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Dictator's Ransom (Rogue Warrior Series)

Dictator's Ransom (Rogue Warrior Series)

4.6 13
by Richard Marcinko, Jim DeFelice

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Is Kim Jong-il really a fanatical fan of Dick Marcinko, the Rogue Warrior? Has the terrifying tyrant actually read every one of Marcinko's many New York Times bestsellers?

One thing is certain: the Rogue Warrior wants nothing to do with the brutal despot. When, in Dictator's Ransom, "the loathsome dwarf"--as George W. Bush derided


Is Kim Jong-il really a fanatical fan of Dick Marcinko, the Rogue Warrior? Has the terrifying tyrant actually read every one of Marcinko's many New York Times bestsellers?

One thing is certain: the Rogue Warrior wants nothing to do with the brutal despot. When, in Dictator's Ransom, "the loathsome dwarf"--as George W. Bush derided him--invites Marcinko to the Hermit Kingdom, the Rogue Warrior instantly declines...prompting the CIA to RSVP on his behalf. Of course, the Agency is sending Marcinko on this life-threatening mission, not to sign books but as part of a clandestine special op: Marcinko is to track down four covert nuclear warheads secreted in the Supreme Leader's palace.

More than just another thriller, however, Dictator's Ransom is a novel of electrifying energy and wicked wit. Marcinko rightfully takes his place alongside Huck Finn as the raunchy, rambunctious American hero he truly is. Kim Jong-il quickly becomes the most outrageous, most frightening, most demented nuclear psychopath in all of history and literature. Dictator's Ransom will have you shuddering with fear and trembling...even as it has you cracking up with laughter.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Marcinko and DeFelice (Rogue Warrior: Holy Terror) deliver another rousing adventure, the 12th to star former navy SEAL Marcinko's fictional alter ego. Dick Marcinko (aka the Rogue Warrior; aka Demo Dick) shows few signs of advancing age as he tangles with the world's sleaziest dictator, North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Kim, a Marcinko admirer who's read all the Rogue books, knows that Dick's the man to locate his missing illegitimate son, Yon Shin Jong. Dick turns down the offer with its $64 million reward until the CIA tells him that it would be a good idea to take the job. Meanwhile, longtime team member Trace Dahlgren finds that her lover, Polish helicopter pilot Ike Polorski, is in reality a Russian mobster involved in a plot to abduct Kim's kid and trade him for a nuke. Dick is as funny and dangerous as ever, making this one of the better entries in this techno-thriller series. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the most controversial veterans of the U.S. Navy's amphibious commando unit, whose troops are known as SEALs, Marcinko describes his combat adventures in Southeast Asia and his counterterrorist activities. A 10-week PW bestseller in cloth. Photos. (Mar.)
Newgate Callendar
So much action that the reader scarcely has time to breathe...bloody...innocent fun.
Kirkus Reviews
The stormy career of a top Navy SEAL hotspur. Commander Marcinko, USN Ret., recently served time at Petersburg Federal Prison for conspiracy to defraud the Navy by overcharging for specialized equipment—the result, he says, of telling off too many admirals. It seems that his ornery and joyous aggression, nurtured by a Czech grandfather in a flinty Pennsylvania mining town, has brought him to grief in peace and to brilliance in war. Serving his first tour in Vietnam in 1966 as an enlisted SEAL expert in underwater demolition, Marcinko returned for a second tour as an officer leading a commando squad he had trained. Here, his accounts of riverine warfare—creeping underwater to Vietcong boats and slipping over their gunwales; raiding VC island strongholds in the South China Sea; steaming up to the Cambodian border to tempt the VC across and being overrun—are galvanic, detailed, and told with a true craftsman's love. What did he think of the Vietcong? "The bastards—they were good." His battle philosophy? "...kill my enemy before he has a chance to kill me....Never did I give Charlie an even break." After the aborted desert rescue of US hostages in the Tehran embassy, Marcinko was ordered to create SEAL Team Six—a counterterrorist unit with worldwide maritime responsibilities. In 1983, the unit was deployed to Beirut to test the security of the US embassy there. Easily evading the embassy security detail, sleeping Lebanese guards, and the Marines, the SEALs planted enough fake bombs to level the building. When Marcinko spoke to "a senior American official" about the problem, the SEAL's blunt security advice was rejected, particularly in respect to car-bomb attacks.Ninety days later, 63 people in the embassy compound were killed by a suicide bomber driving a TNT-filled truck. Profane and asking no quarter: the real nitty-gritty, bloody and authentic. (Eight-page photo insert—not seen.)

