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On American soil, a terrorist bomb explodes at a Georgetown restaurant, killing CIA operative Kirk MGarvey's girlfriend and wounding his daughter. Now Mcgarvey seeks vengeance while at the same time struggling with the growing crisis in the Far East where a mysterious underground nuclear explosion has destroyed a power station off the coast of North Korea.
From the corridors of power in Washington to the Japanese space launch center at Tanegashima, White House tells a gripping story of suspense about one man's race to sabotage a cunning terrorist operation before it eliminates the White House-- and everyone he loves.
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David Hagberg is the U. S. A. Today bestselling author of Kill Zone, High Flight, and more than forty other novels written under his own name and also as Sean Flannery. He lives in Vero Beach, Florida.
THE WHITE HOUSE
PART ONEDEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCYONECIA HeadquartersKirk Cullough McGarvey had nearly lost his life three months ago in Moscow. Although the pain he felt from his wounds had already begun to fade, the scars, both physical and mental, would never go away. This time his daughter, Elizabeth, had almost been killed, and he blamed himself.He pulled up at the CIA main gate in his leased Nissan Pathfinder a few minutes before 8:00 A.M. Friday. It was a beautiful summer morning with a perfectly blue sky and almost no haze. Everything that had to be said after the operation--the summaries, the debriefings, the contact sheets and budget lines and weapons reports--had been gone over in endless detail with the headhunters in Internal Security. Yet he was answering the summons again, as he had been doing for twenty-five years."The general would like to see you tomorrow morning, eight sharp." Tommy Doyle, deputy director of Intelligence, had phoned last night. He supposed that the DCI wanted to have a final word, as he himself did. In fact he had a lot tosay, most of which Roland Murphy was not going to like.He gave his driver's license to the uniformed security guard, who checked his name from a list then handed the license back. "Visitor's parking lot is on the left, sir.""Thanks," McGarvey said. Coming back from Moscow he'd been angry because of the way the Company had bungled everything, and had involved his daughter against all rules of ethics and decency. But that had faded. Most of the people responsible were gone.The grounds were lush and August green, the trees in full foliage as they'd been the first time he'd come here as a young case officer from the Agency's training facility near Williamsburg, Virginia. He'd been full of ambition, a real sense of purpose, "gung ho," as his instructors described him, but with some inner demons that drove him to excel beyond the level of any trainee before or since. Now it was very nearly over. After a quarter-century of service to his country, good times and bad, he was getting out.He had to show his license again to the guard at the visitor's lot, where he found an empty parking space, then walked up to the main building. Bad times, he thought. He'd had plenty of them. The men he'd killed in the line of duty weren't a legion, but there were a lot of them. He remembered each of their faces, the look in their eyes when they died. Anger, rage, disappointment, surprise. They were flesh-and-blood human beings with dreams and ambitions like anyone else, their lives ended suddenly by an assassin's bullet. Bad men, Phil Carrara would have said, but men nonetheless. Not fair, they'd wanted to say at the end. And he had empathy for them, the killer for his victims. It was a special bond like no other. He agreed, it had never been fair.Nearing fifty, McGarvey was tall, with the physique of a rugby player and the coordination of a ballet dancer. He had thick brown hair, gray at the temples, and a wide, honest face that many women found handsome. His eyes were deep, sometimes green, other times gray and almost always filled with emotion, an attitude that he knew something, had seen things that most people couldn't know, let alone understand. His friend Jacqueline said he had Dr. Zhivago eyes from the movie staring Omar Sharif. He ran and swam everyday, rain or shine,unless he was in the middle of an operation, fenced when he could find a worthy opponent and honed his skills with firearms on any firing range or gun club that would have him.But it was never enough. He never felt as if he were completely ready. He always doubted his competence, always pushed himself to the limit.It was over, he told himself again, passing through the automatic doors into the main reception hall. And after this morning's meeting he was going to try to convince Liz to get out while she still could. One spook in the family was enough. He didn't want his daughter following in his footsteps, despite the fact she was very good, very dedicated and, according to what he was hearing, the best student at the Farm, maybe even better than he was.Tommy Doyle, the tall, thin, dapper-dressing deputy director of Intelligence, was waiting for him at the security checkpoint in the lobby with a visitor's pass."Thanks for coming out this morning," he said. "The general asked me to bring you directly upstairs, the others should already be in his office." He seemed harried, but McGarvey had seen the look before."Others?""Yeah," Doyle said, handing McGarvey the pass. "We have a situation brewing in the Sea of Japan." Doyle was one of the old school, the "Club," and along with the late Phil Carrara, who'd been deputy director of Operations, Larry Danielle, the deputy director of Central Intelligence and General Murphy, he had been responsible for bringing the CIA back from near emasculation after the Carter administration."I'm out, Tommy. That's what I came to tell him this morning. It's the only reason I'm here."Doyle's lips compressed. "Maybe that's not possible right now.""It's the way it's going to be."Doyle faced him. "Ryan is gone and the situation in Moscow has stabilized for the moment, if that's what's worrying you. All we're asking is that you listen to us, for Christ's sake. You can give us that much."McGarvey glanced over at the inscription on the marble wall. