Reviews

Critical acclaim for The Coldest Warrior

“With The Coldest Warrior, Vidich enters the upper ranks of espionage thriller writers.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review [read full review]

“A terse and convincing thriller.  This standalone work reaches a new level of moral complexity and brings into stark relief the often contradictory nature of spycraft.”—  Wall Street Journal, Tom Noland

“Trench coats and fedoras abound in this old-school spy novel exploring one of the most infamous incidents in CIA history..”
The Times [London], Jeremy Duns 

“The inner workings of the US’s actual deep state during the cold war — most of all, the CIA — is evocatively portrayed in The Coldest Warrior, a finely written, taut novel.”
—Adam Lebor, Financial Times [read full review]   

‘The Coldest Warrior is so timely and yet so timeless – it reminds us to keep asking ourselves just what our governments are capable of, and what can be justified. All while telling a compelling and thrilling murder mystery.’
nagaisayonara, Crime Fiction Lover

‘Compelling’
John Dugdale, Sunday Times

‘A fast-paced, historically accurate thriller, placing him alongside other great spy authors such as John le Carré and Alan Furst’
Bill Anderson, Library Journal Starred Review

‘If there’s a better spy novel this year espionage fiction fans will be able to count themselves very lucky indeed… What this novel also does is see the perpetrators of vile acts as human beings, no cardboard cut outs, no caricatures. This insight is a sign of why the spy novel is still relevant. I know it’s fiction, there are plenty of history books and factual accounts that go into what we do know of the death of Olsen, but as le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor series spoke to 1970 Britain this book rounds out the picture of post war America. Think of the way 1984 threw light on the workings of Soviet communism… Gripping, urgent and perceptive. A remarkably powerful novel’
Paul Burke, NB Magazine

‘The book spins quickly into risk and danger, and the final chapters, fast-paced and dark with threat, provide one of the best manhunt and intended escape sequences of current espionage fiction’
Beth Kanell, New York Journal of Books

‘The Coldest Warrior is a terrifically paced page-turner with convincing red herrings and a surprise ending. These feats are not to be understated . . . Without ever slowing the pace or detracting from the novel’s central mystery or action, Vidich still manages to carve out time in his taut narrative to provide snapshots of men trapped in personal cold wars of their own making’
Alice Martin, Shelf Awareness

‘The Coldest Warrior succeeds on two levels. First, Vidich’s story has momentum and never flags…. In addition, Vidich raises vexing moral issues through his storytelling’
Charlie Gofen,The National Book Review 

‘vivid and sympathetic… a worthwhile thriller and a valuable exposé’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Cold War spy fiction in the grand tradition’
Joseph Kanon, bestselling author of ‘Istanbul Passage’ and ‘The Good German’

‘This looks like the launch of a great career in spy fiction’
Booklist (Starred)

‘A richly detailed work of investigative crime writing perfect for fans of procedurals and spy fiction alike’
LitHub

‘Filled with action, haunting details and compelling characters’
Brendan DuBois

‘ A breathless Cold War thriller in the mode of John le Carré’
John Copenhaver, author of ‘Dodging and Burning

‘chilling… more than an entertaining and well-crafted thriller; Vidich asks questions that remain relevant today’
Jefferson Flanders, author of The First Trumpet trilogy

‘In the manner of Charles Cumming and recent le Carré, Vidich pits spies on the same side against one another in a kind of internal cold war’
Bill Ott, Booklist

‘Deadly, dangerous stuff’
Rose Shepherd, Saga Magazine

‘A sizzling and troubling tale’
David Rothenberg, WBAI Radio

‘Vidich perfectly captures the era’s paranoid mood’
Jeremy Duns, The Times

‘Shades of Charles McCarry and Joseph Kanon, even classic post-Watergate conspiracy thrillers like James Grady’s Six Days of the Condor’
Dominick Donald

‘A terse and convincing thriller… This stand-alone work reaches a new level of moral complexity and brings into stark relief the often contradictory nature of spycraft’
Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

‘A gripping tale of mixed morals, ruthless politics shrouded by all the ambiguities of the erstwhile Cold War’
Maxim Jakubowski, CrimeTime

 

Critical acclaim for The Good Assassin

“Cuba in the late 1950’s provides a backdrop for Vidich’s simmering, old-fashioned literary spy tale.”
— Publishers Weekly [read full review]

“Paul Vidich’s likable and reluctant spy, George Mueller, will keep readers guessing in this eerily real Cuba of 1958. The Good Assassin is a keen historical adventure from the best noir tradition.”
Elizabeth Kostova, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Good Assassin opens up Hemingway’s Cuba. Possessing Alan Furst’s attention for period detail and the deft character touches of John Le Carré, Vidich has quickly carved out a place for himself among the very first rank of espionage writers. It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.”
Michael Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicago Way

The Good Assassin is first-rate literary espionage . . . Author Paul Vidich has evoked not only the intrigue and brutality of Batista’s Cuba, but the island itself . . . a masterful work of noir fiction.”
Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of A Hint of Strangeness

“Vidich spins a tale of moral and psychological complexity, recalling Graham Greene…a rich, rewarding stew of uncertainty.”
— Booklist


