Winner, Honorable Mention Genre Fiction 2005 Writers Digest Awards John Markham Cortland is the embodiment of Big Oil, a wealthy industrialist secretly smuggling arms and cocaine. Reaping billions in drug profits that dwarf even his oil empire, he compels American intelligence to turn a blind eye until he cultivates new clients in the Middle East. Leighton, an assassin with a checkered past in covert operations, is assigned to kill Cortland in Costa Rica as he vacations with his mistress. But when Leighton's escape plan mysteriously fails, he goes to ground as the agency sends an old flame in harm's way to smoke him out. Paula Grant carries the proof that Leighton's assignment was a rogue operation, but even she does not know if her true mission is to rescue him, or flush him before the guns of the agency's contract killers. Evading a nationwide manhunt, Leighton and Paula come to realize they threaten the forces that engineered Cortland's death, forces that have penetrated their own agency and arranged to sabotage the dead industrialist's promising synthetic fuel .He waited patiently with the Heckler and Koch rifle, peering from under the guardrail at the stretch of road that led back toward Berne. Darkness ... He scanned the road with the binoculars, but now the snowfall was too heavy for them to be of any use. He shifted ... Headlights lit up the road, and Leighton thought he recognized their configuration as that of Barnabya#39;s Ford Explorer. But he ... He kept down as the car passed, immediately lifting his head to look at the receding red tail lights.
|Title||:||Secrets of State|
|Publisher||:||iUniverse - 2004-02|