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From the clandestine corridors of power in London to Tokyo’s historic underground, Alex Morgan fights The newest installment in acclaimed Black-Ops thriller author Leo J. Maloney’s spin-off series featuring Alex Morgan, daughter of Zeta operative Dan Morgan.
A sniper attack in London’s Trafalgar Square triggers the survive-and-protect instincts of Alex Morgan, special agent of the Zeta organization. As the city erupts into chaos, Alex knows it’s only the first move by the vicious Ares network. Fast-moving events propel her to Tokyo, where Yoki-Dyne, a lucrative and innovative tech company, is under attack.
Alex takes a deep dive into the heart of danger, only to encounter a female operative who may be her best ally – or her worst foe. It’s a race against time to fortify Yoki-Dyne, safeguard the future of Western democracy, and extinguish every threat that stands in her way.
Praise for Leo J. Maloney and His Novels
“Fine writing and real insider knowledge.” —Lee Child
“The new master of the modern spy game.”—Mark Sullivan
“Utterly compelling.” —Jeffery Deaver
“Rings with authenticity.”—John Gilstrap
“A ripping story!”—Meg Gardiner
Release date: December 13, 2022
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Print pages: 96
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Leo J. Maloney
“Utterly compelling! This novel will grab you from the beginning and simply not let go. And Dan Morgan is one of the best heroes to come along in ages.”
“Fine writing and real insider knowledge make this a must.”
“Smart, savvy, and told with the pace and nuance that only a former spook could bring to the page, Black Skies is a tour de force novel of twenty-first-century espionage and a great geopolitical thriller. Maloney is the new master of the modern spy game, and this is first-rate storytelling.”
“Black Skies is rough, tough, and entertaining. Leo J. Maloney has written a ripping story.”
“Leo Maloney has done it again. Real life often overshadows fiction, and Silent Assassin is both: a terrifyingly thrilling story of a man on a clandestine mission to save us all from a madman hell bent on murder, written by a man who knows that world all too well.”
“From the bloody, ripped-from-the-headlines opening sequence, Silent Assassin grabs you and doesn’t let go. Silent Assassin has everything a thriller reader wants—nasty villains, twists and turns, and a hero—Cobra—who just plain kicks ass.”
“Dan Morgan, a former Black Ops agent, is called out of retirement and back into the secretive world of politics and deceit to stop a madman.”
—The Stoneham Independent
“Leo J. Maloney is the new voice to be reckoned with. Termination Orders rings with the authenticity that can only come from an insider. This is one outstanding thriller!”
“Taut, tense, and terrifying! You’ll cross your fingers it’s fiction—in this high-powered, action-packed thriller, Leo Maloney proves he clearly knows his stuff.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan
“A new must-read action thriller that features a double-crossing CIA and Congress, vengeful foreign agents, a corporate drug ring, the Taliban, and narco-terrorists . . . a you-are-there account of torture, assassination, and double-agents, where ‘nothing is as it seems.’”
“Leo J. Maloney is a real-life Jason Bourne.”
—Josh Zwylen, Wicked Local Stoneham
“A masterly blend of Black Ops intrigue, cleverly interwoven with imaginative sequences of fiction. The reader must guess which accounts are real and which are merely storytelling.”
—Chris Treece, The Chris Treece Show
“A deep-ops story presented in an epic style that takes fact mixed with a bit of fiction to create a spy thriller that takes the reader deep into secret spy missions.”
—Cy Hilterman, Best Sellers World
“For fans of spy thrillers seeking a bit of realism mixed into their novels, Termination Orders will prove to be an excellent and recommended pick.”
—Midwest Book Reviews
Alex Morgan smelled smoke as soon as she reached the street.
Otherwise, it was a beautiful, clear day. The sun was shining in a nearly cloudless sky, which she knew was unusual for London. And the air was crisp, marred only by the faint smell of smoke.
Picking up her pace, Alex felt her mission focus take over. She had to remind herself that this was not a mission; it was a briefing for her and a meeting for Zeta director Diana Bloch. And even a hastily put together emergency conference was still a meeting. It wasn’t a field operation.
Alex had emerged in the West End of London, which she had always wanted to see. Of course, this briefing was not the trip to London she had intended for her first visit. Her friend and fellow Zeta agent Lily Randall had been an MI6 agent and had promised to show Alex the city.
But Zeta was currently on a Threat Level Alpha alert, and this meeting of international agencies was part of that. It had been a surprise. Alex had been hours from boarding her flight home from the South Pacific after her last mission when she’d received new orders that redirected her to London.
That change told her the meeting was serious. And the news that Zeta director Diana Bloch would be attending herself meant that the word serious didn’t begin to cover it.
