Simon & Schuster, $25.00, 306 pages, ISBN 978-1-4767-3386-9
With some seven and-a-half million residents spread out over a couple thousand city blocks, the Manhattan Office of the FBI is one of the largest, busiest and most important of all postings within the agency. The activity there is ceaseless, and the agents are all at the top of their game. They’re the best of the best . . . or out with the rest . . . and that makes it an excellent place to situate a good old fashioned spy thriller pitting the FBI Counter Intelligence Group against the Russian SVR, or Secret Police. They’re the replacements for the Soviet-era KGB, and just as ruthless, duplicitous and determined to undermine the USA as ever.
Fidelity, by Jan Fedarcyk is a unique first novel, written about a female agent by a woman who was not only an FBI operative in the tough New York City environment, she retired after a twenty-five year career as the Assistant Director in Charge. In our estimation, that makes her a formidable, experienced and knowledgeable lady with the chops to entertain and enthrall her readers for a long second career, while at the same time, being an inspiration to us all.
Fidelity introduces us to FBI Special Agent Kay Malloy as she makes her mark in the crime and drug-infested neighborhoods of east Baltimore before being assigned to an elite counterterrorism unit based in NYC. There, she becomes part of a team that’s tasked with finding the traitor who’s been giving up the double agents inside the Russian Government . . . the spies who actually work for the Americans . . . causing their torture and execution. It’s tedious and deadly work that Kay finds both depressing and exhilarating at the same time. The sinister part happens when the Russians come after Kay, using her brother Christopher as the bait in an elaborate scheme that forces her to reexamine her past, as well as her present relationships . . . and her life will never be the same afterward. Kay Malloy is endearing and unforgettable . . . a twenty-first century heroine that dedicated thriller readers can get to know early in her literary life and follow for her whole career as she grows and ages.