Jay Hawk: The Assassin's Lover
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If you liked ARGO, the Oscar-winning best picture of the year, you'll like this. The real life Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, coached the author in trade-craft at CIA HQ in this extensively researched romantic espionage thriller. The lives of three women intersect in a cauldron of lies, violence, intrigue and sex, when one of them is targeted for kidnapping and torture by Iranian operatives. More
JAY HAWK: The Assassin’s Lover A Thriller by Sean Eagan
Britt Jaeger, “BJ,” fleeing an abusive marriage, survives a knifepoint sexual attack in the back of a Greyhound bus, on her way to New York from Abilene, Kansas. From this pivotal nadir of her life, her transformation, from an abused wife bumpkin to a chic, stylish Wall Street "player" and a fearless avenger, is refreshing and remarkable.
Tight, plausible connections move the conflict from New York to London, Tel Aviv, Tehran and Athens, even a private Caribbean island owned by seven of the richest women in the world, in ways that are unnervingly creepy and very tense.
The two other protagonists are smart, strong, successful, middle-aged women.
*Mackenzie Collingwood is an elegant Miranda Priestly-style executive (Devil Wears Prada). She is CEO of her own investment firm. Col. *Rebekah Chayat, a retired Mossad assassin, is CEO of her own highly successful business-intelligence software company.
Mackenzie has made the colonel, her firm and herself, enormously rich by underwriting the American IPO of Rebekah’s company.
The Colonel's Omni-Intell software is so powerful that its sale is embargoed to all non-NATO countries. Commercial competitors and Intelligence services, from Washington to the Persian Gulf assume the colonel is marketing a commercial rip-off of the software she developed to permit the Mossad computers to instantly share intelligence with the West.
When a rookie Mossad techie discovers evidence of a “backdoor”, the colonel’s own country suspects her. While Iranian Intelligence, fearing a preemptive strike, tries to capture the colonel and force her to disclose the backdoor key, thus allowing them to tunnel back through the Mossad systems, into the intelligence computers of the West, including the United States.
As she had done with Rebekah, Mackenzie rescues BJ from loneliness and depression, nurtures and mentors her. Pygmalion-like, she begins to groom her young associate. She whisks her off to a private Caribbean island nation, founded by seven of the richest, most powerful women in the world (ala Belizean Grove). The group’s purpose is to work behind the scenes, to propel women into the world’s leadership pipeline. There, Barbara Jean is to be reshaped to fit Mackenzie’s vision of a protégé and partner.
Starting London, Iranian agents bait an elaborate Mission Impossible-style trap to lure Mackenzie into an oil price-manipulation scheme that will bankrupt her company, unless she talks the Colonel into a bogus sales trip to Athens, where the kidnapping is to take place. Britt, traveling with her, is seized in error. During her abduction, from a hotel hair salon where she is changing her appearance, two innocent employees are killed.
Police name Rebekah a suspect because her's was the only name in the appointment book at that hour.
Operating from a submarine off the coast of Greece, the Iranian spymaster sees the blunder as "a blessing from Allah," and plans to make BJ the bait for a second attempt to capture the Colonel. Once he has both women, he intends to force the Colonel to divulge the key to the computer backdoor by torturing Britt before her eyes.
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