Dead Man Switch

Someone is hunting down America’s most elite special ops soldiers–in their homes.

A deadly fall on a rugged stretch of California coast. A burglary gone wrong in Virginia. These incidents seem unrelated, but the victims were living undercover, their true identities closely held secrets. They are members of a classified team, the last line of defense against foreign threats. Now, someone is assassinating them, one by one, taking out family members and innocent bystanders to make the deaths seem like accidents.

Captain John Hayes, a special operations legend, has left the military to settle down with his family. But when he pieces together a pattern behind the murders and discovers that his protégée Claire Rhodes, a brilliant assassin, is the prime suspect, he returns to duty to unmask the attackers.

With every success, the killers grow bolder. Their ultimate goal: Lure Hayes and his remaining fellow soldiers to Manhattan, to eliminate them all in a single devastating strike. To save his teammates and thousands of innocent lives, Hayes must find a way to stop a seemingly unstoppable weapon.

Dead Man Switch delivers nonstop twists, turns, and action in a high-stakes thriller about what happens when the fight abroad follows our covert operators home-and their painstakingly constructed double lives are shattered.

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“A tour de force. Dead Man Switch turns the intelligence community’s ‘wilderness of mirrors’ into a high-speed racetrack, delivering twist after twist toward a literally explosive conclusion. More than that, Quirk shows us the human cost of living—and dying—on the gray edges of national security, and creates characters whose choices feel powerful and real.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia

“Special ops legend John Hayes, now retired, gets back on the job once it becomes apparent that someone is systematically killing members of his former squad—the darkest of all military units, Cold Harvest—in Quirk’s dazzling sequel to 2016’s Cold Barrel Zero. Hayes investigates one death after another, all carefully disguised as accidents (an apparent cliff fall in California, a home-invasion robbery gone wrong in Virginia). As he crosses the country, Hayes comes to the unsettling realization that his former protégé, assassin Claire Rhodes, is a prime suspect, though what her motive might be is baffling. Also at the top of the suspect list is Niko Hynd, a high-level Pakistani terrorist, whose operations were seriously degraded by Cold Harvest raids in recent years. Hayes, an incredibly capable, unapologetic rogue, fights the good fight and reveals the secrets of how he’s doing it as he goes. Right up to the tense finale in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza, Quirk never strikes a dull or off-key note. “—Publishers Weekly

“Matthew Quirk is a big-thriller-writing maniac. With his hallmarks of crisp prose, riveting research, and stunning action, he crafts his books so they’re nearly impossible to put down. When it comes to Quirk, I follow a simple three-step plan: Buy, cancel plans, read.” —Gregg Hurwitz,  New York Times bestselling author of The Nowhere Man

“Quirk is a master at organizing details—smoke, a chill wind, a splash of water—to create suspense. Fans of special-ops thrillers will devour this latest entry in Quirk’s fiery action series.”—Booklist

Quirk’s deft plotting (beware the explosion awaiting in Manhattan!) and superior action scenes are what make the book tick. But the author also has a nice way of getting the most out of his characters and his varied locales without falling back on clichés. An excellent follow-up to Cold Barrel Zero (2015), this is a standout thriller.”—Kirkus

“Dead Man Switch is an intriguing premise, perfectly executed. Matthew Quirk writes like his heroes operate: no missteps, no mistakes, just nonstop deadly action.” —April Smith, author of the Special Agent Ana Grey thrillers

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