Edge of Danger (Sean Dillon Series #9)

Edge of Danger (Sean Dillon Series #9)

by Jack Higgins

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Overview

From the bestselling author Jack Higgins comes a new thriller reuniting heroic American agent Blake Johnson and ex-IRA enforcer Sean Dillon. They join forces in a desperate race to stop a fanatical clan of international warriors from taking its ultimate revenge. Its target?

The President of the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425182840
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/02/2002
Series: Sean Dillon Series , #9
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 329,682
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jack Higgins lives on Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter OnePaul Rashid was one of the richest Englishmen in the world. He was also half Arab, and few people could tell you which influence most ruled his heart. Paul's father had been the leader of the Rashid Bedouin in the province of Hazar, in the Persian Gulf, and a soldier by both birth and tradition. Sent as a young man to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he had met Lady Kate Dauncey, the Earl of Loch Dhu's daughter, at a formal dance. He was wealthy and handsome and, despite the obvious problems, it was a love match. And so, despite the initial misgivings of both sets of parents, they had married, Paul's father traveling back and forth between England and the Gulf as necessary. Over the years they had produced four children: Paul, the eldest, Michael, George, and Kate. The children were intensely proud of both sides of their family. In deference to their illustrious Omani past, they all spoke fluent Arabic, and were Bedu to the heart, but as Paul Rashid would say, their English half was just as important, and they fiercely guarded the Dauncey name and their heritage as members of one of England's oldest families. The two traditions flowed together in their blood, the medieval British and the Bedouin, producing a general fierceness that was most remarked upon in Paul, and was perhaps best epitomized by an extraordinary incident that occurred when Paul was himself about to pass out of Sandhurst. He'd just gone home for a few days leave. Michael was eighteen at the time, George seventeen, and Kate twelve. The Earl was away in London and Paul had gone down to Hampshire and found his mother in the library of Dauncey Place with a badly bruised face. She had reached to hug him and it was Kate who'd said, "He punched her, Paul. That awful man punched Mummy!" Paul turned to Michael and said carefully, "Explain." "Vagrants," his brother told him. "A bunch of them moved into Roundhay Spinney with four trailers and some horses. Their dogs killed our ducks and Mother went to speak to them." "You let her go alone?" "No, we all went, even Kate. The men laughed at us, and then when Mother started shouting at them, their leader, a large man, very tall, very aggressive, punched her in the face." Paul Rashid's own face was very pale, the eyes dark, as he stared at Michael and George. "So, this animal laid hands on our mother and you let it happen?" He slapped them both. "You have two hearts. A Rashid's and a Dauncey's. Now, I will show you how to be true to both." His mother grabbed his sleeve. "Please, Paul, no more trouble, it's not worth it." "Not worth it?" His smile was terrible. "There is a dog here who needs a lesson. I intend to give him one," and he turned and led the way out. They drove to Roundhay Spinney in a Land Rover, the three boys. Paul had forbidden Kate to come, but after they left, she saddled her favorite mare and followed anyway, galloping across country. They found the trailers parked in a circle, with a large wood fire in the center, and a dozen or so men and women grouped around it, along with several children, four horses, and dogs. The large man described by the two younger boys sat on a box by the fire drinking tea. He looked up as the three young men approached. "And who might you be?" "My family owns Dauncey Place." "Oh, dear, Mr. high-and-mighty, is it?" He laughed at the others. "Looks more like a prick to me." "At least I don't punch women in the face. I try to act like a man, which is more than anyone can say about you. You made a mistake, you piece of dung. That lady was my mother." "Why, you little shite...," the large man started, and never finished. Paul Rashid's hand went into the deep pocket of his Barbour anorak, and pulled out a jambiya, the curved knife of the Bedu. His brothers followed suit. As the other men moved in, Paul slashed with the jambiya down the left side of the large man's skull, slicing off the ear. One of the other men pulled a knife from his pocket, and Michael Rashid, filled with energy he had never known, slashed sideways with his own jambiya, cutting open the man's cheek, sending him howling with pain. One of the others picked up a branch and used it as a club to strike at George, but Kate Rashid ran from where she'd been hiding, picked up a rock, and hurled it into his face with a shrill cry in Arabic. As quickly as it had begun, it was over. The rest of the group stood warily, in silence, not even the women and children crying out, and suddenly the skies opened and rain poured down. The leader held a soiled handkerchief