No Survivors

No Survivors

4.6 3
by Tom Cain
     
 

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The Accident Man returns in a heart-stopping race to prevent a global holy war

Tom Cain's The Accident Man introduced Samuel Carver-a man hired to make bad things happen-to rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Now, Carver is back in a new adventure that takes him from the war rooms of Washington, D.C., and the palaces of the French

Overview

The Accident Man returns in a heart-stopping race to prevent a global holy war

Tom Cain's The Accident Man introduced Samuel Carver-a man hired to make bad things happen-to rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Now, Carver is back in a new adventure that takes him from the war rooms of Washington, D.C., and the palaces of the French Riviera to the Arctic peaks of Norway and the war-torn Serbian countryside.

Carver finds himself lying broken and damaged in a Swiss sanitarium after rescuing his lover, Alix Petrova, from her Russian spymaster. But when Alix's former employers force her to leave him and seduce an American military official, Carver emerges, shockingly and violently, as his former self-just in time to discover a Texas billionaire's messianic plot to destroy the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

John Lee brings a strong sense of character and place to Cain's sequel to his acclaimed 2008 thriller, The Accident Man. In this installment, assassin Samuel Carver is in a sanitarium, having suffered life-threatening injuries while saving his girlfriend, former Russian agent Alix Petrova, from her former handlers. Nearly catatonic and amnesiac, Carver uses his considerable deadly talents in his quest to find Alix, who has gone missing. Along the way they become entangled with Soviet mobsters, a billionaire Texan zealot, nuclear weapons and possibly Armageddon itself. Lee's dignified English accent fits this international thriller perfectly. His narration is confident and assured and hits all the right notes, whether presenting a car chase, a pitched gun battle or a tender love scene. Moving swiftly between multiple characters and locales, Lee keeps the listener immersed and enthralled in a dizzying world of action and danger. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 5). (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Still recovering from the torture he endured in The Accident Man, a traumatized and near catatonic Samuel Carver spends his time in a Swiss hospital awaiting visits from Alix Petrova, his former lover and the only person aware of his background as an assassin. With the money to pay for Carver's care running out and her old life as a Russian operative sucking her back in, Alix decides to accept an assignment. Her disappearance from Carver's bedside finally brings him out of his own head and onto Alix's trail. His dogged pursuit leads him to Waylan McCabe, a messianic Texas billionaire determined to launch a global holy war before he dies. To that end, McCabe seeks some nuclear suitcases that vanished during the Soviet Union's collapse, using an American military official to do his dirty work. Seducing this officer and discovering why he's consorting with double agents is Alix's task. And that's where Carver comes in. In this sequel, Carver, the hit man who takes jobs for the greater good, has developed into an even more interesting character. The torture he underwent, his painful recovery, and the very plausible plotting add depth to Cain's second thriller. Recommended for all public libraries.
—Jane Jorgenson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143116561
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
738,113
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Copyright Page

PREFACE:

 

PROLOGUE: - March 1993

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

 

FIVE YEARS LATER: - January 1998

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

 

FEBRUARY

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

 

MARCH

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

 

APRIL

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

 

GOOD FRIDAY

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

 

EASTER SATURDAY

Chapter 81

Chapter 82

Chapter 83

Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Chapter 86

Chapter 87

Chapter 88

Chapter 89

Chapter 90

 

EASTER SUNDAY

Chapter 91

Chapter 92

Chapter 93

Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Chapter 96

Chapter 97

Chapter 98

Chapter 99

 

POSTSCRIPT:

Acknowledgements

VIKING
Published by the Penguin Group
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New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
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Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

 

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

 

 

Copyright © Tom Cain, 2008

All rights reserved

 

Originally published in Great Britain as The Survivor by Bantam Press.

 

Publisher’s Note
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Cain, Tom.
No survivors : a novel / Tom Cain.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-01445-5

1. Nuclear terrorism—Fiction. I. Title.
PR6103.A365N6 2008
823’.92—dc22
2008028475

 

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

PREFACE:

These Are the Facts. . .

