The Incident: Reckoning (Hardcover)
Book 2 in the Sam Jameson series. Over 1,000,000 fans in 17 countries.
The runaway #1 Bestseller from USA Today Bestselling Author Lars Emmerich.
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“LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!”
“I couldn’t put it down!”
Where do you run when even the good guys want you dead?
Special Agent Sam Jameson is having a bad week. People are trying to kill her.
That would be business as usual in the counterespionage world, except that it’s the good guys who have her in the crosshairs.
Why are the DC Metro police trying to kidnap her? Do her bosses at Homeland want her in a body bag, too?
And why does everyone she talks to seem to end up in the morgue?
Will a ruthless mercenary, a hapless American traitor, and a dead man’s cryptic clue hold the key to Sam’s survival? As the noose tightens around her neck, Sam must uncover a brutal and deadly conspiracy before she becomes its next victim.
RECKONING is the second installment in USA Today Bestselling Author Lars Emmerich’s runaway international hit Sam Jameson series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of espionage, conspiracy, and crime thrillers from masters such as James Patterson, David Baldacci, Nelson DeMille, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Catherine Coulter, and Daniel Silva.
"This is an absolute masterpiece."
"Love love LOVE this series!"
"It's 5 a.m. and I just stayed up all night reading!"
"Lars is my new favorite author!"
"Sam Jameson is a great character. Better than (Patterson's) Alex Cross!"
"I stayed up till 3 a.m. reading. Couldn't put it down!"
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Enjoy a sample from RECKONING
SPOILER WARNING: Do not read this excerpt until you have read INFERNO.
Six corpses and a bomb.
It had been a long week. And though it was Friday, there was no end in sight.
Special Agent Sam Jameson emerged from Homeland Security Deputy Director Tom Jarvis’ office and walked quickly down the hallway toward the elevators. She was on her way to her office in the bowels of the country’s third largest bureaucracy.
Brock followed in Sam’s wake. She was still overcome with relief at her discovery of the coincidence that had falsely associated her lover with a brood of very bad people, who Sam suspected were responsible for as many as five of those corpses.
Maybe the bomb, too. It was hard to say.
It was good to have Brock back in her life. Now, they could try to stay alive together, instead of trying to stay alive apart.
She wasn’t quite sure why the cops had it in for her, and she hadn’t gotten much help from her two bosses at Homeland.
Tom Jarvis was a douchebag bureaucrat, and Francis Ekman was a milquetoast sycophant, and she was still uncertain why they’d withheld a key piece of information: the name of the guy who had probably dropped the bomb in the front yard of their very expensive Alexandria brownstone.
If Fatso Minton had indeed dropped that bomb, karma had already delivered its comeuppance. Sam was certain that the gruesome imagery of Fatso’s mutilated body would add itself to the regular rotation of macabre horrors in her dreams.
Sam and Brock moved like a phalanx through the sea of Homeland clerks milling about in the hallways. Dan Gable hustled to keep pace.
Frank Ekman, Sam’s newly-appointed human shield, brought up the rear. There was a strong chance that Homeland was compromised, and a strong chance that Ekman and Jarvis were themselves the problem, but Sam and Brock had been forced to bring this particular enemy close. It was necessary to reduce the number of variables in their world. It was tough to run from both the good guys and the bad guys at the same time.
“Wait here, Frank,” Sam said as they passed Ekman’s office. Sam’s boss did as she told him. Sam had him over a barrel.
Ekman peeled off, nodded at his secretary, and shut the door to his office.
“Will you please call me right away if he goes anywhere?” Sam whispered to the secretary, who gave her a puzzled look in response. “We have plans,” Sam explained. The secretary nodded.
The pencil pushers averted their eyes as Sam, Brock and Dan approached the elevator lobby. The kind of people who were content to sit in dark cubicles writing memos harbored a natural aversion to alphas, the kind of people who caught spies and flew fighter jets. The clerks cleared away.
They also whispered amongst themselves. There had been rumors that Sam was somehow tainted by involvement in unsavory activities, rumors likely started and perpetuated by the bureaucrat whose office Hurricane Sam had just left.
She had left Tom Jarvis red-faced and with his mouth agape. It hadn’t mattered much that he sat two rungs above her on the organizational chart, and just two rungs below The Man Himself.
What mattered was that Jarvis was no match for Sam, and his decades of office work hadn’t stacked up well against her years in the real world.
