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Albert Jay Smalls sits in an interrogation room accused of an unspeakable crime. The police have no witnesses, no physical evidence, but they are certain he is hiding the truth. With less than twelve hours before he must be released, Smalls will be put through one final interrogation.

It is a search that leads into the shadowed recesses of one man's shattered mind -- and to the devastating secrets buried in a desolate seaside town. It is a quest that takes three desperate cops down a dark, twisting road as they race against the clock to find out what really happened one rainy autumn afternoon in 1952. The answers will be more shocking than anyone can imagine, blurring the boundaries between pursuers and prey, between the innocent and the guilty, between the truth that sets us free and the tragedies that haunt us to the grave.

Against a gripping backdrop of murder and redemption, master storyteller Thomas Cook journeys into the darkest corners of the human heart to tell a mesmerizing story of crime and retribution -- and the forces that push even good people to the breaking point.

"Violence, tenderness, unspeakable evil, and the churning torment of a lost soul a little too close to them for comfort before the final sickening surprise."

"Probably no other suspense writer takes readers as deeply into the heart of darkness as Cook."

"There's no ignoring [Thomas Cook's] savage imagery, or escaping the airless chambers of his disturbing imagination."

"Hypnotic prose and fresh scenarios set [Cook's] suspenseful fiction apart....If you've not yet been haunted by a Thomas Cook novel, now is a fine time to start."

"Cook uses the genre to open a window onto the human condition.... Literate, compelling... Events accelerate with in

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About the Author

John J. Nance is the bestselling author of Pandora's Clock and Medusa's Child, both of which have been adapted as four-hour television miniseries. An aviation analyst for the ABC Television Network and aviation editor for Good Morning America, Nance is also a licensed attorney, a veteran Air Force reserve officer/pilot, a nationally known professional speaker, and an airline captain for a major US carrier. He lives and writes in Tacoma, Washington.


Fans of suspense fiction and aeronautical thrillers in particular will find much to like in Nance's latest, including the requisite white-knuckle flying sequences, which take place in a variety of aircrafts from a Boeing 737 to a Cessna 172; authentic technical details (as one would expect from the aviation analyst for ABC's World News Tonight); sparkling dialog; a relentless pace; and an exciting courtroom drama in Ireland, where the legal jousting reaches its climax. An ex-U.S. President, traveling in Europe, faces arrest under an international warrant for crimes supposedly committed by CIA-hired operatives in Peru, and it's up to an outgunned lawyer from Wyoming a former judge, thrown off the bench in a messy scandal and two daring pilots in a commandeered aircraft to save him. After the first 100 pages, which crackle with tension, the reader is hit with another jolt that lasts just as long, with more thrills yet to come. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/00.] Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

The real-life Pinochet extradition case inspires this international legal thriller peppered with bestselling author Nance's (Blackout, etc.) trademark razor-edge escape scenarios and death-defying aviation theatrics. Peru charges that former U.S. President John Harris ordered the brutal slaughter of peasant families by Shining Path mercenaries on a CIA-led raid on a Peruvian drug factory, in violation of the recently ratified International Treaty Against Torture. Powerful British lawyer Sir William Stuart Campbell takes Peru's case and, with a personal grudge to avenge, plans for the immediate arrest and extradition of the former president, who is on board a German commercial airline about to leave Athens. Tipped off by an American stewardess, the American and British pilots fake a hijacking and run for Rome, only to learn that warrants are waiting at every European airport. From the plane, Harris calls Jay Reinhart, a brilliant former law partner who was booted off the Texas bench, and gets him to take on Campbell's formidable team. While Reinhart jousts with Campbell in foreign courts, the pilots evade warrants by staying airborne with one stop at an American military base for refueling, playing nifty tricks that fool police, air traffic towers and their own company executives. Nance gets in jabs at diplomatic scuttling of military actions and sets up the David vs. Goliath legal battle with aplomb. Hair-raising near-disaster in the air, high courtroom drama and a strong international cast of characters make this surefire bestseller a nonstop read, with gut-wrenching twists that leave the reader scrabbling for a parachute. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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