The latest thriller from Humphrey Hawksley is a twisty tale of international espionage and treachery in which our two protagonists, elite soldier Captain Rake Ozenna and trauma surgeon Dr. Carrie Walker, find themselves repeatedly on the edge. They’re on the edge of a country’s border zone, caught between safety and peril; on the edge of civilization, in the remote, icy fringes of the Arctic Circle; and often on the edge of death as their enemies close in. We the readers, in turn, are on the edge of our seats until the final chapter.

Man on Edge (Severn House) is the second novel in the Rake Ozenna series. The first installment, Man on Ice, saw special agent Ozenna fighting to protect his homeland, Little Diomede — a secluded Alaskan island in the Bering Strait just 20 miles from Russia — from a hostile Russian invasion that threatened to ignite a third World War. The consequences of the Diomede attack come back to haunt both Rake and Carrie, his former fiancée, in Man on Edge. While the first novel takes place at the fraught U.S.-Russian border in the Bering Strait, the sequel is set in an equally unforgiving environment of wind, snow and ice — as well as geopolitical tensions — at the Arctic border of northern Norway and Russia.


Hawksley’s newest thriller opens with a series of high-stakes mysteries that grow increasingly intertwined. First, there’s a murderous betrayal in the westernmost outskirts of Russia, thwarting the intended hand-off of Russian naval data to American intelligence officers (spoiling the mission of Rake and his adopted brother Mikki, which was supposed to assist with the informant’s border-crossing into Norway). Meanwhile, Carrie’s first week at a new hospital is interrupted by a message from her Russian uncle, a potential defector who claims to have crucial information to share with the U.S. regarding Russian submarine technology. This promise of powerful state secrets draws Carrie to Moscow where she quickly finds her life in danger and nobody to trust — except for her ex-fiancé Rake, who remains a target of significant hatred in Russia after his actions during the Diomede invasion.

Fueling the tension in the background is the imminent launch of “Dynamic Freedom,” a high-profile NATO war game due to take place off the Norwegian coast, and an impending summit of the American and Russian leaders. As Rake and Carrie try to detangle the web of violence and deceit in order to save Carrie’s life and decipher why her uncle’s information is worth killing for, their search takes them from the CIA offices in D.C. to the British Embassy to Moscow and back to the harsh Norwegian border where it all began.


Though it’s fictional, the thriller feels undoubtedly rooted in the complexities of our contemporary political landscape and informed by the author’s own extensive experience in the political sphere. Hawksley traveled the globe as a foreign correspondent for the BBC and his repertoire includes non-fiction works and television documentaries on global conflict, democratization, the nuclear industry and some of the world’s most contentious border zones, including those straddled by the characters in Man on Edge. By the time you reach the cliffhanger, you’ll be glad that Hawksley is hard at work on a third book, Man on Fire.

For more on Humphrey Hawksley, please visit his Author Profile.

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Humphrey Hawksley is an author, foreign correspondent and commentator on world affairs. His work with the BBC has taken him to crises all over the world. His journalism has also appeared in most mainstream media in the U.K. and U.S., such as NPR, the New York Times and the London Times. His latest non-fiction book is Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion, on which he has lectured widely, including at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and the RAND Corporation in Los Angeles. He presented a series of award-winning BBC documentaries exposing child labor in international supply chains, such as Indian cotton and West African cocoa. Hawksley has written ten international political and military thrillers. Man on Edge is the second in the much-praised Rake Ozenna series which was launched in 2018 with Man on Ice, set on the U.S.-Russian border.