June, 2014. The world is shocked as Iran’s newest and most powerful destroyer, the Shaheed, explodes and sinks on its maiden voyage, killing a full cadre of VIPs, including a dozen of the most powerful clerics in Iran. The ship’s executive officer, Commander Mohsen Saeed of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, ashore during the explosion, frantically works to uncover the truth behind the sinking of his ship. Unfortunately for Saeed, learning that truth puts him and his family in grave danger; he is targeted by death squads who want him to carry the secrets he has unearthed to his grave. Meanwhile, accusations of blame for the sinking of the Shaheed bring the US and Iran to the brink of war. As the net of pursuit draws ever closer, CIA officers Joe Cerrato and Cynthia Banks struggle to get Saeed and his family out of Iran before they are caught and executed in cold blood. Full of authentic detail from an author who has served as a field officer in the Directorate of Operations of the CIA, Hollow Strength serves up a compelling picture of the Iran of tomorrow, and the perils of real world espionage operations.
Douglas Frantz, author of the bestselling “Nuclear Jihadist,” and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, describes Hollow Strength with just two words:
Jeff Stein, author of “ A Murder in a Time of War,” veteran Washington Post journalist, and “Spy Talk” blogger, says:
“Art Keller has definitely been there, done that. As a former CIA operative in the agency division responsible for tracking black market nuclear weapons, he has seen enough to make his hair stand up straight permanently, and in “Hollow Strength” he’ll make yours stand up, too.”
I used to work in the Counter-Proliferation Division of the CIA, the part dedicated to spying on Iran’s nuclear program. These days I’m a freelance writer on intelligence and national security and have been published in many major venues, including Foreign Policy.com, Newsmax Magazine, the Daily Beast, the New York Times, and the US Army’s counter-terrorism journal, The Sentinel.