One of the world's most intrepid journalists, Charles Jaco has risked his life reporting from behind the borders of more than forty countries. Jaco knows firsthand the shady politics that often hide the truth from the public. Now, in Dead Air, his first novel, he blends international intrigue with a chillingly plausible plot to create the most action-packed thriller of the year.
Summer 1990. Saddam Hussein is stockpiling an arsenal of terror. Someone is covertly selling him the chemicals needed to make deadly biological weapons. Veteran TV correspondent Peter Dees--hard-living, wisecracking, eager for a break--seizes the story. But his sources, many of them his friends, are dying one by one, shot in the head execution-style.
Determined to uncover the truth behind these slayings, Dees himself becomes a target in an insidious emerging plot. From Port-au-Prince and Cairo to the scorched deserts of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Dees finds the conspiracy much deeper than he ever imagined as he discovers a shocking secret hidden inside a murdered producer's computer file. Then, along with the sassy, canny, and beautiful TV producer Melinda Adams, Dees's search for answers propels him into the very heart of a death-charred war zone.
Yet as Dees scrambles to piece together a story that could rock the world, he senses powerful forces closing in on him. For it seems that everyone--even the U.S. government--masks deep, damning secrets. And the closer Dees gets to the truth, the likelier it becomes that he will never get out of the country alive.
In his riveting novel of suspense, laced through with biting humor and a breakneck pace, Jaco captures the spirit of the men and women who report--and sometimes shape--the major events of the world in a novel you will never forget.
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Charles Jaco was one of CNN's intrepid reporting stars during the Gulf War, and he's turned that experience--plus hundreds of other risky missions--into a lively debut thriller full of the kinds of details other writers would die for. When GTV reporter Peter Dees arrives in Saudi Arabia to cover the war with Iraq, he's briefed by a Marine on how to inject himself first with atropine and then with an animal tranquilizer (to slow down his heart rate) in the event of a gas attack, after which he must take the needles and bend them over his belt. The marine adds casually, "The medics have orders not to treat anyone with three of the needles bent over their belt. They figure if you've had to give yourself three shots of atropine and three shots of animal tranquilizer, you're dead even if the nerve agents didn't get you." But Dees has even more serious problems: somebody high up in GTV management is tied to a company selling nerve gas to Saddam Hussein, and every time Dees tracks down a clue his source winds up dead. A strong story, deftly told, from a writer who undoubtedly has many more in his duffle bag. --Dick AdlerFrom the Publisher:
One day this manuscript just showed up from an unknown lawyer in St. Louis. It went into the pile of things waiting to be read. When it reached the top of the pile, I read the cover letter, which mentioned Charles Jaco and his exploits covering the Gulf War for CNN. I had watched the opening days of the conflict on TV while recovering from having my wisdom teeth pulled. I vaguely remembered him and figured, what the hell. The manuscript was opened up with the usual resignation of "Okay, I'll read 10 pages and if I'm not hooked, I'll reject it." Well, by the time I put it down--which was after I'd devoured the entire thing--I knew there was something here.
I rushed into the office of another editor, who had initially received the ms. but passed it on to me because she thought it was more up my alley. She read it, and was hooked too. Let me tell you--Jaco can write. After reading this, I know what it feels like to be a combat reporter. He really puts you into the middle of the action. But as scary as it is, he also captures the lunacy and insanity of war. His characters are great--funny, sharp, and shrewdly drawn. His dialogue snaps. His long career in journalism, with degrees from the University of Chicago and Columbia, and his stints on radio and TV, have proved to be a great training ground for him to fulfill his childhood dream of being a writer. And on top of that, he's a great guy, even if he is a Cardinals fan. Pick up DEAD AIR, you will not be disappointed!
Doug Grad, Editor
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Book Description Ballantine Books, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0345421280
Book Description Ballantine Books, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0345421280
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Book Description Ballantine, 1998. hardcover. Book Condition: New. Author Signed Hardcover Book 1998 NY: Ballantine First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover. signed by author. Bookseller Inventory # JACDEAD01