The Invisible (Ryan Kealey Series #3)

( 57 )


Tensions between Pakistan and India are at an all-time high. To complicate matters, twelve American climbers have disappeared in Pakistan's Hindu Kush range. As the conflict escalates, the U.S. Secretary of State's motorcade is ambushed on the outskirts of Islamabad. When her back-up team arrives, they discover a disastrous scene: dozens are dead, including seven diplomatic security agents, and the secretary of state has vanished without a trace.

In the wake of the unprecedented...

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Tensions between Pakistan and India are at an all-time high. To complicate matters, twelve American climbers have disappeared in Pakistan's Hindu Kush range. As the conflict escalates, the U.S. Secretary of State's motorcade is ambushed on the outskirts of Islamabad. When her back-up team arrives, they discover a disastrous scene: dozens are dead, including seven diplomatic security agents, and the secretary of state has vanished without a trace.

In the wake of the unprecedented attack, CIA agent Ryan Kealey's operation goes into high gear. Naomi Kharmai, the British-born analyst who has taken on a daring new role with the Agency, is on his team again. But Kharmai is becoming increasingly unpredictable, and as they work their way toward the target, it becomes clear to Kealey that anyone is fair game--and no one can be trusted.

Thundering to a stark and chilling climax, The Invisible raises the stakes on every page. A crackingly intelligent thriller, it is filled with shocking betrayal and, ultimately, revenge.

Praise for Andrew Britton and his novels. . .

"Brilliantly well-written. . .a sizzling page-turner." --Brad Thor, New York Times bestselling author of Blowback and State of the Union

"Terrifying and gripping." --Stephen Frey, New York Times bestselling author of The Successor

"In this age of terrorism, [Britton's] plots seem to jump straight out of the headlines." --St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Exciting. . .high-octane action."--Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

J. Charles use his extensive theatrical experience to inject some life into the audio version of Britton's third adventure of rogue CIA agent Ryan Kealey. While there are some tight action scenes, the setup is so predictable and cut from such worn fabric that nobody could do much with it. Still, Charles adds a bit of zest to Kealey, a degree of believability to some key female characters and to the "invisible" of the title, a terrorist called Amari Saifi, who has abducted several Americans in Pakistan. Despite Charles's best efforts, listeners will probably feel they've heard it all before. Sadly, the 27-year-old Britton died (of an undiagnosed heart condition) just weeks after the release of this novel. Simultaneous release with the Kensington hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 7). (Mar.)

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

  • ISBN-13: 9780786018024
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Series: Ryan Kealey Series, #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 154,738
  • Product dimensions: 4.44 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in England, Andrew Britton moved with his family to the United States when he was seven, settling in Michigan, then North Carolina. After serving in the Army as a combat engineer, Andrew entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his degree just before his death in 2008, at the age of 27.
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Read an Excerpt

By ANDREW BRITTON KENSINGTON BOOKS Copyright © 2008 Andrew Britton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-1335-8


The whitewashed hotel at the foot of the Svínafellsjökull Glacier was simple, comfortable, and nearly empty, even though the roads were clear and spring had just given way to the short Arctic summer. In short, it was everything the lone traveler had been looking for when he'd walked into town two days earlier, legs aching from a day's worth of arduous trekking. It had been nearly three weeks since he'd departed the sprawling capital of Reykjavík, based 200 miles to the west, and he'd spent most of that time crossing the bleak Icelandic wilderness on foot. The Skaftafell Hotel seemed almost luxurious after his previous accommodations, a cramped, foul-smelling hut on the Morsárdalur mountain track. Still, he would have been satisfied with much less.

Southeastern Iceland was only the latest stop on what had become a prolonged expedition to some of the world's most challenging environments. Ryan Kealey wasn't exactly starting from scratch, as he'd spent his teens and early twenties hiking and climbing in places ranging from Washington's Mount Rainier to Ben Nevis in Scotland, but he'd never pushed himself as hard as he had in recent months. He knew where this sudden desire to test himself had come from, but while he had tried to address the source, he'd been unable to come up with any real answers. In large part, this was because he couldn't find the woman who'd caused him so much pain and frustration, despite his best efforts and high-level connections.

