A code hidden in plain sight. An American black Ops team that went too far.
John Hayes is a Special Operations legend who went rogue on a deep-cover mission and betrayed his own soldiers. Disgraced and on the run, he returns to the United States to get back to his wife and daughter and take revenge on his accusers with a series of devastating attacks.
Only one man can stop him: Thomas Byrne. He once fought alongside Hayes as a combat medic, but he gave up the gun. Now a surgeon, he moves from town to town, trying to forget his past, until he is called upon by a high-ranking government official to help capture the man he once called a friend.
Hayes and Byrne were once as close as brothers, but with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance and nothing as it seems, both men must decide whom to trust—and whom to betray. In a final, explosive battle for justice, they face off along a rifle’s cold barrel.
Cold Barrel Zero brings together the blistering pace of Lee Child, the nonstop action of Brad Thor, and the richly drawn characters and moral stakes of Daniel Silva. An experienced reporter armed with deep behind-the-scenes research into America’s Special Operations forces, Quirk takes the military thriller to a new level of suspense.
Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he joined The Atlantic and spent five years at the magazine, reporting on a variety of subjects, including crime, private military contractors, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. Quirk’s bestselling first novel, The 500, is currently in development as a major motion picture. He lives in California.
“A relentlessly paced military thriller . . . Sophisticated storytelling [and] whiplash pacing . . . Cold Barrel Zero delivers some clever twists and startling surprises. . . . There are layers of moral ambiguity and questions at every turn.” —Washington Post
“Matthew Quirk has elevated to must-read thriller status faster than seems possible. Cold Barrel Zero is a brilliantly researched and written tour de force from an author who understands both high-stakes action and fine writing.” —Michael Koryta, bestselling author of Last Words and Those Who Wish Me Dead
“[Quirk’s] best book yet . . . Quirk delves deep into the world of international terror and covert operations, and writes with such authority you half expect his prose to be riddled with redactions. The action dazzles. The characters feel authentic and fully fleshed. The threats seem all too real.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“Adrenaline junkies need look no further than Matthew Quirk’s Cold Barrel Zero for their next fix. The action is relentless and exceptionally inventive. . . . This is a must-read for fans of Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher.” —BookPage
“Thriller Award–winner Quirk goes flat-out explosive in this superior military adventure novel. . . . The riveting battle scenes are among the best in the business. Readers will look forward to seeing more of the skilled and deadly John Hayes.” —Publishers Weekly (starred boxed review)