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Clark Zlotchew unveils new novel, "The Caucasian Menace"
Monday, November 21, 2011

Clark Zlotchew
Clark M. Zlotchew

The author joined the U.S. Naval Reserve at age 17 as Apprentice Seaman, and received an Honorable Discharge as Chief Petty Officer (in Security). He has had a highly diverse set of careers, ranging from sales/production liaison for a large liquor manufacturer in New York to coordinating an educational program for Spanish-speaking seasonal workers to teaching Spanish at several colleges. At present he is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Spanish. 

Zlotchew has had 17 books published, but three of them are his own fiction. His previous works of fiction are the military/action novel, TALON Force: Dire Straits and Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties, which was one of three Finalists in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, short-story category, 2011.

The Caucasian Menace by Clark Zlotchew "The Caucasian Menace," a new spy thriller written by Dr. Clark Zlotchew, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at SUNY Fredonia, will be the feature of a book-signing event at the Book Nook in the D&F Plaza on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Dr. Zlotchew will sign copies of his latest novel from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The 260-page novel is a fast-moving, action-packed adventure with international political intrigue that moves from Langley, Va., and Washington D.C., through Madrid and Paris, to Dagestan, a remote, violence-prone corner of the North Caucasus district of the Russian Federation.

The plot centers on the break-away Republic of Dagestan, which has nuclear warheads left over from the Soviet Union. Its democratically elected president has been ousted in a coup, and the usurper is intent on selling some of the warheads to Iran or terrorist organizations. He also holds a Russian nuclear physicist whom he intends to sell as well. To prevent interference with his plans, the usurper has nuclear missiles trained on key European capitals.

Neither the United Nations nor NATO will take action. The United States, wishing to avoid a nuclear disaster, cannot take any overt action, but CIA operatives Baker and Gold are assigned to help the Loyalists eliminate the usurper and recover the reins of government, while avoiding a nuclear confrontation.

They must also rescue the scientist and prevent the sale of nuclear warheads to rogue states or terrorists.

Complicating matters, Baker’s wife had been tortured and murdered years before by Thorne, the sadistic mercenary now employed by the usurper. Gold fears that Baker may have killing Thorne as his top priority, rather than capturing him for questioning. Meanwhile, William Bell, their immediate superior, has been selling information to the usurper that could result in failure of the mission and the deaths of Baker and Gold.

Zlotchew talked about the location of his novel. “Dagestan, which is unfamiliar to most Americans, is a republic within the Russian Federation, between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea, in the North Caucasus Region of Russia.” He noted an interesting local connection. “A Dagestani dance troupe entertained on the stage of SUNY Fredonia’s Marvel Theater about 25 or 30 years ago, I believe.”

“There are about 36 languages and dialects spoken in this small mountainous region,” Zlotchew added. “The various ethnic groups do not always agree with each other, and there have been many incidents of violence spilling over from Chechnya for the last couple of years. The region is a potential powder keg, and the events portrayed in this thriller are not far-fetched.”

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