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The outskirts of the Andes Mountains, Chile: the notorious drug syndicate leader and blossoming dictatorial hopeful Victor Otero is missing; he is now an unofficial captive of the United States government. A prisoner, he can no longer pull any strings in Chile or the rest of South America, but it is soon learned he had his hat in more than one ring.
After a tough assignment in Chile, Clint Meyers and what remains of his highly skilled covert operations team dust themselves off and head back to the field to trace down the root of a fresh lead fished from the Otero intel: a funding trail leading to a seemingly random and unknown man living in Casablanca, Morocco. What exactly Otero might have been funding through this man remains unknown, and whom it may concern is even vaguer. It's Meyers' job to get answers, but he has to get them with discretion, without avoidable harm and without sparking any international incidents. With time the details begin to become clear, the pieces begin to fall together, but only to reveal that a significant quantity of hazardous materials have fallen into the wrong hands, making the probability for biological disaster on American soil virtually imminent. With little hard facts to go on and increasingly high stakes at play, Meyers and his team have to go wherever necessary and do whatever they can to reverse what looks to be certain catastrophe.
"IT'S ABOUT TIME."
Meyers shook himself fully awake, looking to his luminescent watch in reply to Lynch's statement. He waited a few seconds until the sweeping second hand hit six before he spoke back.
"I got about three minutes. Better toss the sticks," he said, standing up. He turned his back to Lynch, allowing him access to his rucksack. Lynch fumbled through the lightweight pack a moment before producing a bundle of glow-sticks held together with a broad rubber band. He zipped Meyers' pack back up and turned away, breaking the inner container of each glow stick with a single crack. He then tore the rubber band from the bundle and tossed them into the clearing several yards ahead, creating a large glowing area of purple and green in the black, moonless Chilean night. "Should be any second now," Meyers said, pulling a pair of night vision binoculars from his right cargo pants pocket. He quickly double checked the small compass built into his watch and then raised the binoculars to look in the desired direction over the hilly horizon. "Get him up and ready," he commanded to Lynch, never pulling his attention from the binoculars.
"Let's go," Lynch said to the bound and gagged man, who was sitting up against the trunk of a tree. He grabbed him by the arm and slung him to his feet ferociously. A muffled moan reverberated through the hood covering the man's head. "See them yet?" Lynch asked once he had their captive to his feet.
"No," Meyers replied stoically. He brought the binoculars from his eyes to check his watch again, somewhat impatiently, even though he had a firm idea of the time. Nonetheless, Lynch led their prisoner up to Meyers' side without commenting on the tardiness of their colleagues...
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"Element Fifty-Five is an espionage/counter-terrorism novel--I would describe the genre it fits into as something between Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy. The chief premise revolves around the main character, Clint Meyers, and his team of unrecognized clandestine operatives as they try to identify and determine what a group of possible threats to the United States are up to. As intelligence is gained on the suspects, Meyers and his team are pulled in different directions in an effort to uncover their target's intentions and pursue those connected to them. The story has plenty of political and moral undercurrents embedded throughout and at times deals with technical details, both simple and complex..."From the Inside Flap:
"...'Prohibited?' Meyers repeated, twisting his voice to strike a feeling of surprise and offense. 'My company and I have a reputation; a good one. I have no wish to spoil that now...'"
"...Lynch told himself that if any of his fellow junior operatives were given the task he now bore that he would probably have serious reservations with them calling the task off as he reserved the option to do. But that was only because he didn't trust their judgment as well as he trusted his own..."
"...Lisa walked with a steady but nondescript confidence, her golden tinged hair sliding back and forth ever so slightly across the top of her back in accordance with her stride. She was doing her best to blend in with those around her, few of which were anything like her, but in a way that only she knew how, she was generally succeeding..."
"...'So, how is the petroleum industry?' she asked, her toothless grin returning. It didn't take a genius to know two petroleum executives had no real business meeting with a military advisor.'It seems every well we drill lately is dry,' Red answered swiftly, returning his glass to the wet ring it had left on the table.'Oh? Undoubtedly you're drilling in the wrong locations then...'"
"...He cut off the SUV's engine and sat silently; waiting, thinking. His eyes were all that moved, constantly checking his surroundings through the glass and mirrors. Much like Corso was aware of the feeling of his gun against his hip earlier, Lynch was well aware of his pressed against his side in its shoulder holster. He made one small exception to his lack of movement, and that was to subtly press the inside of his right elbow against the thin weapon concealed under his suit jacket, accentuating its presence against his rigid, muscular side. The feel of it gave him comfort..."
"...'I see Mr. Dole has done a fine job on office selection,' Meyers commented, looking around the entry before drawing his attention back to Jamila with a placid look of sternness meant to intimidate. 'Let's hope he's done just as well a job on personnel...'"
"...Her eyelids grew increasingly heavy as she sat motionless in her car watching and waiting. She was relieved when she recognized what appeared to be the lights of a private jet circling for a landing approach. Her heartbeat quickened in anticipation. She was now fully awake..."
"...The men on the other side of the door froze and looked at each other in response to the knock. One nodded to the other then turned to the door while his pal pulled out a compact pistol from its hiding place..."
"...He jumped out of bed fiercely; his mind was made up.'Let's go," he said loudly, waking his companions, who were sound asleep; one in the room's other bed and the other in the roll-away bed they had brought in.'What?" Red said groggily. He was alert instantly, but his voice was not. 'It's still dark out.''I don't care. We're going now. It will be light by the time we get where we're going.'It was dangerous to be out in the middle of nowhere on potentially unreliable roads with potentially unreliable vehicles in the night..."
"...She fired again, this time trying to be more careful but somehow without sacrificing haste. It took four shots to hit the moving target, with a round tearing through his right leg just below the knee. He fell to his face halfway up the stairs..."
"...Lynch lay face down on the warm concrete for a half-second gathering himself. Even he had had a hard time following his action. He suddenly became conscious he was holding something in his right hand, and he hastily thrust it into his jacket pocket and began to pull himself up from the hard, unforgiving ground..."
"...As they rolled down the road at a slow pace, Corso unzipped a duffel bag that was in the back floorboard--Jim couldn't. He still had one arm in a sling--and passed out some small arms. If they came up on what they wanted to find then they just might need some firepower..."
"...Meyers glanced at his watch. 0150. Two Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters would be preparing to take off from the flight deck of the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Monterey, which was standing fifty nautical miles offshore..."
"...This time out on the street, he didn't even look to see if anyone may have seen him exit; he just headed off in the direction from which he came, as if he belonged wherever he had been and wherever he was going..."
"...He was just able to read the small Arabic print on the thin, yellowed paper. His eyes scanned quickly from right to left and back again, something that took a westerner practice to get accustomed to..."
"...Or we can go ahead and take care of him and let God sort it out, Meyers wanted to say, even though he knew that wasn't realistically an option, not if he wanted to keep a semblance of morality on his side..."
"...He looked toward the front of the plane. Red was reclined in one of the plush leather chairs napping, and Lisa was sitting opposite of him reading a book. A spy novel at that, he observed. Isn't living it enough? he thought..."
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