The Fourth Courier
Timothy Jay Smith
- 320 Pages
- April 2, 2019
- ISBN: 9781948924108
- Trim Size: 6in x 9in
** "Sharply drawn characters, rich dialogue, and a clever conclusion bode well for any sequel." —Publishers Weekly **
** “Smith skillfully bridges police procedural and espionage fiction, crafting a show-stealing sense of place and realistically pairing the threats of underworld crime and destabilized regimes.” -- Booklist **
For International Espionage Fans of Alan Furst and Daniel Silva, a new thriller set in post-Soviet era Poland.
It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it's feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.
Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.
“Smith skillfully bridges police procedural and espionage fiction, crafting a show-stealing sense of place
and realistically pairing the threats of underworld crime and destabilized regimes.” -- Booklist
"…riveting... What a great story — sad, humane, relentlessly exciting. I hope there’s another novel…talents must be used to their fullest. …At the very start of Timothy Jay Smith’s The Fourth Courier, we know we are in for a furious, riveting ride. His writing is humane, precise, relentlessly exciting. I dare you to read the opening and not want to race to the finish in one tightly held breath." –#1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Goolrick
"… riveting and irresistible. Smith, with his natural-born ear for dialogue and eye for description, drops us right into the narrative and the moment he does we’re as much a part of the Polish landscape as the characters themselves. You’re going to want to read The Fourth Courier for its arresting plot, but you’ll remember it for the crisply wrought and indelible images of a Poland on the brink of change." -- David Samuel Levinson, Pulitzer Prize nominated author of Tell Me How This Ends Well
“Hold on to your hats for this is a snappy and speedy ride into the murky world of a post-Cold War Eastern Europe...Timothy Jay Smith has penned a gripping, intelligent thriller, atmospheric and effectively creating an uneasy picture of a Poland emerging from the last war...” —NB Magazine (UK)
“…one of those novels where we have no idea where it is exactly going to go, but we turn the pages with incredible rapidity! It’s a beautifully written novel.” — NPR affiliate, Wisconsin Public Radio, Greg Berg, WGTD-FM “The Morning Show”
“A fine thriller.” — WBZ/Boston
“The book feels like it could have been ripped right out of today’s headlines!”— Peter Solomon, WIP-AM+FM/Philadelphia PA
“Timothy Jay Smith: remember this name. Smith is a craftsman, as demonstrated in this swift-paced and tightly organized tale of arms smuggling through Poland in April of 1992. It was written by Somebody Who Was There. The experience shows. Len Deighton and John Le Carré have a nephew… The Fourth Courier is a sexy book. Gay, straight, illicit, overtly illegal, romantic with the promise of spring somewhere near the horizon - it’s a bit of an amatory Coney Island. There is so little opportunity to escape the grey remains of Communism in Smith’s telling that, in a certain respect, The Fourth Courier will remind a reader of I AM A CAMERA, the basis for Broadway’s ‘Cabaret’… This is a captivating thriller. It is complex, with tangled murders and double-crosses and double-crosses within double crosses, as one of the principal characters complains. Even though Smith allows us to see all the players in motion as the story unfurls, we are still feeling tension and apprehension for them trapped in the complex plot. Smith makes these people very real to us, and even the worst of the worst in the story somehow manages to elicit our sympathy before it’s over. Strongly recommended.” —Authors on the Air/Book Review Crew
"Brace for hot sex in surprising detail in this one, as FBI agent Jay Porter links up with a hot Polish airport worker with criminal connections, and Porter's CIA colleague Kurt Crawford turns the tables on the Russian general in a time when some sexual twists could mean far more danger and public shame than they do now. The writing's sharp and quick, the plot laced with unusual twists. And the portrait of cash-starved, impoverished Poland at that point is poignant and salted with very human affection." — Kingdom Books, Mystery Reviews