Authors: Russell Blake
Copyright 2012 by Russell Blake. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, contact
Table of Contents
About the Author
Russell Blake lives full time on the Pacific coast of Mexico. He is the acclaimed author of the thrillers:
The Geronimo Breach
The Delphi Chronicle
The Tortoise and the Hare
King of Swords
Night of the Assassin, The Voynich Cypher
Revenge of the Assassin
Return of the Assassin
JET II – Betrayal
JET III – Vengeance
JET IV – Reckoning
Non-fiction novels include the international bestseller
An Angel With Fur
(animal biography) and
How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks (while drunk, high or incarcerated)
– a joyfully vicious parody of all things writing and self-publishing related.
“Capt.” Russell enjoys writing, fishing, playing with his dogs, collecting and sampling tequila, and waging an ongoing battle against world domination by clowns.
Excerpts from JET III and King of Swords
JET III ~ Vengeance
Jet III - Vengeance
finds Jet settled down, trying to return to a somewhat normal life of stability and safety. But fate has other plans for her when she becomes embroiled in a terrifying terrorism plot involving figures from her past, whose thirst for revenge forces her back into the kill-or-be-killed world she’d hoped to put behind her forever.
King of Swords
By Russell Blake
King of Swords
is an epic assassination thriller set in modern Mexico against a backdrop of cartel violence. Captain Romero Cruz discovers an assassination plot to kill the Mexican and U.S. presidents at the G-20 conference in Cabo San Lucas by “El Rey” – a super assassin responsible for some of the world’s most shocking killings.
JET ~ Betrayal
is a work of fiction, and as such plays fast and loose with many aspects of the truth, not the least of which are the descriptions of Thailand and its sex industry. In fairness to the good Thai people, while ping pong clubs can be viewed on Youtube and Googled, they are not as prevalent near Nana as I pretend – one has to go to other districts to find them. Nor is pedophilia as common – I have been assured that most of that sort of thing takes place in Pattaya, not Bangkok, and that the police take a zero tolerance policy. Be that as it may, there is also conflicting data that argues that 40% of the prostitutes in Thailand are underage, so perhaps the truth is somewhere between the “I’m shocked to hear there is gambling going on in here” outrage of some, and the assuredly lurid and overblown claims of others. Whatever your opinion, in all underprivileged countries slavery and child prostitution are significant problems, and while my descriptions may seem like sensationalism, they are not fantasy – would that they were only my invention.
In order to maximize your enjoyment of the books, do not take my descriptions of anything as literal, remember that this is all fiction for your entertainment, park your outrage at the door, and we’ll get along fine. And above all, enjoy the ride – 100% accurate or not, it’s designed to move you along at warp speed, and I hope it does.
Gordon nudged his sleeping companion. “Doug. Wake up.”
Doug’s chin was drooping onto his stained military green T-shirt, sweat-soaked in the muggy night heat.
Gordon elbowed him again.
Doug shuddered, raised his head, and cracked open a bleary eye.
“Shhh. Keep it down,” Gordon hissed. “We don’t want to alert the guards.”
He shifted his camouflage-clad legs in the mud and rotting vegetation then glanced at his partner’s calf, where a filthy bandage was wrapped around a festering bullet wound, the pants cut off at the knee. The rusty stain of dried blood on the dressing was alive with ants exploring the once-white gauze.
Doug was pale, his body battling infection and fever. It hadn’t helped that neither of them had been fed for two days, or that they only got water every four hours. The jungle in the southern hills of Myanmar was brutal at the best of times – if their captors didn’t kill them, nature soon would.
“I got my hands almost free,” Gordon whispered. “Slide over here so I can work on yours.”
Both men were tied to a stake hammered into the ground at the edge of a clearing, their wrists bound behind them with rope. A crude-yet-effective form of imprisonment – and it wasn’t as if there were a lot of places to go. The Golden Triangle was a lawless area that ran from Myanmar to Vietnam, encompassing a swatch of Laos and northern Thailand. Other than occasional villages, where the natives lived in abject poverty, it was a sprawling patchwork of jungle and opium poppy fields.
“How?” Doug slurred, too loud for Gordon’s liking.
“Shut up. Just edge over a little. And stay quiet.”
Doug complied, inching his body to where Gordon could reach his wrists.
The night was dark, but a sliver of moon shining through the trees overhead provided enough light to reveal Doug’s haggard features. Glancing to the right, Gordon could make out the main encampment’s tents in the clearing and the few rough-hewn shacks near the tree line, close to one of the countless streams in the hills of the Shan state that bordered Laos and Thailand.
Gordon sawed at the rope with a sharp shard of bamboo he’d broken from the base of the stake. His hands were bleeding from where the jagged edge had sliced the skin – not that he cared. If they didn’t escape, they would die. It was that simple.
He guessed that it was around one in the morning. The sun had set at least five hours ago, although his sense of time had become warped, he knew, from the dehydration, hunger and exposure. They’d been left out through the inevitable periodic downpours, the mountain air drying the moisture from their skin over time, bringing with it the mosquitoes that swarmed around them. He’d been bitten so often that every area of exposed skin was swollen and red, as was Doug’s.
He didn’t even want to think about the mosquito-borne diseases that were endemic to the area. Dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya…and there was typhoid, hepatitis, the plague, hemorrhagic fever and a host of other delights that could be had from drinking the water or coming into contact with the jungle denizens.
But they had bigger problems right now.
Gordon strained to hear anything from the camp. All was quiet, but that could be illusory because, day and night, random patrols of two or three men moved soundlessly into the jungle from the shelters, assault rifles slung over their shoulders. These were Shan: area tribesmen who knew the region like their own backyard – hired guns, paid to live like fugitives and act as security for the man who was a kind of God to them.
A white man.
A round eye – with incredible riches and a desire for extreme privacy, who ruled his domain like a warlord.
Gordon hadn’t spotted their elusive target: the
that the natives were protecting, in whose camp they were now involuntary guests. From what he could make out of the guards’ hushed discussions, the man wasn’t there. So even if their mission had gone to plan and they’d been able to sneak up on the camp without being captured, it would have been in vain.
He felt Doug’s rope fraying from his efforts with the bamboo and kept sawing methodically. Doug slumped into unconsciousness again at some point over the next hour, and Gordon let him be. He’d need any energy he could muster soon enough.
A noise disrupted the gloom’s tranquility, branches snapping, as two armed men entered the clearing from the periphery, chatting in the local dialect – the night sentries had arrived. The camp seemed calm even during the day, the men lounging around lazily with nothing much to do but cook, patrol and gamble amongst themselves. With their patron absent, there was nothing to guard. Nobody would be interested in taking on a heavily-armed group in order to confiscate their tents or guns. This slice of the world had plenty of weapons – they were more common than shoes in the rural hills.
Gordon watched through shuttered eyes as the new arrivals headed to a small fire, where another man sat nursing a Kalashnikov rifle. They gestured in unison for him to pass his bottle. He protested half-heartedly, then laughed as he handed it over. Cigarettes came out, followed by the inevitable cards, which were shuffled in preparation for another late-night redistribution of wealth.
There would be none of this kind of sloppiness once their target was back. They’d both read his dossier. It was just lucky that Gordon had gotten the rope loose on a night when security was lax. That might be the edge that kept them alive.