Thursday, June 20, 2013

Planning for my new novel

My new novel, yet to be titled, will take place in North Korea. It will concern a young analyst, Joseph Kimmelmann, who works for a venture capital company, Castle Ventures. Kimmelmann is dispatched to North Korea to weigh the risks and rewards of his firm investing in the completion of the Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang's so-called, "Hotel of Doom," for its ill-fated history.

Before he goes, he’s asked by the CIA to do them “a favor.” They know of him through his Korean Studies professor at X university, Professor Smithson. The Professor consults with the CIA and occasionally identifies promising recruits from his Korean Studies program.

The favor is "simple;" just arrange to meet an unnamed man in the DPRK. The man will have something to tell him. No notes are to be passed, nothing is to be written down or recorded, no questions are to be asked. Kimmelmann is simply to remember what he’s told, it will be "non-technical," and convey it to the CIA man upon his return to the States. The meeting will be facilitated by "helpers" in Pyongyang.

Of course, nothing is really simple in North Korea, and Joseph will be tested in ways he can't even imagine.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Lion and the Sun; Self Published

My novel, The Lion and the Son, has now been published in paperback and e-Book form, and is available from,,,,, and

‘The Lion and the Sun’ is a story of intrigue, betrayal, and regret set against the threat of nuclear terrorism. The story spans the years 1978 to 2008, although the main action takes place in 1994 during the rise of the Russian Federation from the ashes of the Former Soviet Union, and immediately after the CIA agent Aldrich Ames was found to be a Russian mole. The story centers around Daniel Conte, a CIA field agent tracking the whereabouts of a missing Russian plutonium pit; a softball-sized hunk of plutonium that serves as the core of a nuclear weapon. Conte’s quest takes him first to Vienna, then Istanbul, and then Tehran, where a personal tragedy in 1979 still haunts him. Along the way he will come face-to-face with a shadowy group of terrorists that may be linked to Iranian intelligence. Conte’s mission will uncover repressed memories of past betrayals and lead to new ones that will challenge the very core of his beliefs in his mission, his country, and in himself. The author’s experience in intelligence and counter terrorism shows in this all-too realistic tale of nuclear smuggling, terrorism, and espionage. The plot is topical and engrossing, the characters well-developed, and the descriptions of Vienna, Istanbul, and Tehran could only have been written by someone who was there. ‘The Lion and the Sun’ is one of the books you continue to contemplate well after you’ve turned the last compelling page. The story will appeal to readers who enjoy espionage novels by Alan Furst, Charles McCarry, and John le Carre´.