FBI Special Agent Thomas Hawkins’ life isn’t what he expected. Recruited by the Bureau while a pastor and seminary student, Hawkins has made a name for himself as a top-notch investigator and field agent. When terrorists strike a major religious gathering in the city where Hawkins is stationed, Federal law enforcement and the United States Intelligence Community fear more attacks are coming. Partnered with a beautiful CIA Case Officer, Hawkins must face his own struggles with who he has become as they race to stop a shadowy group whose deadly motives threaten the lives of millions.
What People Are Saying
"I remember when the author considered joining the FBI. This novel is a tribute to his continuing interest in complex investigations, intrigue, and international operations of law enforcement. You just have to keep telling yourself that it's just a novel!"
-Thomas Kneir, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Retired)
SAC Jacksonville 1999-2001
Marcus Buckley has been a pastor and police chaplain in Florida and South Carolina for more than 25 years. He is a graduate of Stetson University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate from North Greenville University. He lives in Florida with his wife and three children.
From the Author:
I've always enjoyed a good action story.
Guys like Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, and Robert B. Parker were masters of the form. No other kind of book draws me in like a good thriller filled with espionage and suspense—car chases, shoot-outs, great good guys and nasty bad guys.
That said, as a Christian, I understand the awkwardness that comes from some of the material in this genre of books. I wanted to write a story that was entertaining, but also one you wouldn't be embarrassed for your kids to read.
I wanted to write an engaging story that featured a character who is a Christian. I didn't want to do this to be preachy or pushy, but rather to show the struggles people of faith face in some outrageous situations.
Thomas Hawkins is not a perfect character with all the answers—he struggles and he doubts; but he is a character who trusts God, even when it doesn't make sense.
Special Agent Thomas Hawkins and Case Officer Samantha Land disembarked from the black sedan two houses down from their target, a distance of about 500 feet. Although large stucco walls fronted each of the large homes in the area, the driveways were open and available for all to enter. Hawkins thought to himself the people in these homes assumed they were safe, and they weren’t uninformed in thinking so—Monaco had the highest per capita of police officers in the world, with nearly 700 uniformed officers covering not much more than a square mile. Not one was in sight, however, and he wondered if that was an accident. Land took the lead, crouching at the entrance to the gated driveway. Hawkins pointed to a car parked across the street.
“BMW M3. That’d make a good getaway car.” He automatically looked at the car’s license plate and memorized it, just in case.
“It may be what it is,” Niels said in his ear. “The hood’s giving off an IR glow. It couldn’t have been shut off for very long, but there’s been no motion in or around the car since the shooting. I’m reviewing images from the last hour to see if it…”
“Worry about that when we need to, E. J.,” Land whispered. “You ready, Hawk?”
“Let’s do it.”
Land eased her head around the corner, looking for a hint of anything that might erupt into a hail of gunfire. Seeing nothing, she crouch-sprinted to the garage area no more than 20 feet from the entrance. The house loomed above her, a graceful sidewalk curving away from her up towards the front door. Hawkins followed suit and came up beside her.
Land pointed up the sidewalk to the ornately carved mahogany door, and shook her head. Don’t want to go that way. No cover.
Hawkins nodded, and pointed around to the side of the garage. He eased his way around the corner, and saw a door which led into the garage. He gingerly touched the doorknob, and the door moved—unlatched. Whoever had come through here hadn’t closed the door all the way.
“You don’t have one of those fiber optic cable cameras on you by any chance?” Hawkins whispered.
“Left it in London.”
“We’ll swing by and pick it up later.” He touched the bottom of the door with his foot, and edged it open, careful to remain behind the block wall surrounding the doorway. When bullets failed to come sailing through the opening, he crouched down and peeked inside. He was able to make out a Porsche Cayenne Sport Utility and a BMW 750i in the darkened garage, lit only by a small LED light glowing over a workbench near another door. He stepped inside, and Land came in behind him. She worked her way along the wall toward the closed garage doors, gun at a low ready, Hawkins walking slowly along the front wall. They reached the opposite wall from where they had come in at the same time, and approached the door. Hawkins had to turn the knob to open this one, and he did so slowly and deliberately. The door whispered open—thank heavens for good hinges—and the two stepped into the semi-dark hallway.
They were able to see three doors on the right length of polished mahogany wall, and two on the left, with a staircase at the hall’s far end that went up a few steps and then curved in an upward spiral to the left. Hawkins and Land edged along opposite walls, 10 feet apart but exactly across from one another, looking into the rooms on the opposing side. They took turns crouching and peeking into the rooms on their own side—a study, an entertainment room, a full bath—then they came to the bedrooms. Hawkins looked inside and saw a room lit by a bedside table lamp. A book lay on the floor next to the bed, and a figure lay motionless next to it. A woman lay in a pool of blood on the floor, her peaceful face in stark contrast to the horrible scene of death. Hawkins counted 3 bullet wounds to her chest, centered in the sternum. He turned to go back into the hall, when Land’s voice came through his earpiece. “I’m coming in behind you.” She walked in and looked around, seeing what Hawkins had.
“I’ve got one, too. Young girl, maybe 16 or 17. Blunt trauma to the head, three bullets in the chest. Looks like her top was ripped open first.”
“We interrupted him,” he whispered, and wondered what kind of sick monster they were dealing with. He looked past Land at the open doorway behind her. “Our shooter is still here.”
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