... a terrifically paced page-turner with convincing red herrings and a surprise ending. These feats are not to be understated. But Vidich also succeeds in crafting incisive portraits of characters, who face their own internal and domestic conflicts ... Without ever slowing the pace or detracting from the novel's central mystery or action, Vidich still manages to carve out time in his taut narrative to provide snapshots of men trapped in personal cold wars of their own making. This focus on character gives the novel a cinematic quality, updating the spy genre while still tipping its hat to the beloved tropes that fans know and crave.
... terse and convincing ... The reader already knows 'what happened,' thanks to a prologue that chronicles the grim episode in cinematic detail. But rather than dissipate suspense, this foreknowledge adds another level of interest as Gabriel seeks witnesses and documents to fill in the blanks about Wilson ... his stand-alone work reaches a new level of moral complexity and brings into stark relief the often contradictory nature of spycraft ... Mr. Vidich maintains the tension until the very last page—and then, in the book’s acknowledgments, gives his fiction a further twist by revealing its true-life origins in his own family history.
It’s a triumph of the novel that it gives us a story imbued with psychological depth and emotional intensity and yet distanced enough to be balanced. This is a measured interpretation of what might have happened in real life and the most logical way the story could have been told as an espionage novel ... If there’s a better spy novel this year espionage fiction fans will be able to count themselves very lucky indeed. The Coldest Warrior rings true, it’s not about the game it’s about exposing the raw emotional core of the story, the wounds opened up by living with deceit and lies. It’s not just that this is a mesmerising story drawn from life, it’s also an insightful dissection of the psychopathy of the Cold War ... this novel has heart, a profound understanding of the human consequences of the secret war ... The emotional intensity and fierce intelligence of this tale make it a tense read, it is a thought provoking drama.