Whitcomb (Cold Zero: Inside the FBI Hostage Rescue Team ) parlays the experiences and expertise of a 15-year career with the FBI into a cutting-edge counterterrorism thriller. Imaginative plotting, rock-solid prose, fascinating technology and blasts of furious action will hold readers hostage until the last surprising pages. Whitcomb deftly shuffles a quartet of intriguing characters—Jeremy Waller, a member of the elite, top-secret FBI hostage rescue team; Sen. Elizabeth Beechum, chair of the Senate intelligence committee; Jordan Mitchell, the cold, brilliant CEO of Borders Atlantic, the world's largest telecommunications company; and beautiful Sirad Malneaux, an executive in the Borders Atlantic Atlanta office—who, except for Mitchell, soon face extraordinary danger. Jeremy must kill or be killed in Yemen; Senator Beechum is attacked in her home and later charged with murdering her attacker; and Sirad has a secret agenda that pits her against her employers. Only Mitchell, the puppet master, remains in control. His new Borders Atlantic super cell phone boasts "a totally secure, low-cost encryption system that would allow virtually any subscriber to communicate without fear of interception," which, of course, makes it a perfect tool for terrorists. Eventually, the four related stories meld into one, and on the final pages jaws will drop as readers find that everything they thought they knew about the story was wrong. This is a stellar thriller from an exciting new voice. Agent, Suzanne Gluck. (June 2)
Forecast: A strong publisher push should alert thriller readers that Whitcomb, a recipient of the FBI's Medal of Bravery, is the real deal—a writer who's lived his story and tells it exceptionally well. Look for big numbers if word gets out . Author tour.
Release date: 06/01/2004