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Gideon's War and Hard Target


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Gideon's War and Hard Target



“True to form of my eight-year experience with Howard Gordon on 24, Gideon’s War is a rip-roaring thriller.”


“A thrill every clock-ticking minute! From racing through the jungles of Southeast Asia to outsmarting terrorists on a high-tech oil rig in a typhoon, Howard Gordon’s new international peacemaker Gideon Davis takes saving the world to a new level. Move over Jack Bauer—there’s a new sheriff in town.”

—VINCE FLYNN, New York Times bestselling author of American Assassin

“Howard Gordon, the man behind 24, makes the transition from screenwriter to novelist look easy with this ahead-of-the-curve thriller.”

—ALEX BERENSON, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight House

Howard Gordonfon¤†—the longtime executive producer of the hit TV series 24—makes his fiction debut with a tale of political intrigue and international terrorism. Gideon Davis has just 48 hours to bring his rogue agent brother in—before a twisted global conspiracy turns deadly.

GIDEON DAVIS, whose behind-the-scenes negotiating skills have earned him the role of peacemaker in conflicts around the globe, knows more about hush-hush discussions in Capitol corridors than he does about hand-to-hand combat. But his more practical, tactical skills come into play when he’s called on by family friend and government bigwig Earl Parker to chaperone a rogue agent from Southeast Asia to D.C. The agent, Tillman Davis, has promised to turn himself in— but only to his brother, Gideon.

Although the two brothers have been estranged for years, Gideon cannot fathom how his brother could have turned into so ruthless a man. But when the plan for Tillman’s surrender goes awry and Earl Parker is taken hostage, Gideon is forced to embrace his dark side in order to evade hostile locals in war-torn Mohan to make his way to the Obelisk—the multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art oil rig that has been seized by terrorists led by Tillman himself. It is with the help of oil rig manager Kate Murphy that Gideon launches an unlikely one-man rescue.

HOWARD GORDON is an Emmy and Golden Globe award–winning writer and producer who has worked in Hollywood for more than twenty years. He served as executive producer of the hit television show 24 for its full eight-season run, and prior to working on 24, Gordon was a writer and executive producer for The X-Files. He lives with his family in Pacific Palisades, California.











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New York, NY 10020


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used henation † fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2011 by Teakwood Lane Productions, Inc.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions there of in any form whatsoever. For information address Touchstone Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

First Touchstone hardcover edition January 2011

TOUCHSTONE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com.

Designed by Joy O’Meara

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Gordon, Howard.

Gideon’s war : a thriller / Howard Gordon.

p. cm.

“A Touchstone book.”

I. Title.

PS3607.O5937O24 2011



ISBN 978-1-4391-7581-1

ISBN 978-1-4391-7599-6 (eBook)

For Cambria

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.




Chapter Ten

Gideon's War and Hard Target


COLE RANSOM WAS TIRED from the long flight, though not too tired to admire the functional design of the airport. Passing easily through customs, he followed the bilingual signs that led him outside to the area for ground transportation. He didn’t lose a step as the glass doors slid open and he walked outside, where he was hit by a whoosh of blazing tropical air. Squinting against the impossibly bright sun, he could see the glass and steel spires of the capital city of the Sultanate of Mohan rising in the distance.

A man—unmistakably American—stood next to a black Suburban parked by the curb. He wore dark wraparound sunglasses, a camo baseball cap, and a heavy beard. An ID badge hung from his belt. The sign in his hand said DR. COLE RANSOM. If not for the beard, he would have looked like a soldier or a cop.

“Dr. Ransom,” the man said, lowering his sign and holding out his hand. Ransom reached out to shake it, but the man smiled. “I’ll take your bags, sir,” the man said.

“Right. Sorry,” Ransom said, handing him his suitcase.

“I can take the other one if you want,” the bearded man said, nodding toward Ransom’s laptop.

“That’s okay,” Ransom said. “I’ll hold on to it.” He had come to Mohan on the biggest job of his career. The last thing he needed was his laptop getting smashed or stolen.

The driver put Ransom’s suitcase into the back of the Suburban and closed the gate, then opened the rear passenger door for Ransom, who climbed inside.

The driver settled behind the wheel, then glanced at Ransom in the rearview. “Dr. Ransom, before we get going, you might want to double-check that you’ve got everything. Bags, passport, computer?”

Ransom took a quick inventory. “Yeah, that’s everything. And you can call me Cole. I’m just a structural engineer.”

The driver smiled as he started the ignition. “I know who you are, sir.”

Ransom was, in fact, one of the finest structural engineers in the world. He was here in the Sultanate of Mohan to test the structural integrity of the Obelisk—a newly built deep-sea oil rig, the largest and most expensive in the history of man’s quest for crude. There had been problems with the motion-damping system, and he was here to sort them out.

The Suburban exited the airport through a security gate, then turned onto a service road. To the right stretched a long swath of deserted beach and beyond it, the glittering

The Suburban suddenly lifted and fell on its suspension, pulling Ransom from his thoughts. The driver had turned off the service road onto a short gravel track that led down to the beach. He stopped the Suburban in what looked like an abandoned quarry. Ransom was puzzled.

“Why are we stopping here?”



2011 - 2018