World Without Endby Chris Mooney
Veteran CIA operative Steve Conway knows the next target -- a combat uniform that renders a soldier virtually invisible -- and knows it would
His code name is Angel Eyes. His ability to steal advanced prototype weapons is legendary in the shadowy world of covert ops. Yet the weapons are never sold on any black market. They're never used. They simply vanish.
Veteran CIA operative Steve Conway knows the next target -- a combat uniform that renders a soldier virtually invisible -- and knows it would make Angel Eyes unstoppable. But when a trap is set, things go terribly wrong. Now, to retrieve the most valuable weapon ever invented, Conway must go one-on-one with the most dangerous man in the world. As he closes in on the true identity of Angel Eyes, Conway begins to see that there are sinister forces at work. Forces that may come from within the CIA itself.
Forces that want Conway dead...
Publishers Weekly You can't keep track of the psychopaths without a scorecard.
- Pocket Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.18(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.16(d)
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Conway woke with a start. He lay on his stomach, sweating, the white bed sheet tangled around him like a vine and sticking to his bare skin, his heart pumping with a frantic energy, as if it were mustering all of its strength to ward off a familiar and powerful enemy.
The window fan was on; cool air blew across his damp, fevered skin. Outside, the Texas sun had just started to rise, the stars still visible in the dark blue sky. Dull red and gold slivers of light glowed across the cream-colored bedroom walls of the condo. The clock on the nightstand read 4:30 a.m.
Going back to sleep was useless. He had to get up in another hour and a half. He rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling.
The specifics of the dream didn't bother him. Over the past five years, the shooting had visited him dozens of times during odd moments -- and always in his sleep, the rational part of his mind replayed the specific events of that day in a desperate attempt to glean some hidden truth that, once discovered, would somehow prevent him from future harm. Fairytale bullshit. Life, he knew, didn't work that way. Shit happens. What you did was bottle the incident, give it a label, shelve it away, and ignore it. His experience at St. Anthony's Group Home had taught him that.
What did bother him was the feeling the dream always left in its wake: an indescribable sensation of debilitating loneliness. The feeling was not new to him; it had been with him as long as he could remember, coming and going, varying in its intensity, and in his thirty-four years of life he could still not explain to himself or any friend or priest the cause of its origin.
"Bad dream?" Pasha asked, her English flawless. She lay in bed with her back facing him, her voice clear and strong, always strong.
Pasha rolled over onto her stomach and placed her head against the pillow, her thick, dirty-blond hair strewn about her face and shoulders. She wore white panties and one of his white tank top undershirts. Her normally pale skin had a slight tan from the hours spent under the harsh Texas sun and her long body was firm and strong from her training in sambo, the martial-arts system used to train Russia's Special Forces. Middle age had given her a slightly feminine softness that he found attractive. That didn't mean she wasn't dangerous. Conway had seen her go up against the big boys many times. Pasha always won.
"The thing with Armand was a fluke. An accident," Pasha said. "You survived it."
Barely, a voice reminded him. But even now, in his semiawake state, he knew the dream had little to do with Armand and more to do with his irrational need to have the power to control and alter his surroundings.
"There's a lot riding on today," Conway said. "Two years of work. I want to make sure it goes down right. Make sure all the team members are in place and know what to do."
"We're prepared, Stephen. You're not in this alone."
"I realize that."
Pasha waited for the rest of it. She stared at him, her blue eyes filled with that constant expression of wariness and guard, the vigilant hunter staring down the scope of a rifle searching for the next target.
Conway looked away from her hard gaze. Her left ear was missing; what remained was a molten blob that, even when they were alone in the bedroom, she carefully hid behind her shoulder-length hair. No one knew what had caused the deformity. Her private life was as vaulted as her emotions.
Pasha Romanov was nine years older than he -- had turned forty-three two days ago -- and in the five years they had worked together, and even when their professional relationship had turned private, she had rarely opened up about her life. It was as if all of her memories and their affixed emotions were stored in vials only to be examined in private.
Conway propped himself up and rubbed the fatigue out of his face. "I'm going to go out for a run," he said. "Want to come?"
Pasha's full lips were clamped together, pouting.
"What?" he asked.
Pasha pushed herself up to her knees. Conway watched as she climbed up on top of him, her breasts swelling against the tightness of his white tank top. The first time he saw her breasts, he had been taken aback by their size and fullness. Pasha wore modern Armani business suits to work. She never wore clothes generally worn by most women and eschewed any style that accented her femininity.
Without a word or sound, Pasha yanked his boxers down his legs and then took him into her mouth. Behind her thick locks, her blue eyes stared up at him, her gaze serious and intense, the way one stared down an adversary. Conway surrendered himself to the smooth, texture of her mouth, and the dream and the hollow feeling of loneliness that had haunted him just moments ago began to drift away.