to his ear, or what was left of it, and groaned, "I'll get you for this." "No, you won't," Paul Rashid said. "Because if you ever come near this estate or my mother again, it won't be your other ear you'll lose. It will be your private parts." He wiped his jambiya on the man's coat, then produced a Walther pistol from his pocket and fired twice into the side of the kettle over the fire. Water poured out and the flames began to subside. "I'll give you one hour to clear out. I believe the National Health Hospital in Maudsley covers even scum like you. But do take me seriously." He paused. "If you and your friends ever bother my mother again, I will kill you. Nothing is more certain." The three young men drove away through the rain, Kate following on her horse. The rain was relentless as they entered the village of Dauncey and drove up to the pub named the Dauncey Arms. Paul braked outside, they got out, and Kate slid off her mare and tied her to a small tree. She stood facing them in the rain, her face troubled. "I'm sorry that I disobeyed you, brother." But Paul kissed her on both cheeks, and said, "You were wonderful, little sister." He held her for a moment as his brothers looked on, then released her. "And it's high time you had your first glass of champagne." Inside the pub were beamed ceilings, a marvelous old mahogany bar ranged with bottles, and a huge log fire in the grate. Half a dozen local men at the bar turned, then took off their caps. The landlady, Betty Moody, who'd been polishing glasses, looked up and said, "Why, Paul." Her familiarity was expected. She had known all of them since childhood, had even been Paul's nurse for a time. "I didn't know you were home." "An unexpected visit, Betty. There were some things I needed to take care of." Her eyes were hard. "Like those bastards at Roundhay Spinney?" "How on earth do you know about them?" "Not much gets by me, not here at the Arms. They've been bothering people in the neighborhood for weeks." "Well, they won't be a problem to anybody, Betty, not any more." He placed his jambiya on the bar. There was a sound of vehicles passing outside, and one of the men went to the window. He turned. "Well, I'll be damned. All the shites be on their way out." "Yes, well, they would be," Michael said. Betty put down a glass. "No one loves you more than I, Paul Rashid, no one except your blessed mother, but I do recall your temper. Have you been a naughty boy again?" Kate said, "The awful man attacked Mummy, he beat her." The bar was silent and Betty Moody said, "He what?" "It's all right. Paul cut his ear off, so they've gone away." Kate smiled. "He was wonderful." The silence in the bar was intense. "She wasn't too bad herself," Paul Rashid said. "As it turns out, our little Kate is very handy with a rock. So, Betty, love, let's open a bottle of champagne. I think copious helpings of shepherd's pie wouldn't come amiss, either." She reached over and touched his face. "Ah, Paul, I should have known. Anything else?" "Yes, I'm going back to Sandhurst tomorrow. Could you find time to see if Mother needs any help? Oh, and excuse the fact that the child here is too young to be in the bar?" "Of course on both counts." She opened the fridge and took out a bottle of Bollinger. She patted Kate on the head. "Get behind the bar with me, girl. That makes it legitimate." As she thumbed off the cork, she smiled at Paul. "All in the family, eh, Paul?" "Always," he said. Later, after the meal and the champagne, he led the way across the road and through the graveyard to the porched entrance of the Dauncey parish church, which dated from the twelfth century. It was very beautiful, very Gothic, with an arched ceiling and, the rain having stopped, a wonderful light coming in through the stained-glass windows and falling across the pews and the marble gravestones and carved figures that were the memorials of the Dauncey family across the centuries. Their peerage was a Scottish one. Sir Paul Dauncey it had been until the death of Queen Elizabeth, and then when King James VI of Scotland became James I of England, his good friend Sir Paul Dauncey was one of those who galloped from London to Edinburgh to tell him. James I had made him Earl of Loch Dhu-the black loch or the place of dark waters-in the Western Highlands. As it usually rained six days out of seven, though, the Daunceys had understandably remained at Dauncey Place, leaving only a small, broken-down castle and estate at Loch Dhu. The one signal difference between Scottish and English peerages was that the Scottish title did not die with the male heirs. If there were none, it could be passed through the female line. Thus, when the Earl died, his mother would become Countess. He himself would receive the courtesy title of Viscount Dauncey, the other boys would be Honorables, and young Kate would become Lady Kate. And one day, Paul, too, would be Earl of Loch Dhu. Their footsteps echoed as they walked along the aisle. Paul paused beside a lovely piece of carving, a knight in armor and his lady. "I think he would have been pleased today, don't you?" He recited part of the family catechism, familiar to all of them: "Sir Paul Dauncey, who fought for Richard the Third at the Battle of Bosworth Field, then cut his way out and escaped to France." "And later, Henry Tudor allowed him back," young