She pushed the button and waited for the elevator. She smiled at a few of the staring cubicle dwellers, who immediately looked away. Dan and Brock watched with amusement.
They held their conversation until they were alone in the elevator, when Dan spoke up. “I’m glad you’re here in person. A few things have come up that I’m glad we don’t have to talk about by phone.”
“I imagine,” Sam said. “It’s been a hell of a week for you, too. I appreciate all of your help. You’ve been a godsend.”
“No sweat. How’s the remodeling going?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye.
“Great. We saved a ton of money on the demolition,” Sam quipped.
The elevator dinged, and they made their way to Sam’s office, with its million-dollar view of Capitol Hill in one direction and the Washington Monument in the other.
Sam sat behind her desk, drew a long breath, rubbed her eyes, and blew the air out slowly. “What a grisly scene,” she said, referring to the pictures Dan had brought into Jarvis’ office minutes earlier.
In addition to the human tragedy, Fatso’s death was wildly inconvenient. Sam had planned to return to Fatso’s home in Dayton to ask him a few more pointed questions.
One pointed question, really: why did you drop a bomb on my damned house?
“So we’re back at square one?” she asked Dan.
“Fortunately, no. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” He sat in a chair adjacent to the couch in Sam’s office. “Who’s the one guy you’d love to have a conversation with?” he asked.
“Dibiaso,” Sam said without hesitation. “Jarvis apparently knows him as Martinson.”
“Exactly. His burner phone was active for roughly two weeks, and he made several dozen calls.”
Brock shook his head. “What are the odds that he and I rode together twice in the same damned carpool?”
“Stranger than fiction,” Sam said.
“Here’s the deal,” Dan said. “I have no idea how Ekman and Jarvis learned Dibiaso was using that particular burner phone. I haven’t found anything confirming it, and neither of those clowns are talking.”
Sam shook her head. “That’s a problem.”
“It sounds like a problem,” Dan said, “But it may not really be a problem. Here’s why. The phone’s user – maybe Dibiaso, maybe someone else – spoke with roughly a dozen people. I accessed those phone records via the trapdoor—”
“You got a warrant?” Sam interjected.
Dan laughed. “You’re joking, right? Who needs a warrant in the digital age?”
Sam shook her head. “I didn’t hear that.”
“As I was saying,” Dan went on, “I looked at those records. All of them were burners, little prepaid phones that weren’t in use for much more than a few weeks.”
“Not helpful,” Sam said.
“Right,” Dan said. “Definitely not ideal for our purposes. They’re easy to track geographically, but it’s really tough to associate those accounts with any particular person. You have to have some other information, like the phone’s location data overlapping with a person’s known address, or credit card information used to purchase the phone.”
“Do you have that?” Brock asked.
“No. We have nothing at all, on anyone who used any of the phones that Dibiaso – or whatever his name is – spoke with using the burner number that Ekman gave us. Those phones were all bought with cash and used in public places.”
“Doesn’t sound like good news,” Brock said, looking glum.
“No, but it’s very telling,” Sam said. “These dudes were more than investment bankers cheating on their wives.”
“It does have a pro vibe about it,” Dan said. “But there’s one thing that jumped out at me.”
Sam nodded, hoping to accelerate Dan’s dramatic pause.
“One of the phones subsequently popped up in a foreign country. Any guesses?”
Dan frowned. “Venezuela.”
Sam nodded thoughtfully. “So that improves our confidence that whoever used this phone – who I think signed the Pentagon visitor log as Avery Martinson, and Ekman and Jarvis refer to as Arturo Dibiaso – is somehow relevant to the Bolero investigation.”
“That sounds interesting, but inconclusive,” Brock said.
“And not very helpful, really,” Sam said.
“Right, but the thing is, we got lucky twice,” Dan said. “Whoever ventured down to Venezuela with that phone was a bit sloppy. They turned the phone off twice in front of one particular address, and turned it on a couple of times in the same spot.”
Sam sat up. “Almost like they turned it off while they were home, and turned it on again when they left.”
“Exactly,” Dan said. “Didn’t want to give away where they were staying. Except they weren’t smart about it.”
“So you got the address, then?”
Dan handed her a slip of paper.
Sam looked at Brock. “Ever been to Caracas?”
“I’ll brush up on my French.”
“Guten Tag, Fräulein.”
“You’re a natural.”