CIA superagent Mitch Rapp is back in action in this high-velocity adventure from the master of the political thriller, Vince Flynn.
SEPARATION OF POWER
CIA director Thomas Stansfield is dead -- a fact many individuals in and around the nation's capital are pleased to hear. But their happiness proves to be short-lived once they learn that Stansfield's successor is the late director's close friend and protégé, Dr. Irene Kennedy. Her plan of action is to pursue the very goals Stansfield established -- something Stansfield's fiercest enemies don't want to hear. And something they refuse to accept.
Meanwhile, Israel has discovered that Saddam Hussein is close to entering the nuclear arms race -- and they've vowed to stop the Iraqi madman before he can get his hands on the ultimate weapon. With the Middle East teetering on the precipice of chaos and devastation, the president of the United States is forced to act. The commander in chief's secret weapon? None other than the CIA's top counterterrorism operative, Mitch Rapp. But the window for action on this crucial mission is incredibly tight. Israel has given the United States only two weeks to take the nukes out. After that, they'll do whatever it takes to destroy the weapons themselves. With the haunting specter of World War III looming, Rapp races against time and impossible odds -- navigating the deadly alleys of Baghdad, tearing through the corruption-riddled streets of Washington, D.C., and taking drastic measures against anyone who gets in his way.
With action that sizzles and true-to-life insider detail, Separation Of Power showcases New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn at his shell-shocking best.
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Vince Flynn is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven previous thrillers, including Protect and Defend, Extreme Measures, and Pursuit of Honor. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and three children. Visit his website at www.vinceflynn.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
BAHAMAS, FRIDAY EVENING
Williams Island was one of hundreds of tiny land masses that made up the Bahamas. But unlike other similar islands in the Bahamas, it had a new landing strip capable of handling executive jets. This was due to a prominent inhabitant who owned a private compound on the island's western end. With the sun less than an hour away from setting, the distinctive whine of turbine engines could be heard in the distance. A gleaming Gulfstream personal jet suddenly appeared with the bright orange orb of the Caribbean sun as its backdrop. The plane steadily descended, its approach looking like a mirage as the heat shimmered off the runway. With barely a noise, the wheels gently touched down and rolled along the runway. There was no control tower at the small airport, just a hangar and maintenance shed. The plane came to a stop in front of the hangar and the engines were silenced.
A shiny new Range Rover was parked by the hangar, the driver standing next to the vehicle, hands clasped in front of him in kind of a nonmilitary version of parade rest. The native Bahamian had been sent by Senator Hank Clark, the man who owned the compound at the other end of the island. He was also the man who had helped to secure financing and donations for the new runway.
The door of the glistening jet opened and out stepped a man and woman in business attire, both of them in their early thirties, both of them with black leather Tumi laptop bags over their shoulders. The two were barely on the tarmac and out came the phones. They punched the numbers in as fast as they could and waited impatiently for the phones to connect with the nearest satellite. After a moment a third individual appeared in the plane's doorway. This man was not dressed in standard business attire.
Mark Ellis stood perched in the doorway for a moment and surveyed the scene through a pair of black Revo sunglasses. He had a well-trimmed brown beard that helped hide the acne scars of his youth. Ellis was dressed from head to toe in expensive Tommy Bahama casual wear. Silk tan pants, a short-sleeved silk shirt with a tropical design and a blue blazer. With the shoes the outfit cost close to a thousand dollars. His personal shopper from Semi Valley purchased the entire ensemble. The woman brought Ellis racks of clothes to look at each month. He never perused the bill and never asked if the items were on sale. Ellis usually listened to the woman's suggestions and the entire affair was almost always over in fifteen minutes or less. The woman would clip the tags and hang the clothes in his 1,200 square foot master bedroom closet. On the surface the closet might seem a little large, but in relation to the rest of the 36,000 square foot home, it was fitting.
Mark Ellis was a billionaire. At the height of the dot com craze Fortune magazine had put Ellis's net worth at twenty-one billion dollars. With the recent dot com bust the number was now half that and it was driving him nuts. The recent downturn in his portfolio was why he was visiting the tiny island. Ellis was one of the biggest hitters in Silicon Valley, but unlike many of his neighbors Ellis made nothing. He didn't develop hardware, software or cutting edge technology; Mark Ellis was a professional gambler. Venture capital was his game. He bet on companies, preferably startups that no one else knew anything about. Fast approaching the age of fifty, Ellis had been in the VC game since the age of twenty-eight. Supremely confident, and sometimes competitive to a fault, he worked long hours and expected those around him to work even longer ones. Mark Ellis had a temper, and nothing could bring it out quicker than failure. Failure meant losing, and he hated to lose with a passion that surpassed even his zest for wealth.
There had been a lot of failures of late and Ellis was literally losing his mind, allowing it to be taken over by anger instead of rational calculation, which was what he needed. The only good news for him was that he recognized the problem. The bigger issue, however, was the solution, and there was only one, to reverse the trend of losses.