From the Publisher
“Marcinko is a master at showing us his world. Marcinko’s stories are as vivid as they are real. He’s been there, and he has the talent to take us with him."—Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Dangerous Ground

“Once you start reading you won't be able to stop! It's a rare treat to read a thriller that is uproariously, gloriously and unrepentantly hilarious.”—David Hagberg, USA Today bestselling author of Dance With the Dragon on The Rogue Warrior: Dictator's Ransom

“Marcinko is the real thing: combat veteran, killer SEAL, specialist in unconventional warfare.”—Washington Times

“Marcinko gives new meaning to the word tough.”—Publishers Weekly

“Marcinko’s Rogue Warrior yarns . . . are the purest kind of thriller around, with action, pacing, and hardware galore.”—Booklist

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Rogue Warrior Series , #13
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 4.32(h) x 1.10(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter one

Impressions of North Korea:

Cold. Crappy food. Cheap booze.

Great place to hunt. Especially if you're with the world's cruelest dictator.

Not a good place to be shot, especially by said dictator.

But let me start at the beginning . . .

It was springtime at Rogue Manor:

The snow had melted, the crocuses and whatnot were pushing their pointy buds up through the turf, and there was a lovely scent in the air.

Gunpowder, that is.

It was the first week of April. Trace Dahlgren had just finished working with some new recruits for Red Cell International-the security company I run with a little help from my friends. Trace had spent the morning running the kids through a makeshift obstacle course on the back forty, trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. This was just a preliminary trial, so we gave them a nugget break-there were only two sections of live-fire exercise involved, and in both cases the shooters were instructed to keep their aim a good six inches from anything moving.

Any recruit who stopped, of course, was fair game.

"No casualties," said Trace, reporting in at lunchtime. She sounded disappointed.

Red Cell is an equal opportunity employer-we hire ex- army as well as ex- SEALs, and I think we even have an old air farcer on the payroll. As a former blanket hugger and a member of the female persuasion herself, Trace Dahlgren gives the company that well- rounded culture the human resources department Richard Marcinko and Jim DeFelice 16 would love to brag about, if we had a HR department. She learned how to break in new recruits while working with Delta Force, the army's counter-terror unit. (If you're a faithful reader-and you sure as hell better be-you'll recall that Trace was a member of Delta's female squadron.2) At five- eight and 130 pounds, Trace has assets male shooters don't, which makes her deadly in the field as well as undercover, both literally and figuratively. Her real love, though, is busting humps during training-even I have trouble keeping up with her PT routines-which is why she's in charge of what we call prerecruitment month at Red Cell.

¹ You like these Roman numerals and mini- chapter breaks? Yeah, neither do I, but it was the editor's idea. We have to do something he wants, or he won't spring for drinks next time we see him.

The participants call it hell, along with some other choice terms of endearment-high compliments from guys and gals who have survived SEAL training and the like. Basically, if you make it through the month at Rogue Manor with all of your limbs intact, we offer you a job. The pay's great and the bennies can't be beat, though rumor has it that the boss is one mean son of a bitch.

We were in the process of gearing up for some new business ventures in Eastern Europe, and I was more than a little interested in finding out about what the new crop of recruits looked like. But before I could ask for a detailed report, Rogue Manor's early- warning radar began sounding an intruder alert.

No, it wasn't a high- tech burglar alarm-my dogs were hounding a black Lexus LS 460L as it sped up the driveway. Yappy, being male, took up the lead, with Macey and Rosie right behind him. Abbey hung back a bit, surveying the scene; she was the oldest, and had to present a dignified demeanor. I went out on the porch and watched the car fishtail around the curves and then slam to a stop in the muddy gravel in front of the house. The driver jumped from the front of the car as it stopped and tried to run around to open the rear passenger door. The dogs intercepted him, pinning him against the car. They weren't being malicious, nor were they hungry; they hadn't had a chance to play all day.