Several minutes later, his knees grew weak. His body started to jerk. Pasha sensed what was about to happen and stopped. She slid out of her underwear, removed her tank top, then moved on top of him and guided him deep inside her. Pasha always had to be on top -- she didn't like sex any other way -- and he wasn't surprised when she grabbed his wrists, moved them over his head, and pinned them hard against the mattress with a surprising strength. Pasha needed to dominate him like she did everything else in her life; she controlled how they fucked, set the pace and tempo -- she even controlled where he touched her by guiding his hands to certain areas, watching him the entire time.
Pasha leaned forward, her back arched, until her breasts rubbed against the upper part of his chest and the whiskers along his face, and then rocked back and forth, slowly, in full control, and stared down at him through her hair. Other women in his life had required constant foreplay before actual intercourse. Sex was a production. Not with Pasha. She fucked like a man, got right down to it without any pretense, no moaning, no change in expression, just greedy, give me what I need and absolutely no talking, her eyes always open and watching, her intense gaze reminding Conway of the way a jewel thief prizes a rare, priceless stone locked behind glass.
What a pair we make, Conway thought.
A moment later Conway felt the pressure build again. Without a sound or a change in expression, Pasha rocked her hips even quicker while keeping his hands pinned above his head, her strength amazing. His body jerked and shuddered and a moment later it was over, both of them quiet, breathing hard and sweating.
Pasha lay on top of his chest, her breasts damp with perspiration, sliding against his already wet skin. She still held his hands in place and then rested her chin on his shoulder, near his scar, her hair covering his face and eyes. It was like he was looking at the world from a jail cell.
"I'll always be here for you," Pasha whispered, her words a low, drowsy hum against his ear. Conway could hear her labored breaths, could smell the sleepiness and sweat lingering on her skin. "I know."
"I'll keep you safe," she said. "I promise."
Conway pried his hands away from her grasp, wrapped his arms around her back, and hugged her close to him. He felt the hard, rubbery stump of her left ear press against his cheek, a grim reminder that love and the whispered promises of solace and protection were no match against the chaotic agenda of the outside world.
Copyright © 2001 by Chris Mooney
Meet the Author
Chris Mooney is the critically acclaimed author of Deviant Ways,
World Without End, and Remembering Sarah, which was nominated for
the Barry Award and the Edgar Award for Best Novel. He lives in Boston with his
wife and son. For more information, visit www.chrismooneybooks.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Who can believe that this young author is new? I considered myself so lucky to happen upon Deviant Ways! I shared with everyone I know! Luckily, I had a few hints as to the subject of World Without End a few months ago. The peak into the techno-thriller left me checking BN weekly! Mooney does NOT disappoint with World Without End. There are many characters to keep up with, but the plot moves so fast that each, and their agendas, all become very clear and intriguing! Steve Conway is the main character who has to battle many losses, deceptions, and betrayals. He does so valiantly! This book is a must read if you are a thriller lover. I'n no critic either, but am passionate about great books and authors! While I was leary about the techo-stuff, I was hooked after the first chapter! Passed up a gorgeous Southern afternoon to complete this novel! Way to go Chris and congrats on another fabulous work! What's next? And when? Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
The discovery of Chris Mooney and his first novel, DEVIANT WAYS, last year was one of the most rewarding surprises of 2000. I found it almost unbelievable that a new author could come from out of nowhere with a novel of such riveting suspense, in-your-face violence, and pacing that leaves the reader utterly breathless by the end as he/she travels into the world of the serial killer. Mr. Mooney is now back with his newest novel, WORLD WITHOUT END, and comes very, very close to matching the quality and intensity of his first book. This time around, the story deals with CIA operative, Steve Conway, who¿s a member of the elite IWAC (Information Warfare Analysis Center) unit, and whose mission is to stop one of the most diabolical terrorists¿Angel Eyes¿in the world from stealing the ultimate military weapon¿an optical camouflage suit that can render a soldier invisible to the enemy. Conway is one the CIA¿s best agents: he¿s tough, highly intelligent, loyal to the core, and totally relentless in carrying out his assignments. Though having come close to death on his previous mission, Conway is ready to get back into the trenches of dirty warfare and stop Angel Eyes from acquiring the one weapon that could literally change the course of mankind. A trap is set by IWAC for Angel Eyes in Austin, Texas at the company that¿s designing this camouflage suit. The creator of the suit, Major Dixon, is being used as bait to draw Angel Eyes out. After months of hard work and diligent planning, everything seems ready to roll, but something goes tragically wrong. Conway and the other members of the IWAC unit are