Book Title: An Involuntary Spy and Predatory Kill
Author: Kenneth Eade
Genre: Financial/Legal Thriller
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Author: Kenneth Eade
Genre: Financial/Legal Thriller
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Seth Rogan was a shitty spy. Actually, he wasn't a spy at all. Just a guy trying to do the right thing. As a biologist for the largest biotech company in the world, he had a great job, and thoroughly enjoyed all the perks. But when asked to do some tests on the company's genetically engineered foods, he became entangled in a trail of corruption and fraud that he wanted no part of, but could not escape from. In a story so true to life it could almost be from today's newspapers, Seth, having bit the hand who fed him, is on the run from them, and the full overreaching strength of the United States government as a fugitive, who finds temporary refuge with an old enemy of the U.S. But his peace is about to be broken as he finds himself in the role of an involuntary spy. This is a thriller with mystery, suspense, twists and turns and non stop action that will pull you in and captivate you with all the elements you would expect from the genre; spies, CIA, Russians, FBI; but not how you would expect them. Being centered around the controversial subject of the danger of genetically engineered foods, the book breaks open the controversy.
1The headlines of every newspaper and every Internet news service ran the same story. His story; the story of Seth Rogan, 45 year old genetic biologist. Some were calling him a whistle blower.
Society tends to stick labels on everything and everyone. The label that is given to you will stick with you for a lifetime, especially in these days of the fledging Internet, which is swallowing up and replacing traditional journalism with real time news. The separation that once was between news and opinion has blurred and the two have bled into one another.
Some were calling him a traitor. The president of the United States said he was wanted for “espionage” and “aiding our enemies.” Somewhere between his good intentions and unselfish acts he had become the “bad guy.” Espionage was always something that Seth had read about in novels or watched in the movies. He had never experienced it in real life. Until now. He didn’t feel like James Bond. He knew he couldn’t step off this Aeroflot nonstop flight from Washington to Moscow clean shaven, shoot ten bad guys who were on his tail, and then relax in bed with a beautiful female Russian spy, sipping on a vodka martini, shaken not stirred.
Seth stirred uneasily in his seat, as the Captain made an announcement over the PA system.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. I’m afraid we have had bit of change of routing. We’re about 150 kilometers east of Kiev and have been directed by air traffic control to set down here. There is no cause for alarm – it’s only routine. After about an hour or so we’ll be back on our way to Moscow.”
The 777 lurched as the passengers moaned and groaned. They had already endured a long flight, preceded by a lengthy mechanical delay. They were tired. Tired of the bad food. Tired of the uncomfortable seats. Just plain tired.
No cause for alarm? Maybe not for them, but in Seth’s case there was definitely cause for alarm. The last time he had checked, the Soviet Union had long been disbanded, and Ukraine and Russia were separate countries. But, apparently, the Ukraine was now the 51st state of the United States, because the U.S. was forcing a Russian plane to land there. Seth’s heart beat as fast as a crack addict’s, almost thumping out of his chest. He clutched tightly to his briefcase, even though he had long since spilled all the beans by electronic upload. He held no more secrets on him to reveal – except one. The one without scientific backup and peer reviewed studies. The scariest one. The secret that he held onto to keep him alive. The plane began its descent into Kiev and with every air bump, Seth’s panic renewed. He became nauseous.
This was it. He was screwed. Doomed to spend the rest of his life in jail, or, even worse, to be shot on sight. Well, he deserved it for what he had done. Let the show begin.
Seth looked out the window at the cold, harsh landscape. It was barren and dry, a forest of a million tiny sticks. He tried to keep his mind clear. He knew what to do.
The plane touched down on the tarmac. The purser robotically performed her landings “voice over” on the PA system.
“Welcome to Kiev, ladies and gentlemen, where local time is approximately 6:30 a.m. We will be taxying for a while, so please keep seated with your seatbelts on until aircraft has parked at gate.”
