The Blowback Protocol (Hardcover - Large Print)
Book Seven 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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"Another edge-of-your-seat masterpiece from Lars Emmerich."
"One of my favorite action novels of all time."
A little girl has been slain. Is it Special Agent Sam Jameson’s fault?
Homeland, Justice, and a powerful US Senator think so.
And Sam is afraid they might be right.
She’s been suspended, and she even faces an indictment. With her beau stuck on an overseas deployment, she’s left alone with her guilt and heartache — until a cryptic and terrifying message propels her out of her darkness and into a morass of international intrigue.
Along the way, the clues start to add up, and Sam begins to wonder: was the little girl’s tragic death an accident, or something much worse? And what does the CIA have to do with the horrible tragedy?
Halfway across the globe, Sam runs into someone from her past. But something’s different about him, and it quickly becomes clear he’s in a desperate struggle of his own. Three important people in his life have been kidnapped and face a brutal death — that he himself has set in motion.
Are all of their fates intertwined? Are Sam and the man from her past fighting the same battle, against the same adversary? Can they unravel a vast and deadly conspiracy in time to save their own lives?
Blowback is a classic spy thriller in the tradition of the best espionage novels from Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Daniel Silva, Mark Greaney, and Frederick Forsyth, told with the entertaining style and flair that have made #1 Bestselling Author Lars Emmerich one of the thriller genre’s most promising stars.
BLOWBACK is the seventh 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.
"Man, what a ride!"
"Love love LOVE this series!"
"Blowback blew me away. I LOVED it!"
"So many twists. And I loved the characters and dialog!"
"MORE MORE MORE!"
"I found myself literally holding my breath."
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Enjoy a sample from BLOWBACK
A phone buzzed, interrupting a memorial service at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.
Special Agent Samantha Jameson, Chief of Homeland Security’s Counterespionage Division, turned toward the disturbance. One row ahead and two people to the right, a middle-aged man of medium height and medium build reached into his pocket to silence his phone. Prominent chin, aquiline nose, hair a mix of brown and gray with a circular bald spot that made him look like a monk. Sam scowled at the man’s lack of telephone etiquette but her annoyance was short-lived. Her mind was otherwise occupied.
Her gaze returned to the casket. It was made of polished aluminum with stainless steel rails for the pallbearers’ hands. It was beautiful, simple, and elegant. And small. No larger than four feet long. Not nearly big enough for an adult. The sight of its awful, devastating smallness caused a lump to choke Sam’s throat.
The aggrieved sat in silence in the first row, smothered and bowed by pain, mere feet away from the tiny body inside the coffin. Sam watched them in their agony. Her heart broke for them all over again.
Next to the casket, a picture of five-year-old Sarah Beth McCulley stood atop a simple memorial display. Blonde curls, bright, beautiful eyes, enormous smile, all innocence and cuteness and goodness and joie de vivre. The wrongness of it stabbed Sam in the chest.
Sam was tall and athletic, but she sat with her shoulders hunched and her back bowed, reeling from sleepless nights and days spent in sorrow and worry. Her face was beautiful and striking, framed by fire-red hair, but dark rings encircled her eyes. Their piercing energy had faded, and fatigue and remorse clouded her features. Her own devastation haunted her, stole her breath, settled in her stomach like a stone, as it had countless times over the past four days. The words assaulted her from within: This is my fault, and everyone here knows it.
A pipe organ thrust out a dirge and Sam jumped at the sound. Mourners sang with weak voices. The dead girl’s family sat in numb stillness. Bile rose in her throat as Sam struggled not to fall once again into the abyss that had swallowed her over and over since the little girl’s death. My doing. My failure. My fault.
The priest’s smooth, melodic tones clashed with the raw, tragic sorrow of the occasion. He spoke with contrived certainty about things eternal and unknowable, aiming at comfort but leaving only emptiness and loss as the echoes faded into the old cathedral.
Sam’s mind lost its grip on the moment. She slipped back into pained recollection. A gray winter day. Littlefield Park in Arlington, Virginia. The squawk and static of tactical transmissions in her earpiece. The news that Tariq Ezzat was approaching. A dozen factors to weigh: a public space with civilians nearby, but her team had worked long and hard for weeks to gain the opportunity to move against Ezzat and his network of terrorists, to extract the intel she knew he must be holding in his head. She recalled the tension and weight in her gut as she spoke into her transmitter: “Take him.”
The scene played out for the thousandth time in her mind. She was powerless to stop it, doomed to witness the tragedy over and over again. Ezzat’s sudden sprint. The blur of the man’s hand. The bark of his gun firing.
Elizabeth McCulley’s scream.
Sarah Beth McCulley’s still, lifeless form, slumped in a widening pool of crimson.
Tears fell from Sam’s eyes and her shoulders shook. The church’s organ started again, snapping her awareness back to the present, dredging up more muted singing from the congregants, and then it was over.
Frank McCulley steadied his wife, small and frail and wrecked, and the two made their way to the back of the church. They walked slowly, hollowed eyes cast in the distance, faces pale and haggard.
Sam followed their progress. The evidence of their suffering weighed heavily on her heart as they drew nearer. She held her breath.
Frank’s head turned and his eyes met Sam’s. His face changed. Grief and misery gave way to deep, seething anger.
Air escaped Sam’s lungs, but she couldn’t draw a breath to replace it. Her body seized and she couldn’t move.
McCulley glared at her. Then he turned away in disgust, tightened the grip on his wife’s arm, and they walked slowly out of the church.
Sam’s eyes burned with tears. She rose, unsteady, and walked on wooden legs to the exit, mumbling apologies as she moved against the flow of mourners.
A cold drizzle seized her as she stepped outside. Frosty wind from the Potomac chilled her to the bone, leaving her open and vulnerable in her grief and guilt. Her car was parked a block away, downwind, but Sam stepped into the teeth of the cold breeze, west along H Street, a few hundred yards from the White House. The icy wind assailed her but she felt the rightness of this small suffering, punishing herself for the devastation her decision had wrought.
One miscalculation. One mistake. That was all it took.
That was all it ever took.
She rounded the corner, barely noticing as she brushed against a passerby, a medium-sized man in a black suit with an aquiline nose, a prominent chin, and a monk-like bald spot. It didn’t register that she’d seen the same man just moments before, seated one pew ahead and two people to the right of her, fidgeting to turn off his buzzing cell phone.
And she didn’t notice the small object he slipped into her coat pocket as they passed.