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McGarvey: Kirk McGarvey #25    by David Hagberg order for
by David Hagberg
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

McGarvey is the twenty-fifth episode in David Hagberg's action-driven, over-the-top spy thrillers starring legendary operative (once a CIA director) Kirk McGarvey. This hero survives everything thrown at him, though his loved ones often don't.

This episode opens on the deaths of Mac's parents, scientists working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, just before their planned retirement. They had made a significant breakthrough and the Russian KGB was watching - and then acting. McGarvey had just begun his CIA career when he was informed of their deaths.

The story continues in the present day. Mac has recently married Pete Boylan, who is at least as tough as he is. They are joined on their Greek island honeymoon by their good friends Otto (a computer whiz) and Louise (a genius photo analyst), who left their adopted daughter (Mac's granddaughter Audie) at the Farm.

Together, they start to dig into Mac's parents' accident, that has haunted him ever since. Unfortunately, the Russians get wind of their investigation and send a hit squad. After they take out one of their targets, Mac calls Putin and declares war, 'mano a mano'. Named a rogue operator by the US government, he heads to Russia.

It turns out that our hero has been 'caught up in the middle of a power struggle between the two most powerful men in Russia.' Can this possibly end well? Read McGarvey for extreme and improbable escapism, an entertaining distraction in these challenging times.

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