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Close Quarters
Cover of Close Quarters
Close Quarters
Marc Portman Thriller Series, Book 2
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The return of The Watchman - deep cover specialist Marc Portman

Close protection specialist Marc Portman is used to finding himself in hostile situations. But none can be more unpredictable than troubled Ukraine, teetering on the brink of civil war.

When a US State Department official on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine is placed under house arrest, the CIA hire Portman (codename: Watchman) to get him safely out of the country. In that dangerous and volatile region, Portman will find himself up against local gangsters, Ukrainian Special Forces, professional snipers, pro-Russian separatists and power-crazed cops. What he cannot know however is that his most lethal enemy comes from his own side ...
The return of The Watchman - deep cover specialist Marc Portman

Close protection specialist Marc Portman is used to finding himself in hostile situations. But none can be more unpredictable than troubled Ukraine, teetering on the brink of civil war.

When a US State Department official on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine is placed under house arrest, the CIA hire Portman (codename: Watchman) to get him safely out of the country. In that dangerous and volatile region, Portman will find himself up against local gangsters, Ukrainian Special Forces, professional snipers, pro-Russian separatists and power-crazed cops. What he cannot know however is that his most lethal enemy comes from his own side ...
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 15, 2015
    In Magson’s fine second Marc Portman thriller (after 2014’s The Watchman), the CIA hires the freelance operative, “a close-protection specialist,” to rescue a State Department negotiator, Edwin Travis, who was sent to Ukraine to talk to the various factions involved in fighting the pro-Russian separatists. Some unknown group, probably backed by the Russians, kidnapped Travis, and Portman’s job is to find and extricate him. It’s a standard assignment for Portman, but this time he has to deal with a traitorous U.S. senator, Howard Benson, and other members of the Dupont Circle Group, who stand to make a great deal of money on energy stocks if the situation in Eastern Europe goes to hell. Because Benson oversees the CIA, he’s aware of Portman’s mission and does his best to derail it. The action moves quickly, though a rather tame ending will leave readers a bit disappointed but still looking forward to Portman’s next outing. Agent: David Headley, DHH Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    A rugged CIA contractor encounters enemies from all sides when he tries to rescue a State Department wonk held captive in Ukraine. Busy freelance agent Marc Portman, aka The Watchman, is trailing hapless victim-to-be Arash Bagheri in Tehran when he gets an urgent call from Brian Callahan at the CIA front-office in New York. Callahan fears that State Department official Ed Travis, who's been gathering intel in Ukraine related to the Russians and various Mideast bad actors, can't make it out alive without assistance. Alternating between Portman's first-person narrative and a third-person perspective, Magson unfolds the story of his Ukrainian adventure. Upon landing at Donetsk, Portman meets his local contact, Ivkanoy, who unwisely tries to beat and rob him. Not long after, he runs afoul of a group of thugs led by a tough he calls "Rambo." Once he's dispatched them, he phones veteran operative Max for assistance. Stateside, things aren't running any more smoothly. Callahan's assistant, Lindsay, has to parry probing questions from Senate Intelligence Committee member Howard Benson, who clearly disdains the CIA. Portman arrives at Travis' hotel just in time to see him leave with four men in a military jeep. As corpses litter the path of pursuit, the powers at Langley wrestle with policy disputes and threats of espionage. Prolific Magson's second round for Portman (The Watchman, 2014, etc.) delivers in the clinch, with gripping, authentic action scenes. The stateside segments are distinctly less memorable. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2015

    Marc Portman, known as the Watchman, is a "close protection specialist" who is highly regarded for his ability to protect targets from danger. Fresh from a job in Iran, Portman is asked by a CIA administrator to liberate a negotiator from the Ukrainian hotel room where he is being held prisoner. His mission is complicated by treacherous individuals and groups determined to stop him or at least profit by his being there. Further compounding Portman's challenges is the effort of a U.S. senator determined to see the operation fail for his own vested interests. VERDICT Magson has successfully moved from espionage and crime fiction ("Harry Tate" series; "Insp. Lucas Rocco Mysteries") to military thrillers in this second series outing (after The Watchman). His tough-talking protagonist will appeal to readers who appreciate macho heroes in dangerous situations that require brute strength.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Marc Portman Thriller Series, Book 2
Adrian Magson
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