Several years ago, in the middle of a snow-covered Paris winter, I went to the American Library and checked out my first Charles McCarry novel that didn’t feature CIA agent Paul Christopher. During that first read of Lucky Bastard (1998), I thought McCarry had betrayed me. It was outlandish, too absurd to buy into, this novel about a charming politician with no experience who's indebted to Russia and, as McCarry's publisher describes it, is plagued by "a zipper problem."
Years later—in late 2016, to be precise—certain stories in the news started to sound like they had been pulled directly from this novel. After McCarry's novels predicted the 9/11 attacks decades earlier, I shouldn't have doubted his prescience.