A CIA officer and his recruit arrive in war-ravaged Damascus to hunt for a killer.
CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, which supercharges Haddad’s recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.
But the cat and mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad’s spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard.
Set against the backdrop of a Syria pulsing with fear and rebellion, Damascus Station is a gripping thriller that offers a textured portrayal of espionage, love, loyalty, and betrayal in one of the most difficult CIA assignments on the planet.
About the Author: David McCloskey is a former CIA analyst and 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.
A Note From the Publisher
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"A truly sensational read! In fact, Damascus Station is the best spy novel I have ever read. David McCloskey experienced Syria firsthand as a CIA analyst, and he delivers a thrilling, graphic, gripping, and realistic—albeit fictional—portrayal of the CIA and the bloody, tragic Syrian uprising. I lived this extraordinarily frustrating episode in Agency history, and I could not put this book down." - General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former director of the CIA, and former commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and International and US Forces in Afghanistan
"The nightmare of the Syrian civil war is vividly portrayed by David McCloskey in Damascus Station. He captures the places and people—and most of all, the sickening feeling in the gut—of this war that shattered poor Syria while America mostly watched. As a former CIA officer, McCloskey gets the details right—not just the little ones about mistimed clocks on the wall at Headquarters but the big ones about trying to keep faith with people in a faithless business. This isn’t just a realistic spy novel, it’s real life." - David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post and author of The Paladin
"Damascus Station tells the tragic story of Syria's descent into chaos and the price paid by its people during the Assad regime's brutal crackdown. The power of this book is that it tells this devastating story through the eyes of those who suffered and survived because of love, the human relationship, and the power of what makes life worth living." - Leon E. Panetta, former Director of the CIA and former secretary of defense
"For an authentic representation of what it’s like to work in intelligence, look no further than Damascus Station. McCloskey has captured it all: the breathtaking close calls, the hand in glove of tech and ops, the heartbreaking disappointments, the thrill of a hard-won victory." - Alma Katsu, author of Red Widow and former CIA and NSA analyst
"A sweeping spy thriller packed with tension, twists, and true-to-life detail. There’s no doubt that McCloskey is a CIA veteran." - Karen Cleveland, New York Times best-selling author of Need to Know
"The most realistic and authentic depiction of modern-day tradecraft in non-permissive and hostile environments you will find in print. I am shocked the CIA’s Publication Review Board allowed David McCloskey’s Damascus Station to see the light of day. Read it now, before it is banned!" - Jack Carr, Navy SEAL sniper and New York Times best-selling author of The Devil's Hand
"From an exfiltration gone awry to a stunning endgame, Damascus Station takes the reader on a breathtaking journey in war-torn Syria. McCloskey delivers a thrilling page-turner that is marked by his exceptional understanding of the country and matched by his sophistication in the ways of CIA tradecraft." - Dan Hoffman, former Chief of CIA Middle East Operations and three-time Chief of Station
"Damascus Station is simply intoxicating. A vortex of love, loyalty, murder and damn good espionage." - Don Hepburn, former CIA Chief of Station
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Thank you NetGalley, W. W. Norton & Company and Author for this amazing ebook! Damascus Station by David was an outstanding read. Honestly I've never read a book with spies before. I'm here to say I'm hooked! His writing style was outta this world. The characters they immediately drew me in and kept me interested and very intrigued throughout the entire book! Easy 5 star read. A spy thriller I never would have guessed would be something I would get so into..... And I can't wait.for this to hit stores in October. David you have gained a new reader here! Thank you for the chance to read and review this copy! I will post to my Facebook, Goodreads and Bookstagram accounts closer to pub date!
This is one of the best books I have read this year. It had shades of Red Sparrow but somehow I think Syria may be a little more ruthless and plays by fewer rules than Russia. Ben works to recruit Mariam, a Syrian intelligence official to help the United States find out more about what is going on behind the scenes in Syria. A lot of double crossing, edge of your seat action. I really hope the author keeps writing. The secondary plots in this story is what really takes it to the next level. I can't overstate how good this book is.
Damscus Station by David McClosky Starred Review Summary: A CIA recruiter is tasked with recruiting a Syrian women with ties to the West to help find an American CIA agent being held is a Syrian torture chamber. Cloudy relationships may impede progress. Comments: One of the best spy novels in the last 20 years. Original stunning writing with hands on expertise. Think The Constant Gardner by John Le Carre. Highly recommended.