"Hawke is a fast-paced adventure...truly an exciting read," says Nelson DeMille. "Rich, spellbinding, and absorbing, Hawke is packed with surprises," raves Clive Cussler. Readers beware, this stunning, high-caliber thriller is not recommended for the faint of heart.
Lord Alexander Hawke is a direct descendant of the legendary English pirate Blackhawke and highly skilled in the cutthroat's deadly ways himself. While still a boy, on a voyage to the Caribbean, Alex Hawke witnesses an act of unspeakable horror. Hidden in a secret compartment on his father's yacht, Alex sees his parents brutally murdered by three modern-day pirates. It is an event that will haunt him for the remainder of his life. Now, fully grown and one of England's most decorated naval heroes, Hawke is back in the same Caribbean waters on a secret mission for the American government. A highly experimental stealth submarine, built by the Soviets just before the end of the Cold War, is missing. She carries forty nuclear warheads and is believed to be in the hands of a very unstable government just ninety miles from the American mainland. Hawke is in a race against time. His mission: Find the deadly sub before a preemptive strike can be launched against the U.S., and confront the murderous men behind the personal nightmare that haunts him before they find him first.
Featuring breathtaking action, international intrigue, and a hero worthy of the very finest adventure fiction, Hawke heralds the exciting debut of a bold new talent.
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June 03, 2003
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Excerpt from Hawke by Ted Bell
The Englishman looked at his unsmiling reflection in the smoky mirror behind the bar and drained the last of his pint. He'd lost count of how many he'd downed since entering the tattered old pub. It was called The Grapes, and it was one of the more respectable establishments in a rather bawdy little quarter of Mayfair known as Shepherd's Market.
Pink and rose lights were glowing softly in many of the small windows of the narrow buildings that lined the winding lanes. Hand-lettered names could be found beside the illuminated buttons inside each of the darkened doorways. Fanny. Cecily. Vera and Bea. Their pale faces could often be seen at the window for just a moment before the shade was drawn.
He had drifted aimlessly through the narrow streets of Mayfair, having decided to walk home from dinner at the German ambassador's residence. He'd left rather early when, after he'd downed yet another flute of champagne, it occurred to him that every single thing he'd said all evening had bored him to tears.
He'd meant to go straight home, but the miserable weather so perfectly matched the texture and color of his current state of mind that he'd decided to embrace it, dismissing his driver for the evening and electing to hoof it to Belgrave Square.
Damp. Cold. Foggy. Lowering clouds threatening rain or snow or both. Miserable. Perfect.
There was an electric fire in the coal grate of the smoky pub, and now, brooding upon his perch at the end of the bar, he looked at the thin gold Patek on his wrist. Bloody hell. It was considerably further past his bedtime than he'd imagined. Not that it mattered much. He could sleep in next morning. Had nothing on until lunch at his club at one. He tried to recall whom he was lunching with and was damned if he could.
The days had become an endless blur and, except for the constant dull ache in his heart, he would have sworn that he'd died some time ago and no one had bothered to inform him of his own passing.
The pub had thinned out quite a bit, only one or two chaps remaining at the bar and a few young foreign backpackers necking in the curves of the dark banquettes. At least there were fewer patrons to stare at him and the ones remaining had finally left him bloody well alone.
He was aware, of course, that he stood out.