Minute Zero by Todd Moss is a diplomatic thriller set in Zimbabwe.
Protagonist Judd Ryker, head of a special unit within the U.S. Department of State, is sent to the troubled country just before a presidential election. An authoritarian is being challenged in his quest to continue in power.
In addition, it appears that U.S. government officials are concerned about the movement of highly enriched uranium, but the details remain unclear. And what about the election itself? While far from perfect, some seem to think that voting day went relatively well. But is that really true?
Judd Ryker begs to differ.
Nonetheless, dramatically shifting U.S. policy isn't going to be easy and time is of the essence. So what can be done? Who's keeping secrets and what exactly is at stake? Is getting to the truth really possible?
The book features turf wars, high stakes diplomacy, conspiracy, murder and more. An exciting read, this is not a book that readers will be able to put down easily. Aside from the engrossing plot and interesting characters, what really stands out is the author's deft use of dialogue.
Moss is an Africa specialist who also spent a couple years working at State. The novel has benefited greatly from his regional expertise and previous experience in government. He's a gifted storyteller too. Moss knows how to craft a tale that's intriguing and dramatic, yet also believable.
This book is the second installment in the Judd Ryker series. Having produced another compelling read, I doubt I'm the only one hoping to see much more from this author.