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Patty and David Monroe have flown to Moscow to repair a business deal which has gone bad—when it suddenly turns nightmarish. Shooting David and kidnapping Patty, their Russian business partners drive her to a ramshackle dacha twenty miles east of Moscow. There, her captors—along with brutal Islamic terrorists—will attempt to ransom her. Patty will face the most frightening ordeal imaginable.

For the first time in history, FBI agents must work with Russian security forces. In an ...

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Patty and David Monroe have flown to Moscow to repair a business deal which has gone bad—when it suddenly turns nightmarish. Shooting David and kidnapping Patty, their Russian business partners drive her to a ramshackle dacha twenty miles east of Moscow. There, her captors—along with brutal Islamic terrorists—will attempt to ransom her. Patty will face the most frightening ordeal imaginable.

For the first time in history, FBI agents must work with Russian security forces. In an atmosphere of violent mistrust and political hatred, only their burning desire to rescue Patty Monroe will hold the operation together.

Burned is inspired by the horrifying ordeal of Yvonne Bornstein. Kidnapped in Russia in the 1990s by Islamic terrorists, Yvonne and her husband were held for ransom. During her captivity she was tortured, starved, and abused. Her captors were affiliated with early al Qaeda partisans. While this book is fiction, Burned captures the spirit of Yvonne’s resistance and ultimate triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Australian Yvonne Bornstein-who was abducted along with her husband by Chechen terrorists in Russia in 1992 and wrote a memoir of her experience, Eleven Days of Hell-serves as the model for Patti Monroe, the heroine of this run-of-the-mill thriller from Hagberg (Allah's Scorpion), who's updated the story to the post-9/11 world. Patti, an American businesswoman, and her husband, David, fly to Moscow to settle a dispute with their unsavory Russian partners. On the ride from the airport, their hosts stop the car, shoot David in the head and threaten to kill Patti as well. The thugs hold Patti for a $20 million ransom, which is to be used to help al-Qaeda get a nuclear weapon into the U.S. During Patti's brutal ordeal, the FBI works with the MVD, a KGB successor, just as the U.S. and Russian agencies cooperated on the Bornstein kidnap case. Patti's transformation into an action heroine may strike some readers as improbable, despite her training in self-defense years before. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765357519
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 341
  • Product dimensions: 4.27 (w) x 7.47 (h) x 0.91 (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 Joshua’s Hammer, Soldier of God, and Allah's Scorpion. He makes his home in Sarasota, Florida.

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Read an Excerpt


By Hagberg, David

Forge Books

Copyright © 2009 Hagberg, David
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765317957

Chapter One

A mountain pass on Pakistan’s northern border

A battered Russian jeep topped a rock-strewn rise. Above ten thousand feet, even this high mountain pass was dominated by snow-covered peaks towering in every direction.

Behind the wheel, Sergey Lysenko stopped the jeep, got out with a pair of Steiner mil specs binoculars, and glassed the rugged valley two thousand feet below.

At first he saw nothing. No movement, no signs that any human had been here in a millennium, in ten thousand millennia. These were the Hindu Kush, the tallest mountains on earth. But Lysenko, a Chechen-Russian by birth, raised and educated in London, was a patient man. Here on the border with Afghanistan, where there was no rule of law, save one—al-Quaeda—it paid to be careful, to be deliberate, to be smart.

He was forty-one, just under six feet, dark with short-cropped steel gray hair and deep-set eyes. He was husky, but he had not turned to flab. A non-practicing Muslim, he was nonetheless bin Laden’s main conduit to the west and a dedicated jihadist, though not a fanatic. Women in London found his weathered face and probing eyes dangerously exciting. He could have passed for a desert nomad, a Bedouin. He was a man who never questioned himself.

After five minutes he was rewarded with a tinyflash of light from below, probably the reflection off the lenses of a pair of binoculars, or from a riflescope. Bin Laden’s entourage was always cautious.

I have arrived, he had told them by stopping.

And they had replied, Ay-wa, yes, we see you.

