Spy (Alex Hawke Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this relentlessly paced tale of international suspense, intrepid MI-6 intelligence officer Alex Hawke confronts an evil like no other. Terror looms as a madman works his dark magic in the heart of the Amazon and a nightmare erupts along the Mexican border, creating a deadly combination that threatens to bring America to its knees.

"A border ain't nothing but a law drawn in the sand."
So says a small-town Texas sheriff in Ted Bell's most ...
See more details below
Spy (Alex Hawke Series #4)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this relentlessly paced tale of international suspense, intrepid MI-6 intelligence officer Alex Hawke confronts an evil like no other. Terror looms as a madman works his dark magic in the heart of the Amazon and a nightmare erupts along the Mexican border, creating a deadly combination that threatens to bring America to its knees.

"A border ain't nothing but a law drawn in the sand."
So says a small-town Texas sheriff in Ted Bell's most gripping espionage thriller to date. Things along America's southern border are rapidly reaching the boiling point. American girls are being snatched from their homes, ranches are burning, and the number of deadly confrontations along the Mexican border grows daily. At night, armed Mexican troops cross the border at will in support of narcotics smugglers and illegal immigrants. By day, Americans take up arms and plan reprisals. An all-out border war is no longer inconceivable. It's happening!

On assignment for the British Secret Service, a man leads a mysterious expedition into the heart of darkness. Sailing up the furthest reaches of the Amazon River, he is captured by a brutal tribe of indigenous cannibals. Forced into slave labor, he witnesses the unimaginable. Golden domes and minarets rise beneath the rainforest canopy. Vast terror armies are being recruited and trained in the jungle. Their goal: a vicious jihad that will unite one continent...and destroy another. They possess weapons only dreamed of by the Western allies. Somehow he must escape his captors and live to tell the tale.

With tensions on its southern border threatening to ignite into war, America must look to the one man who might be able to confront the demons in the jungle...and destroy them. Alex Hawke, with the aid of brilliant Scotland Yard Inspector Ambrose Congreve, and an unstoppable force of nature named Stokely Jones, begins a river journey fraught with peril. He must find a river with no name, and a villain like no other. He must confront all the terrors that man and nature can hurl at him. From black magic, poison-tipped arrows, and blowguns to an awesome arsenal of the most advanced military hardware, Hawke must overcome insurmountable odds on his quest for victory.

Here is an author who gets you in the palm of his hand and then clenches his fist. And here is a saga loaded to the gunwales with action, glamour, and spellbinding suspense. Alex Hawke once again takes readers right to that thin border between fear and overwhelming terror. It's merely a line drawn in the sand. Cross it at your peril.

Cross it if you dare.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Palm Beach Post
This time...Bell ups the ante, and involves Hawke in what might be termed terrorism's perfect storm.
CNN Headline Prime
Think Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum meet Stephen King...SPY is THE BOOK of the summer! --Glenn Beck
Library Journal
Hawke, Assassin, Pirate, Spy: Alex Hawke's assignments are certainly to the point. Here he finds trouble in South America. With a 12-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A plot that moves at breakneck speed...Spy is a great beach read [that] will not disappoint." - Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Think Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum meet Stephen King...Spy is THE BOOK of the summer!" - Glenn Beck, CNN Headline Prime

"Outstanding." - Lou Dobbs, CNN

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743293617
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2006
  • Series: Alex Hawke Series , #4
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 12,570
  • File size: 606 KB

Meet the Author

Ted Bell is the former Vice-Chairman of the board and World-Wide Creative Director of Young & Rubicam, one of the world's largest advertising agencies. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Hawke, Assassin, and Pirate.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

He had never expected to survive the sinking of his boat. The river had been a quiet mirror that morning, meandering through the endless jungle. Just before the explosion, the leafy green walls on either side of the river had fallen silent. Then a lone bird cried a shrill warning and the peace was suddenly shattered. A sea mine blew the bow off of his beautiful black-hulled wooden yawl. The powerful explosion rocked the jungle; the sky above the river suddenly went dark with birds taking wing.

He knew his lovely Pura Vida was finished before he drew a second breath.

Pura Vida, the pretty yawl he'd fitted with a retractable keel, had shuddered to a stop, down by the head. She instantly began taking water. She had sunk with nearly all hands in minutes. Small-arms fire erupted from the forest. The river was alive with death. Unseen forces began spitting bullets from both banks. A chorus of fear rose from those choking and dying in the water. The machine gun attack killed everyone clinging to overturned life rafts or desperately scrambling up the muddy banks.

He himself had been fishing off the stern, his legs dangling over the gunwale. When he heard the explosion for'ard, and felt the yawl stagger and founder, he dove for a semi-automatic rifle kept loaded and stowed in the cockpit. Water rising round his legs, he emptied the thirty-round banana clip into the forest. When it was empty, he slammed in another mag and repeated firing off the port side.

