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A dozen stories tracking the CIA's most adept--and unusual--spyThere are no more spies like Charlie Dark. An old-timer whose experience stretches back to the Second World War, his main distinction is that after decades playing the game he is still alive. He is overweight, clumsy, and afraid of guns--a nonconformist in an agency built on toeing the line. Though his superiors hate him for his eccentricities, they privately admit that he may be the best spy they have. Charlie travels the globe in these twelve stories, working in Berlin, Moscow, Africa, and Asia. He fights a female assassin in Dar es Salaam, and looks for a computer chip lost in the permanent snows of the Aleutian Islands. He adapts continuously, for each adventure is a new puzzle, and a new opportunity to die.
In the sequel to Death Wish, Paul Benjamin continues his vigilante killing spreePaul Benjamin was an ordinary New Yorker until a gang of drug addicts killed his wife and raped his daughter. When the police proved helpless, Benjamin bought a gun and found his own vengeance, methodically tracking the addicts and killing them one by one. Now he is in Chicago, and the cycle of violence is about to begin anew. On his first night in the city, he stumbles out of a bar in a bad part of town, pretending to be drunk. When two thugs set upon him, they find their quarry sober and armed. He kills them both, escaping before the police arrive. They will not be the last of Chicago's criminal class to suffer his wrath. Written by Garfield as "penance" for the success of the grisly film adaptation of Death Wish, this sequel shows that when a decent man relies on violence to settle scores, murder becomes addictive.
In the wake of a chilling attack, an ordinary man decides to take revengeWhen his wife and daughter are attacked in their home, Paul Benjamin is enjoying a three-martini lunch. A professional man, soft around the middle, Paul lives happily isolated from the rougher side of New York City. As he nurses his gin headache, a call comes from his son-in-law asking him to come to the hospital. In a few hours, his world will collapse around him. As Paul slurped down his lunchtime gin, drug addicts broke into his cozy Upper West Side apartment. For a handful of money, they savagely beat Paul's wife and daughter, leaving his wife dead and his daughter comatose. After his shock wears off, and Paul realizes the police department is helpless, his thoughts turn to revenge--not just for him, but for every decent family broken by the dark forces of society.
A Soviet spymaster launches an audacious plan against the American militaryThe KGB calls it Amergrad. Buried deep in Siberia, just a few hundred miles from the Chinese border, it's the most tightly guarded secret in the Soviet Union. Away from the frigid tundra, behind wall after wall of barbed-wire fence, is a perfectly ordinary small American city. It has gas stations, diners, movie theaters, and more cars than all of Leningrad. The residents speak English at all times, observing every custom of American life until it becomes second nature. When they graduate, they move to Tucson. Two decades later, Tucson is the center of the American military-industrial complex, and graduates of Amergrad are in positions of power at every level. These perfect Soviet spies hold the keys to the American nuclear array, and their mission is about to begin.
In 1874, The gang boss in New York City had Gabe put on a train and said, "Just keep going west until your hat floats." After six months of life in San Francisco, Gabe thinks the western city just might have possibilities. New friends, a special girlfriend, and the U.S. Gold mint help to bring him to this new view of the city. If he could successfully relieve that mint of it's gold, he'd have it made in the west.
Two short novels from a master of hard-boiled storytellingSimon Crane is an ex-cop with a bad leg, a small pension, and a former lover, Joanne, who works for Sal Aiello, undisputed crime boss of a dusty southwestern city. When Aiello and his millions disappear, the city's underworld whips into a frenzy that could get Joanne killed. To save her life, Crane must find the dead mobster's cash before anyone else does. Somebody put a hit out on Aiello, and if Crane can't find out who, he will be taking the bullet himself. In this special edition ebook, The Hit is paired with The Marksman, a tense novella about a combat veteran caught up in criminal dealings far more violent than anything he saw in the Middle East. Garfield's prose is spare and his storytelling is electric from page one. Both novellas overflow with grim, relentless action.
Bored with retirement, an ex-spy challenges his old agency to a game<P> Miles Kendig is one of the CIA's top deep-cover agents, until an injury ruins him for active duty. Rather than take a desk job, he retires. But the tawdry thrills of civilian life--gambling, drinking, sex--offer none of the pleasures of the intelligence game. Even a Russian agent's offer to go to work against his old employers seems dull. Without the thrill of unpredictable conflict, Kendig skulks through Paris like the walking dead. To revive himself, he begins writing a tell-all memoir, divulging every secret he accumulated in his long career. Neither CIA nor KGB can afford to have it in print, and so he challenges them both: Until they catch him, a chapter will go to the publisher every week. Kendig's life is fun again, with survival on the line.
