Publisher’s Weekly selected An Honorable Man as one of its Top 10 mysteries and thrillers coming in 2016. The editors start with hundreds of titles in the category and select 60 notable books from which they create a Top 10 list.
The citation read: Olen Steinhauer says that Vidich’s first novel, a Cold War spy thriller set in 1953, is “wonderful—an unputdownable mole hunt written in terse, noirish prose, driving us inexorably forward.”
Booklist gave An Honorable Man a starred review. “Leaving Yale early, George Mueller joined the OSS and parachuted into occupied France to help partisans sabotage the Nazis. After the war, he became one of the first case officers in the new CIA, working in war-ravaged, starving Vienna. But now it’s 1953, and Mueller, the titular honorable man, sees himself as a “burnt-out case.” He wants to resign and become a teacher. But CIA Director Allen Dulles—beset by fears of a Russian mole in the agency, concern about Senator McCarthy’s self-glorifying witch hunt for Commies and homosexuals, and the turmoil in Moscow caused by Stalin’s death—asks Mueller to stay on and find the mole. First-novelist Vidich, a tech executive, debuts with a richly atmospheric and emotionally complex and tense tale of spies versus spies in the Cold War. His Washington is almost as dysfunctional as today’s. The agency must collaborate with the FBI on counterintelligence operations, and ham-handed FBI agents bring their own reporter to ensure fawning coverage for the bureau. Vidich writes with an economy of style that acclaimed espionage novelists might do well to emulate. This looks like the launch of a great career in spy fiction.”— Thomas Gaughan