Selected for the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, Agent Waller gives up a life he thought he understood to dive headlong into a violent world of trapdoor truths and shifting alliances where the greatest threat may be his own sense of right and wrong.
He is not alone. Sirad Malneaux, a beautiful executive at one of the world's top telecommunications companies, turns out to be more adept at murder than marketing. Her true role as a CIA Nonofficial Cover operative will turn a simple assignment into a secret Waller can never divulge.
Jordan Mitchell, CEO of Borders Atlantic and one of the world's richest men, threatens to trade national security for market share by selling a new encryption technology to the Saudis. His shameless love of money is surpassed by just one other passion, a passion only Jeremy is capable of discovering.
Senator Elizabeth Beechum, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and front-running presidential candidate, vows to stop Mitchell at any cost. Unfortunately, even her security clearances and insider status cannot protect her from being charged with an unspeakable crime.
Racing from the FBI's secret training rooms to Arabian deserts, from the halls of Congress to the back rooms of Wall Street, and told with a voice only an insider like Christopher Whitcomb could summon, Black lifts the curtain on a world of secret operations, corporate manipulation, and classified technology. It is a world where everything you thought you knew about justice comes to an end, a world where Agent Waller discovers that sometimes the only way to get out of the darkness is to head even deeper into the shadows.
©2004 Christopher Whitcomb; (P)2004 Recorded Books
"Whitcomb is that rare treasure, a man who has led a life of incredible adventure and danger and who can deliver every mesmerizing detail with the skill and wit of a seasoned novelist." (David Baldacci, author of Wish You Well)
As soon as I finished the audio I raced out for the hardback to send as gifts to my kids and husband! As current as tomorrow's headlines, and probably at least as informative, this is the best espionage/suspense novel since the Cold War ended. Whitcomb's writing is equal to the story he tells, but I do agree that for the first half of the book the narrator's gasping for breath was annoying. At times he seemed to be yawning(!), but by the second half I was so absorbed in the tale I never again noticed any distraction. Great read; great listen.
This book has attributes to commend it. Seemingly diverse characters being inexplicably drawn together being most notable.
I'm a mystery buff; I'm so because I love the challenge of being presented with facts to solve the mystery. I rarely, fully succeed but I enjoy trying.
This novel does not offer such a senerio. It deceives the reader from page one and results in an incredulous and unsatisfying ending. It smells of sequels, sequels I'll not be reading.
Give me Sanford, Marsh, Connelly, McBain, et. al. any day.
As other reviewers have noted, the ending seems abrupt, but this bothers me only because I was enjoying the story so much that I wanted it to continue. This book contains some fascinating sequences and details, and it is very well-written. I look forward to reading more by Whitcomb.
I finished this book in 2-3 days (unabridged version) because it was so hard to put down. While I agree the ending was a tad abrupt, it was still believable.
And I had no issues whatsoever with the narrator--the story line was engrossing enough that I never once noticed the narrator's deep breathing and think he did a good job moving the story forward.
I hope we will see more fiction by Christopher Whitcomb on Audible.
This author must have only read comic books before writing this trash. If you like books in which a group of leftist have "collectively" worked to raise the rating this book will be your cup of tea. The hero is a woman liberal democrat who is speaker of the house fighting for national security against the republicans who want to sell it out to big business. Hmmmmm did you not get that from the other reviews? I wonder why. This book is stupid from the start.
I enjoy Mr. Whitcomb's radio appearances, so I was eager to obtain this audio book. On the whole the story was interesting and fast-paced although the ending is a bit abrupt. My biggest complaint (and the reason for the 3 stars) is that once I noticed a quirk in the narrator's presentation, I couldn't focus on an otherwise decent reading of the story. The narrator takes a HUGE intake of breath before almost every sentence. It sounded like someone on a respirator! If you can ignore this, then it's a good book. The only other flaw is that the ending lacks finality as if the author is setting up for a sequel.
I found this book to be riveting. You start to question everything sooner or later. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Are there any good guys, or is everybody dirty? What looks like a cliche good little guy versus the big evil multinational corporation will turn back on itself, then twist again before the light shines through. I hope this is the first of a series!!
I had mixed expectations when I picked this book. I'd read the authors autobiography "Cold Zero" and found it wanting, both in style and depth, although, the author's real-life experience with the FBI's HRT made it compelling. I brought the same impressions with me when I chose "Black". What I found was a fast-paced, suspenseful spy-thriller that I couldn't put down. Whitcomb's real-life familiarity of the ether world made a believer out of me. I felt like I found it on a non-fiction shelf. Without giving away the story, the only problem I had with it was the huge plot hole of an ending, a sad detractor from an otherwise engrossing book.
On a side note, the narration was not distracting at all, and I didn't detect any of the aforementioned "heavy breathing".
Eric Damian Kelly
This seemed like a pretty good thriller, with three separate sub-plots (maybe 4) until it got to the denouement -- which wrapped it up WAY too neatly and VERY implausibly. It also made one of the subplots (about a bizarre plot to frame a senator for murder) completely irrelevant as nearly as I could tell. Characters were only of modest interest -- it is mostly plot driven -- and, given the way the plot wrapped up, I am probably over-rating it at 2 stars. I will not try this author again.
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