On the hunt for long-lost gold, a historian attracts murderous attentionTwenty-five million people died during the Russian Civil War. It was a clash between Tsarist loyalists and the new Soviet order, and when the imperialist forces saw defeat in sight, their thoughts turned to their future. Under the command of Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak, they loaded the entire Tsarist treasury onto a train, packing millions of worthless banknotes alongside platinum, jewels, and over five hundred tons of gold bullion. As Kolchak retreated, the train disappeared, and the fortune vanished. America's foremost historian of Russia, Harry Bristow, is researching a new biography of Kolchak when an ancient veteran of the Russian Civil War gives him a clue to the gold's whereabouts. Bristow would like to find the treasure for the sake of historical research, but where gold goes, greed follows--and death is not far behind.
A crack team of American specialists makes a deadly run into North VietnamCliffs hang over the rail bridge that crosses the Sang Chu River, protecting the vital North Vietnamese supply line from attack by American bombers. It's only accessible by a parachute drop that would put American GIs deep behind enemy lines. No point on the Ho Chi Minh Trail is more crucial to the Viet Cong war effort, and nowhere is more tightly guarded. Colonel David Tyreen has just sent a team to destroy the bridge, and none returned. It's time to assemble another team. The weather is awful, and the only plane available is a rickety old captured jet. Tyreen's mission is suicide, pure and simple, and he asks only for volunteers. The eight men who sign on have nothing to fear from death. This is lucky, for death approaches with all the speed of the swirling Sang Chu current.
After breaking free from a chain gang, the prisoners seek refuge in the desertZach Provo saw the dawn of the twentieth century from inside the walls of Yuma's prison. After twenty-eight years on an Arizona chain gang, Provo seizes an opportunity to escape. He smashes one guard's face with a rock, takes his shotgun, and blows the other guard away. Soon the twenty-eight men of the chain gang are on the loose. Provo sends most of them into the desert to hide, holding back the nine smartest fugitives. While the police hunt for the men who ran, his group waits for nightfall, hidden in the mud of a dry riverbed. At dark they sneak back into Yuma. Escape was only the first part of Zach Provo's plan. Now comes time to deal with the man who sent him away--and the bloody vengeance of which he has dreamed for decades.
Five bombs upend the foundation of the American governmentSturka is an artist with explosives. A sturdy man approaching middle age, he learned his trade on the darkest battlefields of the twentieth century: Indochina, Palestine, Guyana, Biafra, and the fetid jungles of South America, where he fought alongside Che Guevera but was quick enough not to die with him. He doesn't know where his new employers hail from; he only knows how well they pay. Today he packs plastic explosive into the false bottoms of three handbags and two suitcases, to be left at strategic locations around Washington, D.C. But this is no ordinary café bombing. Today Sturka targets the men at the top of the American government. The attack causes a crisis of succession, the likes of which America has never seen. If the right man doesn't take charge quickly, the country will tear itself apart.
A rollicking adventure starring a young Theodore Roosevelt<P> In 1884, Teddy Roosevelt's political career is dead in the water. A New York state assemblyman with eyes on national office, he finds his ambitions thwarted just months after his wife and infant daughter pass away. Frustrated by politics, he retires to the American West to ride, ranch, and hunt buffalo in the Dakota Badlands. Nobody tells him that the buffalo are gone. He arrives in Dakota a greenhorn, awkward in the saddle and unused to Western clothes. But his aristocratic charm, natural intelligence, and love of nature impress the hardened frontiersmen, forming a bond that lasts the rest of their lives. When a wealthy French marquis threatens the pristine country he has fallen in love with, Roosevelt joins with the Dakotans to defend it. Before the presidency, before San Juan Hill, it was in Dakota that Theodore Roosevelt became a man.
To escape her husband, a wife embarks on a radical adventureHer name is Jennifer Hartman, or perhaps Dorothy Holder. She has birth certificates that say both. She got the names from old obituary files, and then went to the county clerk to ask for new copies. Her real name doesn't matter, because her former life is gone. Since she went on the run, she has surprised herself with her ingenuity. She makes her way to Los Angeles and takes a room in an unassuming, out-of-the-way motel. She destroys her credit cards but keeps her old driver's license--she has one last use for it. She enrolls in flying lessons, taking three or four a week in order to master the small plane as quickly as possible. Her plan is complex but, if it works, brilliant. She is fleeing her husband. A single error will mean death, but she is through with mistakes.
