( 12 )


"A secret Department of Homeland Security is recruiting agents to work undercover in the Middle East, and the director wants his second-in-command, Matt Egan, to bring aboard an old friend, Salam al Fayed - better known as Fade." "He seems perfect for the job: A New Yorker and ex-Navy Seal, he is the son of immigrants and he speaks perfect Arabic. Trouble is, he's "retired"; he got shot in the back in the line of duty, and the U.S. government refused to pay for the risky surgery that could have helped him." "Now Fade lives the life of a hermit,
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"A secret Department of Homeland Security is recruiting agents to work undercover in the Middle East, and the director wants his second-in-command, Matt Egan, to bring aboard an old friend, Salam al Fayed - better known as Fade." "He seems perfect for the job: A New Yorker and ex-Navy Seal, he is the son of immigrants and he speaks perfect Arabic. Trouble is, he's "retired"; he got shot in the back in the line of duty, and the U.S. government refused to pay for the risky surgery that could have helped him." "Now Fade lives the life of a hermit, walking around with a bullet lodged near his spine and liable to shift at any moment, and the last thing he wants to hear is that his country needs him - least of all, his ex-best friend, Matt Egan, whom he sees as responsible for his present condition." Against Egan's wishes, the director forces the issue and tries none too subtly to "persuade" Fade to join the team. But Fade, angry and hopeless, is prepared to fight back at any cost, and the ensuing confrontation is a bloody one. And the chase is on - will Matt be able to find his friend-turned-fugitive before Fade can take the ultimate revenge?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Since 9/11, even the best thriller writers have been constricted by stock heroes (mostly ex-military white Americans) and villains (mostly Arab terrorists) who make it hard to tell one book from another. Leave it to Mills (Smoke Screen) to solve that problem in an exciting, original way. His Salam al Fayed (aka Fade), an American agent of Arab ancestry and a former navy SEAL, is as tough and loyal as they come. But when his latest mission ends in failure and his government employers treat him badly, Fade becomes increasingly bitter. So when his former friend and colleague, Matt Egan, is ordered by the head of a secret agency of the Department of Homeland Security to persuade Fade to put aside his anger and join an undercover team in the Middle East, Fade has a one-word answer-in English as well as Arabic. Egan, who's almost as interesting a character as Fade, is full of guilt for what happened to his old friend, but he also knows that his boss is right: Fade is perfect for the new assignment. In fact, all the government people are fully credible within the boundaries of their responsibilities. Mills's prose is crisp and his action skills are top-notch. In Fade, he has created a true thriller hero for the present and the immediate future. Agent, Simon Lipskar at Writers House. Author tour. (June 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Homeland Security tries to bring a crack agent out of retirement, setting off a cat-and-mouse game in a rather thin thriller. Salam Al Fayad, or "Fade," is the man a new division of Homeland Security badly wants to carry out a mission in the Middle East. But Fade is having none of it. During a nasty ambush while on duty a few years earlier, he took a bullet to his spine. The wound left him vulnerable to complete paralysis, and the government refused to cover surgery that might eliminate the threat. But Fade's near seclusion doesn't deter wily Hillel Strand at Homeland Security from trying to enlist Fade for the vital assignment. From Fade's past, Strand ferrets out information about drug dealing to persuade the agent to come back to work. As further leverage, Strand tips off some cops that Fade may be the serial killer they're seeking. When the police stakeout backfires-sharpshooter Fade takes out several cops-Strand is in a spot: Fade, now wise to Strand's ruse, could go public, exposing Strand's tactics. Strand dispatches associate Matt Egan, telling him to do whatever is necessary to silence Fade. Would Egan kill Fade? The two had bonded on earlier missions. Both a sense of loyalty and the awareness of Fade's lethal skills dog Egan's pursuit. Also drawn into the chase is police detective Karen Manning, out to avenge the deaths of her fellow officers in the earlier shootout at Fade's home. Author Kyle (Smoke Screen, 2003) thus sets in motion a three-way pursuit, building a fair amount of suspense as he leads to the final confrontation and having some fun along the way-there's a particularly entertaining scene involving a car fit for James Bond. Tricky enough, but with underdevelopedcharacters, stilted dialogue, and often clunky prose. Author tour
From the Publisher
Advance praise for Fade:

“Lead character Salam Al Fayed—‘Fade’—is a first-ballot certainty for the Thriller Hall of Fame.” —Lee Child, author of The Enemy

Praise for Kyle Mills:

“Gripping and interesting to the last, Free Fall is bound to cement Mills’s place near the top of the suspense genre.”—The Denver Post on Free Fall

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312335786
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 364
  • Sales rank: 332,836
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Kyle Mills grew up in Oregon but, as the son of an FBI agent, he has lived all over the country and overseas. He is the author of six novels: Rising Phoenix, Storming Heaven, Free Fall, Burn Factor, Sphere of Influence, and Smoke Screen. An avid rock climber, he and his wife now live in Wyoming.

