Blood Pact


David Hagber's New York Times bestselling Kirk McGarvey series continues with a deadly mission to find a long-lost treasure map in Blood Pact.

A large portion of the fabulous treasure originally stolen by conquistadors of the eighteenth century was buried in the desert of southern New Mexico by Spanish monks. Jacob Ambli, a Catholic priest, was sent as a spy on a Spanish military mission to find seven caches left for the Church. He kept a diary showing the locations, ...

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Blood Pact

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David Hagber's New York Times bestselling Kirk McGarvey series continues with a deadly mission to find a long-lost treasure map in Blood Pact.

A large portion of the fabulous treasure originally stolen by conquistadors of the eighteenth century was buried in the desert of southern New Mexico by Spanish monks. Jacob Ambli, a Catholic priest, was sent as a spy on a Spanish military mission to find seven caches left for the Church. He kept a diary showing the locations, but was murdered trying to get back to Rome, and the journal was lost.

Now, a century and a half later, the diary has come to light, and the Spanish government, Cuban intelligence agency, and the Catholic Church are racing to be the first to claim it. Kirk McGarvey is approached by a shadowy organization that wants to beat all of them to the book—the Voltaire Society, a mysterious group whose purpose is shrouded in the history of the United States.

The chase takes Mac from Washington to Malta and finally to Seville, where he comes up against a fifth foe—one of the most ruthless assassins he has ever confronted—who has made a blood pact with the agents of the devil to find the lost treasure no matter what the cost.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765359896
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 12/30/2014
  • Series: Kirk McGarvey Series , #17
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,255,386
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID HAGBERG is a former Air Force cryptographer who has traveled extensively in Europe, the Arctic, and the Caribbean, and has spoken at CIA functions. He has published more than twenty novels of suspense, including the bestselling Allah’s Scorpion, Dance with the Dragon, and The Expediter. He makes his home in Sarasota, Florida.

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Read an Excerpt




Sarasota was the center for the fine arts in all of Florida, with a bronze reproduction of Michelangelo’s statue of David as its symbol. Kirk Collough McGarvey back at his desk at the University of Florida’s New College, after too long an absence, stared out his window at the swimming pool–blue waters of Sarasota bay. Life had been easy here, but with an emptiness.

He wanted to be happy back teaching Voltaire to the bright kids in the semi-private liberal arts college, and yet he was without his wife who’d been assassinated, along with their daughter, when an IED meant for him went off right under the limo they were riding in.

And just this afternoon, his last class for the day finished, and his office hours over with, something else intruded on his thoughts. Some niggling worry at the back of his head; some red flag raised by his early warning system, which had been honed over twenty-five years working first as a field agent for the CIA, then rising to director of operations and for a brief stint director of the entire agency, and finally as a special operations officer, had been kicking into gear over the past several days.

At fifty, just under six feet, built like a rugby player he was in perfect condition in part because of the luck of the genetic draw, but also because of daily workouts in the gym, runs on the beach, and swims in the Gulf where he lived on Casey Key. He’d been one of the best field officers that the Company had ever known; a shooter in the parlance, which was well known in the business. What was not so well known, though it was rumored, was the number of people he had killed, or the heavy toll those ops had taken on him, physically as well as mentally.

That he’d been a killer and yet an academic fit him well for some odd reason. He was self-confident, intelligent, honest, and above all dependable. But he was a hard man in the right situation—made all the more decisive and deadly because of the manner of his wife’s and daughter’s deaths. In the old days he might have kneecapped an opponent to stop the man, but during the last few assignments he’d preferred the double tap to the head to make sure no one would be coming up on his six.

All in the past, he wanted to tell himself, though he’d thought about calling his old friend Otto Rencke who still worked at the CIA as its director of Special Projects to see if anything was in the wind. But rising from his desk and grabbing his briefcase he’d decided that he was being a little paranoid. In any event if something was coming his way it would show up when it showed up.

Later, he hoped, though over the past several months he’d become a little bit jumpy, even bored.

“Once a field agent, always a field agent,” a former deputy director of operations had told him a number of years ago. It was the same guy who’d called him an anachronism, his skills no longer needed in the new order of things. Until 9/11 and the necessity to find and kill bin Laden.

He walked out of his tiny, book-lined second-floor office, the philosophy department all but deserted as usual on a Friday afternoon at the end of spring term and the start of summer break, and headed for the stairs. But he stopped, and glanced over his shoulder as one of the young teaching assistants came out of an office and went to the restrooms at the end of the hall.

