cover image End Game

End Game

David Hagberg. Forge, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3462-6

At the start of Edgar-finalist Hagberg's gripping 20th Kirk McGarvey novel (after The Fourth Horseman), Walt Wager, a mid-level operational planner, is working alone late one night at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., when he's attacked by a stranger. The assailant may be the man who was known as the Cynic when they were both looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq years before. In short order, the Cynic dispatches Walt in gruesome fashion, and it soon becomes clear that the psychopathic serial killer has somehow infiltrated Langley's top-level security. As the body count rises, it looks as though all the victims had at one time been non-official cover agents: "The one thing they had in common was the ability to lie so convincingly that most of the time they believed it themselves." Everyone becomes a potential suspect. Former CIA director McGarvey and his team of operatives embark on a thrilling search for answers that takes them to Greece, Iraq, and many points in between. Each twist in the tale opens up new possibilities. Hagberg expertly juggles the questions: How? Who? and Why? (Sept.)