Ellis stroked the edges of his brown beard as he started for the Range Rover. Despite his reputation as a gambler, he hadn't been to the track or a casino in well over a decade. As far as legal gambling was concerned, he had two big problems; he didn't like the odds, and he didn't like playing by their rules. Mark Ellis didn't like playing by other people's rules -- period. Whether it was the Catholic Church, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, or the government in general. Mark Ellis, born in Buffalo, New York to the son of a steel worker, believed that rules were designed to keep you down. They were designed to keep the masses in check. From an early age he had understood this, and he had made it his personal goal in life to never live by their rules.
Senator Hank Clark was a large man who inside the Beltway was affectionately referred to by some as John Wayne. Clark had the size, the swagger, and most notable, the gift of making people feel important when they were around him. Not to say that Hank Clark was altruistic. He wasn't. Clark had no aversion to making enemies in life; he just found it suited his needs much better when the other person thought he was a friend. He was, after all, a politician. Like a well-schooled assassin, he knew that it was much easier to slit someone's throat when they allowed you to get close. That was why, in an increasingly divided Washington, the Republican senator from Arizona was one of the few politicians left who could truly reach across the aisle. Clark made no public enemies, and he made very few in private. He was a likable man, and he used his amiable style to find peoples' weaknesses. Senator Henry Thomas Clark was a truly dangerous man.
Clark looked out over the beautiful blue water of the Caribbean and smiled. He had done very well for himself. His private compound on the tip of the island had its own lagoon and over fifty acres of lush privacy. Inside the compound were a gatekeeper's house, a guesthouse that overlooked the quaint lagoon and the grand main house with commanding views of the ocean. All three were done in a tasteful Mediterranean style. Clark was standing on the terrace of the main house. Thirty feet below the surf pounded into the sheer rock cliff. Standing as he was, leaning out over the water, was like being on the bow of ship. The bright orange sun was slipping over the horizon. It was another day in paradise.
He'd gone from trailer trash to the U.S. Senate. Clark smiled, took a drink and thought, Only in America could a kid grow up in poverty with a father and mother who were drunks and go on to to become a multimillionaire and a U.S. senator. Clark knew there were those who would find the line pat, but he doubted they had started out so low in life and risen so high. Not Clark though. Not a day passed when he didn't think of how far he had come, and how far he still intended to go.
His father was an abject failure in every sense of the word. So much so that he blew his head off when Hank Clark was a boy. The memories of his youth were a constant reminder of how bad things could be. No father, a mother who was drunk every day of the week and the stigma of living in a trailer park. Fortunately for Hank Clark his parents had unwittingly given him one true gift: a 90-mph fastball and a wicked curve. That was his ticket out: a full ride to Arizona State University. After school Clark had gone into commercial real estate and development in a fledgling suburb of Phoenix called Scottsdale. Clark's life from that point forward had been one success after another. By thirty he had made his first million. By thirty-five he was set for life and decided to go into politics. He served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives and then it was on to the Senate, where he was now in the middle of his fourth term. One would think that this would be enough for most people, but not Hank Clark. He wasn't done achieving yet. There was one more job he wanted.
Unfortunately, several people in Washington weren't cooperating at the moment. That, Clark knew, was why Mark Ellis had decided to make his unscheduled trip to the tiny island. Clark was a wealthy man, but he had no intention of throwing away all of that hard-won money. That was why he needed Ellis and his friends. They had serious money, they weren't simple millionaires, they were billionaires, and they weren't shy about doling some of their billions out for access and information.
Clark sighed and shook his head at the tedious road ahead. Information, that's what this whole mess was about. Knowledge truly was power, and men like Ellis understood that Clark could help give them the knowledge they needed to grow their billions and protect their kingdoms. Even over the roar of the surf Clark heard Ellis enter the house. Clark and Ellis shared a thirst for power and that was about it. Where Clark was calm and discerning, Ellis was volatile and brash. The man had a way of wearing people out through frontal assault after frontal assault. Nothing tricky, no feints, he just hammered you into submission. Clark found it all very interesting. He was a true tactician, and often relished outmaneuvering people like Ellis, but tonight, in the warm Caribbean air he would prefer drinks, some light fare and the smooth skin of a young woman flown in from Miami.
Ellis strode out onto the terrace at full speed like an impetuous prince delivering bad news from some far-off front. His demeanor was very out of place in the laid back atmosphere of Clark's private retreat, and the senator made an effort not to let his irritation show.
There was no hello, no comment on the weather or the beauty of the setting sun. Ellis forcefully slapped down a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle on the small wrought iron table near Clark and kept his eyes focused on the man. "What in the hell is this all about?"
"Good evening, Mark. How was your flight?"
"Never mind my flight," barked Ellis as he looked up at the much...
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