The next guest to be interviewed on my podcast is thriller author A.C. Frieden. And I gotta say, I love this photo! The name’s Frieden. A.C. Frieden. 🙂

And has he got a book giveaway for you! I’ll let him fill you in on those details in his guest post below!

Like so many who survived the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, attorney Jonathan Brooks is desperate to rebuild his life. But with a wrecked law firm and a lack of local clients, he’s forced to take on the only job he can find: to help negotiate an unusual business deal in Ukraine. Unfortunately, things begin to unravel the moment he arrives. His client’s executive vanishes in Kyiv. Suspecting foul play, Jonathan enlists the help of an American diplomat. But the next day, they are brutally ambushed. Injured and racing against the clock, Jonathan launches a frantic search for clues from the back alleys of Kyiv to an abandoned, radioactive town near Chernobyl.

Meanwhile, Jonathan’s beloved ex-wife, journalist Linda Fabre, lands in North Korea to report on historic nuclear disarmament talks. She begins probing local officials, not realizing that she and Jonathan are both on a collision course with an international web of hackers, spies and assassins tied to the executive’s disappearance in Ukraine. To uncover the truth and save them both, Jonathan may have only one option: to go to Pyongyang with as much leverage as possible and try to make it out alive.

Kirkus Reviews calls The Pyongyang Option “exhilarating…unpredictable and entertaining.” This third installment in the Jonathan Brooks series “plunges readers into the intriguing depths of…a secretive regime,” writes Francis Gary Powers Jr., author of Spy Pilot and son of the famous American U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. And Alex Shaw, author of the Aidan Snow SAS thrillers, calls The Pyongyang Option “a Molotov cocktail of a thriller.”

Kirkus Reviews calls The Pyongyang Option “exhilarating…unpredictable and entertaining.”

To write this novel, A.C. Frieden embarked on daring research in Ukraine and North Korea. He toured the Chernobyl nuclear power complex and the abandoned town of Pripyat long before it became a destination for eccentric tourists. He became one of the few Western authors to visit North Korea, spending time in the capital, Pyongyang, and researching sites in Kaesong and other towns all the way to the Panmunjom border crossing in the DMZ. This undoubtedly makes this fast-paced thriller authentic and rich, both in locales and characters. The novel also takes you into the shadowy world of espionage with gripping scenes set in Washington, D.C., Vienna (Austria), Malé (Maldives), and Bangkok (Thailand), all also the result of his extensive travels abroad.

The novel also takes you into the shadowy world of espionage with gripping scenes set in Washington, D.C., Vienna (Austria), Malé (Maldives), and Bangkok (Thailand), all also the result of his extensive travels abroad.

Join A.C. Frieden in our upcoming podcast to hear more about his fascinating literary research. And don’t miss a chance to win the giveaway: a $100 Starbucks gift card, two signed copies of The Pyongyang Option, and a custom mousepad featuring Frieden’s research photographs from North Korea. Send your entries to A.C. Frieden at this email: acfrieden[at]avendiapublishing[dot]com.

A.C. Frieden visits the damaged Reactor No. 4 at the former
Chernobyl nuclear power complex.


A.C. Frieden stands in front of the Workers’ Party of Korea Headquarters in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, where the country’s main military parades are held.


For more information on A.C. Frieden’s thrillers, visit his official website at You can also follow his latest book events and literary research on Instagram (@acfrieden) and Twitter (@acfrieden).


After leaving his birthplace in Senegal, Africa, A.C. Frieden spent several years in India, Switzerland and the UK before emigrating with his parents to the southern United States. After high school, he returned to his native Switzerland to serve in the Swiss Army, where he trained as a marksman. He later came back to the U.S. to complete undergraduate and graduate studies, and then earned two law degrees, a pilot’s license, and scuba instructor license. Today, aside from his thriller writing career, you’ll find him practicing law as one of the country’s preeminent technology lawyers.

Frieden’s interest in writing fiction began during his legal studies in Russia, Austria and Hungary. What began as short stories, diaries and poems, many written during his travels, soon emerged as ingredients for future novels. Mysteries and thrillers soon became his passion. His first manuscript, Canvas Sunsets Never Fade, a mystery delving into nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, was published in 2004. His second novel, Tranquility Denied, is set in post‐Cold War Moscow, Stockholm and Southern Louisiana, and is the first in a series featuring hotshot maritime lawyer Jonathan Brooks. The book was launched in Russia and in the U.S. in late 2006, followed by the sequel, The Serpent’s Game, in 2013. His publishers recently announced the upcoming release of two more Jonathan Brooks thrillers, The Pyongyang Option and Letter From Istanbul. Frieden’s work has also appeared in anthologies, including the recent published Down, Out and Dead. He is also launching a new globetrotting thriller series packed with political and espionage intrigue featuring former JAG lawyer Kaden Black.

To bring action and realism to his novels, Frieden has extensively researched the most challenging conflicts of the Cold War, including the Korean War, the U.S. intervention in Chile, the invasion of Panama, CIA counterinsurgencies in Bolivia, and the August Coup in the former Soviet Union, among other conflicts and crises. He’s also researched key events in the changing post‐Cold War era, such as the sinking of the K‐141 Kursk, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and the Libyan and Syrian civil wars. His interest in researching on‐site has brought him face‐to‐face with key political figures, diplomats, journalists and former military officials in Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, Russia, India, and more than sixty‐five other countries. His research also led him to witness the 2009 Honduran coup d’état firsthand, to interview former combatants in Nicaragua, to visit once‐secret underground mountain bunkers in Switzerland and to visit the former Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine. Frieden also went to China and Vietnam to research another novel, and he recently published a photography book capturing his journey through North Korea, including Pyongyang, Kaesong and the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In addition, his non‐fiction works have appeared in numerous legal, technology and international business publications worldwide.

Frieden’s novels are available from crime fiction publisher Down and Out Books and Avendia Publishing.

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