cover image Shadow War

Shadow War

Sean McFate and Bret Witter. Morrow, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-240370-4

At the start of army veteran McFate’s smart, exciting first novel and series launch—written with Witter (The Monuments Men, with Robert M. Edsel)—mercenary Tom Locke and his team rendezvous in the Libyan desert with a tribe of Tuareg who have two trucks full of antiaircraft missiles and other valuable weapons to sell. When bandits suddenly attack, the resourceful Locke prevails in the ensuing firefight. Back in Washington, D.C., Locke’s boss at security giant Apollo Outcomes gives him an assignment in the Ukraine, where he’s to craft a newsworthy military victory for an Apollo client, oligarch and parliamentarian Kostyantyn Karpenko. Locke knows the Russians in Ukraine will try to stop him, and the time frame is only five days, but this is the sort of mission impossible that he loves. Locke’s careful planning and the resulting battles combine to elevate this book well above the standard military thriller. Readers will look forward to seeing a lot more of Locke. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)