by Jeremy Robinson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312534257
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: A Jack Sigler Thriller Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jeremy Robinson is the author of bestselling thrillers, including Antarktos Rising, The Last Hunter: Descent, The Didymus Contingency and the Jack Sigler Thrillers—including Pulse and Threshold. His novels have been translated into eight languages. Born in the coastal town of Beverly, Massachusetts, Robinson grew up on a steady diet of science fiction, and started out his creative career as a comic book and comic strip illustrator. He is the chairman and founder of New Hampshire AuthorFest, a non-profit organization promoting and supporting literacy in New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Read an Excerpt


A Chess Team Adventure

By Jeremy Robinson

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Robinson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-6276-6


Annamite Mountains — Vietnam, 2009

THE OPEN SORES covering Phan Giang's feet looked like the craters of the moon. They'd long since stopped oozing, but the dried flaking skin itched relentlessly. Yet he kept walking. Stumbling really. He'd been moving like a machine for the past three days, shuffling through the jungle like a zombie. His bloodshot eyes, half closed, stung and saw the world through a haze. His feverish, parched body was slick with moisture that clung to him yet failed to penetrate his skin. His tattered clothes, those of a peasant villager, hung from his bones in damp tatters, like meat hung to dry. Though he was near death, his heart soared when the jungle broke.

He emerged from the sauna that was the jungle of Vietnam and stepped into an open field. He saw an array of gleaming metal hangars, several parked green helicopters, and groups of men in uniform patrolling the outer fringe of the facility. A military base. Who better to help, the man thought.

As the only surviving man in his village, Anh Dung, he had left in search of help. For generations his people had dealt with cái chê't bâ't thình lình — the sudden death. Occasionally one of the men in the village would fall over dead. Regardless of health or age, the man struck would die suddenly where he stood, sat, or lay. They'd always believed that angry spirits looking for vengeance on the living sometimes targeted men, taking their souls. But the solution had always been to dress and act as a woman. This knowledge had saved the village, as the spirits never claimed more than one man.

But this time ... the spirits that visited Anh Dung were furious. Regardless of dress or duty, the spirits had slain every man in the village, first striking them with a mild fever and coughing, then death. Whether sleeping, tending the field, or washing clothes, men were struck dead. Some in midsentence. Others in their sleep. The spirits were relentless ... to the point that the villagers realized it wasn't spirits killing the men.

It was a plague.

In a single week twenty-three men, some of them very young, had died.

Seeking to save his own life and possibly bring back help, Giang had fled into the jungle. When his father fell dead he simply turned and ran. He had no food. No clothes. And no idea where he was headed.

But after three days in the dark jungle, he'd emerged like Jesus from the tomb, back into the light of the world, where men, alive and well, stood guard.

He was spotted immediately, rounded up, and brought to the infirmary. The men, well trained as they were, saw Giang's condition and kept their distance. The decision saved their lives.

Hours later, Giang woke from a sound sleep. He'd been fed and hydrated. He was feeling much better despite the sore throat, bouts of sneezes, and severe headache. The room the base had him quarantined in was small, but the cot was comfortable and the food edible. A single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling lit the four white walls.

Giang jumped when a man suddenly appeared in front of the window that looked out into a barren hallway. The man's expression was placid, almost friendly, but his uniform, olive green with a single gold star on the shoulder, revealed his importance. This would be the man who could help him.

Giang stood. An intercom next to the window crackled to life. "I'm Major General Trung. You're feeling better?"

Giang looked at the intercom. He'd never seen anything like it. The man's voice had come through the wall via the device. He squinted at it, inspecting the speaker and single white button. He tried looking through the plastic slats. There had to be a hole in the wall behind it.

Giang jumped back as the speaker came to life again. "Push the white button to speak, and I will hear you."

Doing as he was told, Giang slowly related his story. The village. The sudden deaths. The fear of plague. Trung listened closely, nodding, but asking no questions. When Giang's tale came to an end Trung pursed his lips. "The doctors who tested you last night found only a flu, which is typically treatable."

A smile crept onto Giang's face. He would survive!

"But ..." Trung's face turned deadly serious. "We exposed some men to your saliva last night. Two fell dead this morning. Three others are feeling fine, but we believe they will die soon enough, just as you will."

Giang sat on the cot, his mind a swirl of emotions. The military could help. They had special medicines. Surely they could cure him. He stood and pushed the white button. "You must do something!"

"Perhaps," Trung said. "Is there anything you overlooked in your story? Maybe something entered your village a few days before the first man died? Did anything strange happen? If we can locate the source ..."

Trung paused, watching through the glass as Giang's eyes rolled back in his head. Then the man disappeared below the window, slumping to the floor. Trung peered down at the body. Dead.