On September 6, 1997, the Princess of Wales was laid to rest on an island in the Oval Lake at Althorp, her ancestral home.

 

On September 7, 1997, General Alexander Lebed, former National Security Adviser to Russia’s President Yeltsin, appeared on the prime-time American television news program 60 Minutes. He revealed that his government no longer knew the whereabouts of many of their small-scale nuclear weapons, commonly described as suitcase nukes.

“More than a hundred weapons out of the supposed number of two hundred and fifty are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia,” Lebed said. “I don’t know their location. I don’t know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they’ve been sold or stolen. I don’t know.”

 

On February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden used the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi to issue a declaration of war against what he termed “the crusader-Zionist alliance.” Bin Laden declared, “[The] crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. . . . On that basis, and in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”

 

On October 20, 1999, the FBI released Project Megiddo, a long-term investigation into fundamentalist Christian cults who “believe the year 2000 will usher in the end of the world and who are willing to perpetrate acts of violence to bring that end about.” In its section on “apocalyptic religious beliefs,” it noted, “Many extremists view themselves as religious martyrs who have a duty to initiate or take part in the coming battles against Satan.” The report also commented, “There is no consensus within Christianity regarding the specific date that the Apocalypse will occur. However, within many right-wing religious groups there is a uniform belief that the Apocalypse is approaching.”

 

This much is true.

 

Everything and everyone else in this book is pure fiction.

PROLOGUE:

March 1993

1

The airport mechanic was a shade under six feet tall, and the body beneath his overalls and padded cold-weather vest was lean and athletic. The single line that bisected his strong, dark brow suggested a determined fixity of purpose, and his clear green eyes conveyed a calm, almost chilly intelligence. A woolen knitted cap covered his short brown hair. The lower part of his face was hidden behind a beard.

There was a badge on his chest. It gave his name as Steve Lundin.

The badge was fake. The mechanic’s real name was Samuel Carver.

No one in the hangar batted an eyelid when Carver unscrewed the hatch at the tail end of the executive jet and hauled himself up into the rear equipment bay for a standard preflight inspection.

This area was not reachable while the jet was airborne. It was simply a place filled with ugly but functional components, much like the basement of a building. Things like bundles of wires linking the plane’s electronic circuits, the cables and hydraulic lines that controlled the rudder and elevators, the accumulator holding the hydraulic fluid that got pumped out through the system, the pipes that carried super-heated, high-pressure air off the engines and sent it for use in the plane’s cabin heating system. None of these things were much to look at, or remotely exciting, until, of course, they went wrong.

The air pipes were what interested Carver. They were covered in thick silver-colored cladding, held with plastic clips, and they formed a network through the plane via valves and junctions, pretty much like a domestic water system. So he messed with the plumbing, loosening one of the junctions so that the hot air would leak from it. The junction in question was barely a hand’s breadth away from the hydraulic accumulator.

By the time Carver closed the equipment bay hatch and walked away, the fate of the aircraft was sealed.

There was a TV on in the passenger lounge, the CNN reporter having a hard time holding back his tears as he stood in front of a blackened, burned-out church.

“We can’t show you what it looks like inside the smoking charnel house behind me,” he said, an undertone of barely restrained passion coloring his lyrical Irish brogue. “The scenes are too appalling, too sickening. The charred and mutilated corpses of four hundred innocent women and children lie in there. The scent of their burned flesh fills the air all around.

“While Western politicians turn their eyes away from this insignificant corner of West Africa, a ten-year civil war has descended into genocide. The rebel forces mounting this ruthless campaign are better-trained and equipped than ever before. Their leaders are showing levels of organization and strategic planning far ahead of anything they have displayed before. Somehow, somewhere, these merciless killers have acquired new resources, new expertise. And so, as the village’s few survivors search among the corpses for their loved ones, one question comes inevitably to mind: Who is backing the rebels? For whoever they are, and whatever their motivation, they have the blood of an entire people on their hands.”

