The Ulterior Motive by Jack Coleston

About the Book

Tensions rise in the Middle-East as a well-funded terrorist group takes control of key cities in Iraq and Syria. It is led by the mysterious Caliph al-Maqasid, a man seemingly bent on establishing a global caliphate at any cost. However the Caliph has a secret that nobody knows, not even his most trusted advisors. It poses a serious threat to America’s national interests.

After the tragic death of his friend and colleague, Stanley Carmichael is thrown into the burdensome position of Deputy Director at the CIA. He must work through the demons of his past-and present-in order to overcome this new threat to America’s national security, before it’s too late.

Anna Carmichael is a no-nonsense, gun-toting, ex-CIA Special Activities Division member whose role as a counter-intelligence agent forces her to work alongside rookie FBI Special Agent Blayze Phillips, together they must hunt down IMJIW recruiters working in the United States and intercept them before they carry out the most daring plot ever attempted on US soil.

Book Excerpt

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Washington DC.

Simon Marshall’s knife grated against his plate as he cut the first bite of his lunch. It made a sharp uncomfortable noise similar to fingernails being scraped on a blackboard.

He chewed slowly, taking all the time in the world, because he never could rush eating good food. No matter how simple or complex a dish was, he always had time to enjoy every last bit of it.

The hollandaise sauce held a hint of a smoky flavor, which was intensified by the even smokier bacon. The perfectly runny egg placed on a bed of spinach atop an English muffin completed the dish’s savory, buttery, and creamy taste. The combination of flavors and unique textures swept him away to his happy place.

It was his favorite breakfast, but today he had chosen it for lunch. There hadn’t been enough time for breakfast this particular morning.

Across the street, hidden inside a black panel van, two of Ghassan’s men waited patiently. They had been watching Marshall observantly for three days, noting down every single detail, from what time he rose each morning to what he watched on television each evening. Every day he ate at the same café, either for breakfast or lunch. It gave them several options, none of which they liked very much, and all of which made it likely that someone would spot them. Whatever they did, it would have to be a smooth and quick operation—there was no doubt about it.

On the same side of the street as the café, another one of Ghassan’s men was dressed like a bum. He loitered in an alleyway in a convincing drunken stupor. From his spot, he could monitor the entrance of the café, but he couldn’t quite see inside. A fourth man was seated inside the café, pretending to read the paper and enjoying a very strong espresso. It was not quite the same as the Turkish coffee he was used to, but it was still good. He was the leader of the second team, a spindly, thin man with a hooked-beak nose and a sharp jaw.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Simon didn’t taken any notice of the thin Turkish man seated two tables across from him. He was too busy enjoying his food to be bothered by what other people were doing or who was around him. For Simon, life was full of listening to people and observing them, trying to help sort out their problems. But when he went out to his favorite café, it was one of the few times during the day he could just switch off and not care about his surroundings.

The recent events in the news though—IMJIW attacking Iraq, a US journalist being beheaded, and threats of more violence—weighed heavily on his mind. He finished his meal and paid at the counter in cash before stepping outside into the warm air.

It was too hot for the suit jacket he was wearing, so he draped it over his arm and walked down the sidewalk to his car. Still in the afterglow of a good meal, he failed to observe the Middle Eastern man or the bum who had begun to follow him at a distance.

When it happened, it was very fast.

A man bumped into his shoulder as he walked past, and he felt a sharp sting like the prick of a small needle.

“Ouch, watch where you’re going, why don’t you!”

The thin man kept walking and didn’t look back.

Simon began to feel sluggish and slow; he clutched at his shoulder where the sharp stinging pain remained. He found it hard to stand up straight and stumbled onward for two more steps before collapsing to his knees. His face went pale and he looked like he was about to have a heart attack.

Then he heard the screech of tires coming to a halt and two men coming towards him, “Sir, are you alright?”

“No, I’m not alright, I think something is wrong. Please call an ambulance!”

“We’ll get you to the hospital, it’s okay.”

“No, you don’t have to do that. Just please call an ambulance.”

“We really must get you to the hospital, sir, you don’t look very well at all.”

The two men grabbed him by the shoulders and carefully helped him into the back of their plain black panel van just before he lost consciousness.

The van roared off leaving concerned passersby curious about what they had just seen. Around the corner in a deserted alleyway, the bum and the Middle Eastern man hopped into the black panel van. Then the driver hit the gas once more. He wasn’t going to stop for anybody.

***

About the Author

Jack Coleston lives with his wife, Sophie, in Auckland, New Zealand. Coleston recently published his first novel, The Ulterior Motive, a promising Action-Adventure thriller with aspects of historical fiction. If you like realism and suspense then Jack Coleston’s writing will release the inner page-turner in you. Visit his website.

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