Kate said. "And restored his estates." "Which inspired our family motto," Michael added. "'I always return.'" "And always have." Paul pulled Kate close and put his arm about his brothers. "Always together. We are Rashid, and we are Dauncey. Always together." He hugged them fiercely and Kate cried a little and held him tight. After Sandhurst, Paul was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, did a tour in Ireland, and then in ninety-one, was pulled into the Gulf War by the SAS. This was ironic, because his father was an Omani general, a friend of Saddam Hussein's, who had been seconded to the Iraqi Army for training purposes and found himself caught up in the war as well, on the other side. No one questioned Paul's loyalty, however. For the SAS behind the Iraqi lines, Paul Rashid was a priceless asset, and when the war ended, he was decorated. His father, however, died in action. For his part, Paul accepted the situation. "Father was a soldier and he took a soldier's risks," he told his two brothers and sister. "I am a soldier and do the same." Michael and George also went to Sandhurst. Afterward, Michael went to Harvard Business School, and George into the Parachute Regiment, where he did his own tour in Ireland. One year was enough, however. He left the army and joined a course in estate management. As for young Kate, after St. Paul's Girls School, she went to St. Hugh's College, Oxford, then moved into her wild period, carving her way through London society like a tornado. When the Earl died in 1993, it was totally unexpected, the kind of heart attack that strikes without warning and kills in seconds. Lady Kate was now the Countess of Loch Dhu, and they laid the old man to rest in the family mausoleum in Dauncey churchyard. The entire village turned up, and many outsiders, people Paul had never met. In the Great Hall at Dauncey Place where the reception was held, Paul went in search of his mother and found one such person leaning over her, a man in his late middle age. Paul stood close by as his mother glanced up. "Paul, dear, I'd like you to meet one of my oldest friends, Brigadier Charles Ferguson." Ferguson took his hand. "I know all about you. I'm Grenadier Guards myself. That job you did behind Iraqi lines with Colonel Tony Villiers was fantastic. A Military Cross wasn't enough." "You know Colonel Villiers?" Paul asked. "We go back a long way." "You seem to know a lot, Brigadier. That SAS operation was classified." His mother said, "Charles and your grandfather soldiered together. Funny places. Aden, the Oman, Borneo, Malaya. Now he runs a special intelligence outfit for the Prime Minister." "Kate, you shouldn't say that," Ferguson told her. "Nonsense," she said. "Everyone who is anyone knows." She took his hand. "He saved your grandfather's life in Borneo." "He saved mine twice." Ferguson kissed her on the forehead, then turned to Paul. "If there's anything I can do for you, here's my card." Paul Rashid held his hand firmly. "You never know, Brigadier. I may take you up on that some day." Being the eldest, Paul was selected to go to London to consult with the family lawyer about the late Earl's will, and when he returned late in the evening, he found the family seated by the fire in the Great Hall. They all looked up expectantly. "So what happened?" Michael asked. "Ah, as you are the one who's been to Harvard Business School, you mean how much?" He leaned down and kissed his mother on the cheek. "Mother, as usual, has been very naughty and did not prepare me." "For what?" Michael asked. "The extent of grandfather's position. I never knew that he owned large portions of Mayfair. About half of Park Lane, for starters." George whispered. "What are we talking about?" "Three hundred and fifty million." There was a gasp from his sister. His mother simply smiled. "And it gives me an idea," Paul said. "A way to put this money to good use." "What are you suggesting?" Michael asked. "I did Irish time after Sandhurst," Paul said. "Then the Gulf with the SAS. My right shoulder still aches on a bad day from the Armalite bullet that drove through it. You did Sandhurst, Michael, and Harvard Business School; George a year in Ireland with One Para. Kate has yet to make her bones, but I think we can count on her." Michael said, "You still haven't told us your idea." "It's this. It's time we banded together, made ourselves a family business, a force to be reckoned with. Who are we? We are Dauncey-and we are also Rashid. Nobody has more influence in the Gulf than we do, and what does the world want most from the Gulf right now? Oil. The Americans and Russians in particular have been nosing around the Gulf for months, trying to buy up exploration leases. But to get to that oil, they have to acquire the good will of the Bedu. And to get to the Bedu, they have to get through us. They must come to us, my family." George said, "What are we talking about here?" Their mother laughed. "I think I know." Paul said, "Tell them." "Two billion?" "Three," he said. "Sterling, of course, not dollars." He picked up a bottle of champagne. "I am, after all, a very British Arab." —Reprinted from Edge of Danger by Jack Higgins by permission of Putnam Pub. Group, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2001 by Jack Higgins. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.\

