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On one of the coldest nights in Minnesota history, the difference between life and death is literally the blink of an eye for Phil Broker, until recently St. Paul's most successful undercover cop. That blink will convey the urgent warning of a comatose man who knows the dark truth binding Broker to a remarkable cast of characters -- a weary anesthesiologist, a brilliant surgeon, a wealthy novelist, his exwife (a reformed exotic dancer), and her unrepentant pimp.For Broker it all began when he agreed to take three big-city professionals on a canoeing trip across Minnesota's most remote lakes. One of the three is horribly injured in a freak October blizzard, and Broker embarks on a white-knuckle rescue against time and the elements, ending with a writer in a coma and his accountant dead. Suspicious of foul play, Broker follows a twisted trail of manipulation and revenge that leads back to the writer's beautiful wife -- and a ring of men caught in a deadly competition for her affections.Absolute Zero is suspense writing at its finest, a novel whose surprising reversals and unexpectedly nuanced characters secure Chuck Logan's reputation as "one of the best of the . . . thriller breed" and blows the lid off Minnesota's best-kept literary secret.
Headlights off, a panel truck drives by moonlight across an open field, following tracks that have been there for decades ... Nina Pryce and her husband, Phil Broker, couldn't have more opposite views of the military. Broker's loyalty to the men he served with in Vietnam is matched only by his certainty that they shouldn't have been there in the first place. Nina, though, is a new breed, a decorated and ambitious vet of the first Gulf War. As Nina proceeds along her chosen career path, Broker -- until his recent "retirement," Minnesota's most effective, unorthodox, and controversial undercover cop -- finds himself struggling in the role of patient military spouse. The driver is a local entrepreneur taking advantage of a decades-old tradition of smuggling and bootlegging by crossing a border too vast and undermanned to be effectively patrolled ... Incommunicado for months as part of a top-secret Delta anti-terrorist operation, Nina, with daughter Kit in tow, suddenly emerges in Langdon, North Dakota, a town in the heart of the Cold War Minuteman II missile belt. When Broker arrives to take Kit back home, he realizes that the legacy of those warheads still casts a sinister shadow across the desolate north border country, in the person of a damaged psychopath. Somewhere in the middle of this empty field he will cross, undetected, from one side of the U.S.-Canada divide to the other. He and his cargo -- illegal cigars, whiskey, machine parts, or something much more terrifying -- thus slip undetected across the longest undefended border in the world. Broker discovers he's been drawn into an elaborate con within a con, made an unwitting participant in a black-bag anti-terrorist detail. But his anger toward Nina for involving him and putting their daughter at risk quickly fades as a larger, more deadly reality becomes evident. With time running out, husband and wife unite with local North Dakota law enforcement to form a last line of defense against a brilliantly simple act of espionage with potentially catastrophic consequences.
When former cop Phil Broker's naÏve ex-wife, Caren, blows the whistle on her feckless second husband, Keith Angland, a St. Paul cop making a cool $2 million moonlighting for the Chicago mob, she unwittingly signs her own death warrant. Unwisely for Caren, she not only shared her troubles with Broker, she also told Tom James, a reporter with fantasies of pulling off the perfect crime. Inspired by the $2 million payoff she entrusted to his safekeeping, Tom kills Caren in a brilliant frame-up that leaves her crooked cop-husband to take the fall. Covering all the angles, Tom runs to the FBI -- "the Big Law" -- and wangles a new life in the Witness Protection Program. But Tom's perfect plan doesn't count on Broker. Hard-edged and relentless, Broker smells a rat and is determined to set things right. But to succeed, he's got to locate Tom -- a clever man with a new identity, a suitcase full of cash, and the Big Law on his side.