She'd walked out in January, four months after a terrorist attack in New York City that had nearly claimed her life. Kealey had waited for two months, putting out feelers, calling in favors, but it had gotten him nowhere. By the time March rolled around, he'd finally admitted defeat, accepting that she didn't want to be found. He'd pushed it aside for another few weeks, but then, tired of sitting around with nothing to do but think about her, he'd decided to strike out on his own. His only goal at the time was to clear his head, lose himself in the raw, primitive beauty of the world's most isolated regions.

That had been three months earlier. Since then he'd climbed Denali in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in northeastern Tanzania, and Mount Cook in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. He'd crossed Chile's Atacama Desert at its widest point, scaled Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, and completed the 60-mile, six-day Paine Circuit in Patagonia. He had beaten his body to the point of sheer exhaustion and then had pushed harder, but nothing had helped. It had taken him half a year to figure it out, but the truth had been staring him right in the face the whole time. No matter what he did or where he went, he couldn't stop thinking about Naomi Kharmai.

Kealey had been sorting it through in his mind since the day she'd disappeared, trying to figure out what he could have said or done to stop her from leaving. It was hard to pick out the worst part about the whole situation. It was all bad, but some aspects were worse than others. When he thought about it honestly, it wasn't the fact that she had left that troubled him most. What really bothered him was her inability to face the past. The terrorist attack that nearly claimed her life the previous September had left her scarred in more ways than one, and while Kealey had done his best to help her through it, she had never fully recovered. At least not on the inside. In fact, the last time he'd seen her, she was still very much in denial.

It weighed heavily on him, and it was hard not to feel a sense of personal failure. If she had left because she needed more than what he had to offer, that would have been one thing. It would have been hard, but he could have dealt with it. What concerned him was that she might have gotten worse since walking out-that she might have spiraled further into her inner sanctum of guilt, grief, and depression. He didn't want to push her, but he would have given anything to hear her voice, if only to know that she was still alive.

Shifting the weight of the pack on his shoulders, Kealey crossed the dark gravel expanse of the parking lot, heading toward the hotel's main entrance. Stopping well short of the building's lights, he looked up and appraised the clear night sky. The stars had come out an hour earlier, and they were shockingly bright, given the dimly lit surrounding countryside. Svínafellsjökull towered behind the low-slung building, the glacier itself a dark silhouette against the deep navy backdrop. Ribbons of green light seemed to ripple and dance in the crisp, clean mountain air. The aurora borealis-better known as the northern lights-was something that he'd never seen before landing in Keflavík, and the sight was at once ethereal and incredibly eerie.

After admiring the view for a few minutes more, Kealey pulled open the door and nodded hello to the plump, smiling receptionist. She returned the gesture and went back to her crossword puzzle as he climbed the stairs, making his way up to the bar on the second floor. The worn oak doors were propped open, dim light flickering into the hall. Stepping into the room, he pulled off his wool knit watch cap, ran a hand through his lank black hair, and started toward the bar. The walls were paneled in pale oak, uninspired prints hanging around the room and above the fireplace, where a small fire was burning. The dark green couches, shiny with wear, complemented the worn carpet perfectly, and burgundy velvet drapes hung behind the bar itself, where a morose young man stood guard behind the small selection of taps. Kealey had just finished ordering a beer when he sensed movement over by one of the large windows. He turned and stared for a few seconds, appraising the solitary figure. Then he lifted a hand in cautious greeting. Turning back to the bar, he revised his order, his mind racing. Less than a minute later he was walking across the room, a pint glass in each hand, wondering what might have brought this particular visitor halfway around the world.

Jonathan Harper was seated with his back to the wall, his right foot hooked casually over his left knee. He was dressed in dark jeans, Merrell hiking boots, and a gray V-neck sweater, but despite his youthful attire, the deputy DCI-the second-highest-ranking official in the Central Intelligence Agency-looked far older than his forty-three years. His neat brown hair was just starting to gray at the temples, but his face was gaunt, and his skin was shockingly pale. His mannerisms were even more noticeable. He seemed shaky and slightly guarded, but also resigned, like an old man who senses the end is near. All of this was to be expected, though, and Kealey knew it could have been worse. In truth, the man was extremely lucky to still be alive.

