Screenwriter has winner in spy thriller

The spy novel continues to thrive because authors continue to find new and very contemporary ways of exploring the intrigue and subterfuge that keeps countries on edge with each other.

Screenwriter and novelist Derek Haas confidently strides into espionage with his adrenaline rush "The Right Hand." A lean, no-nonsense plot starts on a high arc as "The Right Hand" (Mulholland Books: $25.99) swiftly progresses to its plausible, and quite poignant, finale. Haas brings the same sense of nonstop action, high drama and character studies that he brings to the hit NBC series "Chicago Fire," for which he is a scriptwriter, and to the 2007 Russell Crowe film "3:10 to Yuma."

"The Right Hand" is Austin Clay, an undercover agent in the CIA whose missions are so secret that even his bosses don't acknowledge them. Or him.

In Austin Clay, Haas has created a credible action hero whose flaws show he still has a conscience, despite the often unsavory situations in which he's involved.

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