 

 

 

“Shit, this boy’s a friggin’ comedian!”

Waylon McCabe slapped a hand against his thigh as he addressed the three other men in the room. Most of the time McCabe’s eyes were cold, narrow slits in wrinkled folds of leathery skin that seemed permanently screwed up against the glare of his native Texan sun. Now he was letting his guard down, opening up a little, taking it easy with his buddies.

“Man, I swear he’s about to cry, just to show how sensitive he is. But I’ll bet he don’t care about a bunch of dead niggers, any more ’n I do. He’s just in it for hisself, thinkin’ on the prizes he’s gonna git for being such a damn humanitarian . . . hell, he might make almost as much money outta this war as me.”

“I seriously doubt that, boss,” said one of the other men, swigging from a bottle of Molson Canadian.

“Well, I don’ know, Clete,” replied McCabe with a grin. “Sure, my diamonds’ll pay better. But you gotta consider the costs. He ain’t had to ante up for guns ’n’ ammo, instructors to train them native boys. . . . Here, throw me one of them beers afore I die of thirst.”

McCabe was a long way past sixty, but for all the lines on his face, he was still tougher and possessed of more energy than most men half his age. He had spent the past three days on the northern coast of the Yukon and Northwest territories. From there on up to the North Pole it was pretty much just ice. Now he was sitting in a private room in the terminal at Mike Zubko Airport, right outside the town of Inuvik, waiting on the plane that would take him home.

He was trying to decide whether to pursue his hunch that there were significant oil deposits in the region. The major corporations had all pulled out of the area. Oil was cheap, extraction would be expensive, and the local Eskimos—Waylon McCabe was damned if he’d call them Inuits; screw them if they felt offended—were getting uppity about their tribal lands getting despoiled. The way they saw it, the upside wasn’t worth the aggravation.

McCabe, however, looked around the world at where all the oil was, and where all the trouble was, and saw they were all pretty much the same places. Sooner or later, between the towel heads in the Middle East and the Commies down in South America, supplies would be threatened. Meanwhile, there were billions of Chinese and Indians buying automobiles and building factories, so demand could only go up. High demand and insecure supply would mean rocketing prices, and fields that were only marginal now would become worth exploiting. At that point, who gave a damn what a bunch of seal hunters thought? A few bucks in the right pockets and that problem would be solved. And anyone who refused to take the money would soon find out they’d made the wrong decision.

There was a knock on the door, and Carver walked into the room. His normal relaxed stride had disappeared. The way he carried himself was tentative, his expression hesitant and nervous. He gave the clear impression that he felt uneasy in the presence of a man as wealthy and powerful as McCabe.

“Plane’s checked, filled up, and ready to go,” he said. “Don’t mind me saying so, sir, you’d best be on your way. There’s weather coming in.”

McCabe gave a single, brusque nod that at once acknowledged what he’d said and dismissed him from the room.

Carver paused briefly in the doorway, though nobody seemed to notice or care.

“Have a good flight, sir,” he said.

2

The plane was routed out of Inuwik to Calgary, three hours and fourteen hundred miles away to the southeast, most of it over mountainous wilderness.

The moment the engines were fired up, air started leaking from the pipe, gaining all the time in temperature and pressure. It was directing its heat right onto the hydraulic accumulator, which was filled with very sensitive, highly flammable fluid. As the minutes rolled by, and the plane rose to its cruising altitude at around thirty thousand feet, heading out over the Selwyn mountain range, that fluid got hotter and hotter. Finally, about forty minutes out of Inuvik, the temperature became critical and the accumulator burst open with an explosive blast that shook the rear of the plane. The airframe was strong enough to withstand the detonation, but the flames from the burning fluid greedily found more fuel in the plastic sheaths around the wires, the ducting within which the circuits were bundled, the cladding around the air pipes—all manner of combustible materials.

