As a CIA agent "without official cover" in London, Jack Dunphy sets up commercial fronts and banking facilities abroad for unsavory clients with money too hot to handle--a lucrative business that allows him to spy under a false identity. But after someone he has under surveillance is brutally slaughtered, Dunphy is immediately ordered back to the U. S. "Don't bother packing, and don't go to your flat. . . . Just take the first flight out. " On his return to Langley, Dunphy is relentlessly interrogated and dumped into a tedious desk job that seems calculated to make him quit. Determined to learn why, he uses all his CIA tradecraft on the agency that has turned against him. Gaining access to the murdered man's classified file, Dunphy discovers a cryptic list of names, including reference to the 143rd Surgical Airwing, a military unit that officially doesn't exist. Tracking down a former member of that covert unit, he hears the shocking pieces of an extraordinary story that seem too wild to be true--providing damning evidence of a vast conspiracy deeply entrenched within the CIA. But searching for the truth proves a deadly enterprise when someone close to him is killed. Fearing he is next, Dunphy runs for his very life, from Langley to Paris, Prague to London. With no one else to trust, he turns to Clementine, the girlfriend he was forced to abandon when he fled England. Pursued by CIA agents out for blood and a ruthless former client out for vengeance, following a twisted trail of lies and denial, Dunphy uncovers the existence of a clandestine fraternity whose origins are ancient . . . and connections are global. Embroiled in a plot far more elaborate than they ever could have imagined, with players too powerful and consequences too deadly, Dunphy and Clementine must unlock the secret of the Society's dark mission--before it consumes them in its ferocious rush toward destiny. In a gripping novel that combines brilliantly imagined characters with the machinations behind this century's greatest unexplained mysteries, Jim Hougan has created a stunning international thriller of psychology and intrigue, espionage and prophecy, hairbreadth escapes and endless suspense.
- 2000 James Hougan
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