Ex-DEA agent Jesse Warden has seen enough of the inside of a solitary confinement cell to last him a lifetime. Or two lifetimes, which is the sentence he's serving after being convicted of a crime he was planning to commit, but never did. So when an old buddy shows up with a deal that could spring him from his hell behind bars, he's ready to listen.
To gain his freedom, Jesse must infiltrate a dangerous and reclusive religious cult that has been stockpiling weapons and eliminating those sent to investigate. From the moment he arrives in the Idaho mountain town where the cult is centered, Jesse finds every aspect of life dictated by the group's eerie, imposing leader. Pitted against not only the cult but the feds who sent him, Jesse feels control of his own life slipping away, and must make a final, desperate attempt to regain it—or die trying.
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Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.From Kirkus Reviews:
Woods (L.A. Times, 1993, etc.) offers a high-concept action thriller that never lives up to its potential. Just imagine movie titles rolling over a helicopter as it ``beats its way'' over Atlanta Federal Prison. There's a loud Dolby track of the engine as the camera pans the prison walls and zooms in on a crowd of nasty convicts swarmed around two fighting men. ``What's going on down there?'' asks Kipling Fuller of the US Attorney General's office. What's going on is that Jesse Warden, 6 3" and 220 pounds of toughness (maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger or Steven Seagal; forget Bruce Willis) is serving two back-to-back life sentences because a dead cop and $500,000 in drug money were found in the trunk of his car. He's spent the first 14 months of his sentence in solitary confinement because each time he comes out, he gets into another fight. And why are all these hard-assed cons after Jesse's blood? Naturally, because he's heat--a cop. Kip and his boss, the creep who framed Jesse, offer him a deal. They will let him go if he will help them convict a seemingly indestructible Vietnam vet who heads a well-armed religious cult in the Idaho panhandle. They will also get a letter to his young daughter, Carrie, who was adopted after his wife died of cancer. In the working out of Jesse's victory (he finds his daughter, gets the bad guys, and screws the federal government) there's nothing to distract us from the predictable conventions. Jesse finds romance with Jenny, his large-breasted landlady, who has a daughter named Carey. After the climax, a Fourth of July of plastic explosives, he flies off into the sunrise with his woman and the homonymic girls. Naturally, he pilots his own jet. Roll credits. Woods never keeps up the power of his hard-muscled beginning. But he writes fairy tales for guys that continue to find a market. (Literary Guild alternate selection; $135,000 ad/promo; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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