Yeah, like Kiev was just where Seth wanted to be. How could this happen? He was so careful – he didn’t waste any time – got right out of there. How did they know he was on this plane? Russia didn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States, and he had chosen Moscow as his route of escape. It was easy to get a non-stop flight from the states and the government didn’t tag you when you were leaving; only when you were coming into the states. He was naïve to think they would let him bolt.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it will be necessary for you to deplane here. Please take all of your belongings with you, and hold on to your boarding passes so you can re-board aircraft. And please have passports out and open for police for inspection at door of aircraft,” said the purser.
The passengers fumbled for their belongings, and trudged down the aisle toward the front of the plane. Seth stayed put, clutching his briefcase. A cute blonde flight attendant came up to him, smiling.
“Sir you’ll have to deplane here. It’s only for about one hour.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
The poor flight attendant didn’t know what to do. Her smile faded into a frown.
“Please call the Captain.”
“Sir, please, I…”
“Call the Captain, I need to speak to the Captain.”
The flight attendant, flustered, went to the intercom phone and picked it up. Within minutes, as the plane continued to empty, a pilot approached.
“Sir, what is the problem?”
“Are you the Captain?”
“I’m the first officer. Now are you going to tell me why you refuse to leave the aircraft?”
“It’s me they’re after. I’m the reason they forced the plane to land here. My name is Seth Rogan and I’m a political refugee. I’ve petitioned for asylum from the Russian government, and the Ukraine has nothing to do with it. I won’t surrender to anyone but a representative of the Russian Embassy.”
“Did you hear what I said?” Seth clutched at his briefcase, nervously.
“Sir, what is in the briefcase?”
“Call the Russian Embassy. Seth Rogan. I’m not leaving the plane except with them. I’m not coming out. Period.”
The First Officer turned and left. Now the plane was almost entirely empty. After a few moments, he returned with another pilot.
“Sir,” he said, “I’m Captain Davidoff. I understand you have some kind of diplomatic issue. But can you tell me what is in the case?”
“Have you called the Russian Embassy?”
“Yes we have, sir. Now can you please tell me what you have in there?”
“Why are you so curious?”
“Because, sir, the way you’re holding it. And sweating – you look very nervous.”
“You’d be nervous too if you were about to be taken by the CIA.”
“CIA? Sir, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but…”
“Of course you don’t. I’ll leave your plane, but only with an official from the Russian Embassy.”
The Captain turned to talk to his First Officer and spoke to each other in Russian. “Is the crew off?”
“Good. I’m not getting off until I find out what’s going on.”
“I’m with you.”
Two armed police, accompanied by a man in a grey business suit, Jack Singer, one of the CIA’s men in Kiev, approached them. He spoke.
“What is your name?” he asked. Typical American accent, Midwest probably.
“What’s yours?” said Seth, facetiously.
“That’s not important. May I see some identification sir?”
“I don’t have any.”
“What happened to it?”
“It fell in the toilet.”
Singer turned to one of the armed policeman and ordered, “Go look in the toilet.”
The Captain interrupted. “Nobody is going anywhere in my plane without asking me first.”
“Sir,” said Singer, “This is a matter of national security.”
“Which nation?” Seth chimed in. “I didn’t know the United States government had the right to force a plane down in international airspace.”
“Neither did I,” said the Captain. “This is a Russian plane. And that’s not what I was told. What’s going on here?”
“I’m sorry Captain, I can’t tell you. It’s on a need to know basis,” said Singer.
“Well I happen to be the pilot in charge and I need to know. I’m responsible for this plane and everyone on it.”
“Captain, this is not about you. Sir, I’m asking you again, what is your name?”
“Don’t you know?” Seth replied. “I’m Barney Rubble, you know, Fred’s best friend?”
“I don’t think you realize sir, you are in a lot of trouble.”
In Russian, a voice from the front of the plane boomed out, “I don’t think you realize, Jack that the CIA has no jurisdiction here and this man is under my protection.”
The voice was from Yuri Streltsov, a strapping young Russian man, about 30, with a neck so thick it looked like his head was directly attached to his shoulders, biceps like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and not the best command of the English language.