He threw life rings, cushions, whatever he could grab. It was useless. He saw his colleagues in the water, many already dead or dying in a rain of lead. The ship was engulfed in flames and listing violently to port. Staying aboard another second was suicide.

He dove off the sharply angled stern and swam hard downriver, until his lungs, too, were afire. He surfaced and heard that the firing had stopped. Many riddled bodies were floating downstream toward him. That was when he heard the drums for the first time.

He saw painted faces atop long brown legs sprinting madly through the tangled undergrowth along the banks. He submerged once more and grabbed someone whose arm he'd seen flailing weakly minutes earlier. He pulled her to him and saw that she was dead. He held on to the corpse for a very long time. He was entering a patch of white water and he had no choice but to let his friend go if he was to swim safely to shore.

Her name was Dana Gibbon.

He grabbed an overhanging branch and watched the beautiful woman's body drift away with the river. Her head was submerged but one arm was still draped around a piece of debris from Pura Vida. Dana had been a brilliant young marine biologist from the University of Miami. She'd been doing her thesis on the Rio Negro. At night on deck, they had sipped mojitos and played gin rummy. He never won a hand. And he'd kissed her only once.

Dana's body was lost in a tumult of white water and then she disappeared.

Shortly after Dana's loss, a chance river encounter with a water boa, an anaconda nearly thirty feet long, had left him with a crippling wound to his right hip. The untreated injury became infected. He was no longer able to run. Couldn't run, and he couldn't hide. It was this circumstance that finally led to his first capture.

For some reason, the Indians who originally caught him had not killed him on the spot. He was a healthy specimen if you discounted his wound. He stood over six feet and was very fit. He supposed that was his salvation. He looked fit for work. He was blindfolded and dragged through the jungle to be sold to the highest bidder.

He was sold to Wajari, a great chief of the Xucuru who guarded one of the work camps for Muhammad Top. Top learned he'd been captured. The first night he'd been dragged from the camp and nearly interrogated to death by Papa Top. Somehow, he convinced his interrogator that he was a British scientist and not a spy. Shortly thereafter, he was sent back to the camps to do slave work for the guerilla armies. There, it was assumed, he would die of natural causes.

His role at the camp was one with an extremely low life expectancy. He was not good at following rules. Now, in addition to his road construction, he was part of a doomed brigade used day and night as human targets.

He'd offended a guard by not responding quickly enough to an unintelligible order. The man had struck him on the side of the head with the butt of his gun, knocking him to his knees. He'd gotten to his feet, his blood up, and grabbed the man by the neck. When the man spat in his face, he'd disarmed him and nearly beaten him to death with his bare fists. No one even bothered to watch. It was over in a minute or two.

He stood glaring at them, taunting the guards with their automatic rifles leveled at his heart, waiting for one of them to kill him on the spot. Two of them grabbed him from behind and bound his wrists behind him with hemp. Then they took him away.

Only Machado wished him farewell. "Go with God," the boy said.

"You better Belize it!" he said to the boy as they dragged him away to the camp commandant's tent.

His punishment was swift and typical. After two nights in a hellish device called the Barrel, he had been assigned to what the guards jokingly referred to as the Green Berets. This joke derived from the fact that new initiates had their heads dipped in a vat of green dye. The Green Berets were a group of condemned men sent into the jungle for target practice.

The tactical commanders for guerilla combat training in the dense jungle had devised this system to provide a more realistic experience for their young guerilla fighters. The need for fresh targets was never ending. Most were killed by live fire. Mines or sniper bullets felled others. A few committed suicide to end the agony, and a tiny fraction escaped.

He had escaped. He had done it by melting away during a live fire exercise with many other fleeing targets. He had found his spot, stopped, clutched his gut, and screamed as if mortally wounded. He then dropped into the shallow water of a muddy stream. He waited for five minutes and no one came. He started crawling, later swimming as the water deepened. He swam to where the stream joined a wide green river. He rolled over to his back and let the water take him away. The sun broke from behind a cloud. His face broke into a wide grin: go with the flow.

In this environment escape was a relative term. He had been on the run for five days and nights. He had even less food than he'd been provided with in the camp. Beetles and grubs became a staple. He was exhausted, dehydrated, and on the brink of starvation.

On the sixth day, he could not get to his feet. And the drums were getting louder. Willing panic to subside, he rested quietly on his back for a few moments, hidden by the thick reeds, his emaciated chest heaving. His head suddenly jerked spasmodically to one side. He'd heard something, indistinct, but nevertheless disturbing.

After survival as a living target, his ears were keenly attuned to any variation in jungle sound. He gently placed a hand palm down on a patch of dry ground, a recently acquired method of detecting hostile vibrations.

