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FBI SPECIAL AGENT KORD DAVIDSON had survived missions in the Middle East, been detained in Iran, escaped an ISIS death trap, and still walked and talked. His past kept him fueled for the future while adrenaline flowed whenever he recalled the danger — and the victories of working Houston's terrorist division.
Early Tuesday morning, Kord sat in a Mercedes limo with Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal, his longtime friend and a grandson of the royal Saud family, en route to the Saud mansion in River Oaks. The prince's mother, Princess Gharam, and his two sisters rode in a limo behind them. Prince Omar had requested Kord for protection detail as an olive branch to the Americans. Smart move, in Kord's opinion. The strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the US resulting from falling oil prices and the US having less dependency on foreign oil was only part of the problem. Despite being a strong ally to the West in the fight against terrorism, the Saudis disapproved of how the US was handling the ongoing tension in Iran, Syria, and Yemen, and the list went on.
Kord shook off those bleak thoughts and turned his attention to the security detail. "I'm looking forward to catching up with your family," he said to the prince. "I appreciate the e-mails with your sons' photos, but I want to know all about them from their father."
Prince Omar grinned like a boy himself. "They study hard and work even harder at mischief. You and I will have hours of coffee and conversation." His expression shifted to lines that aged him. "I wish the circumstances regarding my mother were more pleasant."
"MD Anderson is the best medical center in the world to help her."
"And Houston has the only facility conducting a clinical trial for her type of cancer. I keep telling myself she'll be fine, trying to be hopeful. I have an appointment with her team of doctors after she's admitted to the hospital this afternoon. They want to review the testing from her doctor in Riyadh and explain their proposed method of treatment." He paused. "I'm glad you're with me. In case Mother's treatments aren't successful, I'll need a friend." "Princess Gharam's a strong woman."
"She's determined to fight the cancer."
"I see your business plans aren't on the schedule."
Prince Omar turned to him. "I'll give you that once I know about Mother's treatment."
"My job is to ensure your safety."
"We'll discuss it later. On Wednesday week, I'd like for you to accompany me to Saudi Aramco."
He responded respectfully. How many of those at the family business were supportive of Prince Omar's plans to lease ownership in Saudi oil reserves to Americans?
Prince Omar tapped his driver on the shoulder. "Wasi, don't forget we're stopping at the Frozen Rock."
"A little early for ice cream," Kord said.
"Not on Riyadh time."
The prince's press secretary, Malik, laughed. "Prince Omar, I reserved the shop for 9 a.m. before we left home."
The moment the limos pulled off Westheimer into the busy shopping strip housing the Frozen Rock, uneasiness crept over Kord. A sensation he couldn't shake and one he'd learned to trust. He scoured the area looking for potential danger. "Prince Omar, I don't think we should do this."
"This is one of Mother's favorite excursions, and my sisters enjoy it too."
He glanced at his friend. "Zain and I can take orders and deliver them. My gut tells me this isn't safe, and I can't give you a solid reason why."
"I know your gut talk," Zain, the head Saudi bodyguard, said. "Kept us from getting killed a couple of times."
Prince Omar sighed heavily. "We have eight armed men. This is a go."
Wasi drove the limo to a far corner beneath an oak where both limos had room to park. The Frozen Rock sat midway in the retail center.
Zain turned to the prince. "Kord and I will make the initial trip and ensure the area is secure. After I talk to the owner and pay him per the conversation Malik had yesterday, I'll call you. If I detect anything risky, we can cancel."
The prince lifted his phone and frowned. "My battery is dead. Must have used it up at the airport. Call Malik if there's a problem."
Per the State Department and HPD, the bodyguards, all dressed in suits, were permitted to carry weapons in case of an attack. But Kord couldn't shake off the wariness. Only Zain and Prince Omar wore white cotton pants and shirts under their thobe and ghutra with a black mishlah. The men shared a remarkable resemblance, but having Zain disguised as the prince gave Kord little relief. He surveyed the area, noting teens from the high school across the street, two women in workout clothes, and others who gave no apparent reason for the hesitancy in his spirit. "Would you like for Wasi and Malik to join us?"
Zain laughed. "You and I have faced a lot worse than a store owner forgetting to open early."
"True." No talking down a stubborn Saudi when he'd made up his mind.
Wasi placed the limo in park.
Kord exited the limo and walked around the front, his attention focused on every conceivable point where danger could be lurking. Finding nothing, he opened the door on Prince Omar's side, and Zain stepped out, his slender body wrapped in centuries-old culture and tradition.