“Hello Yuri,” said Singer.
Yuri flashed his badge at the police and they nodded.
“Let’s go Barney,” Yuri said, as he made a sweeping motion with his hand for Seth to come. Singer smiled slyly at them as they exited the plane.
“You may be able to walk through this airport, Yuri, but I can’t guarantee you safe passage once you leave,” said Singer.
“Oh Jack, I didn’t know you cared,” said Yuri.
“What did he mean?” said Seth to Yuri.
“He means they have team of assassins waiting outside and they have no problem killing me along with you because after we are dead they will disappear and our bodies will never be found.”
“Great. But you have men too, right?”
“Don’t worry. Here, put this on.”
Yuri handed him a heavy grey vest with straps, like a life jacket.
“Bullet proof vest.”
Rocketing to the top of four Amazon best-seller lists, ""Predatory Kill: A Legal Thriller"" by best-selling author Kenneth G. Eade has been called “a wild ride” by critics. In the vein of his wildly popular first novel, ""An Involuntary Spy"", Eade delivers another solid and intricately plotted tale. At its core, ""Predatory Kill"" is an examination of the chaos and corruption of the 2008 mortgage crisis, and asks the vital question: “are banks above the law?”Brent Marks had paid his dues as a lawyer, having taken his share of divorces and drunk driving cases over his 20 year career, but had finally reached a place in his life where he could take on cases of social importance. What he least expected was for April Marsh's predatory lending case against the big banks for wrongful foreclosure on her parent's home to turn into a murder investigation. April's mother was murdered. Her father was beaten within an inch of his life, and she believes their predatory lender is to blame.
1A glint of orange bounced off the arched windows across Anacapa Street as Brent Marks exited the tall wooden doors of the Santa Barbara courthouse. The old courthouse seemed to have a soul. The soul of every jurist who ever made an argument between the tall walls of each formidable courtroom. The soul of every man who ever sat before a jury of his peers in judgment since 1927.
How he dreamed of doing another grand trial in the old Spanish colonial building. Brent had spent the first 15 years of his 20 year career paying the dues leading up to that moment, with bankruptcies, divorces and drunk driving cases, but since then he had earned the right to take the cases he wanted – cases of social importance.
As he strolled down De La Guerra to the small office on quaint State Street where he had hung his shingle 20 years earlier, Brent inhaled the fresh ocean air and thanked himself for deciding on Santa Barbara. It was a refreshing break from the bustle of smog-bound Los Angeles, where he would have been an ant scurrying around with thousands of other ants, each trying to make a name for themselves in the law business. Santa Barbara was a small town, which sometimes can be an impediment to a newcomer, but, during his “dues paying days” he had made a name for himself, and established a thriving private practice.
Brent turned left on State Street, feeling the privilege of being able to walk to and from his work. He imagined State Street 100 years ago, with the Wells Fargo stage coach barreling through, and the town growing up around the route. It was the perfect match for his heritage.
His father was an immigrant from Spain. Jose Marquez had changed the family name to Marks, to avoid the stereotypes that he felt were cast on the family by people who thought they were Mexican. Brent could have passed for Mexican himself, with his dark brown curly hair and dark eyes, but he was much taller than most Mexicans. He was fluent in Spanish, which helped in the old days when he was a “poor man’s lawyer.” The Spaniards had tamed this land and now it was Brent’s turn. He loved Santa Barbara.
He had made it to his State Street office just in time to check messages and make sure everything was in order for the big weekend. No work, only play and relaxation for the next 48 hours. As he entered the office, Melinda Johnson, his secretary, looked worried. It was unusual for her to be there past quitting time on a Friday.
“Hey Mimi, what’s wrong?” Brent asked her.
“You’ve got a call waiting. I told him you weren’t in, but he said he’d wait.”
“Who is it?”
“I don’t know, he won’t say. He’s really weird, Mr. Marks.”
“Why don’t we let him just die on hold then?”
“I think you should answer.”