Years after going into hiding, a witness must run from the mob againFred Mathieson was not an ordinary witness against the mob. He was never in the organization, and didn't testify against gangster Frank Pastor to save his own skin. Mathieson is a lawyer, and took the stand simply from a desire to do the right thing. His conscience destroyed his life, but he built a new one. Now his long-ago testimony is about to put him and his family back in danger. For nearly nine years, Mathieson has been safe in the Witness Security Program, working as an entertainment attorney in California. But Frank Pastor is a few days away from parole, and he has decided to take revenge. By blackmailing a clerk in witness protection, the mobster finds Mathieson's new name, so the chase will start again.
A Native American sheriff chases a gang of bloodthirsty bank robbersWere it not for the copper mine, San Miguel wouldn't exist. A hardscrabble town hewn out of the Arizona desert, it's long on sand and short on excitement. For fun its citizens go to Las Vegas twice a month, just after picking up their paychecks. Because most of the miners take their pay in cash, every two weeks more than a million dollars moves through San Miguel's little bank, watched over by heavy security from the sheriff's department. This week, the security is not strong enough. A team of shotgun-wielding men burst into the bank. They disable the guards with mace, killing one, and leave with the largest bank haul in Arizona history. Sam Watchman, a Navajo state trooper, is on their trail. But these men aren't just robbers; they're psychopaths. Watchman is in for the hunt of his life.
During World War II, a Russian refugee spies for the United StatesSince the great upheaval of November 1917, Alex Denilov has known nothing but war. In the civil war that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, he fought for the old imperial order. When the Reds won out, he fled west, finding work in every war that followed. Now, in 1941, he trains paratroopers in the American Southwest, helping the US Army prepare for the coming war. But Uncle Sam has bigger plans for him. The army transfers Alex to special services, where he is reunited with old colleagues from the civil war. The group shares combat skills, knowledge of the Russian language, and an intense hatred of Communists. Their mission is to assassinate Stalin. But inside this group of killers, a traitor lurks, ready to kill Alex before he attempts to save Russia from itself.
An Arizona sheriff takes an impossible job: arresting Wyatt EarpWyatt Earp rides the train to Tucson alongside his brother Morgan, who makes the trip in the comfort of a wooden casket. Earp comes from Tombstone, along with his two surviving brothers and Doc Holliday, on a mission of vengeance for his murdered kin. They suspect Frank Stillwell of being the shooter, and are not interested in the bandit's denials. Earp is hardly off the train before he kills Stillwell, and he's on his way north before the body is cold. Unfortunately for the Earp gang, Stillwell had friends in high places. The governor issues warrants for their arrest, and sends a pair of lawmen north to Colorado to apprehend them. Jeremiah Tree, a sheriff nicknamed "Sliphammer" for his choice of pistol, is given the unenviable task of arresting Wyatt and his brother Warren. It's a suicide mission, but Sliphammer is too cool to fear any gunman, legendary or not.
A taut collection of razor-sharp stories of men at society's edgeAlthough best known as an author of westerns and espionage fiction, Brian Garfield is at heart an observer of human behavior. While traveling, he sometimes writes short fiction, usually setting the story in whatever city or country he just left. The eight stories in this slim volume are fine examples of Garfield's keen eye. Mostly tales of crime and criminals, they star men like Deke Allen, a long-haired building contractor arrested after a rat-shoot for driving with his father's shotgun on the seat. There are women like Vicky, a desperate con artist who engineers one of history's most outlandish scams. But running throughout these suspenseful stories is the sensibility of a writer fascinated by the characters behind the crimes.
Eleven soldiers attempt to hold a river crossing in the middle of the desertThe Colorado River's most vital point for American settlement is the ferryboat at Yuma Crossing. When the gold rush begins, a gang of white outlaws seizes the ferry from the local Yuma tribesmen, who have operated the crossing for decades. The US Army rousts the outlaws, but the high command decides to keep the crossing rather than return it to the Yuma. No one considers how badly the Yumas want the ferry back. Left in command of the ferry is Lieutenant Thomas Sweeny, a one-armed Irishman who wins the dangerous assignment by bringing charges against an alcoholic major. Hundreds of miles from reinforcements, he occupies the position with a ten-man force, limited supplies, and no way to call for help. In the distance, four hundred Yuma prepare for battle, intent on reclaiming what once was theirs.