Critical acclaim for An Honorable Man

‘There are moments in An Honorable Man…that make you feel like you’re intimately eavesdropping on people’s lives.’
– Writer’s Bone [read the full review]

‘Even the most jaded readers will be caught off-guard by the espionage and counter-espionage’
– Parnassus Musing [read the full review]

‘Dead-on Cold War fiction. Noir to the bone’
– Kirkus Reviews> [read the full review]

‘Fans of John le Carré will appreciate the backroom, clubby old-boy network that seemed to define spying in the 1950s’
– Publishers Weekly [read the full review]

‘An Honorable Man is one heck of a debut novel’
– The REAL Book Spy [read the full review]

‘Bestselling Irish author John Connolly has given An Honorable Man his seal of approval – it left him with “a warm satisfied glow” – and Stephen Schiff, writer of TV espionage hit The Americans, is also a fan. If it’s good enough for them …’
– RTE [read the full review]

‘An Honorable Man is that rare beast: a good, old fashioned spy novel. But like the best of its kind, it understands that the genre is about something more: betrayal, paranoia, unease, and sacrifice. For a book about the Cold War, it left me with a warm, satisfied glow.’
– John Connolly (International Bestselling Author of A Song of Shadows

‘Cold War spy fiction in the grand tradition – neatly plotted betrayals in that shadow world where no one can be trusted and agents are haunted by their own moral compromises’
– Joseph Kanon (bestselling author of Istanbul Passage and The Good German)

‘A cool, knowing, and quietly devastating thriller that vaults Paul Vidich into the ranks of such thinking-man’s spy novelists as Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst. Like them, Vidich conjures not only a riveting mystery but a poignant cast of characters, a vibrant evocation of time and place, and a rich excavation of human paradox’
– Stephen Schiff (writer and executive producer of acclaimed television drama The Americans)

‘An unputdownable mole hunt written in terse, noirish prose, driving us inexorably forward.’
– Olen Steinhauer, New York Times best selling author of The Tourist

‘Paul Vidich’s immensely assured debut, a requiem to a time, is intensely alive, dark, silken with facts, replete with promise.’
– Jayne Anne Phillips, New York Times best selling author of Lark and Termite

‘Vidich writes with a confidence that allows him to draw his characters in clean, simple strokes, creating dialogue that speaks volumes in a few spare lines while leaving even more for the reader to fathom in what’s not said at all.’
– Michael Harvey, New York Times best selling author of The Chicago Way

‘Vidich writes with an economy of style that acclaimed espionage novelists might do well to emulate’
– Booklist

‘One of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Mysteries and Thrillers for Spring 2016’
– Publishers Weekly [read the full review]

‘One of Real Book Spy’s 16 Books to Look Forward to in 2016’
– Real Book Spy [read the full review]

‘This is splendid stuff, with a complexity and reach that belies the book’s trim size. Vidich is clearly a name to watch’
– Barry Forshaw [read the full review]

‘Atmospheric, moving and enigma-laden, this is spy writing at its very best.’
– Renowned UK critic Maxim Jakubowski in Lovereading [read the full review]


Toronto Star reviewed An Honorable Man. “As his first novel, Paul Vidich has written a spy story in the tradition of John le Carre and Charles McCarry….It adds up to delicious stuff, told with elegance and a nice touch for suspense.”

 

Booklist gave An Honorable Man a starred review in their December 15 edition.

“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

 

Kirkus Review: “A moody debut spy novel inspired by real events…Dead-on Cold War fiction. Noir to the bone.”

 

Publishers Weekly review:  “Vidich’s well-written first novel is long on atmosphere.”

 

The Real Book Spy:

It’s my belief that the spy genre was at its absolute best during the Cold War era when authors like John Le Carre’ were writing thrilling tales of espionage and double-agents with whit and pizazz. In his debut novel, Paul Vidich takes readers back to that time, dropping them off in 1953 as the world’s two greatest superpowers prepare to wage war against one another. 

I started this book wanting to like it, and ended up loving it. An Honorable Man is a gripping showdown between spies with stakes that couldn’t possibly be any higher, and where nobody can be fully trusted.

An Honorable Man makes you feel like you’re in 1953. If you like movies such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or Tom Hank’s 2015 spy flick A Bridge of Spies, you need to read this book. An Honorable Man is one heck of a debut novel, and is just the beginning of what should be a long and brilliant career. If you had the chance to go back in time and start reading John Le Carre’ from the very beginning, would you do it? Here’s your second chance – don’t miss it.

 

Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

On one hand you have the spy adventures which run along in overdrive and combine adventure and exotica a la James Bond and, on the other, are the sometimes deliberatly drab but realistic tales of jigsaw plots and devious minds, characterised by the disillusioned realism of John Le Carre, Charles McCarry, Robert Littell and Olen Steinhauer. This debut thriller places Vidich firmly in the second camp and right at the top of the table with instant effect. Doublecrosses, terribly fallible agents and spy hunters, the heart of the Cold War: it’s all been done before but when it’s plotted and written so well, with a care for the humanity of its torn by loyalties protagonists and the vagaries of unreliable history, I’m always a sucker for more. Atmospheric, moving and enigma-laden, this is spy writing at its very best. Maxim Jakubowski