Trung rolled his eyes in annoyance.

He exited the small two-room building on the outskirts of his base. As he closed the door behind him, he turned to the four men waiting for him. "Burn it down."

As the four men doused the building with gasoline, Trung advanced across the dirt-covered central quad of the base. Technically, this was a training facility for the Vietnam People's Army, but two years ago it had been acquired by Trung and his elite Death Volunteers. The unit had been formed during the Vietnam War and as a tribute to this, they still referred to themselves as part of the Vietnamese People's Liberation Army, as an homage to those who came before.

His men were the best Vietnam had to offer and had been since the Vietnam War. They trained in jungle warfare, preparing for what they felt was the inevitable invasion by the west ... again. Trung's own father had been a soldier with the Vietcong and his stories of defeating the superior forces and technology of America had inspired Trung's childhood fantasies. And now he was in a position to defeat them himself, should they be foolish enough to return.

Whatever Giang had brought out of the jungle was new, of that he had no doubt. The symptoms and tests revealed a flu, but the end result was unheard of. What he did know was that, once exposed, his enemies would simply fall over dead before realizing anything was amiss. Entire armies or cities could be wiped out without a shot being fired. It was the perfect weapon. But it could not be used in combat. Not yet. Not until he had the cure.

Twenty men, his best, stood waiting for orders; he issued them without pause, telling the men about the strange virus that infected Giang, and what they needed to do about it.

THEY ENTERED THE jungle and hiked for three days before reaching the Annamite range. A day's hike into the mountains, a mere half mile from where Anh Dung was shown on the map, the man on point called a halt.

He'd heard something.

Trung trusted his men implicitly, and the man on point had ears like a dog's. The sound that came next could have been heard by the deaf. It was a shout. A scream really. But not human. And the source ... it rose up all around. His men took up positions, forming a circle around him, covering the jungle in all directions.

The sound came in cascades, washing over the men as the trees above them swayed in a fresh breeze.

Then, tearing through the din came a voice. A man. He shouted a single word ... in English. "Now!"

The jungle exploded. Tree limbs fell from above. Ground cover burst into the air. Stones and branches soared at them from a distance. For a moment Trung believed the attack, primitive and ineffectual as it was, came from the frightened women of Anh Dung. But the male voice — commanding, as though speaking to soldiers ...

Trung realized too late that the chaos concealed an advancing force. A diversion. His men, trained to hold their fire until acquiring an actual target, had waited calmly for the enemy to appear. A mistake.

"Open fire!" he shouted.

The enemy descended.

From above.

Falling among branches and severed leaves from the canopy, they arrived. Through the debris filling the air, Trung saw figures — their exposed tan flesh and ruddy orange fur. Then a flash of white skin. A long beard. Perhaps glasses. The man appeared and disappeared as the chaos erupted.

Against roars and brute force his men fell one by one. Few shots were fired. Several attempted to fight hand-to-hand, but they lasted mere seconds. In less than half a minute, ten of his best fell to the savage yet incredibly organized attack. They were severely outmatched. As his remaining men fearlessly engaged the enemy, he slunk down and slipped behind a tree. Sure he hadn't been seen, he turned and ran.

Four days later he emerged from the jungle, his feet swollen, his body craving water. He looked little better than Giang when they'd first found him stumbling from the jungle. When his men saw him, they kept their distance, fearing he'd been infected. After demanding a water bottle be thrown to him, he drank its contents and related his story. Still fearing Trung might be ill, but fearing his wrath even more, the soldiers helped him to his quarters, where doctors tended to him.

A week later, cleared of the mystery illness and feeling strong, Trung met with some of the nation's best doctors, scientists, and government officials. The scientists were stumped. The disease confounded their attempts to understand it. Without discovering the source of the infection, they wouldn't be able to understand it ... or find a cure. Even with the source they doubted whether they could solve the riddle.

They needed help.

Loath as he was to admit needing assistance, he could think of only one nation with both the scientific and military capabilities that would be required to track down the source and develop a cure — America. He left the meeting having said nothing of the plan brewing in his mind. But he put things in motion that night. The Americans would bring their best military and scientists ... and he would be waiting.


Beverly, Massachusetts, 2010

DANIEL BRENTWOOD HAD never fancied himself a family man. To be a family man, in his mind, you first had to be a ladies' man. After all, procreation only happened with a willing partner. And throughout his life, willing partners were not lining up. He'd been a glasses-wearing, pocket-protecting geek in high school. An Apple IIc and a pirated copy of the kung-fu game Karateka had been his best friends. Throughout college he'd been a perpetually mocked virgin and the butt of more than a few shower room pranks, though he'd managed to trade the Apple in for a brand-new PC featuring Windows 3.1 and a pirated copy of Doom. And now, ten years later, he was CEO of Elysian Games, one of the top video game developers in the world, alongside Blizzard, Microsoft, and EA. At thirty years old he'd built an empire and made more money in a year than most people did in their entire lives.

