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Running the Maze
Donald A. Davis
In the aftermath of great floods, a doctor on a relief mission in northeastern Pakistan discovers the remains of a collapsed bridge that reminds him of a bridge near his childhood home in Ohio.Ã¿He snaps a cellphone picture and sends it to his sister-just before his entire team is slaughtered.
His sister is Beth Ledford, a Coast Guard sniper, who suspects that the answer to the mystery of her brother's deathÃ¿is in that cellphone picture.Ã¿ No one believes her until she finds Kyle Swanson, once the top sniper in the Marine Corps and now the key member of a secret special operations team known as Task Force Trident. When Kyle takes Beth into Pakistan to investigate, they find the true secret behind the mass murder-what may be the last, best hope of victory by al-Qaeda and the Taliban over allied forces.
Now theÃ¿two snipers have their sights set on one man, an American diplomat who has become the biggest obstacle to victory in the war on terror.Ã¿ The only question is: which of them gets to pull the trigger?
There are, I suppose, few places even on the East Coast of England more lonely and remote than the village of Little Sundersley and the country that surrounds it. Far from any railway, and some miles distant from any considerable town, it remains an outpost of civilization, in which primitive manners and customs and old-world tradition linger on into an age that has elsewhere forgotten them. In the summer, it is true, a small contingent of visitors, adventurous in spirit, though mostly of sedate and solitary habits, make their appearance to swell its meagre population, and impart to the wide stretches of smooth sand that fringe its shores a fleeting air of life and sober gaiety; but in late September-the season of the year in which I made its acquaintance-its pasture-lands lie desolate, the rugged paths along the cliffs are seldom trodden by human foot, and the sands are a desert waste on which, for days together, no footprint appears save that left by some passing sea-bird. I had been assured by my medical agent, Mr. Turcival, that I should find the practice of which I was now taking charge "an exceedingly soft billet, and suitable for a studious man;" and certainly he had not misled me, for the patients were, in fact, so few that I was quite concerned for my principal, and rather dull for want of work. Hence, when my friend John Thorndyke, the well-known medico-legal expert, proposed to come down and stay with me for a weekend and perhaps a few days beyond, I hailed the proposal with delight, and welcomed him with open arms.
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