² Officially, Delta's "funny squadron" doesn't exist, and hasn't since it was created in 1993. Then again neither does Delta.

"Meomcheseyo!" shouted the man, and right there I had a feeling that the day was going to be more interesting than usual. Because not only was he speaking Korean-loosely translated, "Meomcheseyo!" means "God damn it, stop this bullshit right now!"-but he had a North Korean accent.

The problem was, in dog speak "Meomcheseyo!" means something like Come on and jump on my car, sniff my crotch, and hump my leg. The dogs were happy to comply. They were so excited I had to whistle three times before they remembered who kept their food dishes filled.

"Inside, now," I told them when they finally looked in my direction.

They gave the air a sniff, decided they didn't like what they smelled, and retreated.

With the dogs gone, a gorgeous woman emerged from the car. When I say gorgeous, I don't mean drop- dead gorgeous-I mean kick you in the throat, douse you with kerosene, burn you to a crisp with no trace of remorse gorgeous. She was Asian, and as I gathered, Korean. Black hair, red skirt-short, short skirt-and a figure that demanded you do politically incorrect things in public.

"Annyeonghaseyo," I told her, bowing my head, both in respect and to get a closer look at her legs.

"Enough with the Korean," she said sharply. "Your accent is terrible. You are Richard Marcinko, Mr. Rogue Warrior?"

"Dick to you," I said. "I love a woman who gets to the point."

Not to mention one who was holding a Smith & Wesson revolver six inches from my head. I can't imagine where she'd been hiding it; there sure wasn't any extra room in the dress.

"Nice pistol," I said.

"It's loaded, Dick."

"So are you."

"You are a very funny man, Mr. Marcinko."

The gun was a nice little S&W Chief 's Special, a Model 37 I believe, with the blued J frame. Manufactured by S&W back in the day, it was a .38 caliber snub- nose, still a nasty little customer if you're not expecting it.

The chauffeur, meanwhile, had recovered from his encounter with the dogs and was reaching into his jacket.

"You can point anything you want at me," I told the woman. "But if he takes a gun out of his pocket he's going to eat it. And then the dogs are going to eat him."

She said something to him in Korean. The chauffeur frowned, but kept what ever weapon he had holstered.

"So, Mr. Marcinko, you do not seem as brilliant in real life as you are on the page," said the woman, returning to English. "There is a little bit of fiction in your accounts, no?"

Everybody's a critic these days.

"Why don't you come inside and we can discuss that. My study is always open."

"You want to get me in bed, is that it?"

"If that's what it will take."

She moved the Smith & Wesson so that it was no longer aimed at my head, though I've often been accused of having my brains where she pointed it.

"I am not here to sleep with you," she told me.

"Who said anything about sleeping?"

She finally smiled. But that was the extent of our budding romance-Trace interrupted our tête-à-tête with a flying jump from the side roof, landing on my Korean guest. I grabbed the Smith & Wesson as it flew into the air.

"Meomcheseyo!" I told the chauffeur as he started to reach for his gun. "One more inch and you'll have a new hole to eat kimchi out of."

Red Skirt was beautiful, tough, and highly skilled in Korean kickboxing. Trace is just as beautiful, twice as tough, and is an Rogue Warrior: Dictator's Ransom 19 expert in Jeet Kune Do, the martial art that Bruce Lee made famous.

Wasn't much of a match. Trace had her pinned inside of ten seconds.

"All right, let her up," I said as the dust settled. "It's not every day the most hated dictator in the universe sends a personal representative to visit Rogue Manor."

Trace and Red Skirt gave me a funny look, but it was pretty obvious who she worked for. The only other people who would have been so rude were members of the Christians in Action- otherwise known as the CIA-and no intelligence officer was going to drive a Lexus limo this close to the Langley accounting staff.

"I am here to deliver an invitation," said Red Skirt.

"At the point of a gun?" asked Trace.

"In America, doesn't everyone travel with guns?" asked Red Skirt. "It is required by your Constitution."

