Bestseller Sullivan's first thriller since 2003's The Serpent's Kiss displays his usual knack for setting and scenario. On New Year's Eve during a snowstorm, members of the Third Position Army, a group devoted to fighting corporate greed, seize the Jefferson Club, "a twelve-thousand-acre ultra-private resort for the super-rich," in southwest Montana. General Anarchy, the group's leader, and his troops free most of the vacationers, but take the world's six richest men hostage and sequentially put them on trials broadcast over the Internet. Summary executions follow in most cases. The twist: the 14-year-old triplets of the club's security chief, Mickey Hennessy, manage to squirrel themselves away within the resort's back rooms and stealthily work to foil the terrorists. Vile villains, the inevitable romance and the children-in-peril dynamic move the plot efficiently if predictably toward the harrowing finale in the rugged wilderness. This is a solid return for Sullivan, but a place keeper at best. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Triple Crossby Mark Sullivan
"TRIPLE CROSS is a smart, prescient thriller that makes one wonder why the bottom really dropped out of the stock market. The story snaps and twists like a cracking whip, you can't help but root for Mickey Hennessey and his kids, and I defy you to guess the ending. Mark T. Sullivan has written a super-charged bestseller and surefire motion picture!" --Robert… See more details below
"TRIPLE CROSS is a smart, prescient thriller that makes one wonder why the bottom really dropped out of the stock market. The story snaps and twists like a cracking whip, you can't help but root for Mickey Hennessey and his kids, and I defy you to guess the ending. Mark T. Sullivan has written a super-charged bestseller and surefire motion picture!" --Robert Crais
The Jefferson Club is a remote, private resort for the super-rich – the buildings, the amenities, and the security are state of the art and beyond compare. Many of the world's wealthiest people – business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, celebrities – gather for the most exclusive New Year's Eve party in the world. As expensive champagne flows and multibillion dollar deals are arranged, the unimaginable happens – a highly trained, heavily armed paramilitary force calling itself the Third Position Army breaches the world's best security system and takes everybody hostage.
"Mickey" Hennessey, former U.S. Special Agent, is the head of security for the Jefferson Club. A divorced father of three teenagers, he's spending the holiday with his kids. When the club is attacked, his entire team is wiped out and only he makes it out of the club alive. Now he's outside while his kids are trapped inside, hostages of the Third Position Army who are putting seven of the ten richest men on "trial" for their crimes against humanity, live on the internet for the world to see. While a top FBI rescue team works feverishly to rescue all the hostages, Hennessey is determined to do all he can, to overcome every obstacle, to ensure his children's safety – or die trying.
“Triple Cross is crisply written, breathlessly paced, suspenseful ... an almost-addictive page-turner.” Booklist
“Bestseller Sullivan's first thriller since 2003's The Serpent's Kiss displays his usual knack for setting and scenario.... This is a solid return for Sullivan.” Publishers Weekly
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By Mark T. Sullivan
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2009 Mark T. Sullivan
All rights reserved.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 31
True winter hit around eleven a.m. that New Year's Eve. North winds slanted in, bearing temperatures in the low teens. Iron clouds followed, casting a pale and crystalline-gray glow across the west flank of the Jefferson Range in southwest Montana.
Three construction helicopters chugged east toward the remote mountains over a valley cut up into cattle ranches and spliced by a river that ribboned through it. As they closed on the foothills, hail and snow peppered the choppers. Visibility worsened. The pilot in the lead airship grew agitated.
"We're gonna hit big-time snow and crosswinds," he said into his microphone, glancing at the hard-looking man riding next to him, dressed head to toe in snow camouflage and wearing a climbing harness. "Sure we can't postpone, General?"
The general turned his head, revealing the rocky face of a man in his early forties framed with shoulder-length brown hair. "We have a schedule," he replied icily. "It will not be compromised."
The pilot felt the general looking at him and glanced his way again. What he saw in the general's eyes rattled the pilot, made him feel like he was expendable.
