It’s open season on Leeland Rand when his own government targets him for elimination. Is he a deadly killer, or a pawn in a game of cat and mouse? Or both?
A mysterious stranger warns Rand to run or die, but where do you go when you are public enemy number one? The full resources of the U.S. government are brought to bear against Rand, including the U.S. Marshal Service’s top fugitive tracker Jonathan Lord. Rand follows the clues he is given on a desperate hunt for the truth. Will he uncover whoever has targeted him for termination before Lord can find and kill him?
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“The Rand Principle was a fascinating from the beginning to end. It grabs your interest and curiosity from the moment you start reading it. The characters became vivid in my imagination. This book was well written, didn’t kill you with boring 3 page descriptions of scenery as some authors do. It gets to the point and lets you travel quickly through the mysterious plot. I was very happy with the ending as well. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more of this exciting author. 5 stars to Mr. Thompson!”
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Each time the lights flashed into the New York City subway car, a lone red-haired man appeared in the last car. He sat very still and upright, like a man getting his picture taken with a slow speed portrait camera. A Kansas City Royals baseball cap was next to him on the seat, along with a brown leather shoulder bag. Two cars ahead, a man in a cheap business suit was making his way toward the rear of the car. He looked like a thousand other middle-aged businessmen riding to or from work on the A train in Manhattan. But, he was not; he was a top-level government agent named Carver Townsend. The strobe effect of the passing lights showed him jerking awkwardly through the car like an old-fashioned flip book. In reality, he was a hungry panther methodically stalking its unsuspecting prey.
Carver Townsend was not a particularly brave man. The true idea of bravery has a certain requisite of overcoming one’s fear in the face of danger. Carver Townsend felt no fear, nor much of anything, for that matter. He was a psychopathic personality by any standard of evaluation, but that made him exactly the type of man coveted by ruthless rulers and governments down through the ages to carry out certain necessary dark deeds. He was a specialist, a highly organized and skilled assassin trained to neutralize his assignment—to get his man, as it were. The death he brought was never personal, and Carver felt neither guilt nor regret. Being entirely egocentric coupled with having the full support of the federal government behind him sometimes made him feel invincible.
Carver had recently completed a solo undercover assignment infiltrating a brutal Miami drug ring, had previously led a frontal assault on a terrorist training camp in Libya, and once even had to disarm a nasty bio-weapon set to go off in a Middle Eastern embassy. Over the course of his career, he had watched strong men weep like babies and beg for mercy. On occasion he had seen highly trained and seasoned fellow agents suddenly lose their nerve and run screaming in terror from a confrontation. Those experiences had only confirmed what he already knew. He was the toughest SOB there was. Carver Townsend prided himself on keeping a cool head under fire and having balls made of steel.
Nevertheless, something was nagging at him the closer he got to his target.
His pre-mission briefing had been peppered with the standard warnings: armed and dangerous, proceed with caution, terminate with extreme prejudice. This had all become routine for Carver, for he was never assigned anything but high-risk operations. He expected to be chasing the most vicious and deadliest targets. Men who could and would kill their enemies, or anyone else for that matter, in a variety of nasty ways. His job was simply to be more vicious and even deadlier.
He spent almost a week studying every bit of data the government had on the current guy he was tracking. He had seen the reports, and even some video, of agents killed or incapacitated while pursuing this man. What he never saw was any evidence that this vicious killer carried any sort of weapon—ever. That bothered him a lot. Carver made it a firm policy to bring the biggest weapon to any anticipated fight. Then there was the ease with which Carver had located his target. The man certainly didn’t seem to be trying to avoid discovery. He hadn’t even dyed the carrot-red hair that made him stand out in any crowd. He might as well have painted a big red circle on his back. But then again nothing said his job HAD to be difficult. He wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Agent Carver entered the third to last car at the 116th Street station and was slowly working his way to the rear. In the dark between stations he slid into the second to last car. From there he could see his target sitting alone in the final car, about halfway down, next to the right side exit door. When opportunity knocks, remember to open the door, played in Carver’s head, an idea his father had drummed in, often accompanied with his fists.
Carver began to feel uncharacteristically nervous as he prepared to enter the last car. Sweat dripped under his arms and his throat tightened as he slid open the last door. The target didn’t move a muscle when Carver stepped onto the rubberized floor grid just inside the car. It was relatively dark now, as they were still in the tunnel, but he could clearly see his target silhouetted in the light from the station landing they were rapidly approaching. Clear line of sight—time to earn my paycheck. Not much time—maybe a few seconds, maybe less, he thought. This is it. He pulled out his lucky SIG P229 handgun with suppressor, and moved in for the kill.
The train hissed as it slowed for the Penn Station stop and thudded softly as the engineer locked the brakes. When the doors opened, a tall red-haired man with a blue baseball cap and a bag over his shoulder stepped out of the last car and casually headed for the stairs.
The train took on more passengers, and then slowly chugged on toward its next destination, business as usual in midtown, midday Manhattan. No one even noticed when the man who remained in the last car sat down, calmly unscrewed the suppressor from his gun, and placed the end of the barrel under his chin. No one saw the tears streaming down his face when he slowly pulled the trigger. It was the invincible agent, Carver Townsend, about to meet his Maker.