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Edge of Danger 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt, this is the worst Jack Higgins book I have read, and I have read many of them. I know I am not going in for great literature when I buy one, but I do enjoy the stories, mostly involving the daring Sean Dillon.
This story seemed to have been written by a computer. It had no heart, stirred no feeling, and the tension wouldn't hold a clothes line.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If this is 'Jack Higgins', then how did any of his books get read. A most boring, supercillious, pretentious 'novel'. This book was completely 'mailed in'. Shame on you Mr Higgins.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like all the other novels in the Dillon series, Edge of Danger measures up quite well. It has all the characteristics of a Higgins book, including an ending with a twist. Excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Higgins protrays family honor in this as I have never seen before. It was really great to finally see someone standing up for their family, rather than their lover, career, or just their own self. That's what gets old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Andy McNab this one just didn't have substance and all of the characters were artificial. The fight scene under water was dreadful. I felt that Higgins put no effort into giving the story any depth or realism. I'm about two thirds of the way through and have decided to stop reading it. Much of the book is name dropping for the sake of it rather than for the sake of the story. Kelly was SAS??? Read Immediate Action. The characters drink Thumbnails whisky? Who gives a damn. Not me. I used to enjoy Higgins. Maybe I'll read an older one and see if its me or the books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great grabber to read. Mr Higgins is at the top of his form in this tight-fisting adventure. From England to the USA and back in England, Mr. Higgins tells a story about villians and the hero from his other best sellers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This could be Higgins' best book since The Eagle Has Landed and The Eagle Has Flown. The story flies into a whirlwind of action right off the bat. He is the best international writer ever! I have read every book he has written. Curl up and enjoy this weell written thriller by a master. I have read this one in a few days! It is the best book so far this year. Higgins stays in top form. A great action thrill-ride. A best seller to say the least. Count on it to be his 32nd book. Do not over look this top selling thriller. Buy it today. Enjoy it at the beach or when you go on vacation. You will not be dissapointed. Great fun is to be had.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a Higgins fan for years, but after 'Edge of Danger', I will not be too quick to buy another of his. The plot was so-so, but the writing was boring and disappointing. I finally, with about 1/4 of it left, could not even finish it. Very poorly done indeed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Edge of danger' was one of the better Dillon books (read Thunder Point and President's daughter). In the past two Dillion books, Dillon works close with presidential aide Blake Johnson. However, their partnership was carboarded from their first novel together(president's daughter), but in this one they rarely interact with each other and in some ways that saved the story. It's really Dillon's story here as he struggles with his own morality. A good read for anyone interested in an adventure novel
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Day of Reckoning, I knew that all of the same characters would be back, with the exception of one major player-Hannah Bernstein. I knew that something was going to happen to her-either killed off or hurt very badly. Higgins was predictable. I think it is time that he stop writing so many books at one time and concentrate on producing one very good one. The character of Sean Dillion is a remarkable creation, unfortunately he had more depth as a villian. I would like to see more character development of the prominent characters, not just action and killing. A relationship with Hannah would be a step in a different direction. It wouldn't make Dillion any less dangerous. Better luck next time, Mr. Higgins.