"Get ready for one hell of a ride," the pilot said finally.
They gained elevation and entered the clouds. Visibility was less than two hundred feet. Crosswinds buffeted the chopper and it lurched sideways. The pilot fought for control as the helicopter bucked, shuddered, and jolted. Several of the fifteen other snow-camouflaged passengers in the bird's hold muttered and cursed.
"Gonna be worse at ten thousand feet," the pilot said, gritting his teeth. "I can't guarantee you'll get on the ground alive."
"Abort the first landing zone," the general said. "Use the secondary."
"It's a long hike," the pilot said.
"It is what it is," the general said.
The pilot got on his radio and called the orders to the other two helicopters. He turned south with the winds. The buffeting ebbed, but visibility remained pea soup. Twice the pilot got too low in the dense clouds and almost clipped the tops of lodgepole pines with his struts. Despite the icy air seeping in the doors of the helicopter, sweat kept beading on his forehead and dripping down his nose. The pilot had flown fifty missions in Iraq and had been twice engulfed in sand-storms in the air, but those experiences were nothing compared to the whiteout conditions he was facing.
The general, however, seemed largely unmoved by their predicament. His expression was burned in place, an attitude of calculating, grim determination. He peered back into the chopper's hold. There was an acidic odor wafting from in there and he recognized it as the scent of soldiers contemplating their mortality. His attention swept over the men and women sitting on benches, strapped to the helicopter's inner hull. The majority of them wore one version or another of the general's facial expression — expectant and focused.
Three of them, however, looked out of place — more fearful, more tenuous than the rest of the crew. One man, two women. All of them sitting together, their eyes darting from one to the other. The general caught the eye of the woman closest to him. Early twenties. Cute rather than pretty, short and athletic, her sandy hair was roped up in dreadlocks and a hoop ring pierced her nose.
"Are you ready, Mouse?" the general asked.
Mouse gazed at the general as if he were some kind of prophet, saying, "It's time to make them pay for the hell they've inflicted on people."
Approval rumbled through the helicopter's belly. The pale blond man beside Mouse spoke with a thick French accent. "Time to light the fire under their fat asses."
"It is, Cristoph," the general agreed. "Rose? Are you not well?"
The miserable-looking brunette with the big nose sitting next to Cristoph said, "If this shaking keeps up, I'm going to puke all over myself. I'm not used to this kind of crap. I don't know if I can do the rappel into the second zone."
The general's features hardened. "You'll do it or I'll throw you out the door."
Rose moaned and hung her head between her knees. The general's attention moved deeper into the cavity of the helicopter to a massive black man with a basketball-like head sitting atop crossbar shoulders.
"Truth, get your troops ready," he said. "Landing zone two."
Truth wiped a boxing mitt of a hand across his muzzle. "Lighten loads?
"We're already stripped to the essentials. We're just going to have to suck it up."
The pilot shouted, "Quarter mile, General!"
The general twisted back to look out the windshield. The snow was falling like hundreds of white whirl pools on the radically steep, shale-strewn hillside. The footing would be treacherous.
"Hundred and seventy-five yards and closing," the pilot said, watching the readout on his U.S.-military-spec GPS.
Truth and two men moved several large rubberized duffel bags toward the side door, which they slid open. Frigid air and swirling snow blasted the inner cabin and brought with them the piney smells of the forest.
"There's your cliff!" the pilot cried.
The general spotted a narrow balcony of rock jutting from the woods, off the side of a gorge two hundred feet deep. He pointed at gnarled old pines growing off the near side of the point.
"Come about and keep your nose on those trees," he told the pilot. "If you're on your game, you won't shear the rear blades and kill us all."
The pilot squinted in fear and eased the stick forward. The chopper hovered forward over the stone balcony. Ever so slowly, trembling like a compass confused by magnets, the nose of the ship came around.
"Go!" the general roared.