A tremor, a snapping twig, or a parrot's sudden shriek might herald the approach of a war party.

Indian headhunters, elite centurions of a murderous cannibal tribe called the Xucuru, had been chasing him since his miraculous escape. He was weak, he knew, to the point of utter exhaustion. He'd slept, but only fitfully, and always with his ear to the ground.

Nothing of significant note, however, now reached his ears. An earlier sound, which had resembled the thrum of a small marine motor, must have been just the sound of his own blood thrumming in his skull. No, there was no motor. No tourist boat full of saviors headed upriver to rescue him and deprive the Xucuru warriors of their evening meal. The tourist idea was admittedly laughable. No tourist boat ever ventured this far upriver. Sane men seldom did.

He would die alone, but not wanting for company. The irony of the jungle. There was too much of everything. Too much vibrant existence, too much life, too much death. He felt it in his bones: the cellular activity of jungle life humming at every conceivable level.

Some of the worst life-forms were in the river.

He'd been drifting with the currents. The wide, olive-green river had been his refuge for two long days. He'd tied leafy branches to his head, arms, and upper body, hoping to blend with the half-submerged logs and floating vegetation on the river. The silvery piranha hadn't bothered him, mercifully. Nor had the candiru, an eel-like fish that swims up any available human orifice. That was the one that terrified him most.

A young member of his expedition had been standing in the river, the water just above his knees, urinating. A week later, he died in feverish agony. A candiru had swum up the boy's urine stream and become lodged in his penis. There, feeding on the host's blood, the tiny creature had grown to enormous size. The resulting infection led to the amputation of the organ and the boy's painful death.

He rolled onto one elbow and pushed the reeds aside so he could see the river.

The Xucuru warriors chasing him since his escape from the compound would not let something like a river stop them. In his mind's eye, lying on the bank, he could see the savages racing through the jungle, their naked bodies slathered with streaks of black and red paint, their seven-foot bows and five-foot arrows, their clubs, their blowpipes, and their spears. All would have sworn the blood oath not to return without his head.

It was widely rumored amongst the prisoners in the camps that no one had ever really escaped. The Xucuru warriors hired by the soldiers were relentless in their pursuit of escapees. They would much rather die by each other's hands than return empty handed.

Keep moving, his urgent mind told his wasted body. Wait, the body replied. Wait!

Five minutes.

Please.

Yes. Do nothing. Surely there was time to lie here on the banks of the Xingu to be warmed by the sun. How sorely he'd missed its warmth. To relax for a time, let the skin and bones dry out. He let his muscles go, digging his fingers into the soft mud beneath him. He felt his mind start to slip, and wondered if the sudden shivering was malarial. If yes, without the malaria pills they'd taken from him, he would surely die. How could one be so cold and yet so hot at the same instant?

The sun was just another brutal enemy. Once he'd regained some strength, he'd have to drag himself back inside the trees, else the harsh rays would soon fry his flesh. He was nearly as naked as the men who chased him. He was dressed only in what remained of the rags he'd escaped in.

He slept.

And awoke some time later to swarms of piums, clouds of invisible microscopic monsters, which attacked him mercilessly. They left smears of blood where they bit, blood that could attract the piranhas when and if he returned to the river. Fully awake now, for a time, he considered the pleasures to be had in simply dying. Cessation of hunger and pain. Peace. It would be so easy to give in.

His reserves were nil. In captivity, the daily battle to survive had taken its toll, left him depleted in body and mind. He was tired and desperately hungry now. He groaned loudly and fought the urge to sleep again. Hadn't he just slept? How long? A minute? An hour? More? He had no idea.

Around him, the animals of the daylight, too, were noisily preparing for sleep. The nocturnal creatures, their omnivorous appetites whetted, were beginning to stir. The air was suddenly cool. The sun fell suddenly in these latitudes and left behind a sky of cobalt blue and vermilion against which the black palms marching along the riverbank were silhouetted.

High above the treetops, a small cloud, lit from within like a Venetian lantern, hovered above the dark sea of trees. It was really all so very beautiful here. This twilight hour was like some faint memory of love; or fading dreams of happier childhood times. He closed his eyes and tried to hold these comforting images, but they skittered away, leaving a vacuum that delirium could slide into unobserved.

He fixed his pale eyes on the waning yellow moon and wondered if he had the strength of soul to survive.

For not the first time in his life, death looked good.

Alexander Hawke, dreaming of peace, finally slipped into the waiting arms of a coldly beckoning Morpheus.

