A First-Rate Thriller from a Legendary MasterJonathan Hemlock, the art professor and mercenary who first excited readers with his daring exploits in The Eiger Sanction, returns in an even more masterful adventure in The Loo Sanction, Trevanian's second thrilling spy novel. Hemlock has gone to England to rest, but his vacation is interrupted when the head of British Intelligence needs his highly skilled services. Jonathan must take over the mission of an agent whose murder was so bizarre and terrifying that no other agent was willing to replace him.His task: to locate a set of secretly made films that incriminate a number of high-ranking British officials. His target: a top underworld figure who delights in debauchery and torture. Facing this threat, Jonathan is drawn into a labyrinthine network of intrigue and depravity. As all the pieces in the dangerous puzzle begin to come together, Jonathan is trapped, almost fatally drugged, and forced to attempt one of the most daring escapes ever conceived.
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August 22, 2005
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Excerpt from The Loo Sanction by Trevanian
His pain was vast. But at least it was finite. Sharp-edged waves of agony climaxed in intensity until his body convulsed and his mind was awash. Then, just before madness, the crests broke and swirled over his limen of consciousness, and he escaped into oblivion.
But always he emerged again from the delirium, cold and perspiring, weaker than before, and more frightened.
A crisp wind fluted through the arches of the belfry in which he was prisoner and drove his tears horizontally back to his temples. During troughs of awareness between crises of pain, his mind cleared, and he was bewildered by his reactions to impending death. Matthew Parnell-Greene ("Uranus" in the planet-code of the counterespionage agency that employed him) had always known that violent death was a very real alternative to retirement in his line of work. He was not physically brave ' his imagination was too active for that ' so he had sought to mute his fear by callusing that imagination. He had forced himself to rehearse being shot, being knifed, taking a faceful of cyanide gas from a tube concealed in a folded newspaper, being poisoned ' his urbane flair always insisting upon the poison being in exotic foods consumed at really good restaurants. And he had attempted to toughen his tender imagination by abrading it with anticipations of the more disgusting alternatives. He had been drowned in a bathtub; he had been suffocated, his face blue and his eyes bulging within a polyethylene bag; air had been injected into his heart. Always he had died well, with a certain dignity, not struggling dumbly against impossible odds. He had imagined pain, but the end had always come quickly. He had long ago realized that he could not withstand torture and had decided he would cooperate fully with his questioners, should it come to that.