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Read an Excerpt


By Kyle Mills

St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 0-312-33577-6

Chapter One

At first, the sound didn't seem like much-a quiet crunching that barely managed to penetrate the heavy curtains flapping across his open window. Fade stopped breathing and turned his head in the darkness, listening intently. A raccoon? No, the sound, though quiet, had a certain weight to it. Another black bear looking to get at his garbage can? Maybe. Or maybe it was Hillel Strand, coming to make him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Fade pictured aiming a twelve-gauge at that closely shaved face and blowing the smug expression right off it. Of course Strand was unlikely to ever make a personal appearance. He'd undoubtedly send a team of former Special Forces guys more qualified to persuade Fade to see the error of his ways.

But he'd decided not to let that happen. Instead, he'd take out as many of Strand's men as he could before they finally put a bullet in him. A fittingly violent and futile end to a violent and futile life.

The sound didn't come again and Fade closed his eyes, concentrating on the image of Hillel Strand with a shotgun barrel a few inches from his nose. Maybe that was a dream world he could insert himself into. Something a little closer to reality.

He'd barely settled back on the mattress when he heard another quiet crunch, this time close enough to discern detail. The depth and length of it confirmed his suspicion that its source was heavy. The possibility of the soft pad of a bear's paw, though, was lost in the sound's crisp edge. Based on his considerable experience, that particular attack and decay was only caused by one thing. A boot.

Fade remained motionless on the bed, realizing suddenly that he wasn't in the mood for this tonight. He had undoubtedly just entered the last half hour of his life and all he could think about was how much trouble dying was going to be. A sure sign of having lived too long.

The man rather sloppily creeping up on him was getting close enough to force a decision. Fade had a pistol and the temptation to just shoot half-heartedly at whatever face appeared in his window was fairly strong. But then all that preparation and money would have been wasted. Seemed like a shame.

He quietly slid the blanket off his legs and crawled across the room. Keeping the fluttering curtains in his peripheral vision, he stood and stretched his arms overhead, unlatching a small door cut into the wall that led to his attic. It opened smoothly on brand new hinges and he swung himself up into it on a slightly creakier spine.

The "command center" he'd constructed didn't have the aesthetic grace he normally strived for, but time had been short and sacrifices had to be made. He lay down in something that looked disturbingly like a badly welded steel coffin with no lid and ran his finger along the edge of a bank of small monitors in front of him. Finally finding a switch, he flipped it and was immediately bathed in a dim green light that he'd made sure wouldn't be visible through the door.

He turned on the rest of the monitors, careful not to bump a series of switches he'd screwed to a piece of plywood or the heavily modified model airplane radio control lying next to him. After checking the neatly arranged M16, combat knife, and 9mm pistol, he refocused his attention on the small screens.

The images were surprisingly detailed. It was uncanny what you could get off the Internet these days. Most of the stuff was measurably better than the supposedly state-of-the-art stuff he'd worked with at the CIA only a few years before.

Honestly, he was surprised they worked at all. It had seemed likely that the team sent for him would be jamming the radio transmission from the cameras he'd set up. Using hard-wired ones had just seemed like too much trouble. Stranger yet, was that the generator he'd set up in the basement hadn't kicked on. His power hadn't been cut. Maybe he'd lost his touch. Maybe he was hiding from a squirrel.

The squirrel didn't materialize but a man in black fatigues holding a small assault rifle did, running up beneath the night vision enabled camera hidden above Fade's front door.

A few moments later, there was motion on nearly every screen and he silently scanned them, watching men settling into the obvious positions that he'd created by digging a few natural swales in his yard and breaking off a number of strategic tree branches. Once they were settled in, two more men appeared at his back door, taking positions on either side of it. Fade eased his nose a little closer to the far right monitor, trying to see if anyone was covering his workshop but lost interest when he realized that he'd forgotten one obvious item. Clothes. It looked like he was going to make his last stand in a pair of Bugs Bunny boxer shorts. At least they were reasonably new.

