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Brad Taylor

The Polaris Protocol

Brad Taylor The Polaris Protocol
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Series:

A Pike Logan Thriller

Biographical note:

Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Pike Logan novels, including Enemy of Mine, All Necessary Force, and One Rough Man. He served for more than twenty years in the US Army, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment–Delta, commonly known as Delta Force. He retired as a Special Forces lieutenant colonel and now lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Excerpt from book:

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.***

Copyright © 2014  by Brad Taylor

Chapter 1

December, 2011

 

Sergeant Ronald Blackmar never heard the round before it hit, but registered the whine of a ricochet right next to his head and felt the sliver of rock slice into his cheek. He slammed lower behind the outcropping and felt his face, seeing blood on his assault gloves. His platoon leader, First Lieutenant Blake Alberty, threw himself into the prone and said with black humor, “You get our asses out of here, and I’ll get you another purple heart.”

Blackmar said, “I’ve got nothing else to work with. The eighty-ones won’t reach and the Apaches are dry.”

Another stream of incoming machine-gun fire raked their position, and Alberty returned it, saying, “We’re in trouble. And I’m not going to be the next COP Keating.”

Both from the 25th Infantry Division, they were part of a string of Combat Outposts in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, ostensibly designed to prevent the infiltration of Taliban fighters from the nearby border of Pakistan, but in reality a giant bulls eye for anyone wanting a scalp. They were attacked at the COP on a daily basis, but followed orders, continuing their patrols to the nearby villages in an effort to get the locals on the government side.

The mountains of the Kunar province were extreme, and afforded the Taliban an edge, putting the Americans on equal terms. Everything was done on foot, as the mountains negated artillery, leaving the troops reliant on helicopter gunship support. The same thing COP Keating had relied on when it was overrun two years before.

The incoming fire grew in strength, and Alberty began receiving reports of casualties. They were on their own, and about to be overrun. A trophy for the Taliban. Blackmar heard the platoon designated marksmen firing, their rifles’ individual cracks distinctive among the rattle of automatic fire, and felt impotent.

As the forward observer, his entire career had been to provide steel on target for the Infantry he supported. He was the man they turned to when they wanted American firepower, and now he had nothing to provide, his radio silent.

Alberty shouted, “They’re flanking, they’re flanking! We need the gunships.”

Blackmar was about to reply when his radio squawked. “Kilo Seven-Nine, this is Texas Thirteen. You have targets?”

He said, “Yes, yes. What’s your ordinance?”

“Five hundred pound GBU.”

GBU? A fast mover with JDAMs?

“A great premise, nonstop action, and one of the baddest villains in the genre…make this a winner.”—Publishers Weekly

“Admirers of the late Tom Clancy will enjoy this and other works in the series.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Taylor continues to tell exciting action stories with the authenticity of someone who knows the world of special ops. He also has the chops to create terrific characters whom readers will root for. This series just gets better and better.”—Booklist

“With The Polaris Protocol, fans of military and espionage thrillers have a new reason to rejoice.”—Bookreporter


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