A Navajo trooper tracks a murderous fugitive loose on the reservationJoe Threepersons is a killer, but that doesn't bother most of the people on the Apache reservation. After all, killing a white man is not an unforgiveable crime. Sam Watchman, on the other hand, is paid to care. Though a proud Navajo, he's also a state trooper, so tracking killers is his business. The sheriff sent him because of his familiarity with the reservation, but no man knows this territory like Threepersons. The killer has a rifle, a stolen horse, and thousands of friends willing to give him sanctuary. As Watchman gives chase, Threepersons eludes him at every turn. But the trooper will get his man. After all, the murderer has only two million acres in which to hide.
In the Wild West, a desperate gang of outlaws targets a gold shipmentDuring the Indian Wars, Boag and Wilstach rode with the Tenth Cavalry, the most feared outfit ever to gallop over the American plains. But now that things are relatively peaceful, the two soldiers wander the land, cloaking their once-spotless uniforms with dust. To be men again requires money, and they have no skills but riding, shooting, and waving sabers. Luckily, those are just the kind of men that Jed Pickett needs. A one-time outlaw king, Pickett is a man of the desert, with his eyes on the greatest prize to ever cross the wasteland: Nearly one and a half tons of gold bullion are waiting to be shipped by riverboat. Boag and Wilstach sign on, agreeing to "a few days of work" that will either make their fortune or cost them their lives. In the Western desert, gold is scarce, but blood flows like water.
A California politician goes to Mexico to make himself kingThe Sonorans hire Henry Crabb to protect them from Apaches. In the lawless days that followed the Mexican-American War, bands of Indians roamed the countryside, preying on the hard-working peasants of northern Mexico. Desperate for help, a farming community offers Crabb land to establish a colony in exchange for a year's protection from the marauders. The Sonorans do not recognize that Crabb--a Californian with frustrated political ambition--is the greatest threat of all. Although their deal was for peaceful settlement, Crabb's thoughts turn quickly to conquest. In the tradition of American filibusters like William Walker, Crabb attempts to establish Sonora as an independent country--with him as the dictator. Based on a true story, this is a stunning narrative of conquest, adventure, and the shocking lengths to which ambition can drive men.
An unscrupulous businessman targets a family chemical companyThough his business cards read "Mason Villiers," that is not his name. His respectable lower-middle-class upbringing--with its innocent stories of hot rods and prom queens--is a lie. Though an expert on finance, he has no formal education. The man who calls himself Mason Villiers was raised on the streets of Chicago's rough South Side, and once he clawed himself out of the gutter he decided no one should know where he came from. His past doesn't matter. Villiers is headed for the top, no matter how many throats he must cut along the way. Having made a name for himself in swashbuckling business dealings, Villiers plans a hostile takeover of a family-owned chemical company. Although Melbard Chemical's stock hovers at rock bottom, Villiers makes an astronomical offer. Melbard Chemical has a valuable secret, and there is no one more ready to exploit it than Villiers.
A lawyer tracks a gang of amateur kidnappers across the southwestern desertBy the time Carl Oakley gets to Soledad, the town is an empty shell. But the lawyer isn't looking for the city; he wants to find Terry Conniston. A tire track proves that her sports car passed through not long ago, but Carl doubts Terry was driving. Likely it was Floyd Rymer behind the wheel. With his brother and two other drug-addled thugs, Floyd fronts a second-rate jazz combo whose chief accomplishment, up until now, was a string of steady gigs in fleabag venues up and down the West Coast. Eighteen hours ago, he and his band graduated to kidnapping. In exchange for Terry, the musicians demand a half million dollars. Some would pay the money; some would call the FBI. Carl Oakley goes hunting. If Terry Conniston is going to die, Carl wants to pull the trigger.
An aged Western showman reflects over his long and colorful career<P> Few bother to separate the myth of Colonel Hugh Cardiff from his real life. The nation knows him as a sharpshooter, buffalo hunter, moving pictures pioneer, and one-time proprietor of the greatest Wild West show the nation has ever seen. Some of the stories are true, some exaggerated, and some rank among the wildest of tall tales. But for a man who has lived like Colonel Cardiff, the facts trump the myth. In the spring of 1868, Denver is the richest, wildest city west of the Mississippi. When an overweight Easterner named Dr. Bogardus rolls into town to announce a shooting contest with a $1,000 prize, ears prick up. Young Hugh wins the shoot with an ancient muzzle-loading rifle, knocking glass balls out of the air and missing only four out of one hundred targets. He is famous at nineteen, and the Colonel's wild life is just getting started.
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