Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 09/2022
  • 9798985597424 B0B7N1QQ2R
  • 404 pages
  • $9.99
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2022
  • 9798985597400 B0B2TKN3BS
  • 404 pages
  • $28.00
Michael Frost Beckner
Author
Muir's Gambit: A Spy Game Novel

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Prequel to Beckner’s classic film Spy Game, Muir's Gambit opens with the assassination of CIA hero Charlie March. Mentor to Nathan Muir, March’s murder presents Langley the opportunity to rid themselves of Cold War dinosaur Muir. Muir's Gambit introduces hard-luck CIA lawyer Russell Aiken dispatched to force Muir’s confession. The protégé Muir cast aside for Tom Bishop, Aiken thirsts for payback. As the two spies play a cat-and-mouse interrogation, Muir's Gambit examines the lives of two men sanctioned to immorality who have one night to regain honor and reconcile themselves to the one moral spy, Bishop, who stands between them.
Reviews
This superior end-of-the-Cold-War cat-and-mouse espionage thriller from screenwriter/novelist Beckner, the creator of the CIA drama The Agency among other projects, kicks off a book trilogy that’s actually a cross-media (and cross-decades) quartet. Set in the “kinder, gentler America” of 1991, Muir’s Gambit opens as a prequel to the 2001 film Spy Game, written by Beckner, with the subsequent books in Beckner’s Aiken Trilogy picking up after the events of the movie, following the deadly, morally murky adventures of CIA characters originally played by Robert Redford and Brad Pitt into the 21st century. Fans of the film will relish the return of compromised, world-weary Company men facing past sins and playing long games within longer games, the stakes less about national security than their own souls.

This entry is named for ambiguous spymaster Nathan Muir (Redford’s character, described with enticing precision as “the coolest version of handsome with a smile that spoke an entire language of its own”). But the trilogy’s heart is CIA lawyer Russell Aiken, who harbors a personal grudge against Muir, his one-time mentor. Muir seems connected to the murder of a CIA “hero,” and Aiken is dispatched to the Florida Keys to get Muir’s confession and resignation—and to make sure the agency’s dark secrets stay submerged. Early on, Muir, a lover of show-stopping monologues, makes “hero” sound like a “vulgarity,” only the first indication of the case’s wrenching complexity.

As in the film, Beckner demonstrates a deft hand at the thinking and tradecraft of spies, tying tangled backstories to in-the-moment surprises that don’t just jolt the plot—they upend perceived reality while demonstrating the toll this work exacts. Liberated from the demands of tight screenplays, Beckner lets the story expand deep into these men’s shared history without losing narrative urgency. Charged, vivid prose, electric dialogue, and an encyclopedic command of 20th century espionage and culture keep the pages turning until a pained, satisfying ending. This prequel enriches the earlier work.

Takeaway: A chilling, inspired espionage thriller and prequel to the film Spy Game.

Great for fans of: Paul Vidich, John Le Carré.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

BestThrillers.com

"In the tradition of the best espionage novels, author Michael Frost Beckner’s novel is a story of allegiances — those that endure, those that break and those that leave far more questions than answers… Thanks to Beckner’s engrossing narrative structure and carefully crafted prose, readers are in for a treat. The Bottom Line: Spy Game screenwriter Michael Frost Beckner resurrects timeless Cold War tradecraft in a new must-read series. BestThrillers.com

BlueInk Review

"A brilliant opening salvo in the author’s Aiken Trilogy. Espionage fans looking for an alternative to standardized spy-thriller tropes will find plenty to entertain them in this satisfyingly offbeat offering." 

Foreword Reviews

5 out of 5 stars. Michael Frost Beckner’s taut spy thriller Muir’s Gambit follows a CIA attorney and a legendary spy as they engage in a battle of wits… A multilayered narrative…spanning decades, piles of secrets, the men’s sordid pasts, and the race toward the truth… Gritty and tense…”  Foreword Clarion Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Relentlessly tense...This smashing espionage tale kicks off what promises to be a smart, indelible series.

Midwest Book Review

“It's rare, in the thriller genre, to find such an ongoing and neat juxtaposition of interests and vying forces, [but] Michael Frost Beckner’s Muir's Gambit…succeeds on so many levels that its course is not only unpredictable, but thoroughly delightful.” 

US Review of Books

In this prequel to the espionage thriller Spy Game, Beckner returns to Nathan Muir's CIA origins...[where] the line between [truth] and [lies] is blurred, often beyond recognition. Beckner consistently demonstrates a knack for taking high-stakes situations and storylines and adding an array of dimensions that deliver a more intimate connection. - RECOMMENDED

News
07/23/2022
Secrets & Spies Podcast - Spy Game with Michael Frost Beckner

On today's podcast, we are joined by Michael Frost Beckner. Michael was the writer of my favourite spy film “Spy Game”. He joins us to discuss the making of that film and we also look at his TV show “The Agency” which was the first TV show to get access to the CIA headquarters and it had direct assistance from the CIA on certain stories and episodes.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 09/2022
  • 9798985597424 B0B7N1QQ2R
  • 404 pages
  • $9.99
Hardcover Details
  • 09/2022
  • 9798985597400 B0B2TKN3BS
  • 404 pages
  • $28.00

Loading...