caught completely off guard. Major Dixon is kidnapped, the camouflage suit is stolen, and almost everyone on the CIA¿s team is murdered. Due to blind luck, Conway barely manages to escape death a second time. The cost of surviving, however, is tremendous. Conway now realizes that there¿s a traitor in his organization that has ties to the Russian Mafia and who wants the suit for himself. As Conway seeks to follow the trail of clues that will lead him to Dixon and the suit, he has to find a way to stay alive while combating the traitor within the Agency¿s midst and keeping one step ahead of Angel Eyes. Conway won¿t know whom to trust as the bodies start piling up, and neither will the reader. As Angel Eyes tells him: Trust no one! WORLD WITHOUT END is a sleek, edge-of-your-seat thriller that sets a neck-breaking pace for the reader in the first twenty-or-so pages. The character of Steve Conway, though strong and determined, is a vulnerable one. He grew up as an orphan and learnt to keep his emotions bottled up, allowing few people to get close to him. In fact, it seems that most of the main characters in this novel had extremely bad childhoods. Everyone from Angel Eyes, to his right-hand assistant, Gunther, to Steve¿s partner and girlfriend, Pasha Romanov, and even the renegade CIA agent have tried to escape the past of their earlier, tormented years. Also, except for Steve and two of his old friends from his college days, all of the characters (and there are a lot of them¿so pay attention!) have secret agendas to fulfill and are definitely not the nicest people in the world. A couple of them have the nasty habit of biting off the ears of people before the serious torture begins. Whether intentional or not, there were certain scenes in the book where Angel Eyes reminded me a great deal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, especially when he was conversing with Steve Conway and the torture scene at the end of the novel. And, for the fans of DEVIANT WAYS, there¿s a brief mention of Malcolm Fletcher. It appears that both the CIA and the FBI are intent on tracking him down and delivering their form of deadly justice for his so-called sins. The writing skills of Mr. Mooney are definitely that of a seasoned pro. He knows how to quickly hook the reader into his books, deliver a sense of pacing that makes it almost impossible to put th
After reading Mooney's first book, Deviant Ways, I anxiously awaited his second. I was not disappointed in this one. Mooney seems to be capable of combining an obvious passion for technology with the ability to create characters and a story that make the extreme seem not only plauseable but magnetic. I read the critic's view before the customer's review and I'm here to tell you, I'm not a professional critic, I'm an avid reader. And I loved it.
Who is this Angel Eyes, who seems invisible and invincible as he steals special weapons leaving behind dead people whom might identify him? No one in law enforcement, espionage, State Department, or Defense can explain how this villain knows where to go. Whether it is Massachusetts or Texas or elsewhere, somehow Angel Eyes knows, comes, and steals. Even more confusing is these state of the art weapons never seem to surface anywhere as if Angel Eyes destroyed them, but the CIA and FBI who have loosely collaborated on these cases have no proof beyond the disappearance and suspicious deaths. THE CIA believes they know where Angel Eyes will strike next. They plan to finally end his successful pilfering of weapons. CIA operative Stephen Conway has the assignment to keep safe a prototype cloaking device that allows users to move while being seemingly invisible. However, others want this gadget too and the trap to capture the master thief unravels with several CIA agents dead, leaving Conway apparently by himself except for perhaps his girlfriend, if he can trust her, to confront Angel Eyes. WORLD WITHOUT END is an action packed thriller filled with double and triple crosses that keep on coming at the reader. Though the premise seems stretched, the story line keeps the reader fully indulged wanting to know what next. The support cast is incredibly developed though the lead character seems a nit wimpy in comparison. Still fans of non-stop techno-thrillers will enjoy Chris Mooney¿s fast paced tale. Harriet Klausner
Mooney follows up Deviant Ways with another fast-paced thriller that's full of villians and double-crossing people who are after the coolest invention ever invented: this military suit that offers 'optical camouflage' - a fancy way of saying cloaking. But the most fascinating (and coolest) villian in the book is Amon Faust, who may not be a villain at all. The guy's guaranteed to give you the creeps. The hero, Steve Conway, is a little bit too brooding for my taste (think Jack Casey, but younger) but Mooney makes up for it with guys like Faust and, even better, the butt-kicking Pasha Romanov and delivers an ending that's guaranteed to blow you out off your socks!!!!
I had been anxiously awaiting the newest release by the author of Deviant Ways, Chris Mooney. While this novel is more of a techno thriller, the plotline had my adrenaline going throughout the entire read. The characters are well developed and the storyline timely. The author has a keen eye for detail without going into tedious descriptions which made the plotline move at a quick and 'on your seat' pace. This is my idea of a thriller. Another winner. I am already looking forward to his next book.