The two strode across the parking lot toward the window-walled Frozen Rock, painted in vivid orange and neon green. A Closed sign on the door met them, but lights were on inside the shop. Good. The reservations were intact. Now to get the prince and his guests fed and out of there. Was Kord crazy to be so apprehensive?
He knew Zain had his eyes and ears on what was happening around him while his fingers were inches from his weapon. A few feet from the glass door of the ice cream shop, Zain broke his stride.
He fell against the glass door.
The pop of a rifle sounded.
Kord grabbed him, pulling out his Glock with his other hand. Shouts in Arabic alerted him to bodyguards emerging from the limos close behind him. Time hung suspended. Zain's body slid to the sidewalk facedown, the ghutra soaked in red.
Kord bent to his friend and felt for a pulse. "Zain," he whispered, "this isn't the way it's supposed to happen." No response or faint heartbeat. Blood oozed from the back of his skull, draining a Saudi life onto US concrete.
Screams rose from nearby women and children.
The man who'd shared Middle Eastern danger and saved Kord's life was dead. No doubt mistaken for Prince Omar. How did the sniper know about the stop at the Frozen Rock?
Monica poured a large cup of the Arabic blend for a regular customer. "Chicken-bacon wrap too?"
"You bet. Add a bag of chips and a banana."
She peeled off a label containing a quote, sealed it onto the side of the cup, and handed it to him before bagging his lunch order to-go. "Been to the rodeo yet?"
"Taking the family on Saturday. The crowds will be crazy, but that's part of it. What about you?" He gave her a polished smile, one he used for her and every person he met there. Dressed in a dark suit and a two-hundred-dollar tie, he looked every bit the successful lawyer.
He turned the cup to read the quote. "'Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.' Abraham Lincoln. Good one. I'll remember it in court this afternoon."
"May you win all your cases." She laughed and pointed outside to dark, gathering clouds behind him. "Don't forget your umbrella."
He left the café and dashed down the sidewalk. She continued to serve coffee, specialty drinks, and deli sandwiches to the remaining patrons in line. An easy part of her life, but not her mission, her calling. Passing on smiles and encouragement provided optimism for her day and hopefully for the recipient.
A black man in his mid- to late thirties sat at a small table in the corner and sipped a double dry short. He'd spoken in a Nigerian accent, piquing her interest. The man's cell phone rang, and he snatched it. Frowning, he spoke low. She scanned him for recognition while reading his lips.
"I have no idea when he's arriving, but he'll have the rest of the money." The man listened. "We have to be careful." A tall black woman entered the café and seated herself beside him. He nodded and smiled. "I have to go. She's with me now, and we'll figure out how to surprise Father with a birthday party even if our brother doesn't get here in time."
Monica's cell phone vibrated twice, paused, then three more times, signifying a notification from her handler.
"Lori, can you take over?"
Her friend gave a quick nod. Without a word, she moved to the register. No questions asked. Monica had told Lori months ago when she was hired that personal family issues could demand her attention at any time. Yet Lori kept her employed at the coffee shop. With Monica's commitment to the CIA, she was forced to lie to her family and friends, but the cover kept them safe. If the truth ever surfaced, the betrayal might destroy the relationships she treasured. Would they ever understand her commitment to keep their country safe?
With no time to waste, she locked herself inside the restroom, knowing she had less than two minutes to read and respond. Her mental clock counted down to thirty seconds remaining. If she missed confirming the secure notice, it would repeat until she responded. A nagging headache didn't help the urgency.
Safe House ASAP OMW
Excerpted from "High Treason"
Copyright © 2018 DiAnn Mills.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Edge of your seat, entertaining, and rich in description of characters, locations, and surroundings masterfully woven together to capture a Middle Eastern world brought to America. Discussion questions, most helpful.
Fantastic! Action packed with a wonderful romance woven all the way through. Thoroughly enjoyed this read.
The intense intrigue, suspense, and action drew me in from the start. I know almost nothing about the Middle Eastern customs, beliefs, and mentality, other than they are quite different from the American ways. I enjoy stories like this that give a glimpse of those differences although that is not the real purpose of the book. The author delves deeply into the struggles faced by Monica and Kord as they both dealt with issues from the past that colored the way they faced any given situation. She was one determined woman and he was just as determined, which can present a whole other set of issues since they worked for different agencies. Add to that the pride and stubbornness of the prince they were charged to protect. The story has explosive written all over it.