The crew barely felt or heard the explosion over the juddering of air turbulence and roaring of the jets. The first thing the pilot knew for sure was the warning light telling him that fire had taken hold in the rear equipment bay. The second was that there was nothing whatever he could do to put it out. From this point he had a maximum of seven to eight minutes before the flames ate through the control systems for his rudder and elevators.

 

 

 

The moment McCabe’s jet left the ground, Carver got into the three-year-old Ford F-250 heavy-duty truck he’d bought for cash two weeks ago in Skagway, Alaska, and headed to the nearest gas station. In the restroom, he shaved off Steve Lundin’s beard and took off his overalls, which he dumped in a trash can out back. Then he turned south, onto the Dempster Highway. A short while down the road, the asphalt ran out. For the next 450 miles, crossing one Arctic Circle, two time zones, five rivers, and several mountain ranges, he’d be on nothing but rough shale and gravel.

They told you this kind of thing in Inuvit, the sheer, overwhelming scale of the local geography and the incredible absence of other people being the region’s proudest features. The Yukon Territory alone was almost as big as Spain, but had just thirty thousand people in it. But the Northwest Territories, next door, made Yukon look as impressive as a suburban backyard. Its forty thousand inhabitants were spread across an area bigger than Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, and England put together.

Carver was perfectly happy to listen to these boastful recitals. He liked facts. He found their certainty reassuring, something reliably nonnegotiable in a world of compromise, betrayal, and unpredictable emotion. They took his mind off the thing that was eating away at his conscience, the thought of all the other people on the plane who would die with Waylon McCabe. Carver was used to the concept of collateral damage. He understood that the innocent often died alongside the guilty. He grasped, too, the human mathematics that said it was better that a handful of people should die in a plane crash than hundreds of thousands be wiped out by acts of genocide. He could even tell himself that the people who worked for Waylon McCabe probably knew what he was doing and had profited from his actions. That didn’t mean he had to like any of it.

His secretive employers, who called themselves the Consortium, would not have been impressed by his principled qualms. They saw themselves as moral guardians in an immoral world, righting wrongs that defeated politicians, policemen, and armies, hidebound by laws and rules of engagement. The McCabe job was Carver’s third assignment. A former Royal Marines officer who had fought with the corps’ Special Boat Service, an elite within an elite, he had resigned his commission in disgust at the futility of his unit’s efforts. The dictators he and his men had fought were still in power. The terrorists were treated like statesmen. The traffickers in drugs, guns, and people had never paid for their crimes.

He could kill a man face-to-face, with a gun, a knife, or his bare hands. But his employers preferred a more subtle, deniable approach. So Samuel Carver provided them with accidents, like the one he’d just prepared for Waylon McCabe.

3

The pilot had shut down the engines to slow the progress of the fire, and the only sound was the eerie rush of the air outside. The flight attendant, perched on her flimsy fold-down seat, was biting her lip and trying desperately to suppress a tidal wave of panic, barely held in check by her training and professional pride. She was smoothing down her skirt with jerky, distracted movements that suggested she was unaware of what she was doing. But, looking back down the cabin toward the rear, she was the first to see the smoke as it seeped into the compartment, insinuating its way through air vents and between the gaps in floors and partitions like a plague of ghostly, toxic snakes. The smoke was shot with bilious yellows and dirty browns, a stew of chemicals given off by all the materials burning in the back of the plane. As the cabin filled with it, the passengers started to cough and retch.

“Oxygen masks . . . !” croaked the attendant, hammering her fist on the flight-deck door, forcing the words out between desperate attempts to breathe. The copilot turned his head, caught a whiff of smoke, and immediately hit the release switch that opened the trap doors above each seat and let the masks dangle down by the passengers’ heads. Then the crew put on their own masks. They worked fine. The passengers were not so lucky.

There were six passenger seats in the cabin, plus the attendant’s position, making a total of seven masks. One of them did not deploy at all. Two dropped, but supplied no oxygen. That left four masks among five people, and a life-and-death game of musical chairs began.

The attendant’s mask was functioning. So was McCabe’s. He’d inhaled a whole load of crap by the time he got it on, but finally he was breathing sweet, pure oxygen, and the heaving in his chest began to subside.

