The Scorpio Illusion: A Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Don’t ever begin a Ludlum novel if you have to go to work the next day.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Tyrell Hawthorne was a naval intelligence officer—one of the best—until the rain-swept night in Amsterdam when his wife was murdered, an innocent victim of the games spies play. Now he’s called out of retirement for one last assignment. For Hawthorne is the only man alive who can track down the world’s most dangerous terrorist.
Amaya Bajaratt is beautiful, elusive, and deadly—and she has set in motion a chilling conspiracy that a desperate government cannot stop. With his life and the life of the president hanging in the balance, Hawthorne must follow Bajaratt’s serpentine trail, a path of seduction, betrayal, and the looming threat of death. Racing from a millionaire recluse’s fortress to the social whirl of Palm Beach, from the Oval Office to treacherous Caribbean waters, Hawthorne will uncover a sinister network of well-placed men and women who exist to help this consummate killer—and the shattering truth behind the Scorpio Illusion.
“Breakneck . . . readability.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A high-voltage tale of drama and suspense.”—The Denver Post
“That’s me,” replied Jackson from the bench, his breath suspended. “She told me to tell you to cool it—that’s what she said.” “How is she?” “I’ll get to that.” The surgeon turned to Tyrell. “You’re Hawthorne, then, the other patient?” “Yes.” “She wants to see you—” “What the hogdamned hell are you talkin’ about?” Poole leapt to his feet. “If she’s gonna see anyone, it’s me!” “I gave her a choice, Mr. Poole. I didn’t even want to do that, but she’s a very stubborn lady. One visitor, two
calling.” “Yes, sir,” said the secretary. “I’m to put you right through.” “Thank you.” “Commander?” Palisser’s voice was like the man—authoritative, not aggressive. “What have you learned, if anything?” “Another killing, and I almost made it one after that.” “Good Lord, are you all right?” “A couple of stitches, that’s all; I walked—ran—right into it.” “What happened?” “Later, Mr. Secretary, there’s something else. Do you know a CIA analyst named O’Ryan?” “Yes, I believe I do. He was the
the Providers? It’s all out of some outrageously implausible novel!” “So was the Schutzstaffel.” “The early Nazis?” “The same thugs who had uniforms and several thousand pairs of leather boots when a wheelbarrow full of deutsche marks couldn’t buy a loaf of bread. Certainly not during the Weimar economic collapse.” “What the hell are you talking about?” “A very relevant pattern, Mr. Secretary. Somebody supplied all those uniforms and boots; they didn’t just materialize out of thin air—they
anti-Semite.” “Certainly you are, and so am I! I want fighters first and Jews second, just as you want fighters first and gentiles second! The temples and the churches are too often impediments.” “Come to think about it, you’re right.” “What will you do—tonight over there?” “Stay close to, or perhaps even in the White House. After all, I’ll have to take charge very quickly, very firmly.” “Is that where it’s going to happen?” “Where else?… I doubt that we’ll talk again.” “I should think
chairman, briefly smiling, “neither the French nor we believe she’ll be going anywhere for a number of days, perhaps a week, even two.” “Your crystal balls tell you that?” “No, our collective common sense. The enormity of her task, as she sees it, will require a fair degree of planning, involving human, financial, and technical resources, including aircraft. She may be a psychopath, but she’s no fool; she won’t attempt to mount her quest on the U.S. mainland.” “So where better than beyond the