She reached back into the limo and pulled out a leather briefcase. Trace tensed behind her as she opened it, but all she produced was an envelope. It was made of thick, fancy paper and had a wax seal at the back. It looked like the invitations I get when one of the great- aunt's grandchildren decides to get hitched.

"Mr. Rogue Warrior, hand- deliver" was written on the outside.

"Sealed with a kiss?" I asked, turning it over.

"Maybe we should check it for a bomb," said Trace.

I broke the fancy seal on the back and slipped open the envelope. There was an invitation inside, engraved of course, written in both English and Hangul, the Korean script.

At least I assume that's what those squiggly characters were about.

Dear Mister Marcinko: Your honorable presence for drinks and dinner is humbly requested by the great one, Kim Jong Il. Ms. Chimdae will make the arrangements.

There's something about being called "Mister"-especially when it's spelled out-that always gets me in a special place.

Usually my wallet.

"Thanks, but no thanks," I told Red Skirt, handing back the invitation. "Have a pleasant day."

Ms. Chimdae gave me a blank look. Obviously no one in her experience turned down a request from the Great Dictator.

I cracked open her pistol and slipped the bullets out, giving the cylinder a good spin before handing the gun back. "The dogs will be back out in a minute. Your chauffeur will probably feel more comfortable if you're off the property by then."

"You do not understand, Mr. Marcinko. This is a great honor," said Chimdae.

"No doubt."

"You be sorry for this, Rogue Warrior," chirped the chauffeur. "Very sorry."

"Words to live by," I said, turning around and heading for the door.

Excerpted from Rogue Warrior: Dictator's Ransom by Richard Marcinko and Jim Defelice

Copyright © 2008 by Richard Marcinko and Jim Defelice

Published in October 2008 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.

What People are Saying About This

Stephen Coonts
Dick Marcinko is the real McCoy, a warrior who has lived it.

Meet the Author

RICHARD MARCINKO is a living, breathing hero--he was honored with the silver star and four bronze stars for valor, along with two Navy Commendation medals and an assortment of other honors. After serving in Vietnam, he went on to start and command SEAL Team 6, the Navy's anti-terrorist group, and Red Cell, a high-level anti-terrorist unit whose exploits, fictionalized for security and legal reasons, have formed the basis of his novels. Besides an active speaking and consulting calendar, Marcinko keeps his hand in the field as the president of a private international security company and now lives in Warrington, Virginia.

JIM DeFELICE is the author of many military based thriller novels and is a frequent collaborator with Stephen Coonts, Larry Bond, and Richard Marcinko, among other New York Times bestselling authors. His solo novels include Leopards Kill, Threat Level Black, Coyote Bird, War Breaker, and My Brother's Keeper. He lives in New York.

