Woodstock, Austin Starr, the intrepid amateur sleuth with an infant in tow, flies across the continent to support a friend suspected of murdering women's liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Then her former CIA trainer warns that an old enemy has contracted a hit on her. Her anxious husband demands that she give up her quest and fly back to him. How much should Austin risk when tracking the killer puts her and her baby's life in danger?

Chapter Three

David and I stared at each other. I stood with my back against the wall, my hand covering my mouth, my eyes popping wide.

He broke the silence.

[Continue reading Rainy Day Women...]

May 20 2015 9:30am

Independence Day: New Excerpt

Ben Coes

Independence Day by Ben Coes is the 5th thriller featuring Dewey Andreas, a former Delta agent who's currently on the sideline after two previous botched jobs (available May 26, 2015).

Dewey Andreas, former Delta and newly recruited intelligence agent, is sidelined after screwing up his last two operations. Still drowning in grief after the tragic murder of his fiancé, Dewey has seemingly lost his focus, his edge, and the confidence of his superiors.

A high level Russian hacker, known only as Cloud, is believed to be routing large amounts of money to various Al Qaeda terror cells, and the mission is to capture and render harmless Cloud. At the same time, a back-up team is sent after the only known associate of Cloud, a ballerina believed to be his girlfriend. Unwilling to sit out the mission as ordered, Dewey defies his superiors, and goes rogue, surreptitiously following and tracking the two teams. What should be a pair of simple snatch and grab operations, goes horribly wrong—both teams are ambushed and wiped out. Only through the unexpected intervention of Dewey does the ballerina survive.

On the run, with no back-up, Cloud's girlfriend reveals a shocking secret—a plot so audacious and deadly that their masterminds behind it would risk anything and kill anybody to prevent its exposure. It's a plot that, in less than three days, will completely remake the world's political landscape and put at risk every single person in the Western world. With only three days left, Dewey Andreas must unravel and stop this plot or see everything destroyed. A plot that goes live on July 4th—Independence Day.

[Continue on the the excerpt of Independence Day by Ben Coes...]

Apr 27 2015 12:00pm

Your Next Breath: New Excerpt

Iris Johansen

Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen is the fourth thriller in the Catherine Ling series where the CIA operative attempts to put her life back together after finally reuniting with her young son (available April 28, 2015).

Catherine Ling created a brand-new life for herself, far from her rough beginnings on the streets of Hong Kong. But someone has followed her trail...and is playing a deadly game with her, striking closer to her heart with each blow. First, there's the death of the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was still a child. Next, the CIA operative who had known her ever since she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. And now Luke is in the killer's sights.

Luke is Catherine's only son. Kidnapped when he was only two years old, Catherine devoted nine years of her life to finding him-and she will not lose him again. Can Catherine, who has made countless enemies throughout her life, protect the ones she loves the most-including Eve Duncan, whose forensic skills were instrumental in freeing Luke-without putting her own life at risk? All she knows is that she will die trying...if the killer doesn't get to her first.

Chapter 1
Boskar, Russia

The woman’s throat had been slashed.

[Continue reading Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen!]

Mar 4 2015 4:00pm

All the Old Knives: New Audio Excerpt

Olen Steinhauer

All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer is an espionage thriller about an ex-couple from the CIA who can't get over their failed hostage-handling from six years ago (available March 10, 2015).

Six years ago in Vienna, terrorists took over a hundred hostages, and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA's Vienna station was witness to this tragedy, gathering intel from its sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. So when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how?

Two of the CIA's case officers in Vienna, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were lovers at the time, and on the night of the hostage crisis Celia decided she'd had enough. She left the agency, married and had children, and is now living an ordinary life in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Henry is still a case officer in Vienna, and has traveled to California to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to put it behind him once and for all.

But neither of them can forget that long-ago question: Had their agent been compromised? If so, how? Each also wonders what role tonight's dinner companion might have played in the way the tragedy unfolded six years ago.

[Click here to start All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer...]