A pair of climbing ropes were flung out the door. Truth lifted the rappelling rack attached to his chest harness, clipped it to the rope, and went out the open side door. He carried a heavy pack with several grenades strapped to the back. He slid from view. The others followed.
The general shouldered his pack last, put on goggles, and leaped out the door, sliding down the rope, swinging wildly in the wind. Truth held the rope at the bottom and helped the general off.
The general walked the razorback, holding his hands out from his sides like a tight-wire artist, then reached the main cliff and entered the woods on a game trail, moving toward voices ahead. Behind him, the rubber duffel bags were lowered successfully, the first helicopter lifted away, and a second chopper took its place, disgorging more troops and supplies.
The general slipped through the trees toward the bottom of the rockslide where his soldiers were gathering. He tugged at the brim of his white wool hat, transforming it into a hood with holes cut for eyes, nose, and mouth. He crept into the embrace of a snow-laden fir tree. In his camouflage, the general was for all intents invisible, listening, gauging the people he was leading, looking for any weakness.
In the clearing, a lanky man in his late twenties with dark features and a gold front tooth yanked off a glove and with his free hand tugged up the collar of his coat. "We're taking this to a whole other level now," he said in an Oklahoma twang. "This is goddamned throwing down the gauntlet. Declaration of fuckin' war."
Cristoph removed his round wire-rimmed glasses and wiped the snow off them. "The general is right, Dalton," he said. "We must act."
A tall, attractive Latina woman in her thirties put her pack down beside them, saying, "If not, the world will be doomed. Our children will be doomed."
"I've heard the speech, Emilia," Dalton said. "I'm here, aren't I?"
"Are you, Dalton?" asked a pit-bullish man with a glare like an axe falling and teardrop tattoos under both eyes. "Cause if you aren't, you should get the fuck out before the shit hits the fan. Start hiking. Town's only, what, forty miles?"
"Cobb, there's a difference between stepping inside the nuthouse and thinking about it," Dalton shot back. "We'll see who keeps it together when it goes psycho."
"Yeah, we will," Cobb said, giving Dalton a snake's half-lidded expression.
"This is no time for measuring penises," Mouse said, her voice rippling with emotion. "We can't lose sight of what this is for." She raised her fist. "Remember Seattle! Change the world!"
"We change it now!" Cristoph cried and pumped his fist.
The general smiled.
Truth and the men from the third helicopter came into the clearing dragging the rubberized duffel bags behind them. They opened the bags and distributed black 9mm Sterling submachine guns and bandoliers of ammunition.
The general stepped into the clearing, took his gun, loaded it, and then said, "Okay. Let's go teach the world a thing or two about justice, Third-Position-style."CHAPTER 2
Nine miles north, it was snowing an inch an hour. Fresh powder lay on Hellroaring Peak and the ski trails of the Jefferson Club, a twelve-thousand-acre ultra-private resort for the super-rich and powerful, the only kind of people who could afford membership.
Initiation fees were six-point-five million and afforded the member a twenty-five-acre parcel on which to build one of the alpine castles that dotted the property. There was also unlimited use of the spectacular facilities: the lodge, the spas, the golf, the stables, the fishing ponds, the hunting grounds, and the exquisite cuisine.
But the skiing was really why they came. Four hundred and fifty inches of light powder fell on Hellroaring Peak every year. With fewer than eight hundred members and most of them living elsewhere much of the year, the snow inside the club was often deep and untracked for days.
At noon, Michael "Mickey" Hennessy swooped off the high-speed six-man chairlift atop Hellroaring Peak and ran his telemark skis straight into the newly fallen fluff, laughing when it burst around his boots and shins, light as goose feathers.
Tall, broad-shouldered, copper-haired, and in his mid-forties, Hennessy was an expert skier and he arced smoothly through the powder to the entrance of Fortune's Alley, a two-thousand-vertical-foot run that snaked down the flank of Hellroaring. Hennessy had loved to ski ever since he was a boy growing up in Vermont. Ordinarily, he would have headed into the trees to sample his favorite powder stashes. But he had important guests trailing him, so he sliced to a stop.
