"A compulsive adventure. . . .Kyle Mills is a writer to watch!"
-- Tom Clancy
Two short years ago a young unknown named Kyle Mills took the world of thriller fiction by storm. His explosive bestseller Rising Phoenix created legions of eager fans, and elicited the admiration of such established stars as Tom Clancy and Frederick Forsyth as well as critics nationwide.
No longer an unknown, Mills is back with a powerful new story of murder, deception, and intrigue.
Mark Beamon, the maverick FBI agent introduced in Rising Phoenix, has been given one last chance by the Bureau. Shunted into a job running a sleepy Southwest office, Beamon is under strict orders to shape up and do things "by the book"--the FBI way.
There's only one problem: Crime doesn't go by the book.
Flagstaff, Arizona, is shocked when a millionaire auto dealer and his wife are brutally murdered in an apparent botched robbery and kidnapping. It's one of the bloodiest, clumsiest crimes Special Agent Beamon has ever seen. The missing teenage daughter, Jennifer Davis, who stands to inherit everything, is the prime suspect. Did she and her rock star boyfriend fake her abduction?
The boyfriend has an alibi, and Beamon has a feeling. Something is not right about this case--something is definitely not "by the book." With his new assistant in tow,and his new girlfriend all but forgotten, Beamon follows a trail of faint clues and strong hunches that lead from a remote Unabomber cabin in the Utah mountains, through the labyrinthine headquarters of the cult-like Church of the Evolution, into the shadowy, interlocking boardrooms of a high-tech communications empire.
Beamon has tossed the book aside again, and Washington is furious; for the church has powerful friends, as do companies like Vericomm and TarroSoft. Then a bombshell is dropped. The "murder" of Jennifer's parents was a double suicide. But why? What did the Davises gain by killing themselves while their daughter watched? Are their deaths part of a morbid church ritual--or the first step in a bizarre millennial conspiracy designed to bring America to its knees? Either way, time is running out, and Beamon's career--not to mention a young girl's life--is on the line.
Kyle Mills's Rising Phoenix debuted at number 12 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list and went on to become a bestseller nationwide, winning widespread critical praise. This second thriller featuring Mark Beamon is certain to ensure Mills's place as one of the most talented new writers of adventure fiction today.
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Take one outspoken, sloppy, slightly boozy FBI agent who's too smart for his own good (and never lets the reader forget it) and exile him to a field office in Arizona so he doesn't embarrass the Agency. Tie him to a short tether and bury him in paperwork. Add a double murder and a missing teenager; throw in a little New Age religion (but don't identify it as Scientology, or L. Ron Hubbard's legions will bury you in lawsuits) and you have Kyle Mills's second Mark Beamon thriller. A bit too smug to be likable, Beamon has the case totally figured out before anyone else has a clue. Shortly thereafter, he's pressured to shut down the investigation. When he persists in following a road that leads right to the front door of the powerful Church of the Evolution, he's suddenly targeted by the IRS, labeled a pedophile, and finally suspended. But with the help of an ex-member of the cult, an eager young agent, and a crusty old retired wire tapper, Beamon manages to track down the missing girl and put a crimp in the church's ambitious plans. These include a conspiracy to take over the nation's telecommunications infrastructure and extend the cult's hold over the movers and shakers of the country--including Beamon's boss and other FBI honchos. A tidy little millennial thriller with echoes of Waco, Ruby Ridge, and those comet-happy cultists in San Diego who followed their leader to a higher plane last summer, this should win Mills (author of Rising Phoenix) a legion of new fans. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
Kyle Mills is the author of Sphere of Influence, Burn Factor, Free Fall, Storming Heaven, and Rising Phoenix.
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