The daughter of ex-cop Phil Broker and ex-army major/anti-terrorist operative Nina Pryce, Kit Broker is no ordinary eight-year-old. She has seen more -- and survived more -- than most grown-ups. And now she has inadvertently invited a nightmare into the lives of those she loves. Phil Broker and his family moved to tiny Glacier Falls, Minnesota, to heal from the psychological wounds they received while helping to avert an inhuman act of terror. But young Kit chose the wrong adversary when she triumphed over local schoolyard bully Teddy Klumpe -- for the boy's disreputable clan does unholy business from the darkest shadows of their small town . . . and they do not forgive. What begins as a minor feud between neighbors quickly escalates into a major offensive of intimidation, destruction, fear . . . and death. And the worst is yet to come -- because terror has come home.
Harry Griffin is a loner who's witnessed some of war's rawest moments. A survivor, he is guided in all things by his unfailing loyalty and honesty. But a tragic altercation in Minnesota's North Woods that leaves a young man dead and suspicions of murder hanging in the air tests Harry's courage as never before. Nothing could have prepared him for the eerie silence that has fallen over the incident, the challenge to his nerve, and the raw carnality of his best friend's wife. Digging for answers in a town ready to lash out in fear of the dark secrets he is moving ever closer to, Harry ignores the signs of danger at his own peril. Until it all ignites in a fire of unexpected betrayal and a bloody settling of accounts.
In the last 20 years Phil Broker has pulled himself together. A good, tough undercover cop in Minnesota, he knows the difference between a sucker punch and a lucky break. And although he's put his Vietnam years behind him, the grown daughter of his old commander has been dogging his heels for months. Nina Pryce is trying to exonerate her dishonorably discharged dead father and-more importantly-find the 10 tons of gold he helped liberate during a U.S. commando mission. Broker doesn't like the smell of it. Still, Nina has her charms, and can be very persuasive. The only problem is, two of Broker's old army buddies have beaten them to the search. Rich, sadistic Cyrus La Porte has the means, but no direction. Convicted thief Jimmy Tuna has a line on the location but no cash. Jimmy's a dying man with nothing left to win-or lose. And Broker and Nina know both men would kill them for the slimmest chance to take it all. A riveting suspense novel that reads like a thrilling treasure hunt with a murderous legacy that echoes down from the past.
A nameless sniper is targeting participants in popular Civil War battle reenactments, and Minnesota re-enactor Paul Edin is killed at the mock Battle of Kirby Creek, near Corinth, Mississippi. His death is ruled an accident, but Paul's widow, Jenny, discovers that the sniper's bullet was meant for the man standing next to Paul, a cop named Kenny Beeman. To penetrate the Mississippi smokescreen, Jenny enlists the aid of her former lover, news photographer John Rane. Appealing to be covering a story, Rane pokes into the Tennessee-Mississippi border country and teams up with Beeman. With demons nipping at his heels, Rane picks a Sharps rifle and live ammunition and heads off to the Shiloh Battlefield--and a showdown with a killer. South of Shiloh is a pulse-pounding thriller from a master of the genre-a story that uses a popular national pastime as the springboard for a page-turning read.
It's hot. The snow is gone, the ice is gone -- winter is long forgotten. When the phone wakes Phil Broker at five a.m. on the morning of his forty-eighth birthday -- six months removed from his surviving a January cold snap that (in Absolute Zero) nearly claimed his life -- it's already ninety-two degrees. It's July, and Stillwater, Minnesota, finds itself in the middle of the worst heat wave in local memory. The news on the phone has nothing to do with birthday wishes, however. A year earlier, an angry citizen served as jury and executioner by pumping twelve bullets into a known pedophile -- and in the process became a folk hero, dubbed "the Saint" by locals. Despite protests to the contrary, everybody in the community (including the police department) felt justice had been served, and the investigation quickly went cold. Ever since, strong rumors have circulated that the real reason the Saint hasn't been apprehended is that he -- or she -- is a cop. Now a priest has been murdered, and a clue left at the scene suggests it to be the work of a vigilante. Was the priest a sexual predator? Could the Saint be back? For the members of the Stillwater law-enforcement community, it means that a killer could be in their midst. The caller begs for Broker's help: as an outsider, Broker can be counted on to follow the investigation wherever it leads. But as the temperature mounts and new victims begin surfacing, Broker wonders if he's been set up to catch a bullet for a scandal that threatens to bring down the Stillwater Police Department.
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