The other three men started scrambling through the ever-thickening smoke, shouting, screaming, and coughing in their desperate search for clean air. One managed to kick, punch, and elbow his way to a chair that had a working mask. Another was overcome by the smoke and sank to the floor, bent double on his knees, where he took his last few breaths. Then he collapsed, stone dead, in the aisle.

The fourth man, meanwhile, had finally found a working mask, but his brain seemed unable to give his hands the necessary instructions, his fingers fumbling helplessly as they tried to stretch the elastic strap over his head. He was coughing so hard now that he was bringing up blood, a scarlet spume that foamed from his mouth, bubbling and wheezing until he, too, was still.

And all the while, the plane kept dropping through the sky, the wind howled and buffeted around it, and the cables controlling the elevator flaps were eaten away by the flames.

The flight crew, meanwhile, were too busy to be afraid. There was barely any light in the sky now, and the mountains through which they were descending were just black silhouettes, outlined against a deep blue horizon. They were seven thousand feet up, less than five thousand feet above the lowest ground in the region, giving them maybe ten miles to play with at most, and no way to go but down. They’d dumped all their fuel to save weight and reduce the risk of any further fires. They’d deployed the undercarriage. All they were missing was their landing site. Then one last faint glint of light reflected off a sheet of flat white ice, and they saw a frozen lake up ahead.

It looked like a giant pair of spectacles. Two large, open areas at either end formed the lenses, linked by a curved channel. A small island stood right in the middle of the left-hand, westernmost lens. But it was too close and they were still too high. They were going to overshoot.

The pilot muttered a string of expletives into his oxygen mask and pushed the plane into an even steeper dive. He’d wanted to come in at a steady, shallow glide. Now he had to swoop down toward the lake like a dive-bomber, pull up at the final moment, and pray that the controls could take the strain.

Down the plane plunged, closing in on the lake, till the cockpit windshield seemed filled with nothing but ice.

They were over the first round lens of the lake now, still five hundred feet up, the pilot frantically pulling at the joystick to get the elevator flaps to lift, and pull the plane out of the dive.

In the rear equipment bay, the cables connecting the pilot to the elevators had been burned and frayed to little more than wire strands, and all the time, the demand for more lift was putting more pressure on the cables, stretching them tighter.

The nose wouldn’t come up. They were going to crash straight into the ice.

The cables were unraveling.

The ice was barely a hundred feet below them.

And then, at last, the plane pulled out of its dive, the descent flattened, and at that precise moment the final strands of cable snapped, the elevators lost all control and the plane fell the last fifty feet onto the frozen lake in a spectacular belly flop that buckled the undercarriage and sent the craft skittering across the ice like a giant hockey puck.

Somehow it found a straight-line path across the curved channel between one half of the lake and the other. But the impact had been enough to throw the attendant from her flimsy seat, ripping her mask away from its moorings, and throwing her in a flurry of arms and legs down the cabin, between the chairs, till she collided with the back wall and slumped motionless to the ground.

In the final instant before the plane had landed, an image flashed across Waylon McCabe’s mind, a memory from his childhood, Sunday morning in the church house, his mother singing a hymn in her harsh, reedy voice, his father’s voice a low, tuneless drone. He could smell their clothes, a bitter scent of sweat, dirt, poverty, and defeat. McCabe had not been back to that church in fifty years. He’d left it far behind the day he had watched his mother being buried and had quit his hometown for good.

The image vanished as he realized they’d got back down to earth in one piece. The impossible had happened. He’d made it.

Then the tip of the starboard wing caught against the rock face of the island, which jutted up out of the ice in the middle of the lake. The wing sheared right off and sent the rest of the plane spinning off at a new angle.

It came ashore in the center of a small cove, riding up the frozen beach till the port wing hit a massive boulder, crumpled, and left the fuselage arrowing into the rocks and trees, burrowing a deep trench through the thick winter snow and trampling the smaller saplings until the nose of the fuselage hit a much older, bigger pine.

