The Golden Hour by Todd Moss
(Putnam Adult, 2014, 336 pages)
The Golden Hour is the debut international spy and diplomacy thriller by Todd Moss. Director of the State Dept. Crisis Reaction Unit for the United States, Judd Ryker, has a political theory that he calls “the golden hour.” Normally, “the golden hour” is used in medicine to refer to the principle of rapid intervention in trauma cases. The treatment done in the first hour can optimize the chance of survival and lessen the chance of permanent damage. Ryker’s “golden hour” theory says that in international politics the first 100 hours after a coup is the best chance for diplomacy and reversing the results of the coup. Ryker gets to test his theory when there is a coup in Mali. The United States supported the overthrown President of Mali and wants him to be reinstated. Ryker must use his theory and his diplomatic contacts to try to restore the deposed President to power.
The author, Todd Moss, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs in 2007-2008. Moss knows the inner workings of United States politics and diplomacy. Moss brings that knowledge to his novel to create an interesting portrait of a United States response to a coup. The Golden Hour was a quick read with short chapters. Fortunately each chapter is labelled with a location, day, and time to keep the reader from being too confused about what’s happening and where. If you have an interest in United States politics, this novel might be of interest to you.