What's Inside


ONCE UPON a time I had been a captain in the U.S. Army, serving

as an intelligence officer, but a series of unfortunate and bloody

events had led me to the precipice of a dishonorable discharge and

a life sentence to the Army prison in Leavenworth, until a heavily

tanned man working for the Central Intelligence Agency had offered

me a way out.

His exit path meant joining the CIA, undergoing their training

sessions, then accepting overseas assignments at a moment’s notice—

missing my husband, Tom, and daughter, Denise, terribly—

to do serious work on behalf of an unknowing and mostly uncaring


It was either that or go to prison.

Some days I almost think it was worth it.

But not today.

I’m with my two very skilled and angry killers, about to crawl

up to the edge of a ridge, and it’s nearing noon on this warm day

in the wild mountain areas between Syria and Lebanon. The night

before in our little encampment, we and our British friends could

see the glow of night raids going on in Syria, not sure if the Russians,

Turks, or Americans were doing the bombing—but all of us

agreeing it probably didn’t make much difference.

It was a damn lonely feeling, but now I feel even lonelier. Jordan

and Santiago are professionals, good at following orders—even if

it’s from someone who uses sanitary products once a month—but

I can feel the smoldering anger coming off them after abandoning

the exfiltration point back at that wadi.

Now, instead of showering and eating good ol’ greasy and fattening

American food aboard the USS Essex near the Lebanese

coastline, we’re deep in hostile territory, with few good options facing


But there’s a hard core of me that knows I’m right.

To hell with our orders.

Classified mission or not, I’m not leaving anyone behind.

We three are strung out in a line and now we’re peeking over the

ridgetop, using the jagged rocks and boulders for cover. By now

Jordan has reassembled his .308 Remington—putting a standard

tactical scope on the frame instead of the spooky Star Wars aiming

system—and Santiago is using standard binoculars as well.

I say, “There it is.”

It being a sad-looking one-story farmhouse and attached small

barn, both made of wood and stone, with an orchard of scraggly

trees, a fenced-in area where goats are doing whatever goats do,

and a small courtyard off to the left, surrounded by a knee-high

stone wall.

Looking through his rifle’s scope, Jordan says, “Doesn’t look like


“Langley told us this farmhouse is used as a transit point for

smugglers and jihadists. It’s the closest building to our ambush site.

If our Brits were taken someplace, this is it.”

Santiago, his binoculars in his hands, says, “Crappy looking


“Yes,” I say. “But check out the parking lot.”

A dirt lane leads to the farmhouse, and three dark and dented Toyota pickup trucks, as well as a black SUV, are parked in a semicircle


“I don’t think this is the far outpost of Honest Ahmed, used-car

salesman,” I say. I gesture to the left. “Spread out. Santiago, that

little lump of rock . . . and Jordan, that chunk that looks like a doghouse.

Sound off if you see anything.”

They silently pick up their gear and move as ordered.

I look down at the farmhouse.

The only sign of life is the goats.

I hate goats.

In the few minutes it takes for Jordan and Santiago to take up their

new positions, only a handful of words are exchanged.

Quietly Jordan says, “She broke orders.”

Santiago says, “Yeah.”

Jordan pauses, takes off his rucksack. “If my ass ever gets captured,

hope someone does the same for me.”

“No argument here,” Santiago says.

“See you later.”

Santiago moves forward. “You bet, Bro.”

I check my radio gear.

Still no signal.

Being in the mountains will do that to you.

What now?

I look down through the fine German optics at the Lebanese

farmhouse, where I hope my two British comrades are being held.

It’s a damn UN meeting, it is.

What now?

We can sit here for a while, try to see what’s going on. Those

parked vehicles mean something of importance must be



But maybe it’s not Jeremy and Oliver—those polite, charming,

humorous, and utterly stone-cold killers in the service of MI6 and

the Queen.

Maybe it’s something else.

I could leave Santiago and Jordan here while I find a location

that will allow me to reestablish radio communications—and, after

getting reamed out, try to pinpoint resources that I could use to

find Jeremy and Oliver.

But my gut tells me they’re in that building.

How to get them out?

I’m hungry, thirsty, and my feet hurt, and the bandages wrapped

around my torso make me feel like I’m going to lose a cup size

when this particular op is wrapped up.

What now?

As I start going through the options once more, I think I see a

hint of movement off to the left. Then Jordan makes up my mind

for me.

“Amy!” he yells, holding his rifle, face to the scope. “We got a



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From the bestselling author of The President Is Missing, an undercover CIA officer has seven days to save her country—and her family—from the world’s most dangerous double-agent.
Agent Amy Cornwall excels at working from the shadows—until a botched field operation reveals dark dealings between her bosses and an informant. And a hidden plot by a terrorist genius that could kill thousands of Americans. Among them: her husband and daughter.
She has to go dark. The Division wants to erase her. And they know every detail about her identity, her history, and her family. 
Agent Cornwall's countdown has begun.