Brent entered his office, sat down behind his plush mahogany desk, and picked up the phone.
“Hello, this is Brent Marks.”
The eerie voice on the other end was cold and inhuman. “Do you know how fast a bullet goes, Counselor?” it asked.
“Who is this?”
“Seventeen hundred feet per second. At that velocity it will crack open your skull and blast your brains all over your wall like a watermelon being hit by a sledge hammer.” The caller cackled like a wounded chicken.
Brent quickly switched on the recording device to the receiver. He had bought that baby to record threats from ex-husbands whose wives had obtained restraining orders against them but which Brent had always refused to dismiss, even in cases of so called “reconciliation.”
“I don’t think I got your name, mister?”
The voice responded with a maniacal chuckle, which turned into a full blown belly laugh, like Vincent Price in the final stanza of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
“No judge in the world can stop a bullet, Counselor. No piece of paper can do that.”
“This conversation is really interesting, but if I don’t have your name, I…”
“I’m not going to play games with you.”
“Oh, this is not a game. I assure you. I’m just giving you a little preview. Wherever you go, I’ll be there. When you’re at the corner at Starbucks, having your mocha grande in the morning before going to court, I’ll be there. You won’t see me, but I’ll be there. All it takes is one shot – one shot in the head.”
“And why would you want to shoot me?”
“I am a servant of the Lord, Counselor. I do His work.”
“You’re saying that you’re going to kill me because God told you so?” Without answering, the caller went into a sermon, like an evangelist preacher trying to convert a world full of infidels.
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the Lord! When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. I am your terror, Counselor. I am the hand of the Lord and I will strike you down!”
Suddenly, Brent realized who this character could be. Last year, he took on a case for Felipe Sanchez, who had rented a house from a crazy religious fanatic named Joshua Banks. When Banks found out that Sanchez had moved in his girlfriend, all hell broke loose. “I won’t have fornication in my house!” Banks decreed. Sanchez ignored him and three days later, came home to find himself locked out of his house and all his furniture thrown out on the street. When Brent succeeded in getting the police to open the house, Banks turned off the utilities, and Sanchez sued. Thanks to a little known provision in the Civil Code, daily damages were awarded to Sanchez at trial which allowed him to take his judgment, levy it against the house, and become the owner of it. Justice can be hell for some people.
“Threatening my life is a felony, Mr. Banks,” said Brent, “Do you really want to go to prison?”
“Do you think I care about your court? Your prison? There is only one lawgiver and judge, and that is the Lord God! Judge not, that you not be judged, sayeth the Lord. Man does not have the right to sit in judgment of his fellow man.”
“You’re not God, Mr. Banks.” Ignoring him, Banks pressed on.
“Your judgment has been pronounced, Counselor. And I’m afraid there is no chance for a pardon. The punishment is death.”
Brent heard a click, followed by the dull dead sound of dial tone. It was now after 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. There was no way he could get a restraining order until the court opened on Monday morning, and the police would refuse to do anything about it unless he had one.
“Mims, I’ve gotta work you this weekend.”
“Oh, boss, it’s my sister’s birthday tomorrow and we planned to go to Solvang to see Legally Blonde. Do I have to?” she pleaded, batting her eyelashes over her power blue eyes. Melinda was 20 something, attractive, with auburn brown hair, and had a huge crush on the boss. But Brent had long since made it clear that their relationship would be strictly business. Still, that did not prevent her from using her feminine wiles whenever she had the occasion, or, in this case, the need.
“Sorry, but if I don’t get a restraining order against this crazy Joshua Banks, I’m afraid you may not have a boss by Monday.”
“That was Banks? Oh, I remember that guy. He’s nuts.”
“You can do it at home. I’ll dictate it now and drop it by your house in about two hours. But I need it by Sunday night. Court opens at 8:30.”
“Okay boss, you can count on me.”
It was a good thing that Brent had not yet made any plans for the weekend, because this weekend would be reserved for writing up a motion for a restraining order and trying to stay alive long enough for the Court to grant it and the Sheriff to serve it.