The monitor set up in a tree that would offer a sniper a perfect view of the front and sides of the house was still empty, which seemed kind of strange. Did they have some new techie gizmo that made that vantage point unnecessary? One of those unmanned things that hovered over the battlefield like a blimp over a football game? Were those things armed now? Something didn't feel right.

He propped himself up on his elbows and managed to shrug. Based on the ultimate objective of this operation, it wasn't really worth getting in a twist over the details. Besides, he'd never been one to worry about technology. Sure, it had its place in large theaters, but in situations like these it just tended to split people's focus. Assuming, of course, that whatever gadget you were relying on hadn't gotten a little dirt in it and stopped working.

Truthfully, he'd bought the monitors he was using based completely on their fun factor. If he'd known they were actually going to work, he'd have bought more and put a few farther afield. Was Strand out there somewhere within reach? Probably not. But Matt Egan would be. He'd be directing this little pageant, which pretty much guaranteed that Fade's time on this earth was coming to an end. Egan possessed an unusual combination of creativity and anal-retentiveness that had been truly confidence inspiring when Fade was working for him. But now it would undoubtedly prove deadly.

He tried to imagine lining his sites up on Egan and pulling the trigger but found it a much harder image to conjure than the one starring Hillel Strand. He tried again, but couldn't get past centering the crosshairs. Faced with it for real, though, he told himself, he'd goddamn well take the shot.

One man in the front and one in the back slipped through their respective unlocked doors simultaneously. Fade switched to interior cameras and watched them do an initial sweep of the living room and kitchen before being followed by their two comrades. The remainder of the team stayed outside, one in front and the other in back, both lying in the comfy indentions provided for them.

Fade continued to toggle back and forth through his interior cameras as the four men moved cautiously through his house. After a complete sweep, they relaxed a bit and began to turn lights on. As promised in the glossy brochure that had accompanied them, the amazing little cameras adjusted automatically to the new light levels. And they'd even been on sale.

Two of the men had taken up positions in his living room and the other two in his bedroom. They seemed to be just standing at the foot of his bed while one of them chatted into his throat mike.

Fade had access to both rooms-the bedroom through the attic door and the living room through a panel he'd cut in the ceiling. The question was what should he do with that access. He assumed they'd looked up the architectural details of the house, so it seemed likely that they would suspect he was up there. Were they trying to draw him out? Of course. It was clearly a trap, but what kind of trap? They were just standing there with their guns hanging at their sides. What was that sneaky bastard Egan up to?

He watched one of the men in the living room walk over and examine a heavy piece of steel plate with a handle welded to it lying on the floor in front of a large fireplace. He didn't seem to know what to make of it. In the bedroom, one of the men had taken off his gloves and was moving toward the bed, likely to see if it was still warm. Another attempt to draw him out?

Fade smiled and shook his head. This was all ego-he just didn't want to be outsmarted. Best to keep in mind the end result he was after: Essentially lots of gunfire, a few cool explosions, and his own death. If he stayed up there much longer, the only thing he was going to die of was curiosity.

Grabbing the M16 next to him, he lifted himself out of his steel coffin and threw open the attic door.


Excerpted from Fade by Kyle Mills 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 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    Slow starter!!!

    I have to say that it took some time for me to finish this book. The difficult part is to finish the first 200 pages. The story goes nowhere. It is the last 100 pages, which makes the story interesting. The author does a good job in getting our sympathy for the main character 'Fade'. However, you have to put the logic in the back burner. The whole of United states is searching the protaganist and he happily roams around everywhere. I felt this book was much much better than his other book 'Burn Factor'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2015

    Windsong bio

    Age 19 moons. Looks grey with a whiteish tinge. Has battle scars. Brown eyes. Gender female. Persona sweet and gentle. Likes kits. Will attack if povoked. Past does not talk about. Mate none. Kits Greenkit- brown tom with white paws. Crush none

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2015

    Articpaw and Bramblepaw's Bio!!!!!!!!

