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In Kuwait, American forces are stacked up, locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent, a woman who inhabits a twilight of lies and death, is close to cracking a terrorist cell. And just north of the equator, a forty-foot wood-hulled sailboat, manned by a drug runner, a pirate, and two gun-slinging beauties, is witness to the unspeakable. In one instant, all around the world, for politicians and peasants, from Gaza to Geneva, things will never be the same. A wave of inexplicable energy has slammed into the continental United States.
America, as we know it, is gone. . . .
Now U.S. soldiers are fighting a war without command or control. A correspondent records horrors for no one. Washington is gone and the line of succession is in tatters; the functioning remnants of government are in Pearl Harbor, Guantánamo Bay, and one desperate, isolated corner of the Northwest. For the jihadists, it’s Allah’s miracle. For Saddam, it’s a chance to attack. Iran declares war on an America that doesn’t exist–except in the hearts and souls of the men and women who want it to.
In this astounding work of alternate fiction, John Birmingham hurtles us into a scenario that is unimaginable but shatteringly real: a world of financial ruin where a cloud of noxious waste–from America’s burning cities–darkens Europe, while men and women in offices around the globe struggle to make decisions that cannot hold and opportunists unleash their secret demons.
From a slick Texas lawyer who happens to be in the right place at the right time to a hard-working city engineer in Seattle who becomes his terrified city’s only hope, from the cancer-stricken secret agent to a drug runner off the Mexican coast and a U.S. general in Cuba, Without Warning tells a fast, furious story of survival, violence, and a new, soul-shattering reality. The first in an epic trilogy that will leave readers breathless and astounded, Without Warning offers a world without its policeman, its Great Satan, or its savior–as an unknowable future struggles to be born.
“They are my family, Julianne. My family. Do you not have a family of your own?” His attempt at guilting her out produced only a short, bitter laugh. “Oh, Miguel, that is so not a road to go down with me. Look. We have to move. Now. Get everyone down to the … Heritage, was it? Get them onto the buses. We have to get around to the bay, to the big jetty up the beach from the Hyatt. Do you know it? Good. Fifi and Thapa will be waiting there. It is going to be a very crowded trip out to the Rules.“
machine gun, firing into the windows of an abandoned building overlooking the parking lot, shattering a dozen panes of glass. The sound was scarifying, and the small horde descending the slopes stopped and dropped immediately. “Go, go,” said Shah, waving them off toward the boat, where Thapa and Pieraro were hurriedly helping everyone aboard, in some cases by throwing them bodily over the side. The girls didn’t wait to be told twice. They set off at a sprint. A few moments later Jules heard the
father, something had gone wrong. Lord Balwyn, a spectacular wastrel and confidence man, had told her more than once that Sir Francis Drake had added his seed to the Balwyn family line, accounting for the freebooters and blackguards who regularly popped up in their history, and whether it was true or not—Jules was smart enough to take everything her father said with a mountain of salt—it was undeniable that in the last Lord Balwyn’s eldest daughter, the family’s propensity for throwing up the
the gutted building, squinting slightly into the hot gray sky, that he saw the dark blur of the mortar round as it dropped toward them. The cry of “Incoming!” arose in his head but never reached his mouth as another round smacked into the rooftop corner at the far end of the alleyway, detonating with a bone-cracking roar and a deadly spray of shrapnel. Men screamed out warnings and dived for what little cover existed in the narrow passageway. A few made it through a single door halfway down. A
every coalition ship in the Persian Gulf. Those Kilo subs of theirs will be a nightmare to find in the Gulf, Ritchie thought. He had half a mind to hammer their so-called regional allies into sending their air and naval assets out to help hunt the Iranians down, citing the same treaties they were currently being hammered with. “General, execute OPLAN Damocles,” Ritchie said. No one listening should know what that was. If they watched their news feeds, they’d know soon enough. But did I step