Moscow X: A Novel (Hardcover)

Moscow X: A Novel By David McCloskey Cover Image

Moscow X: A Novel (Hardcover)

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A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?


CIA officers Sia and Max enter Russia under commercial cover to recruit Vladimir Putin’s moneyman. Sia works for a London law firm that conceals the wealth of the superrich. Max’s family business in Mexico—a CIA front since the 1960s—is a farm that breeds high-end racehorses. They pose as a couple to target Vadim, Putin’s private banker, and his wife, Anna, who—unbeknownst to CIA—is a Russian intelligence officer under deep cover at the bank. As they descend further into a Russian world dripping with luxury and rife with gangland violence, Sia and Max’s only hope may be Anna, who is playing a game of her own. Careening between the horse ranch in northern Mexico, the corridors of Langley, and the dark opulence of Putin’s Russia, Moscow X is both a gripping thriller of modern espionage and a raw, unsparing commentary on the nature of truth, loyalty, and vengeance amid the shadow war between the United States and Russia.



David McCloskey is the author of the novels Damascus Station and Moscow X. He’s a former CIA analyst and a former consultant at McKinsey & Company. While at the CIA, he worked in field stations across the Middle East and briefed senior White House officials and Arab royalty. He lives in Texas.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324050759
ISBN-10: 1324050756
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 464
Language: English
A smart, sleek, and absolutely gripping thriller that swept me away. With chilling Cold War era intrigue set against a fantastic modern plot, Moscow X is a jaw-dropper from start to finish. David McCloskey is the new John le Carré.

— Brad Thor, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Dead Fall

David McCloskey has delivered another mesmerizing tale of intrigue to follow the incredible Damascus Station. Moscow X is even better; an utterly authentic and deeply compelling thriller that is among the very best espionage fiction in print.

— Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Chaos Agent: A Gray Man Novel

A spellbinding journey into the brutal, shadowy intrigues of the Russian elite and the underground world of espionage. The Russian condition, as seen through Anna’s eyes, is both moving and terrifying. An electrifying read. I could not put it down.
— Clarissa Ward, CNN chief international correspondent and author of On All Fronts

Propulsive, terrifying [and] laced with authentic CIA lore. More authoritative on how Putin’s courtiers and oligarchs work than most journalists....Superb.
— Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar

Moscow X brilliantly captures the nuances of field work in hostile environments, the thrill and terror that grip every intelligence officer when they are in the belly of the beast. McCloskey is the new poet laureate of the CIA operations officer.

— Marc E. Polymeropoulos, former CIA senior operations officer and author of Clarity in Crisis

There is a new generation of spy novelists storming the genre, and David McCloskey must be counted as one of the best. Moscow X is a white-knuckled, fast-paced journey into the modern age of spy craft, where high-tech espionage jostles dangerously against old school cunning and Machiavellian intrigue; and where men and women risk everything to uncover an elusive and, ultimately, lethal truth.

— Kathleen Kent, New York Times best-selling author of Black Wolf

A taut thriller by an author who was formerly a CIA officer and knows his ops. Terrific read, cementing McCloskey in my mind as the best spy fiction writer since le Carré.
— Nicholas Kristof

Moscow X is a propulsive thrill ride and a moving portrait of life, betrayal, and vengeance in Putin’s Russia. Those of us who spent our careers running spies have been waiting for the next John le Carré, Charles McCarry, or Jason Matthews—authors who told riveting and deeply authentic stories about intelligence wars fought in the shadows. With Moscow X, David McCloskey takes his place among that company.

— John Sipher, former CIA senior operations officer

A breathless intrigue limned with elegance and grace…David McCloskey has asserted himself as a world-class thriller writer. With only two novels to his name, he already calls to mind le Carré, Forsyth, and Silva.
— Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times best-selling author of the Orphan X series

[I] found myself intrigued by and ultimately immersed, in a terrific plot seasoned with classic tradecraft, new methodologies, and compelling characters. Moscow X is a great read filled with layers of nuance and detail. It captures the contradictions of the spy world and of Russia itself.

— Paul Kolbe - The Cipher Brief

An elegant, masterfully written tale of espionage told by someone who knows what that world should look like…. David McCloskey is the most exciting spy novelist to come along since Daniel Silva.
— The Real Book Spy

[An] entertaining espionage caper....McCloskey mixes the tradecraft of John le Carré with the glitz of Sidney Sheldon...to produce a narrative filled with double- and triple-crosses enriched by pitch-perfect insider details.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The CIA pokes the Russian bear, and thriller fans win.
— Kirkus Review