cover image Disengaged


Mischa Hiller. Severn, $27.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8473-2

High-tech drones, extrajudicial killings, and suspicious dealings involving Israel and Iran are at the center of this busy standalone from Hiller (Shake Off). Julian Fisher and Rami Haddad, partners at the London firm Hadfish Systems, design video games. When Rami takes on a contract to develop software for drones headed for the Middle East, Julian becomes alarmed at the ethical implications. Julian’s own life, though, hasn’t been entirely honest. Enter former KGB agent Boris Reznik, a figure from Julian’s past, with a business proposition for him. Meanwhile, Iranian couple Mojgan and Farsheed also appear to have a vested interest in Hadfish’s drone work. To complicate matters, Julian is having problems with his girlfriend, Sheila, who, between drinking a lot of white wine and selling real estate, is starting up a nonprofit organization in Afghanistan. Though the separate plot strands, both personal and professional, never quite mesh, Hiller provides spy thriller fans with an enjoyable ride. [em]Agent: David Grossman, David Grossman Literary Agency. (May) [/em]