Up the hill toward the lift, a man and a boy snowboarded hesitantly in the powder. The boy lost his balance and fell. A woman on skis pulled up beside him and helped him up while the man skidded to a stop only to fall as well. Hennessy cursed silently. This could take all day and he had a dozen tasks to attend to more important than leading a tour. But orders were orders and at least it was snowing.
A voice buzzed over the radio strapped to the chest of his black parka, "Boss, you reading me?"
Hennessy reached up and tugged the microphone from its clip. "Loud and clear."
"Grant and his family just entered main gate. That's all of them."
"Roger that. I'll tell Mr. Burns as soon as I get off the hill."
Hennessy clipped the mike back above a nameplate that identified him as the Jefferson Club's vice president of security and director of privacy and then scanned the woodline up and down the trail. It was old habit. Hennessy was a former agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and had served on the detail that guarded the U.S. Secretary of State for six years. He took his job at the Jefferson Club just as seriously. Members paid for the finest safety measures on earth, and it was Mickey Hennessy's job to oblige them.
Especially that day. With the arrival of Aaron Grant, the seven wealthiest people in the world were on club grounds, along with the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and several former athletic greats and Hollywood celebrities. He had sweated the details of this weekend for months. Which was why Hennessy felt at cross-purposes as the snowboarders and the skier made their wobbly way toward him. On the one hand, he'd be better off finalizing the details of the evening's security team instead of leading a tour of the facilities. On the other, it wasn't every day you got to ski with Jack Doore, the richest man in the world, his wife, and his only son.
"God, we're spastics!" Jack Doore announced when he finally reached Hennessy's side, the big grin the only part of his face visible below the helmet and goggles. "I thought growing up surfing would have helped me."
"It should help tomorrow," Hennessy assured him. "There should be thirty inches up here. Maybe more."
"Thirty inches?" asked Stephanie Doore, the skier, as she skidded to a stop with her young son, Ian, in tow. "My God, what do you do if you fall?"
"Flail a lot," Hennessy said.
She laughed. So did her husband, who said, "That'll be me, Sir Flailalot."
Stephanie Doore chuckled. "Who does that make me?"
"Lady Flailalot," Jack Doore said.
Her son tugged on her sleeve. "Ian surfs, Mom," he said.
"Yes, you do, honey," Stephanie Doore said sympathetically.
Ian fell silent.
"I think he's getting hungry," his father announced.
"The main restaurant's closed for tonight's party, but the café is open," Hennessy said. "It's right off the base of the lift next to the chocolate room."
Ian perked up and said, "Mmmmm."
"That does sound decadent, doesn't it?" Stephanie Doore said.
"Only to the waistline," Hennessy said. "By the way, Mr. Grant and his family arrived a few minutes ago."
"Fashionably late, as usual," Jack Doore said. "Let's rip it up!"
To their delight and Hennessy's, the Doores stayed on their feet. They skied down Fortune's Alley, past the terrain park with its tabletop jumps, rails, and half-pipe to the base area in front of the lodge.
The Jefferson Club Lodge was the architectural crown jewel of the resort. Five stories high and constructed of granite, timber, and hand-sawn plank siding, the lodge had been designed to reflect an Adirondack great camp updated with a Japanese influence that was both beckoning and formidable. It featured two wings that ran out from a heated terrace below the ski lifts. Where the two wings met, a semicircular glass wall soared upward fronting the ballroom and, atop it, a grand atrium that was the building's centerpiece.
To the north there was a skating rink and to the south were the lodge's famous pools. The pools were carved to affect a trout stream with granite rock formations at each end that soared several stories high and were bored through with waterslides.
After stowing their skis and snowboards with a valet, Hennessy led the Doores toward the heated terrace, taking the opportunity to explain the other benefits of membership, including the snowmobile trails, the cross-country ski facilities, the eighteen-hole Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, the hunting grounds, the fishing ponds, and the stables. Then there was the legendary lodge with its fine Italian cuisine, the spa, tennis courts, saloons, the trading floor, the media center, and the grand ballroom available for special functions like tonight's ball.
