1992: For nearly a decade, the international assassin known only as "the Wraith" has eluded authorities. Political leaders, powerful heads of business, terrorists known and suspected have numbered among the many victims until -- without explanation -- the Wraith disappears....
2005: Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris are investigating Jordan Collier's murder, but they're pulled off the case. Washington believes the Wraith -- a onetime freelance agent for the U.S. government -- is active again. A high-ranking CIA officer, who oversaw the rogue operator's activities, is killed. Evidence at the scene points to the Wraith and that this highly efficient killer is now a 4400. The NTAC agents only have thirteen-year-old leads to follow an assassin who was never caught. Suddenly, the Wraith kills another returnee. Why? What does this mean? Can the mounting fears of the 4400 be right? Or is this just one returnee who has gone off the track. Baldwin and Skouris need to know -- but will they find out before the Wraith completes this deadly covert objective?
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October 27, 2008
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Excerpt from The 4400: Wet Work by Kevin Dilmore
ONEBaltimore, MarylandShe stared through the scope, her body still absorbing the rifle's recoil as she watched the back of her target's head explode in a crimson rain.There was almost no wind, and the angle she had selected provided her an unobstructed view between those few trees at the edge of Federal Hill Park's expansive open field. At this range, the shot was child's play, the single round entering the man's forehead just above his left eye. He had turned at the last possible instant as she pulled the trigger, placing the round slightly off its intended mark, but the results were the same, as Sheik Miraj al-Diladi dropped limp to the stage behind his podium, dead before he had even begun to fall.From her concealed sniper's nest two hundred yards away, Lona Callahan continued to peer through the scope, watching the scene around the raised dais as the audience scattered. Most ran away or simply dropped to the ground in search of protective cover, but a few rushed to the platform in the hopes of aiding the fallen al-Diladi. The body already was surrounded by assistants or other members of the cleric's entourage, some of them looking around and pointing in all directions in attempts to determine the origin of the shot. They would have little luck with that, owing to the rifle's silencer. Lona did not normally bother with that particular accessory, but her proximity to the target had made it necessary. She would have preferred a greater distance between them, but the site of al-Diladi's rally coupled with the constricted geography in this part of south Baltimore had forced her to carry out her assignment from a closer range.Ignoring the distant cries of fear and terror echoing across the park, she instead focused her attention on the rapidly expanding pool of blood beneath al-Diladi's head. The single shot was the result of weeks of planning combined with Lona having gotten herself into position more than an hour before the cleric was scheduled to speak. She had observed the gathering of people swell about the large open field at the center of Federal Hill Park, and had watched through her scope as al-Diladi's entourage arrived and inspected the dais before allowing him to step out of his limousine. Training the rifle's crosshairs on his head from the moment he settled behind the podium, Lona waited until al-Diladi began speaking to the assembled audience to verify that he would remain in place. From there her training and experience took over as she drew a single, calming breath and released it an instant before her finger squeezed the trigger. The rest had taken care of itself.Satisfied, Lona rose from her prone position on the dining table she had used as her platform, rolling to her feet and flipping away the dark green nylon poncho she had used to cover herself. The poncho worked in concert with the lack of light in the apartment as well as her black Lycra bodysuit -- with its matching hood to cover her head and face -- to make her all but invisible to any casual observer who might cast a furtive glance through the partially open window. Situated six feet from the window, the table had allowed her to set up her shot without exposing her position. Sticking one's rifle barrel through an open window was the stuff of amateurs.Just ask Lee Harvey Oswald.Moving with practiced efficiency, Lona disassembled the rifle, returning the components to their padded carry case. The Dragunov was not her preferred weapon, but it had proven more than adequate for this assignment. She would not use it again, of course; it would be disposed of once she was away from here. Her hands were protected by thin latex gloves that would prevent the transfer of fingerprints or skin particles as she worked.Completing the collection of her other equipment, Lona glanced at the watch on her wrist. Three minutes since she had taken the shot. She could hear the faint