The point of impact was slightly off center, to the pilot’s side, and he was squashed like a bug on a windshield as one half of the flight deck was obliterated and a huge gash was torn down the side of the plane. McCabe’s last surviving companion was flung out into space, still attached to his chair, till he came to rest, impaled by a tree branch, fifty feet away.

The final intact section of the plane caromed off a rock outcrop. The rest of the flight deck disintegrated, taking the copilot with it, and the main length of the cabin simply snapped in two, like a broken twig. The last of the smoke escaped into the subzero air. And Waylon McCabe slumped, eyes closed, in his chair.

 

 

 

There was an emergency locator beacon on the plane. A helicopter was heading out of the nearest settlement, Faro, within half an hour of the crash. The rescue team was winched down to the ground while the helicopter hovered overhead, illuminating the main crash site with its spotlights. One by one the corpses were discovered and then, when all hope seemed lost, there came a shout: “We got a live one!”

Waylon McCabe briefly regained consciousness as his stretcher was being winched up toward the helicopter. As he rose though the air, up into the heavens, his eyes were dazzled by shafts of light, his ears overwhelmed by what sounded like the fluttering of a million angels’ wings. The first words he was aware of hearing came from a paramedic: “It’s a miracle you survived.”

That’s what the doctors said, too, when he’d been airlifted to the nearest hospital. The news reporters who besieged the modest facility, his lawyer and financial director, who flew in from his corporate headquarters in San Antonio, the flight attendant who fussed over him as he was flown back home to Texas—they all used that same word: miracle.

FIVE YEARS LATER:

January 1998

4

Samuel Carver’s room had a million-dollar view, clear across the water to the snowcapped peaks that rose in serried ranks beyond the southern shore. While the mountains stood solid and immutable, the skies above them displayed an infinite variety of light, color, and temper, concealing the glorious landscape one moment, illuminating it the next. On a clear day, a man could stand at that window and see all the way to Mont Blanc. He could practically reach out and touch the black runs.

But Carver wasn’t standing. Having visited death upon so many, he was now condemned to a half-life, trapped in a solitary purgatory. He was lying in bed, his body twisted in a fetal curl. The room was centrally heated, but his shoulders were hunched against the cold. It was silent, yet the palms of his hands were cupped over his ears, his fingers clawing at the back of his skull. The light was gentle, but his eyes were screwed tightly against a scorching glare.

Then he began to stir. He jerked his back straight, then arched it, throwing his head up the bed and opening his mouth, uttering soft, wordless moans, while his limbs thrashed in random, spastic movements. His twitching became more frantic and his cries grew in volume.

By the time Carver woke, he was screaming.

 

 

 

“Wake up, wake up!”

Alexandra Petrova placed her hands on Carver’s shoulders and tried to free him from the nightmare’s grip, gently shaking him back into consciousness. His body felt weak and flabby, softened by months of inactivity. His face was rounder, his features less clearly defined as the bones disappeared behind pouches of flesh. His eyes were red-rimmed and fearful.

The screams petered out, replaced by a confused, semiconscious muttering and then the familiar sequence: the panicked, darting looks around the room, his body half raised from the bed; the gradual relaxation, sinking back onto his pillows as she stroked his hand and reassured him; finally the answering squeeze, the attempt at a smile, and the single whispered word, “Hi.”

And then another, “Alix.”

It was Carver’s name for her, the one he’d used in the days they’d spent together, before his months of confinement in this private clinic on the shores of Lake Geneva. It was a sign that he recognized her, and was grateful for her company, though he could not yet recall what she had meant to him before. But then, he did not know who Samuel Carver truly was, either: what he had done and what others had done to him.

“Still the same dream?” she asked.

He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment as if to drive the last fragments of the horror from his mind, then answered, “Not the same dream. But the same ending, like always.”

“Can you remember what happened at the beginning of the dream this time?”

Carver thought for a while.

“I don’t know,” he said.

