In this relentlessly paced tale of international suspense, intrepid MI-6 intelligence officer Alex Hawke confronts an evil like no other. Terror looms as a madman works his dark magic in the heart of the Amazon and a nightmare erupts along the Mexican border, creating a deadly combination that threatens to bring America to its knees.
"A border ain't nothing but a law drawn in the sand." So says a small-town Texas sheriff in Ted Bell's most gripping espionage thriller to date. Things along America's southern border are rapidly reaching the boiling point. American girls are being snatched from their homes, ranches are burning, and the number of deadly confrontations along the Mexican border grows daily. At night, armed Mexican troops cross the border at will in support of narcotics smugglers and illegal immigrants. By day, Americans take up arms and plan reprisals. An all-out border war is no longer inconceivable. It's happening!
On assignment for the British Secret Service, a man leads a mysterious expedition into the heart of darkness. Sailing up the furthest reaches of the Amazon River, he is captured by a brutal tribe of indigenous cannibals. Forced into slave labor, he witnesses the unimaginable. Golden domes and minarets rise beneath the rainforest canopy. Vast terror armies are being recruited and trained in the jungle. Their goal: a vicious jihad that will unite one continent...and destroy another. They possess weapons only dreamed of by the Western allies. Somehow he must escape his captors and live to tell the tale.
With tensions on its southern border threatening to ignite into war, America must look to the one man who might be able to confront the demons in the jungle...and destroy them. Alex Hawke, with the aid of brilliant Scotland Yard Inspector Ambrose Congreve, and an unstoppable force of nature named Stokely Jones, begins a river journey fraught with peril. He must find a river with no name, and a villain like no other. He must confront all the terrors that man and nature can hurl at him. From black magic, poison-tipped arrows, and blowguns to an awesome arsenal of the most advanced military hardware, Hawke must overcome insurmountable odds on his quest for victory.
Here is an author who gets you in the palm of his hand and then clenches his fist. And here is a saga loaded to the gunwales with action, glamour, and spellbinding suspense. Alex Hawke once again takes readers right to that thin border between fear and overwhelming terror. It's merely a line drawn in the sand. Cross it at your peril.
Cross it if you dare.
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August 14, 2006
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Excerpt from Spy by Ted Bell
He had never expected to survive the sinking of his boat. The river had been a quiet mirror that morning, meandering through the endless jungle. Just before the explosion, the leafy green walls on either side of the river had fallen silent. Then a lone bird cried a shrill warning and the peace was suddenly shattered. A sea mine blew the bow off of his beautiful black-hulled wooden yawl. The powerful explosion rocked the jungle; the sky above the river suddenly went dark with birds taking wing.
He knew his lovely Pura Vida was finished before he drew a second breath.
Pura Vida, the pretty yawl he'd fitted with a retractable keel, had shuddered to a stop, down by the head. She instantly began taking water. She had sunk with nearly all hands in minutes. Small-arms fire erupted from the forest. The river was alive with death. Unseen forces began spitting bullets from both banks. A chorus of fear rose from those choking and dying in the water. The machine gun attack killed everyone clinging to overturned life rafts or desperately scrambling up the muddy banks.
He himself had been fishing off the stern, his legs dangling over the gunwale. When he heard the explosion for'ard, and felt the yawl stagger and founder, he dove for a semi-automatic rifle kept loaded and stowed in the cockpit. Water rising round his legs, he emptied the thirty-round banana clip into the forest. When it was empty, he slammed in another mag and repeated firing off the port side.
He threw life rings, cushions, whatever he could grab. It was useless. He saw his colleagues in the water, many already dead or dying in a rain of lead. The ship was engulfed in flames and listing violently to port. Staying aboard another second was suicide.
He dove off the sharply angled stern and swam hard downriver, until his lungs, too, were afire. He surfaced and heard that the firing had stopped. Many riddled bodies were floating downstream toward him. That was when he heard the drums for the first time.
He saw painted faces atop long brown legs sprinting madly through the tangled undergrowth along the banks. He submerged once more and grabbed someone whose arm he'd seen flailing weakly minutes earlier. He pulled her to him and saw that she was dead. He held on to the corpse for a very long time. He was entering a patch of white water and he had no choice but to let his friend go if he was to swim safely to shore.