Kealey placed the beers on the water-stained table, shrugged off his jacket, and slid into the opposite seat. They appraised each other for a long moment. Finally, Harper offered a slight smile and extended a hand, which the younger man took.

"Good to see you, Ryan. It's been a long time."

"I suppose so," Kealey said. He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms in a casual way. "About seven months, I guess. When did you get here?"

"I flew into Keflavík this morning, but the bus only arrived a few hours ago."

"Sorry to keep you waiting. How have you been?"

"Not bad, all things considered." Harper took a short pull on his lager, coughed sharply, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "The doctors are happy enough, so I guess that's something."

"And Julie?"

"She's fine. I think she secretly enjoys having a patient again, though she'd never admit it."

"Knowing her, it wouldn't surprise me at all," Kealey replied. He knew that Harper's wife had worked for years as a head nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the best hospitals in the country. The smile faded from his face as he debated going forward with his next question. Finally, he went ahead and asked it.

"What about Jane Doe? Any luck on that front?"

"Not a thing. I'm starting to think we'll never find her. Even if we did, it's not like we could hand her over to the FBI. There just isn't enough evidence to charge her with anything. They never found the gun, you know."

Kealey nodded slowly. Eight months earlier, the newly appointed deputy director had narrowly survived an assassination attempt in Washington, D.C. The attack had taken place on the front step of his brownstone on General's Row, just as he was stretching after his morning run. Harper had been facing away from his armed assailant when the first shot was fired. The .22-caliber round penetrated his lower back, then ricocheted off the third rib and up through the right lung. The second and third rounds had torn into his upper arm as he turned toward the shooter, and the fourth had punched a hole in his chest, missing his heart by less than an inch.

The woman had been moving forward as she fired, and by the time the fourth round left the muzzle of her gun, she was less than 10 feet from her target. As she approached to fire the fatal shot, a D.C. Metro police cruiser had squealed to a halt on Q Street, lights flashing. The police officer's arrival on the scene had been pure chance, nothing but luck, but it had saved the deputy director's life. The woman fired at the officer as he stepped out of the vehicle, killing him instantly, but the distraction gave Julie Harper-who had been making coffee when the first shots were fired-the chance to open the door and pull her husband inside to safety.

Unfortunately, the would-be assassin managed to escape in the ensuing chaos, even though the Metro Police Department was able to seal off the surrounding streets with astonishing speed. What followed was one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history, but despite the enormous resources it had thrown into the search, the government had yet to track her down.

The CIA had looked harder and longer than anyone else, of course, and in time, they'd managed to dig up a few tenuous leads. "Jane Doe" had been involved with a former Special Forces soldier named William Vanderveen. In 1997, while on deployment in Syria, Vanderveen had made the decision to sell his skills to some of the world's most dangerous terrorist organizations. From that point forward, he'd earned-through countless acts of cold-blooded murder-his status as one of the most wanted men in the world. The connection between Vanderveen and the would-be assassin was based on photographs taken in London by Britain's Security Service, MI5. The men who took the shots were assigned to "A" branch, Section 4, the "Five" unit tasked with domestic surveillance. The shots showed Vanderveen and the unknown woman walking side by side in the heart of the city, but despite the excellent image resolution, the photographs had proved useless. The Agency's facial recognition software had failed to find a reliable match in the database. MI5, the French DGSE, and the Israeli Mossad had also come up empty, as had a number of other friendly intelligence services.

In other words, the woman was a black hole, a nonentity. Kealey knew how much it bothered Harper that she'd never been caught, but as he'd just said, there had been no progress on that front. This realization brought Kealey to his next point.

"John, it's good to see you again, but what exactly are you doing here?"

The deputy director didn't respond right away. Instead, he picked up his beer and swirled the contents thoughtfully.

"I'm surprised to hear you ask me that first," he finally said. "I thought you might be wondering how I found you." He looked up and studied the younger man. "You know, I have a few questions of my own. For instance, I'd like to know why you haven't set foot on U.S. soil in two and a half months. I mean, I spend half that time looking for you, and when I finally catch up, I find you . . ." He trailed off and lifted his arms, as if to include the whole country.

