"One of the most auspicious thriller debuts in a long time."
"Whitcomb knows about Black Ops because he has been there. And BLACK proves again there is no substitute for authenticity."
A fifteen-year member of the FBI who received its coveted Medal of Bravery, former agent Christopher Whitcomb electrified readers with his breathtaking memoir, Cold Zero. Now his remarkable past and hard-edged prose illuminate his highly acclaimed first thriller...
Selected for the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, Special Agent Jeremy Waller is about to fight terrorism at its source-by diving headlong into a violent world of trapdoor truths and shifting alliances. And he'll have company: a beautiful executive more adept at murder than marketing who turns his assignment into a cipher...a ruthless tycoon set on selling a revolutionary technology to terrorists...and a female senator and presidential hopeful charged with an unspeakable crime. Here there is no justice-and only one way out of the darkness: Head even deeper into the shadows...
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.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Little, Brown and Company
June 30, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Black by Christopher Whitcomb
Four Months Later
"THE COMMITTEE WILL come to order."
United States Senator Elizabeth Beechum, a Democrat from South Carolina, tapped a wooden gavel and stared out over S-407, a Capitol hearing room reserved for top secret briefings. The space felt typically quiet this morning, barren of the reporters, pool cameras, and curious tourists common to other congressional forums.
"Good morning, gentlemen," she said, noting that of the twenty-odd people in the room, she was once again the only woman. Typical, she thought. She'd seen progress during her twenty-three years in Washington, but Congress remained the world's most powerful boys' club. The fact that a Republican Senate had elected her to a third consecutive term as committee chair--the only such cross-party vote in anyone's memory--had little to do with gender. She was a consummate professional in a world that spoke its own language, handed out secrets grudgingly, and demanded uncompromising allegiance to rules. Even the Republicans knew they needed her.
"Before we get started, I want to read into record that this is the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence." The four-term senator spoke loudly and with a refined Southern lilt. "Today's session is a closed hearing on technology matters. All minutes, conversations, and proceedings are classified top secret, in their entirety."
Beechum read in the date, the time, and a list of the witnesses seated in front of her. There were two representatives from CIA and one each from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. She called out the names quickly, like a homeroom teacher reciting the roll. This was rote process, an administrative speed bump she'd bounced over a thousand times before.
"I want to thank you all for coming today," Beechum added, slightly distracted. The committee's six other members settled into their seats as she glanced down at the morning's Washington Post, which lay discreetly propped against her knees.
BEECHUM AND VENABLE LOCKED IN DEAD HEAT, the top headline proclaimed. Despite Democratic efforts to pick a presidential nominee by the end of March, the race still looked too close to call. Connecticut governor David Ray Venable held on to a four-delegate lead, but party officials from California to New Hampshire were vowing to vote their conscience and Washington was awash in speculation. With a month to go before the Democratic National Convention, Beechum knew that the slightest turn in momentum--just one decent news cycle--could make her the first woman ever to lead a major party's bid for the White House.
"Let me say that we are particularly honored to have a special guest with us this morning," she said, trying to concentrate on the matters at hand. "Mr. Jordan Mitchell."
She nodded toward an elegantly dressed executive perched at a witness table directly across from her. Mitchell's perfectly groomed shock of white hair, John Dean glasses, and bespoke suit stood out in bold contrast to the lineup of military uniforms and drab, government-grade polyester.
"Welcome, Mr. Mitchell," the senator said. "It's nice of you to join us."
Jordan Mitchell needed no further introduction. As chief executive officer and majority stockholder of Borders Atlantic, the world's largest telecommunications company, he rivaled Bill Gates as the best known of America's billionaires. His How to Succeed in Business books often ranked among the year's bestsellers; his high-profile acquisitions filled financial pages around the world. Magazines often fawned over his triumphs. He'd been profiled by 60 Minutes. Twice.
"Good morning, Madam Chair," he said, smiling. "I want to tell you what an honor it is to testify before your committee. I've long admired your objectivity and foresight in safeguarding this great nation.