Mark Greaney
June 25, 2024

Mark Greaney is the #1 NYT bestselling author of THE CHAOS AGENT, the 13th GRAY MAN novel. The Netflix production of THE GRAY MAN, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, was the #1 most popular movie on the streaming service in 2022. Mark has written or co-written seven Tom Clancy novels and is also the co-author of the 2019 military thriller, RED METAL, and the 2022 release, Armored. The Gray Man series also includes, BURNER, SIERRA SIX, RELENTLESS, ONE MINUTE OUT, MISSION CRITICAL, AGENT IN PLACE, GUNMETAL GRAY, BACK BLAST, DEAD EYE, BALLISTIC, ON TARGET, and THE GRAY MAN.

Interview by Pam Guynn

Q. Congratulations on writing Sentinel, the second book in the Armored series that is coming out June 25th. What prompted you to set it in Ghana and to have Nicole play a larger role along with the hero, Josh Duffy?

Mark: Thank you! I wanted to write a thriller in Africa about State Department security personnel, so I looked at West Africa, in an area known as “The Coup Belt.” The hero is a family man, so I didn’t see him moving with his family to a notoriously dangerous location, so I chose Ghana, the most stable democracy in that region.

As far as Nichole’s role in the book, she had a decent sized roll in Armored, but I wanted to explore her character, and their relationship, more in this book. It made sense for her to be right there with her husband every step of the way, because she also works for the Department of State in the region.


Q. Josh has vulnerabilities as well as strengths that are revealed along with some extremely intense action scenes. How do you continue to find the right balance between characterization and action?

Mark: I really enjoy developing characters, making them realistic, quirky, relatable but also different. I think it’s tough to write so many different characters with depth, but it’s a struggle I enjoy. Action, on the other hand, is just fun to write, so I blow through action scenes pretty quickly.


Q. For the Gray Man series, you traveled to several countries and trained extensively. Did you travel to Ghana for Sentinel? What kind of additional research or training did you do for the novel?

Mark: Yes, I was lucky enough to go to Ghana to research Sentinel. I spent a few days with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service personnel in country, and got to meet everyone at the embassy from the Ambassador to young Marines and locals working in the guard shack. I also was able to travel outside of the capital to other locations I used in the book.


Q. What is one of the most surprising things you have learned doing research for your books?

Mark: I was struck by the work Diplomatic Security personnel do. It’s a high intensity job where you are responsible for the well-being of an entire embassy (In the case of the Ghanaian embassy, that’s 1,200 employees, including 650 foreign nationals). There’s never a dull moment, and there are just a few DS employees and a half dozen Marines to keep the facility safe (along with the local guard force and local police).


Q. Some of your work has been adapted for streaming. What have you learned from this process and is there more on the way? How involved are you in the process?

Mark: I’ve learned a lot about the process, mostly that it can take a LONG time to come to fruition, and for an author there is no sense in focusing on it too much. Armored, my first book in the Sentinel series, has been picked up by Lionsgate TV, so I’m hopeful something will come from that. As far as the Gray Man, other than consulting with the directors early on, I had no official role in the production.


Q. Do you have the time to read for entertainment? If so, what have you read recently that stood out for you?

Mark: Right now I don’t have that much time to read for pleasure, but I reread The Charm School by Nelson DeMille, and I reread Palace of Treason by the late Jason Matthews. Both remain great reads!


Q. I understand Midnight Black, the fourteenth book in the Gray Man series, is coming out in 2025. Can you share anything about it?

Mark: I’m working on it now, and plan to go to Finland and Latvia later in the summer to do some location research. The book takes place in Central Europe and Russia, and it will bring back the familiar cast of characters for another action-packed espionage novel.

Mark Greaney's Latest

Sentinel - Greaney



Josh Duffy and his wife Nikki are both working for the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service providing protection for diplomats in the field. They’ve been sent to Ghana with a team of US embassy personnel who are there to highlight American commitment to the construction of a new dam. 

Since Ghana is a stable democracy, the Duffy children have come along for a short vacation. But stability proves to be fleeting when a Chinese plan to embarrass the US means the destruction of the dam. Now Josh and his protectees are on the run caught between a Chinese hit squad and a rebel army.


More Political Thrillers