There was an unspoken question there, but Kealey wasn't sure how to answer it. When he'd set out three months earlier, it was without a plan. Without a real idea of what he was looking for. But whatever it was, he'd found it on the alpine tundra and the vast, seemingly endless ice fields of Iceland. He'd found it in Alaska, Tanzania, Patagonia, and all the other places he'd seen in recent months. For lack of a better word, it was solitude, the kind of terrain where one could walk for days without hearing a sound other than the wind. It was what he had wanted at the time-what he still wanted, to a certain degree-and he couldn't explain why. Naomi's disappearance had played a role, but that was only part of it. Something else had instilled in him the desire to get away from it all, though he had yet to identify the secondary cause for his restless behavior.

"I'd also like to know where you picked up a French passport in the name of Joseph Briand," Harper continued. He paused expectantly. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to volunteer the information."

Kealey gave a wan smile, and that was answer enough.

"I didn't think so. It's funny, seeing how you don't even speak French. A Saudi passport would have been far more-"

"Comment savez-vous que je ne parle pas français?"

"Okay, so you speak a little French." The older man couldn't conceal a small, fleeting smile of his own. "It's good to see you're expanding your horizons."

"Just trying to keep my mind active."

"Sounds like you're ready to return to the ranks."

"Not in this lifetime." Kealey shook his head and looked away. "And if that's why you're here, John, you're wasting your time. I'm not interested. I've done my part."

"We've already played this game, Ryan, on more occasions than I care to recall. You say the same thing every time, but when it comes down to the wire, you always-"

"I meant it when I said it before," the younger man shot back. "And I mean it now." His face tightened suddenly, his dark eyes retreating to some hidden point in the past. "I just didn't walk away when I should have. That was my biggest mistake. There was always something else that had to be done. Before it was Vanderveen, and at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. But you know what it cost me to track him down, and then last year, with Naomi . . ."

Harper nodded slowly, his face assuming a somber expression. "I know what it cost you, Ryan, and I know what it cost Naomi." He hesitated, then said, "You may not believe this, but I personally advised the president against bringing you into this matter. I told him everything you just said to me. I told him that you've done your part. That you wouldn't be interested. He didn't want to hear a word. After what you did in New York last year, he won't have it any other way. As far as David Brenneman is concerned, you're the first and only choice, at least when it comes to the current situation."

"And you couldn't say no to the president," Kealey said sarcastically. "Is that it?" He didn't bother asking what "the current situation" was; simply put, he didn't care to know.

"That's part of it," Harper conceded. "But there's another reason you need to be involved, and once you hear me out, I think you'll feel the same way."

Kealey studied the older man for a long moment without speaking. Jonathan Harper was one of the smartest people he knew, but he could also be extremely manipulative. They had known each other for nearly a decade, ever since Harper had first "sheep-dipped" him for an off-the-books assignment in Syria. "Sheep-dipping" was a term that referred to the temporary recruitment of active-duty soldiers for "black," or deniable, operations. Usually, the CIA had a hand in the process, and Kealey's first task was no exception. At the time he had been a captain in the U.S. Army's 3rd Special Forces Group, and that assignment-the assassination of a senior Islamic militant-had changed him forever, as well as putting him on the path to a new career.


Excerpted from THE INVISIBLE by ANDREW BRITTON Copyright © 2008 by Andrew Britton. 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
( 57 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    This writer will be missed

    Excellent writer. I will miss his works. I also recommend Michael Connelly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Must read political thriller!

    As a lover of political and military thrillers, this book was right up there with the best. As the third in the series, it lived up to expectations and more. The characters are three dimensional and the plot is thick with intrigue and twists. Britton is a brilliant author, especially considering his young age. I highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Visibly Better

    The Invisible holds no surprises as it is a pretty standard tale of an action hero who follows his own rules. I liked it better than Britton's previous book The Assassin, and can recommend it for airport and beach readers who just want an interesting tale to fill the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014


    A real thriller complex but unnderstandable hard to put down a very excellent read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011


    Being female and not that interested in military hardware, I found some of the descriptions/information about weapons, places a bit tedious.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    MUST READ!!!

    Andrew Britton was a GREAT author. I loved this book! its nice to read a book when the plot isnt boringly predictable. I couldnt put it down. Dont miss out on all his great books!

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  • Posted December 11, 2010

    Kealy kicks butt again

    Another thrilling Ryan Kealy episode. I've enjoyed all three so far!