He tossed the binoculars on the passenger seat, got behind the wheel, and drove the rest of the way down into the valley. He was conscious of a hundred pairs of eyes on him: Kalashnikovs, RPGs, and 7.62mm Russian-made Dragunov sniper rifles following his progress.

At the bottom he parked under a low overhanging mesh canopy and got out of the jeep, keeping his hands in plain sight. He was dressed in Russian Spetsnaz camos, and was unarmed except for a Heckler & Koch room broom submachine gun and a 9mm Steyr GB automatic pistol in the Gazik. He’d been given these weapons, plus his clothing, at Peshawar before flying on to Chitral, Pakistan’s most northerly airstrip, where he’d picked up the Jeep.

A pair of mujahideen armed with Kalashnikovs stepped out from behind a big boulder about twenty feet above the camouflage net and watched as Lysenko came up the steep slope.

When he reached them they stepped aside. "May Allah be with you," one of them said.

"And with you," Lysenko replied in Saudi Arabic, although it was all stupid mumbo jumbo as far as he was concerned. His passion was killing and not some useless religion. Sometimes he would stop to wonder what, if anything, he did believe in, other than his own survival, which was the only thing that mattered since his childhood in England, where his boarding school had taught him how to hate.

The entrance to bin Laden’s cave complex opened behind the ten-foot-tall rock. Lysenko climbed past the guards and ducked inside. Immediately he could smell the distinctive odors of electronic equipment, and something unpleasant—perhaps mold. This sort of a place was never meant as a refuge for very long, yet bin Laden and his loyalists had been living in mountain caves since before 9/11. Living like animals; the thought came to Lysenko as it did each time he came here.

Fifteen meters in, Lysenko felt a chill as he passed through a low opening, on the other side of which was a fairly large chamber, perhaps eight or ten meters on a side. Persian rugs were scattered on the dirt floor, halogen desk lamps illuminating single sideband radios, weather fax machines, and laptops, one of which was streaming Al Jazeera, the television network from Qatar, and another a CNN feed from London. A couple of earnest-looking young Saudis in traditional dress were busy at the machinery and didn’t bother to look up as Lysenko walked by.

Here al-Quaeda was connected to the world, and anyone who didn’t belong could never get this close.

Three chambers farther into the complex, Lysenko ducked through another opening, this one into an even larger room, the floor and the walls carpeted.

Osama bin Laden, his legs folded under him, was seated on cushions in front of a low table, two young mujahideen on either side looking fierce with Kalashnikov rifles clutched against their chests, pistols stuck in their belts. They stiffened and pointed their rifles at Lysenko.

"It’s all right, my children," bin Laden said softly. He was gaunt, his eyes sunken, his face pale, beard and hair pure white now. When he raised his right hand in greeting it shook with a palsy. "This is the butcher of Grozny. You remember. He is a friend."

"Papa, how can we be sure?" one of the boys, who couldn’t have been more than fifteen, asked respectfully.

Bin Laden chuckled good-naturedly. "Go now, kittens. Leave us."

The boys left reluctantly. They felt important here.

Lysenko approached bin Laden and the two men embraced.

"Sit, and we’ll have tea," bin Laden said.

When Lysenko was settled, bin Laden filled small handleless cups of tea from a pot on a small electric brazier. They sat in silence for a long time. A waste, Lysenko thought. All of this—the caves, the fighting, the hiding, the jihad—yet he never felt more alive, more free, more in command than he did in the middle of an operation. Nine/eleven had been the most sensual day of his life, and he suspected that the next attack would be even more emotional. But it was all for nothing; they could never win. Bin Laden didn’t understand the West like Lysenko did. The al-Quaeda leader had been once, briefly, to London, but never to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. He had no real conception of the vastness of the infidel West. Bringing down the twin trade towers had been a blow to the American psyche, but it had been nothing more than a pinprick against the empire.

Yet Lysenko could not give up, not now. Not ever, he suspected, unless the demons that had chased him since he was a child in London finally caught up with him.

"The plans are complete?" bin Laden asked.


"All that lacks is the money. And thou wouldst not have taken the risk to come all this way unless you had good news."

"The nuclear demolition device will be delivered across the border from Tajikistan when we have the money."

"Ten million dollars."

