Damascus Station

Author David McCloskey draws upon his own experiences as a CIA analyst in Syria, bringing authenticity to this spy thriller. He paints a vivid picture of the chaos and danger of international espionage and the chaos of the Syrian uprising—his understanding of tradecraft shines through every page.

The plot centers on CIA operative Sam Joseph, who’s left reeling after a botched exfiltration in Syria. He’s shipped off to Paris to recruit Mariam Haddad, a Syrian Palace official, as a double agent. Cue the forbidden romance.

The two go to Damascus to hunt down a brutal pair of brothers who kidnapped and killed an American spy. The chase brings the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad’s spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard.

What unfolds is a heart-pounding chase filled with enough double crosses, twists, and turns to make your head spin. Fair warning: this isn’t your grandma’s cozy mystery. McCloskey doesn’t hold back on violence and gore.

Though I was captivated by the plot, I didn’t connect with Sam like I have with other spy novel heroes. Still, McCloskey’s writing is good, and I’m already eyeing up the next two books in the series. So, if you’re in the mood for a thriller, give Damascus Station a shot. I’m giving it four stars.



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