Ryker #1

The Golden Hour Cover

Ryker #2

Moss MINUTE jacket2 better

Ryker #3

Moss HAVANA jacket

Judd Ryker is chief of the State Department’s new experimental Crisis Reaction Unit. He abandoned the cozy life of a college professor to test his ideas—and himself—in the real world of international diplomacy and intrigue. So far, Ryker’s experiment is failing.

A crisis in Africa may just be his chance. Mali’s president has been overthrown in a coup, a Senator’s daughter has been kidnapped in Timbuktu, and a violent new Jihadist cell has arisen in the desert. Ryker has just 100 hours to restore the president, rescue the hostage, and protect the American embassy from terrorist attack. But first Ryker must uncover the truth.

In his debut novel, Moss, formerly the top U.S. diplomat for West Africa, guides the reader across the Sahara Desert and deep inside the murky world of American national security in the 21st Century.

In the life of every country, at a moment of extreme national disruption, there is a brief period of breakdown, when everything is uncertain, events can turn on a dime. That is the moment to act, to shape events. That is Minute Zero.

Fresh off the harrowing events of The Golden Hour, State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker is thrown into a quickly developing emergency in Zimbabwe, where a longtime strongman is being challenged for the presidency. Rumors are flying furiously: armed gangs, military crackdowns, shady outside money pouring in, and, most disturbing for the United States, reports of highly enriched uranium leaking into the market. And that’s all before Ryker even lands in the country. If he can’t get control, shape his Minute Zero, a lot of people are going to die—not least of all himself.

When four American sport fishermen stray into Cuban waters and are promptly arrested by Castro’s navy, State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker finds himself called in to negotiate their release. But the more Ryker digs in to the situation, the more things he discovers that just don’t seem to fit, especially now, with relations between the United States and Cuba supposedly thawing.

Who are these men really, and what were they doing there? What is Ryker’s actual mission, and what is his own government hiding from him?

Some people want the new initiative to succeed. Others want to stop it at any cost. Still others see it as an opportunity for something much more radical. The Ghosts of Havana are walking, and Ryker is caught in the middle.

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Released Sept 6th

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An extraordinary international thriller debut from a writer who has lived and breathed every inch of it. Moss knows where all the bodies are buried – literally.  
#1 New York Times-bestselling author

Moss combines an insider’s knowledge with the storytelling skills of a master. Just read a few pages – you won’t be able to stop. 
author of THE END OF POWER and former editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine

A tough, realistic, well-written tale…Moss is an insider who knows how these things are really done – and how thin the line is between triumph and disaster. 
#1 New York Times-bestselling author

I spent years watching national security crises from the inside, and Moss got it scarily right. The Golden Hour is a novel of extraordinary thrills – and extraordinary truth. 
former White House Deputy Press Secretary to President George W. Bush

Written by an insider with intimate knowledge of Washington and Africa, The Golden Hour leaps out of today’s headlines, a riveting thriller that mixes diplomacy, terrorism, and international intrigue at the highest levels in equal measures. 
Stanford University and author of THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN

A superbly realistic, high-powered thriller. It’s all here: spectacular and exotic settings, terror, violence, beauty, good and evil and everything in between. It is just about impossible to stop reading this book. 
#1 New York Times-bestselling author

The next time you hear about turmoil in a troubled corner of the world and the debate about how the United States should intervene,  you’ll think of The Golden Hour. Tom Clancy used fiction to illuminate the world of the military; Todd Moss is using it to reveal the world of diplomacy.
National Correspondent, The Atlantic

A terrific, fast-paced tale of adventure and political intrigue set in the utterly believable context of contemporary Mali. The Golden Hour is a true-to-life story of intelligence, covert ops, Sahelian ghosts, American bureaucratic stove-pipes, and African coup plotters.
former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa

A very good new political thriller with a national security theme. Recommend!
FOX News, co-host of THE FIVE, and former White House Press Secretary

Outstanding debut . . . An intriguing cast of morally dubious characters, an intricately constructed plot, and a tantalizing cliffhanger make this thriller a page-turner of the highest order.