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall makeyou free." John VIII: 32. In twenty-five years he'd heard so many lies that he sometimes doubted if anyone here had ever read the biblical quote.He put the security pass on a chain around his neck, nodded tightly and fell in beside Doyle back to the elevators.Santiago, Berlin, Lausanne, Lisbon, Paris, Tokyo and three months ago, Moscow. His past came crushing down on him like a load of bricks as he rode up to the seventh floor. Each incident had been started by a man or men with the frightened, uncertain, desperate look that he was seeing now in Doyle's eyes. A "situation" they called such things. Already McGarvey could smell the stench of death.It was exactly 8:00 A.M. when they entered the large, well-appointed office of Roland Murphy, director of Central Intelligence. The general was seated at his desk watching CNN and drinking a cup of coffee. He was a large man with thick arms, a broad, square face and deep-set eyes beneath bushy eyebrows that were patient rather than cynical, as one might expect. He'd survived four presidents as DCI and was considered one of the toughest, most competent men ever to sit at this desk. He was apolitical, and no president was willing to replace him for fear of what his loss would mean to the CIA.Seated across from him was Carleton Paterson, the patrician former New York lawyer who was the agency's new general counsel.Murphy muted the sound on the television. He motioned toward an empty chair. "Thanks for coming out here this morning."Lawrence Danielle, aging, stoop-shouldered, his jowls looser, his hair thinner and whiter than the last time McGarvey had seen him more than two years ago, came from his office adjoining the DCI's and laid a bundle of files on the desk. "Good Morning, Kirk. How are you feeling, wounds healing and all that?""Good morning, Larry," McGarvey said. "I'll live.""I should hope so," Danielle said brightly. Unlike the others he still seemed to have his sense of humor. But then he'd been around even longer than Murphy. He was deputy director.When they were all seated, Murphy called his secretary andtold her to hold everything until he advised her differently. "Coffee?" he asked McGarvey."No."Murphy studied him for several seconds. "I've never believed that assassination solved anything. But I was wrong this time, and you were right. If you hadn't killed Tarankov, Russia would have become the same threat to the world that Hitler's Germany was.""It remains to be seen." McGarvey shrugged. Now that he was here he decided that he had no final words after all. It no longer seemed to matter. Seeing the worried looks on their faces had dissipated his anger. "I'm here, what do you want?""We need your help.""I won't accept another assignment, General.""I'm told the DGSE wants Ms. Belleau to return to Paris," Doyle said. "Will you go back to France with her?" Jacqueline Belleau worked for the French secret service. She was in love with McGarvey, and after the Moscow operation she had come to Washington with him."I don't know," McGarvey said."I'm not offering you an assignment," Murphy said. "I'm offering you a job.""Doing what?""Deputy director of Operations."McGarvey had to laugh. "You have to be kidding.""You're the perfect man for the job, Kirk," Danielle said reasonably. "No one has your operational experience. And you say that you won't take another field assignment.""I'm out," McGarvey said. "And even if I wanted the job, which I don't, my appointment would never make it through the Senate. I was a shooter. No one in their right mind would even consider me." McGarvey looked at them. "I'm an anachronism, remember?""You have too much valuable experience to waste teaching Voltaire to a bunch of kids who couldn't care less," Murphy said.McGarvey looked out the bullet-proof windows behind the general's desk. Outside was freedom from knowing the frightening secret of just how fragile the world really was. In here they waged a constant battle that never seemed to end. And itwas up to the deputy director of Operations to see that the war was fought efficiently in a way that seemed to make the most sense. With the most honor.That had never seemed clearer than during the Rick Ames affair. Fifteen or twenty good people had been killed because no one inside this building, the deputy director of Operations included, had bothered to ask the most obvious question: How could Ames afford an eight-hundred-thousand-dollar house, and thirty thousand a month in credit card bills on a salary of fifty or sixty thousand?Ames had sold out to the Russians, and every agent he'd identified had been murdered. Blood had