News, Reviews and Upcoming Appearances
May 3, 2013: CNN published an exclusive article written by Susan Hasler about the pivotal role of women in the counterterrorism division of the CIA.
May 1, 2013: HBO released its documentary Manhunt, the story of the Central Intelligence Agency analysts who first identified the threat posed by Osama bin Laden -- long before the attack on the Twin Towers made him a household name in the United States. Susan Hasler was interviewed as part of this program.
April 26, 2013: NPR aired an interview with Susan Hasler and Cindy Storer, two of the CIA analysts who tracked Osama Bin Laden's activities and attempted to raise a warning prior to the 9/11 attacks.
"A 21-year veteran of the CIA, Hasler charts the day-to-day efforts of a team of counterterrorist analysts (aka alchemists) in a strong debut that puts most other thriller authors with similar backgrounds in the intelligence field to shame. Madeline James and her crew of brilliant misfits struggle to piece together shreds of evidence gleaned from mountains of raw data (slag) in a race to uncover a plot that threatens to dwarf the body count of 9/11. They must also battle a management structure bent on denying their findings so the current administration will have the ammunition needed to justify going to war with Iran. The parallels with recent history add to the credibility and suspense. Readers will be left aghast at the toll politics and basic self-serving, cover-your-ass government policies take on agencies and individuals whose job is to keep our country safe. Many will find Hasler's female point-of-view a welcome change from the usual smash and bash male offering in the genre."
— Publisher's Weekly (Starred review)
“The gifted members of a governmental think tank try to fight the system, and lose, in Hasler’s debut. There’s a whole school of writers who graduated from government work to thriller-writing, from Ian Fleming all the way to modern-day novelists like Francine Matthews. Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Hasler adeptly joins her many colleagues who apply their murky knowledge to fiction.
The book, containing a ferocious dose of black humor, features an ensemble of cynical, borderline psychotic spooks and analysts. Among the agents exiled to 'The Mines' are Doc Hartman, the disgruntled senior member of the group; Vivi Fields, a retro-garbed empath with a heart of gold; and Fran Monroe, a networking specialist with a crush on Doc. Everyone gets a turn at telling their part of the story, including a terrorist known only as 'A Voice With Many Names.'
The most acidly funny character is Maddie James, self-described bomb dissector and counterterrorism alchemist. Following a massive 2001 attack called the Strikes and her divorce from Doc’s son, Maddie is railing against the system to which she is unavoidably vital. “What do these people have for brains?” she cries. “‘Intelligence community’? What intelligence? I tell them something’s going to blow up and they look at me like I’m hallucinating.”
Despite her reticence, Maddie continues to lead her colleagues in tracking an inbound cell of terrorists, dubbed 'The Perfumers' by the crew of The Mines. With an attack on Washington, D.C., imminent, the counterterrorist team is faced with a problem as old as government itself. “Wolves and warning,” Doc muses. “How to negotiate that thread that stretches between crying wolf and failing to warn? Warn too often and no one listens. Fail to warn, and reap the bloody consequences.” A smart, blackhearted comedy whose generic title does disservice to an outrageous cast of characters.
— Kirkus Reviews
"An irreverent and funny novel about the crushing burden of the bureaucracy on getting anything right. A great read."
— Jim Huston, The New York Times bestselling author of MARINE ONE
“The dark humor in this fast-paced novel prevents you from grieving overly about the near miss that its enterprising and eclectic intelligence analysts experience in seeking to stymie the first big terrorist attack on U.S. shores since 9/11. Further, if the ‘Administration’s’ efforts at laying off the blame for the attack on Iran did not evoke such a ghastly reminder of the 9/11 ‘intelligence failure’, you could read it simply as highly entertaining farce.
As it is, Susan Hasler cuts too close to the bone of real life ‘politicization’ of intelligence, and how it occurs, to ignore this constant struggle between the career professionals and the politicos who have an axe to grind. But she does it with style and humor.”
— Frederick Hitz, author of Why Spy and Inspector General of the CIA from 1990 to 1998
“Hilarious, heartbreaking and, above all, terrifying. A stellar debut!”
— Eric Van Lustbader, bestselling author of The Bourne Deception and Last Snow
“Intelligence is a remarkable novel — full of suspense, moral complexity, and memorable characters.
Furthermore, it is a book that should be read and deeply pondered by anyone in this country who wants America to remain a true democracy.”
— Ron Rash, author of Serena
“A firecracker of a read. Startling in its depth of information. Susan Hasler has written the missing novel in the dark world of counter-terrorism. Only an insider could have written so compellingly about intrigue. No doubt the CIA will be angry — a sure sign that Intelligence is a page turner.”
— Gordon Thomas, author of Secret Wars and Gideon’s Spies
"Susan Hasler's Intelligence is a riveting book — funny and frightening to the same degree — and also, a lot of it's probably true."
— Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls Rising
There are no readings scheduled at this time.