There is an assassination attempt on the Prince of Saudi Arabia when he visits America with his family. Since no one knew the prince's exact schedule in Houston, the FBI, CIA and the Prince's security detail have no idea how this could have happened. They have to find the one who leaked the schedule and stop him before its too late. As the list of suspects is narrowed down, they realize it must be someone close to the Prince. But who and why? The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is tenuous and this situation would not help at all. Is that why the trouble-maker is doing this? Or do they want to stop the economic and cultural changes the Prince wants to make? It's not until near the end of the book that we get answers and find out who was behind the plan. This book gives a very clear picture of the Saudi culture/religion. It's easy to understand and appreciate their way of life which is very different from that of the way things are in North America. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for review consideration.
This book has suspense and some romance. It had twists and turns. I loved all of these. I even loved the look into the ways of Muslims. I did not want to put this book down. Lord and !onica are great characters. How FBI agents and CIA agents try to work together. This book was well put together and I loved it. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
CIA Operative, Monica Alden, is brought in to work with FBI special agent, Kord Davidson, when an attempt is made on a Saudi Prince. They must set aside their interagency differences and work together to solve the assassination plot. But when the mystery comes close to home and they begin to suspect someone within the Prince’s inner circle, everything is turned upside down putting everyone’s lives in danger. Can Kord and Monica keep the Prince alive while fighting their growing attraction to each other? DiAnn Mills has done it again! She’s created a fast-paced tale with High Treason—the third installment of her FBI Task Force series. It caught me from the very beginning and held my attention until the very end. The mystery surrounding the plot kept me engaged with the twists catching me by surprise. The characters are well constructed and I liked both Kord and Monica right away. I loved the strong female in Monica. She wasn’t one to back down even when diagnosed with pneumonia. Love strong females! I loved how the author showed respect between the two different cultures and religions. You could tell she did her homework with research. Very interesting. The imagery used throughout was well done. I could picture everything going down till the final showdown with the killer. I give High Treason five stars. It’s one book you won’t be able to put down!! **I has been provided courtesy of the author and Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. Pick up a copy today!
CIA, FBI, ACTION, AND ASSASSINATION PLOTS! The newest book in the FBI Task Force series by DiAnn Mills, HIgh Treason provides a great premise that can come straight from current headlines of the nightly news. You can appreciate the research in this story with the cultural differences being such a big part of the storyline. Strong characters, that have major trust issues, are expected to work as a team. Great relationship aspects are woven in, both work and personal. You have the suspense, action, and of course, the plot twists that DiAnn Mills expertly includes. I loved this book with all the mystery and intrigue. This can be read as a stand alone if you have not read the two previous books in the series. Though I recommend reading them all. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the author. All opinions are solely my own.
Diane Mills has written another excellent suspense story. Combine a CIA agent and an FBI agent with a task of protecting a Saudi Arabian Prince from terrorists bent on killing him, and you have a heck of a story on your hands. Although neither wants to admit it, CIA agent Monica Alden and FBI agent Court Davidson are attracted to each other. Neither is looking for romance at this point but it does start to happen. Trying to protect the prince from his enemies is a very difficult task. What I liked about this book is the there is lots of action plus lots of good old-fashioned investigating, gathering facts and trying to piece them all together. As the agents try to figure out who is responsible for the attempts to assassinate the prince the reader is brought right along trying to figure it out for his or herself.
High Treason is plot driven, but that doesn’t mean the characters take a backseat. Kord and Monica find themselves working together to solve an assassination plot against the Saudi Prince Omar during his visit to the States for both business and his mother’s cancer treatment. Monica and Kord are familiar with Saudi culture, and they are both Type A personalities, which means nothing stands in their way in the race against the clock to crack the case, except maybe a budding romance, the flu, treacherous betrayal, and the fight for acceptance in a culture that doesn’t accept strong women on equal footing with men. It’s an uphill battle for all involved, but the story hurtles at breakneck speed toward an exciting ending. DiAnn Mills has definitely done her homework in terms of researching the FBI Task Force as well as Saudi culture. I love that the author has Monica maintain her identity as an American female agent with a job to do and still show respect for the Saudi culture. As a result, Monica earns that respect back from Kord, the Prince, and the Prince’s sisters. I absolutely love the relationship Monica forges with these sisters, showing them that even in their patriarchal culture, they can have agency in keeping themselves safe and strong and confident. Despite the harrowing action to combat the threats and untwist the assassination plot, the story has a few bits of humor. I won’t give anything away, but I can say Monica unwittingly earns extreme admiration from an unlikely admirer. So adorably sweet. High Treason is the third in the FBI Task Force Series; however, these books are not connected. It has been my pleasure to read and enjoy the first two in this series, and the third, High Treason, is just as thrilling and faced paced.
