When she joined St. Kilda's, the elite security consulting firm, Emma Cross thought she'd left behind the blood, the guilt, and the tribal wars that defined her life at the CIA. Yet, trading spying for investigating yacht thefts didn't alleviate the dangeror melt away her professional paranoia. Now, the same good instincts that got her into trouble at the agency might be what will help her survive her latest case.
With some arm-twisting, St. Kilda and Emma are tracking a yacht named Blackbird, a dead ringer for another ship that went missing somewhere between Vladivostok and Portland a year earlier. Emma knows the boat's intended cargo is lethal. What she needs to find out is whether it's biological, chemical, or fissionable. And she's only got seven days to uncover the truth ... or a major American city will be lost.
Fortunately, she's working with a new partner as menacing and distrustful as the worst enemy she's ever facedand as deadly. A honed killer, MacKenzie Durand led a special ops team that was deployed to some of the world's nastiest places. But five years ago everything went to hell in Afghanistan, when bad intel hung his team out to dry. The only survivor, Mac walked away and never looked back, preferring to make money sailing high-end boats like Blackbird.
But Emma and Mac aren't the only eyes watching Blackbird. Taras Demidov, an expert in extortion and execution in the pay of the oligarchs running the former Soviet Union, is also waiting in the shadows, determined to intercept a fearsomely powerful arms dealer with the money, weaponry, and connections to alter the geopolitical balance.
Thrown together by an organization of enemies with global ties more dangerous than either of them realize, Mac and Emma must put aside their growing attraction for each other to save more than just their own lives. In a deadly game where the rules change without warning and the line between friend and foe is blurred, the pair must find answers fastor watch as innocent civilians are sacrificed in a cold-blooded grab for power and supremacy. And even Mac and Emma aren't sure just who will get to the finish line alive ...
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"Lowells primary focus on espionage rather than on romance is a major change from earlier novels, albeit a pleasing one." - Publishers Weekly
"The predictable romance decreases the suspense in this low-wattage thriller." - Kirkus Reviews
"There is plenty of action and suspense, so if you enjoyed earlier Lowell novels this one is a treat." - Stuart News
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Individually and with co-author/husband Evan, Ann Maxwell has written seventy novels and one non-fiction book. There are 30 million copies of these books in print, as well as reprints in 30 foreign languages. The novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery to suspense.
Writing as Ann Maxwell, she began her career in 1975 with a science fiction novel, Change. Since then, seven of her nine science fiction novels have been recommended for the Science Fiction Writers of America Nebula Award; A Dead God Dancing was nominated for what was then called TABA (The American Book Award).
In 1976 Ann and Evan (as A. E. Maxwell) collaborated with a Norwegian hunter and photographer, Ivar Ruud, on The Year-Long Day a nonfiction work that was condensed in Reader...
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