His glasses had gone the way of the Tasmanian tiger, replaced by contacts, and his pocket protector had been displaced by a PDA, but he was still a geek to the core. There was a time when nothing could distract him from the games he created. Then he'd met the proverbial "her." Actually, he'd hired her. Angela O'Neill. A brilliant programmer. He admired her talent. Few women got excited about creating realistic gaming physics, but this one did. But that wasn't what pulled his eye away from the computer screen. It was her penchant for tight T-shirts that accentuated her chubby love handles. He wasn't sure why, but those love handles drove him crazy.

As it turned out, she had a thing for PDAs. They'd married a year later — a grand spectacle and perhaps the only event away from the world of computers that half the guests had ever attended. Then, two years ago today, they'd had a child. Ben. A little runt with light blue eyes, pale skin, and jet-black hair. Angie liked to joke that God had turned up the contrast when Ben was formed.

And now that Ben was two, they were tearing themselves away from the business. Away from the computer screen. Away from the chaos. Lynch Park was their destination, a park full of green grass and tall trees with two small beaches, a half-shell theater, a Dick & June's Ice Cream, and a sea breeze that couldn't be beat. All they'd brought was a few towels, some toys, and plenty of sunscreen.

Daniel had just returned from a week-long, round-the-world business trip that started with meetings in Tokyo and Hong Kong and finished in Washington, D.C., where his team photographed the Oval Office for a level that would be featured in a new first-person shooter, Army Ranger: Advanced Strike Force. Inspired by the current president's exploits as an Army Ranger, the game featured a look-alike president, though the character's name was different. The highlight of the trip had been when he met the president in the Oval Office. They'd been publicizing the meeting for months and it was everything he hoped for and more. Not only did President Duncan welcome him warmly, but he also said he was looking forward to playing the game! The president! Of course, the low point of his visit had been sneezing on the president. He'd picked up a bug while in Hong Kong that stayed with him for the week. Embarrassing as it was, the president shook it off with a joke.

But now, being home again with his family — nothing could beat that. Not the president. Not seeing Godzilla in a Tokyo theater. Not the release of any new game. With the cold all but gone, he was free to enjoy the summer weather and time alone with the people he loved most.

They'd just driven by the large Beverly cemetery where Daniel's grandparents had been buried, when Ben began to serenade them with a rousing rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus," a song to which he had created at least twenty distinct verses. And Daniel knew them all by heart. The sound of his son's voice, no matter how repetitive, was more magical than the welcome chime on his computer. Ben was his finest creation. Nothing could compare.

Daniel had surprised even himself when he turned out to be an excellent father. Loving. Energetic. Fun. He was the kind of dad all kids want. Infinitely trustworthy and endlessly playful. His one flaw was that he was also very busy. Which was why they were getting away, alone, as a family, for Ben's second birthday.

Daniel steered the black Jag, which he'd bought five years previous as a gift to himself when his first game had sold a million units, onto the steep hill leading down to the park's wide parking lot. He noted the lot was fairly empty for such a nice summer day. Motion above the lot caught his eye; the trees bending, as though reaching for some invisible desire. It was windy. Perfect day for a kite.

The Jag picked up speed as it rolled down the hill, but before Daniel could lift his foot off the gas and onto the brake, he froze. Eyes glossed over. Jaw slack. Gravity pulled his body forward. His head hit the steering wheel as his foot descended on the gas. The Jag launched forward, held straight by the weight of his head on the wheel.

The kids checking for park stickers jumped from their umbrella-covered lawn chairs just before the car plowed through, destroying the chairs and a cooler full of sodas. It continued across the parking lot.

In the backseat with Ben, Angie screamed and shook Daniel's shoulder, pleading for him to wake up. She tried to climb over the front seat to get to the brake, but the car hit the curb and launched into the grass. The jolt smashed Angie's head against the ceiling. She fell back into her seat, head spinning. If the seawall had been straight, the car would have plowed into the Dick & June's, but angled as it was, the Jag was headed toward a six-foot drop into the ocean. Angie realized this, snapped her seat belt into place, and held Ben's hand.

The green chain-link fence at the top of the seawall didn't stand a chance when the car struck. It snapped free from the support poles and rolled over the side with the car. Angie's quick mind worked through the scenario as they fell upside down. Water would seep in while she unclipped Ben and —


Excerpted from Instinct by Jeremy Robinson. Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Robinson. 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.