After he finished, Stephanie Doore asked, "How much is membership?"
Hennessy explained the package, finishing with, "Of course, full membership with one of the more spectacular home sites triggers a surcharge of five million."
"So if we want a primo lot, we pay eleven-point-five million?" Jack Doore said. "That's not bad."
"No annual fee?" Stephanie Doore asked.
"If you come in at the premium level, you pay nothing more. Ever."
Stephanie Doore still seemed unconvinced. "How many homes do we need, Jack? Wouldn't an associate membership do? You can stay here as an associate, right?"
"You can," Hennessy allowed. "A suite will always be available to you, as will the rights to use suites at other Jefferson Club facilities worldwide, including the yacht in Crete, the castle near Royal Troon in Scotland, and, when it is finished, the Celadon resort on the south coast of Thailand. Associate membership, however, comes with yearly dues of fifty thousand dollars."
"Ian's hungry, Mom," Ian said.
Hennessy pointed across the terrace at the bowed glass room. "Café's right there."
Jack Doore hesitated. "You said the trading floor has real-time execution?"
Hennessy nodded. "I can take you there while your wife orders."
Excerpted from Triple Cross by Mark T. Sullivan. Copyright © 2009 Mark T. Sullivan. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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
MARK T. SULLIVAN is the author of several international bestselling thrillers, including the New York Times bestselling Purification Ceremony. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
A former Reuters journalist, MARK SULLIVAN is the author of several internationally bestselling thrillers on his own as well as the coauthor with James Patterson of the bestsellers Private Games (February 2012) and the forthcoming Private Berlin. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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I first came across "Triple Cross" through an email newsletter that has a list of upcoming release books. "Triple Cross" caught my eye and I picked it up the day it was available. It's a thriller, thats written like a great action movie, with a great storyline, amazing characters and several plot twists that make for a non-stop read. This is one of those books, you won't want to put down. The Jefferson Club, where the richest of the rich men come to relax & vacation. On this particular New Year's Eve, seven of the ten richest men are taken hostage by a heavily armed paramilitary eco-terrorist squad calling themselves "The Third Position Army", they plan to put the men on trial, one by one. They also plan to broadcast the trials through the internet and let the viewers vote. The main character, Mickey Hennessey is the Jefferson Club head security guard, a former Secret Service agent. After the initial attack on the club, Mickey Hennessey is trapped outside, wounded and his three triplets, Connor, Bridger & Hailey are stuck inside. "Triple Cross" has a little bit of something for everyone. The story is intriguing and has alot of current / recent real events mixed into the story, including alot about fraudulent stock market trading. I'd never heard of Mark T. Sullivan before this book, apparently his previous six books havent made a huge splash here in the states, but he's well known in Germany. After reading and thoroughly enjoying "Triple Cross", I plan to check out Mark's future books and a few of his previous novels! It's a great read if you like thrillers, you won't be disappointed with this one and you might even learn something, I did! Search the web for more information about the real Jefferson Club, actually called the Yellowstone Club near the Big Sky ski resort, Montana!
Mark T. Sullivan's new anti globalist thriller is a daring work of fiction in our present economic turmoil. This was one book that was hard to put down. Though at first it seemed to follow the usual predictable path of a special interest group out to prove it's point by terrorizing the elite, Mr. Sullivan's book takes a few turns that leaves the reader comparing the author's fiction to the facts of our faltering capitalism today. It's difficult not to become personally involved with the book, when our daily headlines read about corruption and trading that has brought companies to their knees. And just when you think you have it figured out, there's another revelation. The ending is a fantastic work of genius. If you love action/adventure Triple Cross is not to be missed. I absolutely loved this book.
I just loved this book. Couldn't put it down. The characters were so real to me. I can't wait to read Mark's other books.