cover image The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour

Todd Moss. Putnam, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-16860-4

Set largely in West Africa, Moss’s outstanding debut stars an Amherst college professor turned diplomat, Judd Ryker. An expert in conflict and coup-risk metrics, Judd believes in the Golden Hour principle: international political trauma can be reversed if dealt with swiftly and professionally. His timetable on coups d’état is 100 hours. When he’s named the director of a new State Department Crisis Reaction Unit just hours after a coup in Mali, where he once was part of a survey team assessing community water-management in Kidal, his theory is immediately put to the test. But Judd quickly realizes that every organization and country with an interest in Mali has an agenda—and he soon finds himself inundated with misinformation and treated as a pawn in a game where the stakes are about more than simply securing a country’s political freedom. 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. Advance praise from Douglas Preston, W.E.B. Griffin, John Sandford, and Francis Fukuyama bodes well for the book’s success. Author tour. Agent: Josh Getzler, HSG Agency. (Sept.)