“Ian Fleming gave us James Bond. Robert Ludlum gave us Jason Bourne. Now authors Wayne Simmons and Mark Graham give us a novel with an unapologetically pro-American master of espionage, Jake Conlan. Not since Tom Clancy created Jack Ryan has a U.S. audience had such a compelling spy to root for.”
—The Washington Times
“This book truly is AWESOME! Vince Flynn, John le Carré, and Tom Clancy best move to the side because the world just received a gift from a man who has ‘been there and done that.’”
“A special operation to infiltrate Iran’s main nuclear facility at Natanz brings 25-year CIA vet Jake Conlan out of retirement in this timely thriller from former intelligence professional Simmons and coauthor Graham (The Fire Theft). After traveling undercover through Europe, Conlan parachutes into the countryside outside Tehran, and begins making contact with opposition leaders—and one old romantic flame—who help him reach the underground bomb factory. Once there, Conlan makes a code red discovery: the Iranians not only have 21 long-range nuclear missiles but they’re set to launch in three days at targets in Israel and several major European cities. Throughout, Graham’s prose and plotting matches his hero’s ways—brisk and no-nonsense—and Simmons’s contribution pays off in credible detail. Of particular note are the fine descriptions of Tehran and its people.”
“In Simmons’ and Graham’s (The Missing Sixth, 2011, etc.) spy thriller, Jake Conlan is called back undercover.
Conlan’s past 50, but he’s no less lethal when set to task by his mentor, the mysterious Mr. Elliot. Word is Iran finally has the bomb and means of delivery, and Jake’s sent to stop The Twelvers, the messianic Shiite group in power, from using it. After a clandestine SR-71 flight to Paris, Jake is first tasked to clean up a minor mess. A drug dealer has his hooks in a weak-kneed U.S. senator serving on an intelligence committee. Jake plugs that leak with a Mauser pistol. Complications arise when it develops that the dealer had connections with Mujahedim-e Kahlq, an Iranian opposition group financing operations with edge-of-legal activities. Post-Paris action moves to Antwerp for a cinematic chase scene, then to Turkey, where a security breach means someone is an Iranian agent. Undercover ops like Jake need a plethora of tech tools to foil the evildoers plus help from a stalwart general back in D.C. Need to HALO jump (high altitude, low opening) into Iran? The U.S. Air Force routes a black-ops-modified C-17 to a remote airstrip in Turkey. Conlan’s primary weapon, however, seems to be his modified iPhone. GPS, encrypted communications, specialized apps—Conlan pulls it out more often than his Walther PPK. Once among the bad guys, Conlan leaves more than one Iranian shot or stabbed while he dodges from peril to peril like a frog hopping across burning lily pads. Under the noses of the mullahs, Conlan is aided by Charlie Amadi, who once skated around U.S. law and is now Iran’s premier contraband smuggler. Charlie’s beautiful cohort, Jeri, provides muscle as Conlan infiltrates, spies and iPhones-home vital information from Qom and Natanz. No worries. An hours-away three-pronged nuclear strike on Israel and the West promptly falls victim to assorted fighter-bombers and bunker-busters.
Ruthless and remorseless James Bond-ian escapades, sans skirt-chasing intervals, in the name of Western ideals.”
"The Natanz Directive is a first rate international thriller. The story of the CIA operative charged with penetrating Iran to discover and disrupt its nuclear activities is ripped from the headlines. It’s compelling, non-stop pacing leaves you gasping for breath. It’s a rare book that leaves you with a sense of satisfaction at the end, but this one does."
—Harry MacLean, author of the Edgar award winning In Broad Daylight and The Past is Never Dead
“The Natanz Directive is a world-class thriller with the world, in fact, hanging on the brink. Jake Conlan will remind you in flashes of Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne, perhaps with a dollop of James Bond. But Conlan’s talents are unique and he tackles this ripped-from-the-headlines global crisis with both cunning and brawn. A gripping read.”
—Mark Stevens, author of Antler Dust and Buried on the Roan
"Wayne Simmons doesn't just write it. He's lived it, and that's why he and Mark Graham can tell this spy thriller in such an engrossing way."
—Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense
“The authors bring to the page a bona fide hero and a story rich in plot and boundless energy. The story takes place in the most frightening country on earth, and yet it is the characters and how they deal with this turmoil that most capture our imagination.”
—Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Black
"The Natanz Directive is the story behind the international headline story. Wayne Simmons and Mark Graham will rivet you with a book that is high concept, high stakes, high octane, and – most important for readers – high reward."
—Stephen White, bestselling author of Line of Fire
Praise for Mark Graham:
"Along with a lot of other people, I have long been wondering who was going to inherit Robert Ludlum's crown as the new prince of international suspense. Mark Graham has strengthened his claim to the throne with his latest thriller. The characters are captivating, the story is powerful and topical, and the writing is literate and rich. A definite winner."
—Stephen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Lie and The Siege