This is book three in the FBI Task Force series, however they are all stand alone novels. If you enjoy reading FBI type, suspense, mystery type books you will like this one. It will keep you guessing. DiAnn Mills knows how to develop her characters and make them seem real. This novel is full of international issues, friendship, loyalty and so much more. Some of the characters are a little hard to figure out, yet it adds to the mystery. Kord and Monica have a fire and ice type connection that only gets better and better. When faced with international problems they must work together and put aside other issues to find who is out hunting the Prince.
The attempt to assassinate Prince Omar is the driving force behind High Treason for me. Unraveling the twisting story of conspiracy, betrayal, and deceit really kept me engaged and turning pages. Reading the inner workings of the sharp minds of both Monica and Kord is very satisfying. Both Kord and Monica have similar backgrounds, having previously worked in the Middle East. Monica and Kord start off their new partnership on rocky ground; the two are like oil and vinegar. Both are very much individuals, fighting to stay separate. “I told you this partnership wouldn’t work. You know nothing about a brotherhood of loyalty.” (Kord to Monica) But when combined, Kord and Monica make something so much better, a partnership in both work and life. Kord has a history with Prince Omar. The prince trusts Kord implicitly and requests that Kord join his security detail while in Houston. Kord is the quintessential hero type, rescuing kidnapped wives and children, protecting his new partner, and saving the day on a regular basis. Where Kord is already a part of the prince’s security team, Monica is the outsider. She’s been assigned to work with Kord to stop the assassination attempts. As a western woman, she struggles with earning respect from Kord, the prince, or his security team. She’s relegated to the women’s wing with the prince’s sisters, put on the sidelines of all the action. Ms. Mills does a great job describing Monica’s frustrations with her treatment. “I wouldn’t survive under his rein, and I do mean r-e-i-n.” Monica finally does earn the admiration of Kord and the prince. I really appreciate this facet of High Treason. The prince and his team show real growth of character by accepting and relying on Monica. The romance aspects in High Treason seem rushed to me. Not rush into bed/sex, but rush into feelings. But maybe that’s what happens when you spend 24 hours a day with someone? I’m skeptical. Kord and Monica start as partners, first trying to be civil, then developing trust, and then falling for each other, all in a very short window of time. Ms. Mills does a great job showcasing the differences between Western and Saudi culture. I particularly welcome how respectful Monica is towards the prince. As well, I applaud how much the prince and his staff are thankful Monica is on the team by the end of the novel. The interplay between the two sets of characters (western vs Saudi) is a well-orchestrated dance. I’m always entertained by Ms. Mills’s use of Houston as a background to her stories. This time around, it is Morton’s The Steakhouse (a company I used to work for!) and the Houston Rodeo. Though, I do marvel at how quickly characters seem to drive between locations. There never seems to be any traffic in these novels. And as someone who lives in Houston, I find that difficult to imagine! I thoroughly enjoyed reading High Treason. It’s a plot-driving ride, with plenty of action to hold my attention.
Deb’s Dozen: A Saudi Prince, A Determined Assassin—Will the FBI Keep Prince Safe? I love, love, love DiAnn Mills’ writing. High Treason was a surprise. Not that I didn’t love the story, I did—five stars worth. But DiAnn wrote in a different style which totally suited her characters and the story—more formal than I’m used to, and more precise. Saudi Prince Omar Bin Talal is in Houston to bring his ailing mother to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in hopes she’ll qualify for a clinical trial which might keep her alive longer (and to work on an oil deal). Cord Davidson is an FBI agent assigned to the prince’s protection detail at the prince’s request because they are close friends. En route to his home, the prince decides to stop at one of his favorite places, the Frozen Rock ice cream store. Two of his protectors, Kord and Zain (dressed like the prince) get out of the limos to check the store first—Zain is shot and killed at the front door. Because of the severity of the crime, and because the prince and Saudi are so important to the US, CIA Agent Monica Alden is brought in on the team over Kord’s strong objections. So far, the story is vintage Mills. But with the entrance of Monica, given the relationships of women and men in Saudi, the style changes. Monica is one of the strongest women characters Mills has written. She is highly intelligent, capable, and empathetic. Kord, needless to say, has his hands full. The story is full of twists and turns and surprises but written in this new, respectful style. You’ll love Kord and Monica—I’d love to see them in other novels as a team. You’ll want this latest DiAnn Mills’ novel. One of her best! DiAnn Mills is a much-awarded author, who writes action/suspense/romance novels. She’s won two Christy Awards and been on numerous best-seller lists. High Treason is the latest in her FBI Task Force novels. DiAnn lives near Houston where she crafts her highly researched yarns. Tyndale House Publishers gave me an Advance Reader Copy of High Treason, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.