been shed. A river of blood because of bullshit, timidity and indifference. And still the battle raged on.He studied the general's eyes. Everything was different now. Less clear than it had been during the Cold War when we knew who our enemy was. We'd been the good guys and the Russians bad. But times had changed. Now just about everyone was a potential enemy. No place was truly safe; not New York City, not Oklahoma City, not Waco.So who was left to fight the battles, McGarvey asked himself. The incompetents? If that were the case then we'd already lost."I'll listen.""Good," Murphy said, and he seemed genuinely relieved, as did the others.Paterson took a form from a file folder. "Before we get started we'd like you to sign this. Outlines your responsibilities to the information you'll be given this morning. Most of it is classified top secret or above."McGarvey signed the document without reading it and handed it back. A brief look of annoyance crossed the general counsel's face."What's going on in the Sea of Japan that has you worried enough to offer me Ryan's old job? If it's Japan, you have a lot of good people in this building who know more about them than I do.""Your name was put up two months ago," Danielle said. "But the decision was to give you five or six months to catch your breath after Moscow." Danielle shrugged apologetically."There was an underground nuclear explosion in North Korea twelve hours ago," Murphy said. "It was at one of their abandoned nuclear power stations on a deserted section of their east coast. A place called Kimch'aek.""Was it a test, like India's and Pakistan's?""That's how it's going to play when the story breaks later today. The White House is going to stonewall it, at least for the time being, because frankly nobody knows what the hell to do. At the very least calling it an underground test is going to put a lot of pressure on Kim Jong-Il.""The Japanese are already screaming for help," Doyle said. His mood was brittle. "They want us to move the Seventh Fleet into the Sea of Japan as a show of force."McGarvey watched the interplay between them. "If it wasn't a test, what was it?""The North Koreans were using the place to stockpile what we believe were five working bombs. Three days ago they started moving something out of there in a big hurry, and then this happened." The general looked tired. "There were North Korean soldiers there, and civilian technicians, when the blast occurred. Maybe as many as two hundred of them.""An accident?"The general shook his head. "The skipper of one of our Seawolf submarines on patrol in the area spotted a Japanese MSDF submarine about five miles off the coast, possibily communicating with someone in the power station. Could be they sent a team ashore to verify what the North Koreans were storing there.""Either that or it was a kamikaze team," Doyle said."If it had been a test, Pyongyang would have made a statement by now," Danielle put in glumly. "It's not something Kim Jong-Il would sit on.""The Seawolf radioed back that the Japanese submarine was damaged in the blast and sent up an emergency beacon. The Japanese are sending rescue units.""Which the North Koreans will try to block," McGarvey said. He thought that he'd lost his capacity for surprise. But he wasn't so sure now."It gets worse," Murphy said. He looked as if he hadn't slept in a week. "Within two hours of the explosion, a pair ofChinese Han class nuclear submarines were spotted leaving the inlet at Qingdao and heading into the Yellow Sea.""Not much of a threat. They're rust buckets.""It's more of a political statement, I should think," Danielle said."Are we going to send the Seventh Fleet out there?""The President is considering it," Murphy said after a brief hesitation. "But for the moment the bulk of the fleet is still at Yokosuka. If we send them into the Sea of Japan, Kim Jong-Il will take it as a direct threat.""So what?" McGarvey asked. "He won't attack us or Japan, he's not that stupid. And sending the Seventh would be a clear message: Back off. Even the Chinese would stand down just like they did a few years ago when Taiwan held its elections. Nobody is going to start a shooting war over there. And North Korea has lost its nuclear weapons.""The explosion had an estimated yield of twenty kilotons," Doyle said. "One bomb. We think they had five, four of which they'd managed to move out of there.""I don't buy it, General," McGarvey said. "They're not going to start a war they couldn't win.""Unless they're nudged," Doyle said. He took a couple of photographs from a folder and handed them to McGarvey. "Do you recognize either of these men?"Both pictures were of the same two old men seated across from each other in what appeared to be a Japanese teahouse garden. They were dressed in expensive-looking business suits. In one photograph a geisha girl was serving them something, and in the second picture she was gone.McGarvey looked up. "Should I know them?""Th...
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Book Description Forge Books, 2001. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0812550641
Book Description Forge Books. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0812550641 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0403415
Book Description Forge Books, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0812550641
Book Description Forge Books, 2001. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Seller Inventory # DADAX0812550641