Copyright © 2006 by Theodore A. Bell

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    If you like Cussler's Dirk Pitt, you will love Ted Bell's Alex Hawke`

    Another action packed,page turner centered on Alex Hawke. Invasion from our borders, this really makes you think. Can't wait for the next Ted Bell adventure.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is with out a doubt one of the best books that I have read. It really makes you think about the future of the USA

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 17, 2006

    THIS BOOK IS INTENSE!!!

    A sensational read! There is so much tension and suspense you just go with it, like suspended animation. Here's the scary part: the situations the book deals with are all too real. A shooting war with Mexico? It could happen. Terrorists coming across our border daily, you bet. Great characters and great storytelling make this a great book! You won't be disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Heaven help us...

    ...if even HALF of what this book presents is true. Truly frightening in any case. Also, odd, but it is by turns very funny and constantly entertaining. Good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 26, 2006

    Frightening tale of border and jungle

    This is the best thriller I've come across this summer. It kept me up for three wonderful nights!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVE ALEX HAWKE!

    This book - like PIRATE - has all the twists and turns of a great thriller, spy novel. And with the time set in present day, Mr. Bell's ability to weave in just enough reality to be plausible makes for great conversation amongst family & friends ("could they REALLY have a tunnel from Mexico to USA big enough to carry semi's? could they REALLY have a terrorist sect living in the Amazon, covered by dense foliage, out of sight?"). LOVE TED, LOVE ALEX and loved the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    Alex Hawke knew immediately that his vessel the Pura Vida on the Rio Negro was destroyed by the explosion killing many of his colleagues including marine biologist Dana Gibbon. He had to let go of her hand to reach shore. He made it to land only to be caught and sold as a slave worker to the Xucurur who guard the work camps of the Muhammed Top. Alex serves on a road contraction crew and as a human target in case enemy combatants attack life expectancy is zero. Though death looks more welcoming than life, Alex, wondering about this Al Qaeda army in the middle of the Amazonian jungle escapes. --- He realizes the American government leaders are preoccupied with reelections which mean fake temporary concentration on the Mexican border though real issues abound involving masse illegals and the Mexican army crossing into American territory and young females kidnapped from border towns. Alex turns to trusted friends Ambrose Congreve and Stokely Jones to help infiltrate the Las Medianoches Al Qaeda cell because he believes they plan something spectacularly jihad against the United States probably at that suddenly prominent line in the sand called the Mexican Border. --- In his fourth appearance (see ASSASSIN, HAWKE, and PIRATE) Alex is at his best as he suffers survivor guilt though he also believes those like Dana are better off dead. Yet the premise of Mr. Bell¿s work is that the ¿terrorists in the jungle scenario¿ is based on the immigration of Hezbollah operatives from Lebanon during the 1970s civil war. Fans will appreciate the fast-paced and action packed thriller as readers join Alex and his teammates on a quest to prevent the jihad from happening with the odds heavily favoring the terrorists in their plan to devastate North America. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Rennee

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

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Excellent

    As usual Alex Hawke delivers

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

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Dani

    *falls from the wall and walks to find jack*

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

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Rick

    He looked where Dani was standing, shuged, and walked off.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Shallow characters. Full of mistakes about technology. Worst ste

    Shallow characters. Full of mistakes about technology. Worst stereotypes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2009

    Hokey

    This was my first Ted Bell novel. I struggled through it until I couldn't handle it anymore and gave up half way. It didn't zing me. The dialog was sophomoric and cutesy in many places: "Harry Brock could take a licking and keep on ticking." Ugh! This Timex watch ad line is outdated. Could it be Mr. Bell's former company, Leo Burnett, had the Timex account. Throughout the book misspelled words abound. At one point, Bell confuses the characters talking and identifies both with the same name. Huh? On page 223 he describes an 18-wheel tractor without its trailer as having 4 wheels. Better check again Mr. Bell, a tractor has 6 wheels. Characters are one dimensional and shallow. Writing is weak. Syntax is awful. His description of the Texas sheriff and deputy is nothing short of a corny representative of Andy Griffith and Barney Fife. Even the names he uses are stilted. The novel is an Indiana Jones derring do done badly. FYI Mr. Bell: The word is spelled BEcause not 'cause. His description of the Amazon terrorist compound with its high tech weaponry, advanced computer monitoring et al is a bit farfetched even for fiction. The situations he presents: Mexican illegals, drug cartels, terrorists et al are real and serious. But Mr. Bell uses cartoon like action hero characters to deal with them using silly dialog. Of course like most of the so called "thriller" (that's a stretch) genre all the women are Playmates of the Month sex objects who are about as deep as a birdbath. Yet they're all described as "brilliant" professionals or scientists or something by the book cover blub writers who entice us to buy the book. Difficult to decide if he's trying to be funny or just lacks the depth of a serious writer (even fiction) to tell a good story based on real situations. Don't think I'll pursue any others.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)