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Dictator's Ransom 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
honoliipali More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read in the Rogue Warrior series by Richard Marcinko. I was not prepared for the different approach to writing by this author. The story is written in the first person. Even though it is fiction, the story seems very real. After reading about the author's past real life exploits, I realized that the author has actually experienced the reality he was writing about. I doubt that the author has ever actually been involved with the North Korean leaders, l have no doubt that the action in the book is something that he has experienced. This makes the book seem very real. Another thing that surprised me was the frequent use of dry humor. I enjoyed the light hearted aspects of the story both in the prose and in the footnotes. I did not find the characters to be compelling bu then, this is a pure action story. I will read more of this series of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of the Rogue Warrior books, but this one is a faster read than the other books in the series, and it's intertwined with a lot of sarcasm and humor. It's my favorite out of the Rogue Warrior series.
George88 More than 1 year ago
Demo Dick takes his show to Korea and China and has a blast. We ought to elect him President. There would be fewer problems in the world.
fireman More than 1 year ago
I've been reading Marcinkos books for over 10 years now.His orignial, an autobiography was one of the best books I've read.It is a must read. This last one Dictators Ransom does not dissapoint. He has another one coming out but dont know when. His books read like spy novels and also on the lines of the tv show The Unit. Mr Marcinko founded Seal Team 6 which was the Navy's version of Delta Force. He has a number of books out but also books on leadership the Seal way. Can't wait for the new one.
IceCole More than 1 year ago
Worth a read. The story line involving real world characters seems a bit much. Having read the jacket and some reviews, I was originally skeptical about reading "DR." However, after reading I felt it was worth the read. Dictators Ransom is toned down a bit from other Marcinko books. The continuing use of past characters remains true and strong to their development. If you have read other Rogue Warrior series of books, then this will be worth the time investment.
Marshall-Green More than 1 year ago
Thankfully, Marcinki and DeFelice have reduced the profanity in this book to focus on plot development. Putting the action in North Korea was a brilliant stroke along with an often hilarious look at the bunker mentality of Kim Jong II makes for a good read. It is a great read for a rainy afternoon and, in this troubled world, provides welcome escapism from your personal problems. The end is totally unexpected and provides rich material for the next book, which will be a must on your reading list if you read this one.
Laurette More than 1 year ago
I have read every book in the series and honestly they have taken a hit since losing John Weisman as a co-writer. The story is lacking some of the back story and realism that accompanied the first few books in the series. Still, for those who are fans of the series you will find familiar characters up against impossible odds and a great way to escape from your everyday life into a world that is, if anything, unpredictable. If you like this genre, I suggest hunting down a copy of, "Shadow Warrior" by John Weisman and Felix Rodriguez about the CIA's involvement in Cuba and South America - particularly the hunt for 'Che' Guevarra.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is nothing less than amazing and I got goosebumps from reading it more often than not. I love this book and Richard Marcinko is such a strong person. I am re-reading this book because it is just that amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books Ive ever read. Brutally honest. Anyone that wants to be SF or just loves reading about it, READ IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been into autobiographies, but this book had me absolutely hooked. I could not put this book down. Richard Marcinko mixes true life action with the greatest humor I've ever read. It just stuns me how badly the US government screwed him and he still has managed to keep his head held high. Hes a very strong willed and motivational person. You must read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What Chadz did for the Marines this past summer (Stand By to Fall Out) Dick did for the SEAls a few years ago. Both books have a patriotism, esprit de corps and a no holes barred attitude that allows a reader a look inside to see exactly what the Grunts (Chadz) and Seals (Marcinko) have to offer. Dick was a warrior, and those he served with followed his charge and completed the mission...if we could only get the boobs in washington and the silver spooners to erect the same type of backbone this country would once again be on top. After reading this, I do recommend Chadz's book for those interested in the grunt Marine's lifestyle and other books by Dick and other Warrior Marines.
Guest More than 1 year ago
911 would never have happened if our government would've left Dick Marcinko alone to warn the US of the real threat of terrorism. Unfortunately, too many pencil pushers make the decisions that real warriors with experience should be making instead. Do want a REAL story of a REAL American hero...? HERE'S YOUR BOOK! God bless the USA.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never been one to read, but this book, reccomended by a management class, was one that "kept me in the book" the entire time. I actually read the 2 nd book as well the same way. Absolutely wonderful
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dick takes you on a real life adventure through Vietnam and his time in the Navy. He embarrasses everyone in the military with his wild antics but in the end HE got the job done over and over again. I read it cover to cover in 4 days and could not get enough of the later works either. He writes in the first person which draws you in right away and holds you in the story until you have to pry yourself away. A real eye opener to how things are really run in the Navy and a glimpse at how they could and should be. Outstanding story and scary as hell, I'm just glad he's on our side.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No holds bar tale of a tough Navy SEAL. This guy is the best there is. He tells it like it is. Nobody can hold this guy back. This book inspired me to want to join a Special Forces. Must Read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one that will keep you completely absorbed. It is about one of the greatest Navy SEALs that ever lived and his experiences. He formed two elite groups of SEALs. This true story is very exciting, from Marcinko's days in Vietnam to his formation of SEAL Team Six and Red Cell. The story will keep you glued to the pages all the way through!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book I have ever read. It tought me alot about the U.S. Navy SEAL's. I have always wanted to be a SEAL, and this book helped to solidify the goal. HOOYAH!!
Ray_Finkle More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for any reality based novel or at least a creative piece of work with interesting characters - look elsewhere.