    ~Name.:. Bramblepaw
    ~Age.:. So rude!
    ~Gender.:. Female, she-cat, &female
    ~Rank.:. Apprentice
    ~Personality.:. She is kind, loving, open-hearted, but sometimes she is distrusting and mystirious.
    ~Main Pelt~ Her pelt is a dark brown and black tabby she-cat. She has destinctibe white chest and paws. Her muzzle has white slashes on it.
    ~Pelt Description~ Sleek and beautiful. Long fur.
    ~Eyes~ Deep, dark amber.
    As a kit, she was raised in BrokenClan, where her ambitious father, Rabidstar, led many cats to their deaths. "You two are a disappointment to me. Leave, or be killed," Rabidstar said to her and her brother. Their mother was in MistClan, so they were half-Clans. Rabidstar killed their mother, to prove his loyalty. When they were looking for a new home, they stumbled across FadedClan, and were fully accepted into this wonderful Clan.
    ~Mother~ Hollyberry, MistClan (Dead)
    ~Father~ Rabidstar, BrokenClan (Alive)
    ~Brother(s)~ Articpaw, FadedClan (Alive)
    Name.:. Articpaw
    Age.:. Same as Bramblepaw
    Gender.:. Tom, male, &male
    Main Pelt..:;:.. Artic/snow white.
    Pelt Description..:;:.. Sleek, Short
    Eyes..:;:.. Frosty white with gold flecks
    Personality.:. Protective, kind, out going
    History is the same as Bramblepaw's

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2014

    Lightsinger's Super Short Bio of Awesomeness

    Name: Lightsinger <p>

    Age: 19 moons<p>

    Appearance: A black and white spotted she.<p>

    Gender: Female.<p>Other: Ask.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2014

    Ravenhesrts bio

    Name: Ravenheart** Gender: she-cat** Age: 23 moons** Mate/kits/crush: nope,nope,and yes** Rank: warrior** Looks: dark ginger with cream paws and black tipped ears. Her fur is very soft but not fluffy. Blue eyes.** Family: Rushingfall( father) Quailwish(mother) Willowpool(sister)** History: her parents died when a blizzard hit and Willowpool disappeared. Ravenheart was left alone with very little suvival since she was at 2 moons old until she came here.** Personality: kind, warm, protective, and quick- learning.** Other:just ask at 'gullivers travels res 3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2015

    Stormfire & Moonshine's Bios~1.0

    Name:: Stormfire <br>
    Age:: 19 Moons or so <br>
    Gender:: T &male M <br>
    Rank:: Deputy <br>
    Appearance:: Gray tom with lighter splotches. Cobalt blue eyes. Cunning, strong, sharp claws, good hunter, great fighter. <br>
    Personality:: Kind, warm, opens up to you if he trusts you. When he trusts you, you may ask about his history. Be careful though. <br>
    Crush:: Maybe, Maybe Not, Who Knows? <br>
    Mate:: None <br>
    Kits:: None <br>
    History:: If I trust you, ask... Maybe... <br>
    Other:: ASK!!
    Name:: Moonshine <br>
    Age:: 19 moons or so <br>
    Gender:: F E M &female L E <br>
    Rank:: Medicine Cat Apprentice <br>
    Appearance:: Light gray pelt with yellow eyes. Smart, has a few scars, has a bit battle experience. <br>
    Personality:: Loves herbs, strong, a bit, clever. <br>
    Crush:: None <br>
    Mate:: None <br>
    Kits:: None <br>
    History:: Don't ask! <br>
    Other:: ASK!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Echo's bio

    Name: EchoFeather, but goes by Echo <br>
    Gender: &female <br>
    Looks: Black cat with white-tipped ears and white paws. A bit of her left ear is gone- from a fight with a tom. She has exotic green eyes and short fur. <br
    Mate/kits: nope <br>
    Crush: has one <br>
    History: As mentioned before, she wa in a fight with a tom. She won, by accident actually, the tom had climbed up a tree and an eagle got to him. She was kidnapped by BloodClan as a kit, and her pareets were taken by two-legs. As for siblings, she HAD a sister named FalconSpirit in ThunderClan.....but she went missing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Fun Read!

    Kyle Mills is a favorite author and FADE is a favorite book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Great as usual

    Great story about the things that happen to keep our country what the way our public wants it without knowing the true relity of what it takes to do so, and waht the men who took the job have to go through and sacrafice. Grrat read s usual from Mills. Rising phoenix wasthe first novel i read and Mjlls got me hooked with Mark Beamon. I have read all of the Beamon series, great reads.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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