Ministers of Fire: A Novel

saunders-paperback-final copyNOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK

Wall St. Journal Top 10 Mysteries/Thrillers of 2012

Washington Post notable work of fiction for 2012

“Mark Harril Saunders’s gripping first novel. . .  deserves a place next to the works of such masters as Charles McCarry and Robert Stone.”    —The Wall Street Journal

“A brilliant, exciting, and profound spy tale about, among other things, what it means to have faith.”    —The Washington Post

“Ministers of Fire can be compared to a John le Carré classic, with its complexity, atmosphere and deft use of language. Although it’s a thriller, the varied pace, character development and ethical quandaries make it equally a ‘thinker.’. . . [A] great end-of-summer read.”

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Listen to an interview with the author on NPR station WMRA’s “The Spark” with Martha Woodroof

“[A] gripping thriller that blasts to life ‘The Great Game.’  Ministers of Fire offers much to intrigue: an intricate, multi-layered plot; complex characters of varied nationalities, including Afghan, American and Chinese; immersion in foreign locales from Afghan mountain redoubts to poky Shanghai apartments; and windows into both the personal motives of spies and the real gears of foreign affairs…. Saunders’ book is not just a page-turner but an insight-packed exploration of, as the author puts it, ‘the puzzle of nations.’”

Sara Mansfield Taber  in the Washington Independent Review of Books

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jay Strafford calls Ministers of Fire “a brilliant debut.”

Listen to an interview with the author on WTJU FM Charlottesville.

BiblioFile blogger Jen Rothschild weighs in on the novel

A STRANGE CASE OF LIFE IMITATING FICTION: Read Mark Harril Saunders’s post on the eerie similarities between the story of Chen Guangcheng and the plot of Ministers of Fire in The Huffington Post

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY INTERVIEW: “Spies with Families” PW Talks with Mark Harril Saunders (by Everett Jones)

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW: “Veteran cold warriors confront the post-9/11 world in Saunders’s impressive first novel, a complex spy thriller . . . . While the intricate plotting and vivid action scenes are sure to please genre fans, more general readers should also find plenty to enjoy, from Saunders’s meticulous prose to his closely observed characterizations.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

 ‘A Chinese puzzle thriller–intricate and richly layered.’

       –Joseph Kanon, author of The Good German and Istanbul Passage

Ministers of Fire is a beautifully written, restrained and passionate work by a writer who knows the ins and outs and intrigues of the New World Order all too well. His prose is alive with insight, his characters are both recognizable from the news and internally realized. His novel has psychological depth, action, and suspense. It’s a fine work and its author is a writer of great promise.”

–Robert Stone, National Book award-winning author of Dog Soldiers and Damascus Gate

Ministers of Fire belongs on the bookshelf with John Le Carre and Eric Ambler. It is a spy-and-action story but also a very smart appreciation of the minds and emotions of intelligence agents. There is the shrewdness of their spy craft and also the wear and tear on their psyches. I enjoyed it enormously.”

–John Casey, National Book award-winning author of Spartina and Compass Rose

Ministers of Fire, the debut novel from Mark Harril Saunders, is now available in paperback from Swallow Press. Read the Prologue here.

Review copies of Ministers of Fire are available for media and booksellers. Please request from Jeff Kallet, publicist at Swallow Press, by writing to:

For rights information please contact Donadio & Olson Literary Representatives.

(Photo credit/header: Richard Trenner)

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