Spy (Alex Hawke Series #4)

Spy (Alex Hawke Series #4)

4.3 68
by Ted Bell, John Shea
     
 

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Alex Hawke is on the hunt...

In this exhilarating tale of international suspense, New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell's "larger-than-life hero" (Publishers Weekly), counterterrorist operative Alexander Hawke, must save the United States from a devastating terrorist operation.

When a mysterious explosion destroys his

Overview


Alex Hawke is on the hunt...

In this exhilarating tale of international suspense, New York Times bestselling author Ted Bell's "larger-than-life hero" (Publishers Weekly), counterterrorist operative Alexander Hawke, must save the United States from a devastating terrorist operation.

When a mysterious explosion destroys his research vessel in search of a lost river, Alex Hawke is captured indigenous cannibals and enslaved deep within the Amazonian jungle. Before he escapes, he learns that a fearsome foe is preparing for war - but against whom?

When he regains contact with his American and British intelligence counterparts, Alex's worst fears are confirmed. The men in the jungle are highly trained Hezbollah warriors who are planning an unspeakably violent jihad against America. While the United States focuses its efforts on the escalating border disputes with Mexico, Alex vos to put a stop to the deadly plot. Aware that his mission may be the country's only hope, he travels back into the jungle to destroy the lawless mastermind who dares to threaten America's very existence.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469233604
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Series:
Alex Hawke Series, #4
Edition description:
Abridged
Sales rank:
1,236,988
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.37(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Spy


By Ted Bell

Atria

Copyright © 2006 Theodore A. Bell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7432-7723-6


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. Waterrising 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.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Spy by Ted Bell Copyright © 2006 by Theodore A. Bell . 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.

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.

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Spy (Alex Hawke Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best thriller I've come across this summer. It kept me up for three wonderful nights!
wesuilmo More than 1 year ago
Shallow characters. Full of mistakes about technology. Worst stereotypes.
writer2b More than 1 year ago
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!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are some rules we follow, as we aren't savages. <p> 1. No godmodding. Godmodding is very unleasant. Please, don't. <p> 2. Director is the highest ranking member. He does not have absoloute power, but he is to be listened to. <p> 3. No forcemating. This is just disgusting. You will be kicked out. Just please don't. <p> 4. Don't be a jerk <p> 5. Be fair. If you are a low ranking person, fighting three low ranking people, you will lose. <p> Information: <p> There are ten ranks. They are as follows: level one, level two, level three, level four, level five, level six, level seven, level eight, level nine, and level ten. All newcommers join as level one. Only the director is level ten. Each new level gives you access to better weapons and privliges. We are a spy orginization. We will spy on rps, and sometimes excute if needed. Resuit three is the main meeting area, result four is the director's office, and the rest shall be decided. <p> ~ Director Silver
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not just a good book to read but a great book to own. It is fun and factual in a lot of places. In it you will find primitive South American head hunters, a dozen headless horsemen riding the plaines of south Texas in search of rest. Mexican Banditos Arab terroist and American traitors galore seeking America's demise! Just like in real life today. Ted Bell hit a grand slam!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
You better Belize it! The increasingly battered Alex Hawke finds himself in immediate peril in this, his fourth outing in Ted Bell&rsquo;s consistently great espionage series. I was a little concerned that this whole story would involve Hawke&rsquo;s great escape from his predicament as outlined in the preface of this book, but much more than I expected was in store. Not only are Hawke, Congreve, Stokely and others quickly neck deep in it, but a new character, Sheriff Dixon from Texas, is soon to uncover his own nest of vipers to add to the growing list of bad guys. I can&rsquo;t prove it, but I think this new Sheriff might be named after the author of the Hardy Boys stories which I found to be distracting and kind of neat, or perhaps a colossally weird coincidence. Anyway, there&rsquo;s more than one story thread here, and they leap frog over one another (kind of like the end of Return of the Jedi) which provides never ending compulsion to keep reading. I don&rsquo;t know how much of a Bond fan the author is, but wait until you get a load of his new boat! Don&rsquo;t miss this and other excitements, read it already!
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As usual Alex Hawke delivers
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