Life has never been easy for former Army Ranger John Brenner. The wounded Iraqi war vet and ex-cop must rely on his wits, his fists, and a wry sense of gallows humor to make it through each challenging day. For at his core, this transplanted West Virginian is a throwback to an antebellum time: he is a southern man of honor.
But his latest mission may be his last.
The task seems straightforward—find industrialist Jacob Cahill’s missing teenage daughter Sarah and bring her safely home. But for John Brenner, nothing ever goes quite as planned. In searching for the girl he will discover a new and unimaginable corruption hiding beneath a corporate façade … and come face to face with a ruthless killer known to his victims only by a macabre appellation: Boneless Chuck.
What begins as a simple disappearance morphs into something far more insidious as John finds himself plunged into a horrifying world of organ harvesting, torture, mutilation, and madness. Every dark trick John learned in his former trade of dealing death to the deserving will be brought to bear as he tries to keep his promise of bringing the girl back alive. In doing so, not only will his skills be tested to the breaking point, but his very sanity as he battles a grasping evil that stretches across the globe.
But darkness has met its match. Because sometimes it takes a man who’s spent quality time in the realms of the damned … to send someone else there. So strap down and hang on.
John Brenner has just been dropped into hell.
From the book: “Son.” My voice degenerated to a guttural rasp. “Don’t make me kill you.” I was thinking of Sarah. She really didn’t need to have this added to her experience. I was asking for her sake. “Please.”
“Don’t beg, briar.” His reply didn’t even sound human. “It turns my gut. What’s about to happen, you can’t stop it. Nobody’s that good.”
I held my mark.
Still smiling, his knuckle grew white as it tightened down on the Glock’s trigger, taking up the last half-ounce of slack as his eyes flickered his intent. Sarah moaned in fear.
And then everything stopped as my Browning roared, its round rocketing six feet across the room and straight into his open blue eye.
The bullet mushroomed as it hit, growing instantly from the size of a pea to the diameter of a gumdrop. That’s what hollow points do. As the round exited his head at that short distance the entire back of his skull vanished in a spray of pink and gray, his gun flying free and unfired from his limp hand as he slumped to the floor, deader than four o’clock.
“I am, Albert,” I whispered to his still form. “I’m that good.”
And then Sarah started screaming again.
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