John Fenzel

John Fenzel is a retired senior Special Forces officer who served on our nation’s battlefields throughout Europe and the Middle East. He served on the personal staffs of the Secretary of Defense, Army Chief of Staff, and the Vice President of the United States. Following the Cold War, he led the first U.S. deployments to the Baltic States.

What the critics are saying

  • Unbelievably compelling. Masterful. Fenzel and Rendall—two men who have lived at the tip of the spear in the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world, have produced a gripping, addictive thriller that grabs you from the very beginning, and never lets you go. THE FIFTH COLUMN is written with the kind of state-of-the art authenticity that only real operators, with real experience on the ground and in the halls of power, can convey. Page turning, relentless, and visceral in its realism, this is a novel that is simply impossible to put down, with an ending you won’t see coming.

    - Steven Pressfield, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire
  • No publisher will give me the column inches I need to comment on this novel. To say I enjoyed it and turned the pages furiously is an understatement. I was totally absorbed in this compelling and exciting work.  John Fenzel’s military experiences, his sense of history and place, and the blend of characters and conflict make this a truly suspenseful, impressive and easy read.

    - Tom Ridge, Former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
  • If John le Carre were to visit the Balkans, this is the kind of thriller he would produce. Fenzel probes the dark secrets of one of Europe’s most intriguing places–Bosnia–bringing its tortured history to life while crafting an even more disturbing story involving ruthless terrorists, loose nukes, and a team of secret operatives racing to prevent disaster. And this author is no armchair commando. Fenzel, a special operations officer in the U.S. Army, has generated fascinating prose that can only come from someone who has seen the intel, belly-crawled across unknown battlefields, and helped manage crises in the West Wing. The Lazarus Covenant explores a secretive world with rare verisimilitude, while deftly plumbing some questions of good and evil.

    - Rick Newman, Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9-11, and correspondent, U.S.News & World Report
  • From a brutal turn in the lyrical opening passage to its gripping end, this novel will captivate readers with the story of Serbian-born, Northern Ireland-raised European Union Police Commissioner Mark Lyons. A former officer in the British SAS and Police Chief in Belfast, Lyons is dispatched to his native Balkans on a mission that turns up not only a terrorist plot propelled by the region’s ethnic and religious feuding but also unresolved mysteries from his own troubled past. Author John Fenzel, an officer in the U.S. Special Forces, brings authenticity and rich detail to the story based on his own experience from the White House Situation Room to the bloody war zones of central Europe.

    - Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post

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