He sounded indifferent, not quite seeing the point of the question.

“Just try,” Alix persisted.

Carver screwed up his face in concentration.

“I was a soldier,” he said. “There was fighting, in a desert . . . then it all changed.”

“You were probably dreaming about something that actually happened. You really were a soldier.”

“I know,” said Carver. “You told me before. I remember that.”

He looked at her with eyes that sought her approval. For the umpteenth time, she tried to persuade herself that the man she loved was still in there somewhere. She imagined a time when the blankness in his eyes would be replaced by the fierce intensity she had seen in them on the night they met, or the unexpected tenderness he had revealed in those stolen hours when they had been alone together, keeping the world at bay.

They’d both been in Paris, working the same assignment, the night of August 31, 1997. Carver had been standing at one end of the Alma Tunnel, waiting for a car. She had been riding pillion on a high-speed motorbike, firing her flashing camera at the Mercedes, goading the man at its wheel to drive ever faster, whipping him on toward death in Carver’s hands.

The moment they met, she was pointing a gun in his direction. Seconds later, he’d pinned her to the pavement, his knee in the small of her back. Half an hour later, she’d followed him into a building, knowing he’d rigged it with explosive charges, knowing that those bombs were about to go off, but trusting absolutely in his ability to get them both in and out alive.

Now here they were in Switzerland, almost five months later, two people who had been forced into acts of terrible violence, but who, in their few precious moments of shared tranquillity, had each seen in the other a hope, not just of love, but of some small measure of redemption.

For Alix had secrets of her own. On her journey from the drab provinces of the Soviet Union to the gaudy luxuries of post-Communist Moscow, she, too, had compromised her soul. Just like Carver, she longed for an escape. But the past had clung to her and Carver alike, and it had exacted a bitter price on the night of torture and bloodshed that had subjected Carver to agonies so extreme that they had ripped his identity away from its moorings and buried his memories too deeply to be retrieved.

Alix had even begun to wonder if she really did love him anymore. How could you love a person who no longer knew who you were, or what you and he had meant to each other? She had once loved Samuel Carver—she was sure of that. She would still love that man if he were with her. But was he that man any longer? Was he any kind of man at all?

Alix fiddled with Carver’s pillows, plumping them up and rearranging them, pretending to make him more comfortable but really just trying to distract herself from her thoughts, and the guilt she felt for even allowing herself to consider them.

From behind her came the sound of a discreet cough.

A man was standing in the doorway, wearing a somber dark-gray suit and a tie whose pattern was so muted as to be virtually invisible.

What People are saying about this

Chelsea Cain
"Irresistible. Smart and fast-paced, with everything you want from an international spy thriller. Cain's romantically vexed lead character's -- conflicted, driven, deadly - are both morally bankrupt, and completely human. I dare you to put it down once during the last hundred pages. And I'm not just saying that because we have the same last name."--(Chelsea Cain, author of the bestselling HEARTSICK and SWEETHEART)
Andrew Gross
"A lit fuse of Jason Bourne meets FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. If you like breakneck pace, glamorous settings, a never-say-die hero, and the stakes bursting with end-of- world consequences, this one is for you."--(Andrew Gross, bestselling author of THE BLUE ZONE)
Brett Battles
"Tom Cain's NO SURVIVORS is a well plotted, rocket of a thriller. Once I began, I couldn't put it down. The story, the characters, the tension, all simply excellent. A terrific book for all thriller fans. Count me as one who cannot wait for the next Accident Man novel!"--(Brett Battles, author of THE CLEANER)
Tasha Alexander
"Tom Cain has delivered again--Samuel Carver is the thinking woman's action hero. NO SURVIVORS is thriller writing at its best."--(Tasha Alexander, author of A FATAL WALTZ)
Jason Pinter
"Take the intrigue of Ludlum, the realism of Le Carré and the menace of Dexter and you've got Tom Cain and Samuel Carver. NO SURVIVORS is a top notch international thriller, full of whiplash action, authentic detail, and a hero that makes rooting for the bad guy fun. I can't wait to read what Cain does next."--(Jason Pinter, bestselling author of THE MARK)
Steve Berry
"Tom Cain is forging a new standard for international thrillers --- one that incorporates break-neck pacing, provactive concepts, and relentless action. NO SURVIVORS fashions a riveting, imagined world so real you wonder (given the author's investigative-reporter background) if it was truly imagined. If you love thrillers that unfold with throat-grabbing twists, vivid velocity, to an explosive end, then NO SURVIVORS is your kind of book."--(Steve Berry, bestselling author of THE ALEXANDRIA LINK)
Ken Bruen
"Tom Cain's first thriller was terrific but NO SURVIVORS is a whole step up and beyond a shadow of a doubt, the thriller of the year. Nail biting doesn't even come close, it's the purest shot of adrenaline you'll get this or any other year."--(Ken Bruen, bestselling author of THE GUARDS)