"Yes, and we will have the money within six months."

Bin Laden’s eyes suddenly brightened and he sat forward so quickly he spilled some of his tea. "Tell me." This last spectacular attack against the U.S. would be much greater than 9/11, and most likely bin Laden’s last before his failing kidneys finally killed him.

"You remember the American couple doing business with the company I set up in Moscow and Vladivostok. The Monroes."

"Yes, but stealing their money with a few business deals will not work. It’s taking too long."

"Mrs. Monroe’s family is wealthy."

Bin Laden moistened his lips. "How wealthy?"

"Rich enough so that the parents would spend ten million to rescue their daughter from her kidnappers."

Bin Laden sat back. "Ah," he said. "Americans would spend that much to save a daughter? No Arab would. A son perhaps, but never a daughter."

"January," Lysenko said, his blood already rising with wonder at how interesting it would be before he allowed her to make the first telephone call. According to Aleksei, who ran the business for them in Moscow, the husband was a blowhard, and the woman was a typical American bitch—spoiled and strident.

He would teach her respect. And a great many other things that he’d been taught at Oxford by his Iranian professor of Middle-Eastern studies, who’d taken him under his wing and into his bed.

It was a long way from his roots in Lebanon and his Chechen engineer father and Lebanese mother, who’d moved to England to avoid persecution. In three months, that winter at Oxford, he had become so radicalized that on a spring break home he and his parents had gotten into a tremendous row over his jihadist conversion, and in a black rage he had slit both of their throats and fled to Saudi Arabia.

Excerpted from Burned by David HagbergCopyright © 2009 by David HagbergPublished in June 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher


Excerpted from Burned by Hagberg, David Copyright © 2009 by Hagberg, David. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Piece of Writing!

    I recently heard a radio interview from NYC. David Hagberg and Yvonne Bornstein were being interviewed by Louie B (radio host). I was totally mesmerized by each and every word spoken by David and Yvonne. This interview compelled me to immediately run out and buy "Burned" which is a fictionalized account of Yvonne Bornstein's Eleven Days of Hell (which I also purchased).

    After reading "Burned" I found it to be eerily similar to the true account of Yvonne's biography which I had read first.
    I am still in awe of the spirit and fortitude of this unbelievably special woman. After being kidnapped, tortured, beaten and raped over a period of eleven horrifying days, she survived after being rescued in the first ever open collaboration between the Russian intelligence and FBI.

    I have read many of David Hagberg's books - he is a brilliant writer - "Burned" is just another example of his amazing style of writing. I am certain it was not easy to write a book based on a "woman" in trouble - his books usually show his expertise in the "macho male" story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Inspired by a true stoey

    When their Russian business deal appears to be falling part, Americans Patti and David Monroe fly to Moscow to resolve the dispute. They are greeted by their Russian partners with a gun fired point blank into David's head and Patti is abducted; they calmly inform her to cooperate or join her spouse.------------

    The Russians take her outside Moscow demanding $20 million for her release; failure to deliver will result in her execution. As the FBI works closely with the Russian MVD, they begin to uncover an even more insidious scheme as the kidnappers-murderers plan to use the money to buy nukes for their Al Qaeda associates to bring a worse 9/11 to America.---------

    The back cover explains BURNED is "inspired by the true story of Yvonne Bornstein" who along with her husband were kidnapped in Russia in the 1992 for "Eleven Days in Hell". The story line is fast-paced from the moment their hosts murder David and never slows down. Although the metamorphosis of Patti from middle class businesswoman to super warrior seems unlikely, fans will relish this stirring thriller as the Russians are known for hunting down kidnappers at the cost of the life of the abducted.----------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2012

    One of the best I have every read.

    I did not want to do anything but finish this book. Really one of the best I have ever read. Exactly my type of suspense thriller with great twist. I hope to read more of Hagberg,s books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Well done

    Hard to put down as there is always another corner to go around.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I was instantly captivated by this book, the first thing that called my attention was that it was loosely based on a true story. The author did a great job describing the details and settings of the story. A very easily to read book and fast paced too.

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted February 23, 2013

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    Posted March 28, 2012

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