Feb 12 2015 11:30am

The Americans 3.03: “Open House”

“Open House” had all the elements we’ve come to expect from The Americans: car chases, marital maneuverings, Rezidentura intrigue, and another intimate, cringe-worthy scene of violence (something that is quickly becoming a trademark of the show). Yet at the end of the episode, we are pretty much at the same point we were the previous week: Nina’s (Annet Mahendru) fate is still in limbo, the FBI is no closer to capturing Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell), there is no plan on how the KGB will infiltrate the CIA Afghan group, and, despite what seemed like a definitive shift the week before, Paige’s (Holly Taylor) future with regard to the second generation illegals program is no closer to being determined.

Not that I’m complaining. It’s structurally impossible to make every episode of a television series an earth shattering surprise. Well, unless you're Shonda Rhimes, then anything goes. But otherwise, there have to be a few episodes in every season that are plate spinners. And when the plate spinners are as entertaining as “Open House,” who really cares? Better to just sit back with a bottle of Stan’s single malt Irish whiskey and enjoy the ride.

[You'll need to take the edge off for some of these scenes...]

Dec 15 2014 2:30pm

Thief: New Audio Excerpt

Mark Sullivan

Thief by Mark Sullivan is the 3rd book in the Robin Monarch series about a world-class thief who may have stumbled onto the secret to immortality (available December 16, 2014).

Robin Monarch is a man with a complicated past and dangerous present. He’s been a soldier, a CIA agent, a freelance operative but first and foremost, Robin Monarch is a thief of the highest order. Orphaned at twelve, Monarch originally stole for survival, then he stole for his friends and cohorts, now he steals to order, and to give back to the to the woman who saved his life many years ago.

With the help of his team, Monarch breaks into the legendary Christmas party of Beau Arsenault, a shady investor and behind-the-scenes player at the very highest levels of power politics. Arsenault is not above bending or breaking the rules if there’s illicit profit to be made. Monarch has decided that those illicit profits will be better used to take care of orphans and street kids. Using the party as cover to break into Arsenault’s secret vaults, Monarch comes away with two unexpected things. One is a bullet—he gets shot when he’s caught trying to escape with tens of millions of negotiable instruments. The second is a lead on what might be his most audacious exploit ever. A previously undiscovered tribe in South America may well have the secret to the most sought after knowledge in history—that of eternal life. And Robin Monarch must use all his skills—as an operative, as a thief—to keep this secret from falling into the worst possible hands.

[Click here to listen to an exclusive audio excerpt of Thief...]

Sep 14 2014 11:00am

Mossad as Superspy: Is the Myth Slipping?

I’ve run across an interesting piece by Nathan Abrams, Professor of Film Studies at Bangor (UK) University, on The Conversation website (“a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary”). The title sums it up nicely: “Mossad Agents Were Suave and Effective on Screen, Now They’re Ineffective Blunderers.”

Abrams’ thesis:

Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence service, has a reputation for being fearsomely effective, protecting Israelis and Jews far beyond the country’s borders. Such portrayals used to be common...[there is] a wider recent trend in which the reputation of the Mossad secret agent is tarnished.

While the on-screen Mossad appearance he keys on is the recent BBC2/SundanceTV co-production The Honourable Woman, he also indicts such varied films as David Mamet’s Homicide, Lucky Number Slevin, the Adam Sandler spoof You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and, strangely, Munich, Spielberg’s love letter to the Mossad. He compares them to the almost-godlike Mossad agents featured in The House on Garibaldi Street and concludes that “there is no doubt that Israel, and specifically the Israeli secret service, is suffering on screen. No James Bond or Jack Bauer here.”

[No Chloe or dry martinis, either...]

Aug 19 2014 10:45am

The Equalizer: New Audio Excerpt

Michael Sloan

The Equalizer by Michael Sloan is a thrilling reinvention of the TV series centered on former covert CIA officer Robert McCall (available August 19, 2014).

Michael Sloan, creator of the 1980s TV series, reinvents the story of the mysterious, former covert intelligence officer who helps desperate people who are in need of his unique and deadly skills.

Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.”

Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

In this novel, based on the 1980s television show, and timed to come out shortly before the feature film version starring Denzel Washington, McCall gets pulled into a battle against Russian drug lords and finds himself pitted against his most dangerous foe ever!

[Click here to listen to Chapter 1 of The Equalizer!]