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Private Wars (2005)

The torture and execution of Dina Malikov has set off a cutthroat grab for power in strategically crucial Uzbekistan. Tara’s job is to slip into the country and extract Dina’s pro-Western husband and their young son before they are murdered—by his ruthless sister.

But there are a couple of wildcards in the deck, including a missing mobile weapons system that can bring down a commercial airliner, not to mention powerful political careers. Now, as she vanishes into hostile territory with a man who may or may not be what he seems, Tara is about to engage in a battle where betrayal is a conventional weapon, loyalty is a weakness, and anyone—even a child—is a legitimate target: it’s every spy, every woman, for herself.

Private Wars, a suspense novel so explosively realistic, it should be classified.

Read an excerpt.

Release information

Bantam US hardcover October 2005 ISBN 0553802771
Bantam US mass-market paperback July 2006 ISBN 0553584936
Bantam US e-book October 2005 ISBN 0553902091


Newsarama: Greg Rucka on Private Wars (November 2005)


Shortlisted for the 2006 Best Thriller Barry Award!

[A] Swiss watch of a thriller, well-machined, precise, and inexorable.
—Entertainment Weekly

Tara is often likened to a female James Bond (she can drink, sleep around and kill just like a man), but she’s really more interesting than the comparison would suggest. These are well-researched, intriguingly complicated, exciting spy novels in the tradition of Adam Hall and his great series hero, Quiller.
—Publishers Weekly

[T]he action bristles and Rucka’s way with amoral characters continues to seduce: Chace chases, chills and somehow charms.
—Kirkus Reviews

Rucka has fashioned convincing, smart, authentic-feeling novels with jaded protagonists who are doing their best on the very dark side of the world.
—Flint Journal

Try to stop reading this book, because it’s damn near impossible….
—Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

Rucka gets things right, serving up a taut and exciting tale of spycraft and “wet work” that will appeal to anyone who thinks James Bond is too effete for modern sensibilities.
—San Francisco Chronicle

[T]he excitement and tension is unrelenting. If there is an award for Best Thriller Writer Ever…Rucka is a strong candidate for the title.