America, Britain, and Russia are drawn into a battle for a gigantic oil strike on the desolate Falkland Islands in Patrick Robinson's newest international thriller.
The year is 2011, and Russia is poised to help Argentina blast its way into the Falkland Islands, to hurl the ruling British out of the South Atlantic forever. Enraged at this act of international piracy, Great Britain dispatches a battle fleet to the islands for the second time in thirty years.
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June 30, 2006
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Excerpt from Ghost Force by Patrick Robinson
0830, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lt. Commander Jimmy Ramshawe, assistant to the Director of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, had both his feet and his antennae up. Lounging back in his swivel chair, shoes on the desk, he was staring at an item on the front page of the Washington Post.
Top Russian Official
Drops Dead in White House
Siberian political chief
suffers fatal heart attack
"Poor bastard," muttered the American-born but Australian-sounding Intelligence officer. "That's a hell of a way to go in the middle of the bloody State Dining Room, right in front of two Presidents. Still, by the look of this, he didn't have time to be embarrassed."
He read on, skimming through the brief biography that always accompanies such a death. The forty-nine-year-old Mikhallo Masorin had been a tough, uncompromising Siberian boss, a man who stood up for his people and their shattered communist dream. Here was a man who had brought real hope to this 4,350-mile-long landmass of bleak and terrible beauty, snow fields, and seven time zones one-third of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere.
Mikhallo was adored in Siberia. He was a politician who stood up fiercely against Moscow, frequently reminding his Russian rulers that the oil upon which the entire economy was built was Siberian. And it was the natural property of the Siberian people. And he wanted more money for it, from Central Government. Not for himself, but for his people.
The Urals Federal District is one of the three Siberian "kingdoms" that make up the huge area. The others are the Siberian Federal District, thousands and thousands of square miles between the Yenisei River and the Lena River, and then the Russian Far East. The Urals Federal District is easily the most important because that's where most of the oil fields are located.
Mikhallo Masorin was a towering figure, standing stark upon those desolate plains of Western Siberia, the freezing place that the locals claim was "forgotten by the Creator," but beneath which lie the largest oil fields on earth.
And now Mikhallo was gone, and Jimmy Ramshawe's hackles rose a lot higher than his shoes on the desk. "Streuth," he said quietly, taking a swig of his hot black coffee. "Wouldn't be surprised if a bloody lot of people were glad he died. None of 'em Siberian."
At times like this, Lt. Commander Ramshawe's instincts of suspicion, mistrust, misgivings, and downright disbelief sprang to the fore. And a few harsh lessons issued to him by the Big Man fought their way to the front of his mind . . . whenever a major politician with a lot of enemies dies, check it out . . . never trust a goddamned Russian . . . and never believe anything is beyond them, because it's not . . . the KGB lives, trust me.
"Wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world if the old bastard calls on this one," he said, refilling his coffee cup. And he was right about that.
Three minutes later his private line rang. Jimmy always thought it betrayed an irritable, impatient tone to its modern bell when the Big Man was on the line. And he was right about that too.
"Jimmy, you read the Washington Post yet? Front page, the dead Siberian?" Arnold Morgan's tone reflected that of the telephone.