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is definitely an amateurish novel with unbelievable plots and the actions were so lamed. Higgins did wrote a lot of good novels but this definitely is not one of them. I can't imagine how this book was a best seller with such a weak story line and the characters so unreal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great read from Higgins. Fast paced, action packed, all our favorite characters are back, can't ask for much more, except a better climatic confrontation. That was the only downside to me about the novel. I had to reread it to make sure I hadn't missed it. I expected a better showdown. The lone survivor will return and should make for a great vengefull sequel. Overall, especially for a fan of Higgins and Sean Dillion, a great hunt. Go get 'em Dillion, you old sod.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I look forward to reading a Jack Higgins novel. As a kid I read every Ian Fleming 007 book I could get my pudgy little hands on. Granted Higgins is not Fleming and Sean Dillon is not James Bond¿but I draw the parallel just the same because I like the action stories and Jack Higgins never disappoints when it comes to action. If you like the action/danger story, one that will most assuredly place you at the edge of your chair, at the edge of your bed, or at the edge of your toilet seat, depending on where you do your most serious reading, then Edge of Danger is the book for you. Mr. Higgins is a far better writer than I so when I offer a criticism I do it in my most humble way. So here it is, I get tired of plots that involve someone trying to kill the President of the United States. Ok so the antagonists fail in their attempt and go after the Prime Minister.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jack Higgins stands head and shoulders above all contemporary authors, and his fans will not be disappointed with his newest thriller, Edge of Danger. The first book I read of Higgins was Luciano's Luck in 1981, and I immediately became an avid fan. Over the past twenty years - yes, he's been around at least that long, while most of his contemporaries have faded away - his books have occupied a special 'Jack Higgins' shelf in one of my bookcases. In Edge of Danger the irrepressible Sean Dillon matches wits with a family of both British and Arab nobility in connection with an infringement on their Arab land by The United States and Russia. Higgins, as usual, keeps the heart thumping and the pulse racing from start to finish, and he doesn't write a ponderous five hundred pages to do it, as so many of today's authors do. He keeps his stories nicely compact. Fans of Higgins will find all our usual 'family' here: Dillon, Ferguson (promoted to General from Brigadier) and Superintendant Hanna Bernstein. This is a must read. Long live Jack Higgins!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want a book that you can't put down this is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS GUY PUMPS OUT GREAT BOOKS THE WAY THE BEATLES PUT OUT NUMBER 1 SONGS.....IF ITS ANYTHING LIKE HIS PREVIOUS CLASSICS,THEN WERE IN FOR ANOTHER MASTERPIECE VANJAYNE&AOL.COM
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Rashids are half British and half Arab and are contented with being one of the wealthiest families in the world. When the patriarch dies in battle, his survivors knew he was doing his job. However, when someone runs over their mother and nothing happens to the perpetrator, the new patriarch swears vengeance. He orders the assassination of the driver, but when the United States and Russia interfere with his business in the Arabian province of Hazar, he vows to bring death upon both nations.

He assembles an elite assassin team to kill the American president, but Sean Dillon, former IRA terrorist and now agent of the British government learns of the plan. Blake Johnson and the Secret service foil the attempt. Blake and Sean with the support of their respective governments intend to bring down the Rashids one person at a time.

Jack Higgins writes a fast-paced action thriller that keeps the reader turning pages at supersonic speed. There is plenty of action filed with shoot-outs and techno-gadgets along the lines of 007. Although dangerous and clearly a ¿bad boy¿, Sean still seems authentic. EDGE OF DANGER brings exciting entertainment that never eases up until the very last page for its adrenaline soaked crowd.

Harriet Klausner