cover image The Night Agent

The Night Agent

Matthew Quirk. Morrow, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-287546-4

Idealistic FBI agent Peter Sutherland, the hero of this uneven political thriller from bestseller Quirk (The 500), works the night shift in the White House situation room, standing by for an emergency call “that might never come.” Finally, he gets one from Rose Larkin, whose uncle and aunt, American counterintelligence agents Henry and Paulette Campbell, have instructed her to make a “night action” call and flee their house in a residential Washington, D.C., neighborhood. The Campbells possess a red ledger containing evidence of meetings between a high-placed U.S. government official and Russian intelligence officers, and a Russian operative is prepared to kill for it. Initially an innocent pawn in a game of high-stakes intrigue, Rose soon becomes a target, and Peter has found himself a mission. He’s a sympathetic figure with something to prove (his FBI counterintelligence agent father was accused of being a traitor), and Quirk keeps the action moving at a cinematic clip. But Peter is too earnest by half, and those expecting nuance will be disappointed. Still, readers looking for a highly contemporary take on relations between the U.S. and Russia will be rewarded. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (Jan.)