The Last Phoenix
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A true master of the action-packed geopolitical thriller, Richard Herman puts America in the middle of a two-front war where success is far from certain.
The Last PhoenixIt is the beginning of a new century and Maddy Turner, the first woman to occupy the White House, is about to become a wartime president. The war on terrorism has been too successful; the radical Islamic states have devised a brilliant, unthinkable strategy and found a new ally in a surging China. They know the price will be high, but the prize is control of the vast Middle Eastern oil reserves and the strategic Strait of Malacca. By working in concert where timing is critical, they intend to create a new axis of world power by ensnaring the president's armed forces in a devastating double-pronged conflict -- a war the American military can no longer win.
Fueled by the failure of her intelligence agencies to foresee the unexpected, President Turner must react to a global crisis of world-altering proportions, as nightmarish scenes of brutal conflict and terrorism are played out half a world away. It will take courage, remarkable cunning, stealth, luck, and seemingly unbearable sacrifice to avoid Armageddon, as she approaches what will either be her finest hour or her most tragic mistake. But working below the radarscopes of Turner's antagonists is an ancient warrior on a quest of vengeance in the jungles of Malaysia. Victor Kamigami, a legend in the world of special operations, is a wild card no one knows is in play.
Fighting for reelection against a political enemy as unprincipled and determined as her foes on the battlefield, Turner must turn to the man she trusts above all others, perhaps the only one she can trust in the brutal snake pit of Beltway politics: Brigadier General Matt Pontowski -- himself the grandson of a president -- a brilliant flier and military tactician, and an intimate confidant of the most powerful woman on earth. The mission she must entrust him with is bold and extraordinary -- and potentially suicidal -- a daring incursion into the Malaysian jungle, where a small force of determined warriors must hold off a fearsome, overwhelming aggressor long enough for another war to be won. The risks are astronomical, the chance of success slim. But the alternative is unthinkable. And it is the only road America has left.
destruction. “Well, so be it,” he murmured, accepting failure. He reached for his cane and stood up. Suddenly he felt very old. His hostess was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. She keyed off Zou’s abrupt departure and looked very concerned. “Thank you so much,” he told her. “It was my pleasure, Mr. Secretary. I’ll always remember meeting Miss Jin. What an adorable lady. And her English is exquisite.” “Jin Chu was here? The fortune-teller?” “Why, yes. I thought you knew.” “What did
peephole and unbolted the shutter to look out. Pontowski heard a horn honking furiously. “Open the doors!” Ryan shouted. Pontowski hit the switch, and the doors moved back. The gunfire grew louder. “Oh, shit!” Ryan yelled. He ran outside. Pontowski hit the switch and stopped the doors. Another burst from a submachine gun echoed outside, and he saw the nose of the van emerge between the open doors. Ryan was pushing the bullet-riddled van into the shelter. Pontowski ran to help and pushed against
feet. Paratroops poured out the jump doors, their chutes snapping open in quick succession, catching the first light of the rising sun. He sank to one knee. Another sound came to him. Shelter doors were cranking open, and the shrill whine of starting engines filled the air. A Hog taxied out as another C-130 flew past. More parachutes lined the sky, and in the distance he heard the sound of a third Hercules. Pontowski came to his feet and walked back into the shelter to check on Ryan. He was a
and when I’m finished with this laborious and time-consuming task, I hope to hell this room is vacant and that I find you all safe as bugs in a rug in your bunks.” It was, and he did. Lackland Air Force Base Wednesday, September 8 The two sergeants waiting inside the 341st Training Squadron’s orderly room jumped to their feet when Rockne walked in. “Thanks for coming down, Chief,” Tech Sergeant Paul Travis said. “I believe you know Staff Sergeant Jake Osburn.” The men shook hands all around.
twenty-four hours but not one killed in the last forty-eight. “Thank God,” Merritt said sotto voce. “Are there any questions?” Scovill asked. There were none, and he made his escape. “Stephan,” Mazie said to the secretary of state, “you wanted to discuss the political situation before the president arrived.” “Indeed,” Serick said. “This is a replay from twenty minutes ago.” He fiddled with his hand controller and cycled to the channel covering the Senate. Leland was on the floor speaking.