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Instinct 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
David1967 More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Robinson is one of those authors who, simply put, writes books I want to read, and Instinct is no exception. Instinct includes just about all the things I enjoy in a thriller: an exotic setting, a compelling mystery, creepy creatures, suspense, and action galore! Pulse was good, but Instinct is better. Chess Team is carving out a niche for itself alongside the likes of the Event Group, Sigma Force, and NUMA. If you like James Rollins, Michael Crichton, or Matthew Reilly, give Robinson a try. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like Robison's other books, this storyweaves an exiting adventure story with an ancient myth causing the lines between fact and fiction to blur.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am now officially a Jeremy Robinson addict! I started first with " Torment" and have just finished reading two of the CHESS TEAM novels, the last being INSTINCT. I couldn't put it down. I love the Chess Team characters and the fast-paced way Robinson keeps readers on their toes, dying to find out what will happen next. EXCELLENT read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page turner, kept me up until 3 am until I finshed it.
The-Scotsman More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Robinson has once again given us a storyline packed with action and adventure. Mr. Robinson definitely does his homework when it comes to all the techno-science included in his works. Most readers will find this novel exciting and entertaining, as did I. I was however, a bit disappointed in the ending, which failed to explain in detail why the assassination attempt was carried out in the first place. To me, the fact that the president was a past Delta, simply was not enough explanation. All in all, a fun read.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Jeremy Robinson writes the most exciting action/fantasy books I've ever read. I have and will continue to read/re-read many of his works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jlgc More than 1 year ago
Instinct by Jeremy Robinson is a military style adventure novel featuring his famous Chess Team.  The team is off to a small mountain village in Vietnam to find a cure for a virus that kills in a moment and mostly attacks men. The team is also up by two members, Pawn 1 and Pawn 2.  They get dropped into the middle of a firefight between two warring factions.  They find the village, it looks like everyone is dead. As they get separated from each other we are introduced to a wonder land inside the mountain. But as with most wonderlands, there are dangers, amazing dangers.   As with all Jeremy Robinson's books, this is a fast action story with interesting monsters, some of who are people. My favorite character in the Chess Team series is Rook and this book doesn't change that. One think I noticed about Rook's Desert Eagles. They are like Indiana Jones' hat. They keep coming back.  A must read for fans of the Chess Team, action adventure, military style story. 
Kelnyg1 More than 1 year ago
Although this isn't the 1st book containing the Chess Team, it is the first one I've read. I wanted to read it after reading the Call sign: King series. I am glad I did as the whole team together are fantastic. Often having more than one or two main 'heroes' makes a story difficult to follow, that isn't the case with the Chess Team. Setting out to cure the world of a deadly virus, enemies coming from all sides, it's an action-packed thrill of a ride. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Robinson proves once again that he is an incredibly gifted storyteller. He is a master of the action adventure genre and brings a uniquely creative flair to his plots. The only thing I didn't like was the epilogue because it is really just the start of the next novel in the series. I consider this a cheap trick to get readers hooked and feel it should be far beneath Robinson's standards. He is good enough to get people to read the next installment without having to resort to such shameful tactics. That is why it didn't get a 5 star rating from me. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustino More than 1 year ago
This next installment of the Chess Team books doesn't ever really slow down much, but who wants it to? Hop on and go for a ride with them to Viet Nam to try and stop a deadly disease while avoiding elite soldiers and a race of who knows what. This book was a good roller coaster ride, the sort I've now come to expect with Jeremy Robinson, and I have to give it five stars! If you haven't read Chess Team before, pick up Prime and then Pulse, which are good in very similar yet completely different ways! Have fun!
Ballwin More than 1 year ago
I could not put the nook down. Mr. Robinson is a writer who can take you on adventure and lets the reader become friends with the Team. I can not wait till the next adventure for the Team comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can things get worse for the Chess Team after Pulse (Chess Team's first installment)? How about Richard Ridley (founder of Manifold Genetics), Vietnamese Special Forces, a lethal disease (Brugada Syndrome), and an army of "primitive" combatants? .......That's how!!! Jack Sigler must guide his team and a CDC detective through enemy ground to stop this horribly toxic disease from spreading even farther. Another must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Chess Team and Jack Sigler. Keep them coming! Off to read the next in the series, Threshold
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Have yet to read Robinson that didnt leave me wanting more, thank you sir may I have another?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite reads.
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rmd270 More than 1 year ago
This is my second Chess Team adventure and I really enjoyed it. This story line interwove with the previous story, Pulse and leaves the path forward to the 3rd book in the series,Threshold. This was an intricate adventure that brought together the various story lines into a tightly woven ending. The character development is excellent with each member of the Chess Team bringing much to the table. The story was fast paced with tons of action and many enemy factions to contend with Great surprise ending that lead to the next book in the series.