AS usual, DiAnn has come up with a great book. From the first page to the last, its exciting, adventurous and has tons of mystery. For those who want to "solve" the mystery of "who done it"; it will have you going back and forth until the last page. This is a must buy for one and all! DiAnn's books are always exciting, and this one is no different. If you are new to DiAnn MIlls, you may want to get acquainted! All her books are great and they just keep getting better and better!!
In her newest book, DiAnn Mills takes readers into a well-developed exploration of Saudi Arabian culture. As CIA Operative Monica Alden joins FBI Agent Kord Davidson on protection detail for a Saudi prince and his family, she straddles the line of respecting the family’s expectations while doing the job she’s there to do. While her drive and desire to be in the thick of the investigation are strong, she does what she can to ease everyone’s unease at a woman in her position. With the body count rising and continued assignation attempts, Monica and Kord must keep the headstrong prince from putting himself—or his family—in more danger. A focused and intelligent team, Monica and Kord start off a little rocky but their respect and admiration for each other grow as they work together. Plenty of action, a touch of romance, and a smidgen of levity made High Treason hard to put down until all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place for a satisfying (and heart pumping) conclusion. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Treason, suspense, FBI agent, CIA operative, murder, a royal family from Saudi Arabia, bombs, and page turning thrills. What more could you want in a book. DiAnn Mills captured my attention in the first couple of pages and the thrills and chills didn't let go. The Royal Family has their own protection detail but are there traitors? Monica has some guilt issues from a mission that didn't go as planned. Will it have any bearing on the case she's working with FBI agent Kord? In a note from the author at the back of the book, it sums up something that would help all of us, "When we are faced with tragedy and injustice, the blame game enters our hearts. Sometimes God allows us to walk through fire to make us stronger." I received this book as an ARC from the author. I was only asked to read and give my honest opinion on the review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone. I can honestly recommend anything written by DiAnn Mills as an author. She has quickly become one of my all time favorite authors. I only leave 5 star reviews for books that touch my heart, emotions or are page turners. I hope you love this book as much as I have. DiAnn Mills books keep getting better .
DiAnn Mills does it again with another attention-grabbing story! High Treason, the newest installment of the FBI Task Force collection follows FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson and CIA Operative Monica Alden as they seek to protect the life of a Saudi Arabian prince. As unwilling partners, Alden and Davidson are tasked to work together by their superiors to discover who is attempting to murder Saudi Prince Omar bin Talel while he's on U.S. soil. This story touches current issues slightly by bringing in issues occurring in the Middle East. High Treason is filled with twists and turns that had me guessing throughout. And in the midst of high stakes meetings, the reader is introduced to Middle Eastern culture in a natural way. I appreciated learning more about a culture I knew nothing about. The characters helped draw out the differences between western and middle eastern culture in ways that were believable. I empathized with Alden as she was forced to adopt a culture she disagreed with in order to save lives. I also thoroughly enjoyed the mystery. The crimes committed were complicated and kept me guessing. Even when handed answers, I questioned whether things were true because there were still so many questions! This was the second book I've read this year that I couldn't put down! I stayed up way past my bedtime in order to get to the end of High Treason. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale. This review is my own, honest opinion.
I've only read a few Diann Mills novels, and each one I read seems to be better than the one before it. This one is another home run from her talented hands! It's the third book in the series, but the first one of the series that I've read. I wasn't lost or confused, so it's easily read as a stand alone. I loved following Kord, Monica and Prince Omar. Their characters truly capture the heart and make the reader feel like a part of the story. The tension that's between Kord and Monica jumps off the pages and becomes a part of the reader. I loved that! My heart really went out to Prince Omar and his mother. My own father battled cancer, so it's a subject close to my heart. As I read his story, saw his interactions with his friend Kord, I really felt a connection to him. I loved his character! The suspense surrounds him as someone takes an attempt at his life. In trademark Mills fashion, she creates a story that is not only filled with strong messages of faith and trust, but also suspenseful twists, romantic sparks, and gripping drama. She blends her characters with the perfect, thoroughly researched plot line and creates a thrilling 4.5 star read. This is a book that I would highly recommend to all that want to stay up late, on the edge of your seat, turning page after page to reach the end. Definite nail biting going on with this one! Bravo to Ms. Mills! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*