He couldn’t quite put his finger on what was bothering him. Maybe a car or a van parked in an unusual spot. Maybe a chance encounter with someone who shouldn’t have been on campus. Maybe someone seated on a bench reading a paper who didn’t look up as Mac passed. Maybe a motorcycle following him through the end of the green light, chancing running the red.

He went back to his office, laid his briefcase on the desk, and took a Walther PPK semiautomatic pistol, chambered for the small 7.65 cartridge, out of a locked drawer and put it in the front right pocket of his khaki slacks, along with an extra magazine of ammunition in his left. The pistol was lightweight, but compact and reliable. It was a spare, and a very old friend.

Locking up again, briefcase filled with notes for a new Voltaire book in hand, he went downstairs and headed for the faculty parking lot where he’d left his rebuilt 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster convertible in gunmetal gray with red leather. An indulgence since he’d come back to Florida, and one he knew that Katy would have loved.

His white Guayabera shirt was plastered to his back by the time he reached his car.

At that moment a very tall, whip-thin man, dressed in an obviously expensive European-cut charcoal gray suit, white shirt, tie knotted, shoes well shined, got out of a Lexus SUV and came over.

McGarvey looked up mildly and scanned the parking lot. No one else was out or about, nor had anyone followed him from his office. But he was alert, his senses humming.

“Dr. McGarvey,” the man said as he approached. He spoke good English with a French accent. He was a head taller than McGarvey, his face narrow and pinched, his nose Gallic.

“Actually it’s Mister,” McGarvey said.

They shook hands. “Of course,” the man said. “I am Giscarde Petain, and I have come from Paris to discuss the Voltaire Society with you. It is my understanding that you are something of an expert on the philosopher and his teachings.”

“I’ve written a book, but I don’t think I’ve run across any mention of a society.”

“Not many have,” Petain said. “Do you have a few minutes to talk, perhaps somewhere out of the sun?”

“Actually no. What do you want?”

“Your help. Before there are more killings, and before everything that we’ve worked for over the last two centuries is lost.”

“I’m sorry, monsieur, but you’ve come to the wrong man,” McGarvey said, and he reached for the Porsche’s door handle, but Petain shot out a hand and stopped him.

“I need to make you understand the urgency of my being here.”

McGarvey pulled his hand away and stepped back. “Turn around and spread your legs.”

Petain didn’t seem surprised. He did as he was told, and moved his arms away from his torso, understanding that he was going to be searched. “I am not armed.”

McGarvey put down his briefcase and quickly frisked the man, finding no weapons. But he did find a French passport and when the man turned around he compared the photograph with Petain’s face. They matched, and McGarvey returned it, but he was sure that he’d never seen the man before, or noticed the Lexus in the past few days.

“You have two minutes to tell me who you are, how you know me, and exactly why you’re here.”

“My name I’ve told you. I am a businessman—a stockbroker actually, with the Euronext Paris, which was the old Bourse before we merged with the markets in Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Brussels.”

“I know the market.”

“I learned of you by your reputation in certain intelligence circles. I have friends in the DGSE who when I made inquiries told me that you once lived in France, and had been of some service.”

The DGSE was the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, France’s external intelligence service. While the organization wasn’t exactly in love with him, his sometimes presence in the country over the past few years had been tolerated.

“And specifically we need your help to locate a diary that was stolen from us ten days ago.”

“You said killings.”

“Yes, starting in eighteen thirty-eight, the latest three days ago in Zurich,” Petain said. “And there is no reason for us to suspect they will stop now.”

“Who is the they?”

“The Catholic Church, we think. More specifically a faction of the Knights Hospitaller.”

This group, including the Sacred Military Order of Malta, which was supposedly the militant arm of the Knights, McGarvey had heard of, though he’d never had any dealings with them. But his interest was piqued. “A nearly two-centuries-old war between the Vatican and your Voltaire Society. Why me?”

“The Vatican knows your name as well as I do because of your involvement several months ago involving property they believe is rightfully theirs. With the diary missing, you’re next.”

“Someone wants to kill me?”

“That likelihood is very high, yes, monsieur.”

“Who, specifically?”

“I have a story to tell you first, though you already know many of the details.”


Copyright © 2014 by David Hagberg

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