by Ron Faust


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Thomas Jackstraw, heir to a long family tradition of proud military men, was drummed out of West Point twenty years ago when he wouldn’t denounce fellow cadets for cheating. In the two decades since, he has traveled the world as a highly paid mercenary, training Third World armies and guerrilla factions and sometimes leading them into battle. After his young bride dies in a suspicious car crash, he grows disillusioned and retreats from the world of emotion. His latest job takes him to a small backwater republic in South America, where he spends his nights drinking and his days trying to build an army from a ragtag group of rebels. So when Jackstraw, an excellent marksman, is offered a small fortune to fake the assassination of a U.S. vice-presidential candidate, things get really complicated—especially when he and the attractive, amoral politician, Rachel Valentine, meet and hit it off very, very well.

Jackstraw suspects a double-cross, however, and plots an alternate escape route. But he’s a step behind the trickery. When the staged shooting goes horribly awry, he barely survives and makes his way back to the U.S., where he becomes a fugitive hunted by every law enforcement agency in the nation. As he works his way across the country, he must use all his considerable skills to evade capture and turn the tables on the shadowy forces conspiring against him.

From the jungles of South America and the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the backrooms and bedrooms of a presidential campaign, Jackstraw is both a thrilling adventure story, and a tangled tale of redemption, greed, power—and even love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620455210
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.29(w) x 8.73(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

RON FAUST is the author of fourteen previous thrillers. He has been praised for his “rare and remarkable talent” (Los Angeles Times), and several of his books have been optioned for films. Before he began writing, he played professional baseball and worked at newspapers in Colorado Springs, San Diego, and Key West.


Read an Excerpt

I assembled the rifle and secured the telescope to its mounting. The bolt worked with a smooth metallic snick. The rifle smelled of steel and oil and wood polish and, faintly, burnt gunpowder. It was the smell of my past, the smell of my future.
    At dawn I moved to an open window. A woman, wrapped and hooded by a ropy shawl, walked diagonally across the paving stones toward the cathedral. She flushed a flock of pigeons which swirled like confetti before settling. A limping yellow dog came out of the shadows and began chasing the birds. He had no chance. He knew it; the pigeons knew it. Finally the dog shamefully limped away down an alley.
    I went into the bathroom and washed my face with tapwater the color of strong tea. The cracked mirror fractured my image into half a dozen oblique planes, like a Cubist portrait, and gave my eyes a crazed slant.
    Sunlight had illuminated the parapet and pediment of the National Palace. People were filtering into the great plaza now: churchgoers, early celebrants, lottery ticket salesmen and shoeshine boys, beggars, men pushing wheeled charcoal braziers and food carts. An old man filled colored balloons from a helium tank. Boys kicked around a soccer ball. Policemen in pairs cruised like sharks among schools of bait fish.
    Now and then I heard the voices of people passing by in the corridor. A door slammed, a woman laughed, elevator doors hissed open. This was for many an ordinary workday; they would observe the ceremony from their office windows, witnesses to pseudo history.
    Blue smoke uncoiling from charcoal fires hung in the air like spiral nebulae. The cathedral’s copper-sheathed dome, green with verdigris, glowed like foxfire in the hazy sunlight. At ten o’clock the church bells again tolled, a loud off-pitch clanging whose vibrations continued—like ghosts of sound—to hum in the air ten seconds after the clangor had ceased. Two cops dragged a rowdy young man into the shade beneath the east side colonnade and began beating him with their clubs.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Faust writes well, with confidence and flair.” —The New York Times

"A writer of rare and uncommon talent . . . resonant, sinewy prose." —The Los Angeles Times

“A wonderful writer with a firm grip on character, setting and pace.” —The Washington Times

“Faust writes beautifully . . . reminds you of Hemingway and Peter Matthiessen.” —Booklist

Customer Reviews