A renegade U.S. billionaire has enlisted the services of a terrorist called the "Prince of darkness" in order to punish America. The most resourceful killer alive has been granted the knowledge and the power he needs to destroy the foundations of global finance in one explosive instant.
FBI Special Agent Sarah Cahill is leading the manhunt, matching wits with the most formidable opponent of her career. But she is unaware of the scope of the terror she is up against. And it may already be too latefor Sarah, for her young son. . .for their world.
The Zero Hour is approaching.
The future is ticking away.
About the Author
Joseph Finder was born in Chicago in 1958 and spent his early childhood in Afghanistan and the Philippines. He was educated at Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center. An expert on the CIA and international politics, he has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post and he taught at Harvard. His first novel, The Moscow Club, published to great acclaim in thirty countries, predicted the coup that ended the Soviet Union. Extraordinary Powers, his second novel, anticipated by several months the explosive revelation of a mole high in the ranks of the CIA. His most recent novel with Morrow, The Zero Hour, sold before publication to twenty foreign countries, and a motion picture is in production with Twentieth Century Fox. Finder lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.
Read an Excerpt
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun-tzu, The Art of War
Prisoner number 322t88-he was known to the prison authorities as Baumann, though that was not his name at birth-had been planning this day with meticulous precision for quite some time.
He rose from bed very early and, as he did every morning, peered through the narrow barred window at the verdant mountainside that glittered emerald in the strong South African sunlight. Turning his gaze, he located the tiny, shimmering patch of ocean, just barely visible. He took in the distant caw of the seagulls. He could hear the jingling of chains worn by the most dangerous convicts as they tossed and turned in their sleep, and the barking of the Alsatians in the kennels next to the prison building.
Dropping to the cold concrete floor, he began his morning ritual: a series of limbering stretches, one hundred push ups, one hundred sit-ups. Then, his blood pumping vigorously, he showered.
By the standards of the outside world, Baumann's solitary cell was cramped and narrow. But it had its own shower and toilet, a bed, a table, and a chair.
He was in his early forties, but might have been taken for a decade younger. And he was strikingly handsome. His hair was full, black, and wavy, only slightly sprinkled with gray. His closely trimmed beard accentuated a jaw that was strong and sharp; his nose was prominent but aquiline, beneath a heavy brow; his complexion was the olive so prevalent in Mediterranean countries.
Baumann might have been mistaken for a southern Italian or a Greek were it not for his eyes, which were a brilliant, clear, and penetrating blue, fringed by longeyelashes. When he smiled, which was rarely and only when he wanted to charm, his grin was radiant, his teeth perfect and brilliantly white.
In his six years in Pollsmoor Prison he'd been able to achieve a level of physical training he could never have otherwise. He had always been remarkably fit, but now his physique was powerful, even magnificent. For when he wasn't reading there was little else to do but calisthenics and hwa rang do, the little-known Korean martial art he had spent years perfecting.
He changed into his blue prison uniform, which, like everything he wore, was stenciled with the number 4, indicating that it was property of his section of Pollsmoor Prison. Then, making his bed as usual, he began what he knew would be a long day.
Copyright © 1996 by Joseph Finder
Table of Contents
PART 1: TRICKS,
PART 2: CIPHERS,
PART 3: KEYS,
PART 4: FINGERPRINTS,
PART 5: TRAPS,
PART 6: THE HOMING,
St. Martin's Paperbacks Titles by Joseph Finder,
Praise for New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder and his novels,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love joseph Finder and this was an excellent book when i read it in 1996!!!! Be careful when purchasing nook books i cant tell you readers how many books that i have purchaed that are labeled as a new release only to discover this book was released in 1996!!! Amazon usually puts that its "first time published as an ebook" why wont barnes and noble do the same?
This book bases much of it's edge on the use of high-tech. NOOK lists the publish date as 2011, but it was really 1996. That was when a sat-phone the size of a briefcase was a big deal. It is not such a big deal today. I think Finder wrote this before he developed his skills as a great writer.
There's only been one other book that i've put away and didn't finish. I've enjoyed Finder, books have read them all. This one how ever has to be the most boring book i've every tried to read. I read to page 110 hoping it would get better, for me it didn't. The 110 pages I read was nothing but description of things that I didn't understand or cared about. I'm giving it two stars and that is one more than I shoud give it.
Average. Lots of good research went into it. But it's not one of Finder's better efforts in my opinion.
Recommend...all of his books are terrific at holding your attention and not wanting to put it down. Have read them all so far.