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Review of "the Invisible".

    Suspenseful book which i could barely put down. R.I.P. Andrew Britton.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    Good Story

    Well written. Keeps you reading to see what happens.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Very real characters

    ¿What an exciting novel. If you enjoy reading of terrorists and CIA then you should like the three novels so far of Ryan Kealey. I believe Andrew Britton will be up there with the best of them as more people discover him.<BR/>The Invisible was a truly exciting read. Very difficult to turn off the events that run through your head constantly when reading this book. Britton has an excellent writing style his characters are so very real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008


    If you are looking for a book to give you an action fix this is the book for you. Britton obviously either traveled a lot, or spent a lot of time on research, his background information is far beyond that found in other books of the same type. This is the perfect book for your plane ride or an afternoon under the shade tree. The players in the story are complex in their own ways, making it a page turner. So set aside all other plans for a day or two as once you start on it, it is very difficult to set it aside.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2008

    Not that Great

    I was so disappointed with this book! The first two were fantastic! Could not put them down! This book I was halfway into before it became interesting. Come on Andrew, you can do better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2008


    A fantastic book. Only one of two authors that can hold the attention of a non-reader like myself (Brad Thor is the other). The Parallel story lines, tense drama, and Ryan Kealey a fascinating and deep character, make this book so addictive it's difficult to put down. The book is very well researched and its mentions of actual international events adds to the realism. I am reading all 3 again in this series he's that good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008


    Britton's third novel is a smoothly very well written, suspenseful story of international intrigue. Ryan Kealey, ex-CIA agent with a troubled past, is called out of retirement to find out whether two seemingly isolated events are connected: the kidnapping of tourists in Pakistan and the abduction of the U.S. secretary of state. Ryan is reluctant to take the job, even more reluctant to resume contact with a woman he once cared about deeply. As he hunts for the notorious terrorist leader who may be behind the incidents, Ryan realizes quickly that his own life is at risk. Britton is a very exciting and unpredictable writer, without ever crossing the line into B-movie clichés.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008


    Britton has delivered yet another hit. Although this book is the 3rd in the Ryan Kealy series, it has a life of it's own, and by far the darkest tale yet. You can feel Kealy's intense desire to cross the line. In The Invisible Kealy shows his true colors as the Maverick he has been labeled by the press. An excellent, fast paced, & very well written thriller, Britton has surpassed himself. I have a feeling we will see this one on the big screen. my overall thought is that The whole Kealy series would make great TV.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008


    I am a 21 years old I loved this novel very very much,i liked the Kealey character very much because he was very HUMAN! He worried about his companion, and comrade, and the woman he had fallen in fall with, Naomi Kharmai. Kealey does not know who he can trust and has to push his fears and doubts aside and focus on the mission to rescue the Secretary of State. I also liked Harper what a real character!!!the writer of this book was only 2 years older than me when he wrote it, so I am amazed at him and I plan to read all of his books from now on. Everyone should read this novel. THANKS from Steve Obons

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008


    I¿ve been told by friends in the book club about Britton's books but had not read them. This was my first. That said, I didn¿t know any of the recurring characters or their stories, yet it didn¿t make a difference. The story makes perfect sense without foreknowledge of the characters, and this was still a great book. The Invisible opens in Pakistan Britton takes his readers on a terrifying ride as American tourists are held hostage and the US government has to take a stand. gripping stuff. I was engrossed and throughly enjoyed it. I have since purchased his first 2 novels and plan to read The Invisible again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008


    I am beginning to question Andrew Britton he seems to have the Nostradamus touch. Always a step in front of news headlines. Pakistan was NOT on the radar when he started writing The Invisible. NOW it is the main news, as is this action packed extremely tense novel.As with the other two, I was hooked from the start. Looking forward to more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008


    An exciting political thriller that grips you from the start. Readers should be prepared for extreme TENSION.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008


    I just finished reading THE INVISIBLE and it was thrilling Once I got into it, I didn't want to put it down. It was certainly believable in this time that we are living. I have not previously read anything by Andrew Britton, but I do intend to look for his previous novels.And I will watch for anything he writes again in the future. I envy him his talent but wish him luck on future writings.

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