Washingtonians of many stripes will find their pulses racing as the diplomat protagonist tangles with intelligence operatives, revolutionaries, and many other villains. 

Ranging from Washington to London to the Sahara Desert, the book effortlessly ups the tension while piling on surprises… for those who want to know what it’s like to get caught up in a modern coup, this is a good place to turn. A strong debut about a good man in Africa who gets tested at every turn.

An exciting, multilayered look at international politics and the people who rule nations…Moss juggles complex political issues in an energetic plot…and he uses his experiences to deliver a credible international thriller that never succumbs to cynicism, even when showing how peace and co-existence can seemingly be impossible.

Jack Ryan, Jack Reacher, Jack Bauer… American heroes at the center of ongoing dramas, fiction with a glint of the real world… you can add Judd Ryker to that genre.
host of Connections, NPR/WXXI

[Moss’s] new political thriller aims to illuminate the inner workings of government and give readers a glimpse of how foreign-policy decisions are really made in times of crisis abroad.
The Diane Rehm Show, NPR

A novel that makes your heart race . . . a thriller that weaves diplomacy and national security together with espionage, terrorism and Washington infighting.

A suspenseful thriller with many twists and turns, and which sheds light on the inner workings of government and diplomacy.
Huffington Post

Readers of political and military action novels will appreciate his ultracurrent scenarios and characters, and fans of W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy should know there is a new storyteller on the map.

Favorite novels of the year: A spy thriller wherein a professor who does statistical studies of conflict has to race against time to overturn an African coup and right all that is wrong US foreign policy. 
Columbia University

I love this book. It tells you about Africa, it’s a thriller… and it tells you an awful lot about the behind-the-scenes of the US government. Just terrific, great fun.
Host, This is America and the World

…read this novel as a window into politics, power and practice at the U.S. Department of State and you’ll find yourself in the middle of troublesome scenes that ring all too true.

What makes this debut thriller especially intriguing—and authentic—is that… while he was dreaming up a fictive coup in Mali, the actual coup took place. We have much to learn from this book.
Barbara's 2014 Fiction Picks, Library Journal

At last… a popular book that pays respectful homage to West Africa. The Golden Hour is a fast-paced political thriller.. peppered with delicious lines.

Looking for something good to read? The Golden Hour by Todd Moss [is a] believable political thriller, awesome first novel. 
travel blogger

A hyper-realistic and high-powered debut thriller.
The Big Thrill

Moss’s Judd Ryker novels are wildly entertaining romps through the world of a mythical political scientist who ends up with real power in a massive government bureaucracy…sort of. The Golden Hour was my favorite beach read of 2015.
Washington Post Monkey Cage

I couldn’t put THE GOLDEN HOUR down. What a great blend of insights into the Sahel zone, the Washington scene, and the drivers of human nature!
George Mason University and author of Muslim Civic Cultures and Conflict Resolution

A true page-turner that also provides insights into the complexities of Washington’s diplomatic efforts during moments of crisis. I’m already looking forward to the sequel.
Huffington Post Books


Judd Ryker is the Indiana Jones of the political world.
Development Drums Podcast


A literal page-turner… engrossing… compelling… a celebration of the idea of independent, anti-bureaucratic initiative.
Sahel Blog

Outstanding. Highly recommended.
Bill Martinez Live

As someone who worked against Robert Mugabe in the harrowing election of 2008, nothing I have ever read captures the behind-the-scenes intrigue and hours of challenging a long-standing strongman in Africa than I found in evert page of Todd Moss’s Minute Zero. Few novels are this good and realistic.
Political strategist

As a former U.S. diplomat, I wanted to give my students a sense of the many actors and agencies involved in the messy process of making American policies around the world. The Golden Hour was the first book I assigned.
Pomona College

Todd Moss is reinventing the diplomatic thriller, much as John Grisham reinvented the legal thriller. Moss gets the details right.
NPR national security correspondent and author of THE BULLET

The novel of the year for political scientists has to be “The Golden Hour” by former State Department official Todd Moss.
Washington Post and author of THE ARAB UPRISING

Judd Ryker may be a dashing fictional character, but the world he inhabits is very real. Todd Moss knows Africa, and Minute Zero nails today’s Zimbabwe perfectly. Robert Mugabe just might be displeased.
former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya

Minute Zero is fast paced and compelling. Moss brilliantly captures the political heroes and the villains in Zimbabwe and in Washington DC.
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

The tale feels authentic, and its focus on insider manipulation of international events, rather than bullets, will attract fans of realistic political fiction.