Meet the Author

Tom Cain is the pseudonym of an award-winning journalist, with 25 years’ experience working for Fleet Street newspapers, as well as major magazines in Britain and the US. During the course of his career he has conducted in-depth interviews with senior politicians, billionaire entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, movie stars, supermodels and rock legends. He has investigated financial scandals on Wall Street, studio intrigues in Hollywood and corrupt sports stars in Britain. The first Western journalist to cross the border into Serbia after the US bombing campaign of 1999, he has lived in Moscow, Washington, D.C. and Havana, Cuba. He edited four magazines, published over a dozen books, wrote film-scripts and was translated into some 20 languages, before beginning the ‘Accident Man’ series of thrillers. No Survivors continues the story of Samuel Carver, a former British special forces officer who now ‘does very bad things to even worse people.’

Tom Cain lives with his family in Sussex, England. In his spare time he is a fanatical supporter of West Ham United FC and the Washington Redskins; a fan of 24, Life on Mars, Flashman, Elmore Leonard, Oldboy and The Black Book; a lousy guitarist but a half-decent singer; and an enthusiastic, but unsubtle gardener.

Canadian readers may be interested to hear that Tom Cain is the brother-in-law of Steven Erikson, the Vancouver-based author of the ‘Mazalan Book of the Fallen’ series of fantasy novels.

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No Survivors 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PennyPaper More than 1 year ago
The Accident Man was a terrific book. When I saw his new book yesterday, No Survivors, I couldn't wait to get home and start reading. Read well into the night and the only disappointing thing is that I'm more than half way through and don't want it to end. Please keep up with the Samuel Carver character, I love him. (Almost better than Jack Reacher!)
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1998 in a Swiss hospital, assassin Samuel Carver slowly recuperates from a horrific torture that has left him with amnesia. He does not know his name or his occupation. Former Russian spy, Alix Petrova is taking care of her severely injured boyfriend.

While Carver lies in the hospital, dying oilman Waylon McCabe believes he will go to heaven as part of the Rapture. To insure he does before the cancer kills him, he arranges for nuclear Armageddon. At the same a frustrated Lieutenant General Kurt Vermulen warns the Pentagon and other agencies that a Middle East terrorist group no one recognizes called al Qaeda poses a viable direct threat to America. Only McCabe believes Vermulen even as he tries to buy a Russian suitcase containing nuclear weapons from the international black market where allegedly 100 such containers are up for sale even as the Feds deny it. Alix has been sent to seduce information from the General while a still healing Carver who at least knows his name, his profession, and most significant his girlfriend follows.

The sequel to the exhilarating THE ACCIDENT MAN is a fast-paced cautionary thriller that will fully engross readers with the hindsight of 9/11. Sam is at his best not because he is physically or mentally ready to return to field operations as he is not, but because he must return to the field. Using public information, Tom Cain provides a powerful condemnation of the Feds who ignore lessons learned as damage control of their image is everything whether it is the Marine base in Lebanon (Reagan), the USS Cole and the embassies in Africa (under Clinton) or 9/11 (under Bush).

Harriet Klausner