Alex assumed that Director Bloch had a life outside of Zeta and a house or apartment that she went to when she wasn’t at headquarters. However, that was all speculation on Alex’s part since she had never seen the director outside of the building.
That would be another first for Alex, who had seen many firsts in the two years since she’d formally joined Zeta—and quite a few in the last couple of weeks in the Coral Sea off of Australia.
Alex crossed Leicester Square, a small, pleasant public park with walkways surrounded by patches of grass and a few trees. It had been on her short list of sights to see in London.
The smell of smoke was still there and growing stronger. Somehow, it didn’t surprise her. When the entire team at Zeta had spent the last six months waiting for the globe to catch fire, actual smoke was exactly what you expected.
Crossing the square, Alex instinctively patted her leather jacket and felt the shape of the Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm, which sat in its shoulder holster.
If anyone on the moderately busy sidewalk had smelled the smoke, no one was reacting to it. There was no nervous chatter or anyone rushing toward or away from the source of the smoke, which Alex sensed was up ahead of her.
Picking up her pace, Alex knew she was coming up to the much larger and more impressive Trafalgar Square. She could see the tall column near the southern end of the large public square. On top of the column—which she knew was more than one hundred and fifty feet tall—was a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who had won a naval victory for England in the early 1800s.
As she got closer to the square, Alex could see the two fountains on either side of Admiral Nelson. Around each were two groups of protestors. Alex was too far away to read the signs they held, but she could see that the two groups were shouting across the open space at one another.
Past the square, Alex could see Big Ben in the distance. To Alex’s left was the large structure of the British National Portrait Gallery. When Alex stepped onto the square itself, she could see the immense Grecian columns of the building’s façade, which took up the entire north side of the square.
The open space was large and impressive, with the view of Big Ben, the military history represented by Nelson’s Column, and the National Gallery, as well as a number of other statues and historic buildings. The square went back to the thirteenth century and was brimming with England’s history. Even the protestors were an example of the British political system in action.
And the smell of smoke reminded her that the same symbolism made Trafalgar Square a very attractive target for terrorists.
She scanned the open space, and when she was a few more steps in, she found the source of the smoke. On the far side of the Portrait Gallery there was a large city bus that was now billowing black smoke.
And to make sure the picture was complete, it was a double-decker bus.
At that precise moment, Alex saw the first flames spout from the engine compartment of the bus. A second later, she heard sirens.
There were already police running for the bus, and Alex could see people giving the burning vehicle a wide berth. Alex’s first instinct was to race the two or three city blocks in front of the gallery to reach the site.
However, she stopped herself. Police were already clearing the area, and she saw the first fire truck approaching from the south.
Even if Alex got there in time to do some good, she’d more likely be in the way. First responders now seemed to be swarming the site, and Alex realized why.
The burning bus was situated on the road right between the National Portrait Gallery and a very old church that Alex knew was called St. Martin-in-the-Fields. It had Roman columns in the front and a distinctive and very tall spire. It was one of the most famous churches in England, and its basic design had been copied throughout the world.
Alex decided the best thing she could do was get out of the way so the professionals could protect the people in the area and their two national monuments.
She kept to the center of the square in the space between the two fountains.
Soon, all eyes were on the fire, which had begun to engulf the bus. The protestors tried to keep up their chants and shouting, but quickly lost heart, instead looking glumly at the fire and the wave of people moving closer to it to gawk.
That was all fine with Alex. In fact, it helped clear the way for her to pick up her pace and head south toward her destination.
There was absolutely no reason to think that a bus fire half a mile from her briefing site had anything to do with the conference, but Alex’s mission focus descended on her and made it hard for her to think about anything other than getting there.
Passing Nelson’s column, she crossed the street to face an impressive building with a rounded front and a small sign: Grand Hotel.
That information had barely registered when she heard the first gunshot.
Remarkably, it seemed to come from nearly directly above her.
Looking up, Alex couldn’t see anything, but she heard a second shot that was quickly followed by a third. Then she could hear the first scream coming from the direction of the crowd assembled near the burning bus.
Alex saw a policeman fall. There were also at least two more people on the ground, though the crush of moving bodies made it hard to make the scene out clearly.
The crowd started to move and then run away from the scene.
More shots rang out. Someone fell on the far side of the square in the direction most of the crowd had been running. This time, Alex definitely recognized the sound as coming from a German R93 Tactical Sniper Rifle.
It was a good weapon, and she hated the idea that it was in the hands of someone in a position to kill so many people.
She looked up, searching for a sign of the shooter. More shots came. Based on the sound and the fact that she couldn’t. . .
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