Moss draws on his real-world experiences inside the U.S. government to bring to life the exhilaration and frustrations of modern day foreign policy-making

A thoroughly believable and politically charged thriller. Moss directs the events like a maestro in an orchestra, taking readers across the globe from the U.S. to Zimbabwe to Taiwan and more, in short, suspense-filled chapters.

Moss draws from his experience to produce a tense, fast-paced, utterly convincing picture of chaos in the making. A brilliantly orchestrated realpolitik thriller. Moss’s second effort is as instructive as it is thrilling.
KIRKUS (starred review)

A fine second novel of diplomatic intrigue. The action moves relentlessly, shifting from Harare and Washington, D.C., and among several well-drawn characters. A former U.S. diplomat in Africa, Moss maintains a high level of authenticity throughout.

Turf wars, high stakes diplomacy, conspiracy, murder, and more. An exciting read that readers will not be able to put down easily. Moss is a gifted storyteller [who] knows how to craft a tale that’s intriguing and dramatic, yet also believable.

Todd Moss knows a thing or two about fighting the diplomatic fires that pop up every day all over the world. Now we, as readers, benefit because those real-life experiences give gripping authenticity to his second novel, Minute Zero, which continues the adventures of Judd Ryker.

 Minute Zero [is] a fast-paced novel is in the vein of writers like Tom Clancy and John Grisham… Where Moss really excels is in showing parts of the sausage making process that is diplomacy…. His aim was to strike a balance between getting things right and making it entertaining to people who may not know how the State Department works or where Zimbabwe is on a map. The novel succeeds in both regards.

 Minute Zero is a spellbinding political thriller [that] features turf wars, high stakes diplomacy, conspiracy and murder….It may be just fiction, but it gives you a peek of the behind the scenes and how diplomatic maneuvering works. Moss really excels in showing parts of the sausage-making process that is diplomacy.

Professional diplomats will enjoy comparing his fictional portrayal with the reality they know…. The Golden Hour mostly aims to entertain — and in that, it succeeds.

Moss is uniquely qualified to write his thrillers…. Luckily for his readers, he knows how to tell an engaging story!
Crime Fiction Lover

Moss brings a wealth of personal experience to his narrative…lofty credentials indeed, and put to very good use in his writing.
BookPage Magazine

Ghosts of Havana… benefits from his previous experience in government and from his clear, unassuming writing. Readers looking for something fast-paced and fun should consider giving this book a try.
Huffington Post

From Washington to Bangkok, Harare to Johannesburg, Todd Moss keeps up a break-neck pace in Minute Zero, with startling plot twists, dazzling characters and a peek behind the curtain of diplomacy that is actually fun.
New York Times correspondent and author of No. 4 Imperial Lane

Diplomats jealous of the CIA’s star treatment in pop culture might want to read this new thriller. Moss tells the story of State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker as he battles shadowy factions maneuvering to undermine America’s thaw in relations with Cuba. Art imitated life….

Moss gives a sharp, up-to-the-minute feel in terms of crazy politics, self-serving politicos, and mainstream diplomatic strategists…. He does a great job in showing the discrepancy between the way events are played for the public and the reality of the situation…. It’s enough to make you look at the nightly news with an even more skeptical eye!

Under-the-radar reads that shone in 2016: Ghosts of Havana… steps back in recent time with a story that starts when four American sport fishermen are busted by Castro’s navy when they trespass in Cuban waters. Ryker is dispatched to negotiate their release, but nothing is as it seems. Political and timely.
Sacramento Bee