Swashbuckling counter Spy Alex Hawke returns in New York Times bestselling author Ted Bells most explosive tale of international suspense to date. There dwells, somewhere in Russia, a man so powerful no one even knows his name. His existence is only speculated upon, only whispered about in American corridors of power and CIA strategy meetings. Though he is all but invisible, he is pulling strings -- and pulling them hard. For suddenly, Russia is a far, far more ominous threat than even the most hardened cold warriors ever thought possible. The Russians have their finger on the switch to the European economy and an eye on the American jugular. And, most importantly, they want to be made whole again. Should America interfere with Russias plans to reintegrate her rogue states, well then, America will pay in blood. In Ted Bells latest pulse-pounding and action-packed tour de force, Alex Hawke must face a global nightmare of epic proportions. As this political crisis plays out, Russia gains a new leader. Not just a president, but a new tsar, a signal to the world that the old, imperial Russia is back and plans to have her day. And in America, a mysterious killer, known only as Happy the Baker, brutally murders an innocent family and literally flattens the small Midwestern town they once called home. Just a taste, according to the new tsar, of what will happen if America does not back down. Onto this stage must step Alex Hawke, espionage agent extraordinaire and the only man, both Americans and the Brits agree, who can stop the absolute madness borne and bred inside the modern police state of Vladimir Putins New Russia.
In bestseller Bell's rousing fifth thriller (after Spy), Alex Hawke fights the leaders of a new and invigorated Russia, where Vladimir Putin has been locked up in a lethal prison built over a massive radioactive waste site. Evil mastermind Count Ivan Korsakov (aka the Dark Rider) is determined to return Mother Russia to her rightful place in the world order by reacquiring her former colonies, after which he intends to conquer Europe and reign as the new tsar. The only thing standing in his way is Hawke, who, as series fans well know, is more than up to the task of thwarting those who try to take over the globe. Life throws Hawke a curve when he finds himself falling in love with the astoundingly beautiful Anastasia, who just happens to be Korsakov's daughter. As always, Bell pulls out all the stops with terrific action scenes, fiendish murders, diabolical villains, dramatic rescues and all the cool weaponry the reader could possibly hope for. (Sept.) Copyright � Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
September 22, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Tsar by Ted Bell
1 Bermuda, present dayWar and peace. In Alexander Hawke's experience, life usually boiled down to one or the other. Like his namesake late father, a hero much decorated for his daring Cold War exploits against the Soviets, Hawke greatly favored peace but was notoriously adept at war. Whenever and wherever in the world his rather exotic skill set was required, Alex Hawke gladly sallied forth. Cloak donned, dagger to hand, he would jubilantly enter and reenter the eternal fray.He was thirty-three years old. A good age, by his accounts, not too young and not too old. A fine balance of youth and experience, if one could be so bold.Alex Hawke, let it first be said, was a creature of radiant violence. Attack came naturally to him; the man was all fire. Shortly after his squalling birth, his very English father had declared to Kitty, his equally American mother, "He seems to me a boy born with a heart ready for any fate. I only wonder what ballast will balance all that bloody sail."He was normally a cool, rather detached character, but Alex Hawke's simmering blood could roil to a rapid boil at very short notice. Oddly enough, his true nature was not readily apparent to the casual observer. Someone who chanced to meet him, say, on an evening's stroll through Berkeley Square would find him an amiable, even jolly chap. He might even be whistling a chirrupy tune about nightingales or some such. There was an easy grace about the man, a cheery nonchalance, a faint look of amusement uncorrupted by self-satisfaction about the eyes.But it was Hawke's "What the hell" grin, a look so freighted with charm that no woman, and even few men, could resist, that made him who he was.Hawke was noticeable. A big man with a heroic head, he stood well north of six feet and worked hard at a strict exercise regimen to keep himself extremely fit. His face was finely modeled, its character deeply etched by the myriad wonders and doubts of his inner experience.His glacial blue eyes were brilliant, and the play of his expression had a flashing range, from the merriment and charm with which he charged his daily conversation to a profound earnestness. His demeanor quickly could assume a tragic and powerful look, which could make even a trivial topic suddenly assume new and enlightening importance.He had a full head of rather untamable jet-black hair, a high, clear brow, and a straight, imperious nose. Below it was a strong chin and a well-sculpted mouth with just a hint of come-hither cruelty at the corners.Picture a hale fellow well met whom men wanted to stand a drink and whom women much preferred horizontal.He'd been dozing on a pristine Bermuda beach for the better part of an hour. It was a hot day, a day that was shot blue all through. The fluttering eyelids and the thin smile on Hawke's salt-parched lips belied the rather exotic dream he was having. Suddenly, some noise from above, perhaps the dolphinlike clicking of a long-tailed petrel, startled him from his reverie. He cracked one eye, then the other, smiling at the fleeting memory of sexual bliss still imprinted on the back of his mind.Erotic images, fleshy nymphs of pink and creamy white, fled quickly as he raised his head and peered alertly at the brightness of the real world through two fiercely narrowed blue eyes. Just inside the reef line, a white sail shivered and flipped to leeward. As he watched the graceful little Bermuda sloop, the sail turned to windward again, and from across the water he distinctly heard a sound he loved, the ruffle and snap of canvas.No question about this time and place in his life, he thought, gazing at the gently lapping surf:my blue heaven.Here on this sunlit mid-Atlantic isle, peace abounded. These, finally, were the "blue days" he had longed for. His most recent "red" period, a rather dodgy affair involving a madman named Papa Top and armies of Hezbollahjihadist