Thursday Sampler: Conspiracy of Lies

A man who has died is no longer afraid to die. Graveyards are filled with men who were afraid. Read an excerpt from my historical espionage thriller, Conspiracy of Lies.

It was the race for the bomb. America was at war a long way from home.

Hitler’s war machine was storming across Europe. Russia feared the German threat and secretly wanted to become a world power, more feared than it already was. All three nations knew that whoever split the atom and developed the Atomic Bomb first would rule the world.

A stealth operation within the U. S. Government dispatched their man with no memory to Los Alamos where physicists, chemists, and scholars were frantically trying to build the bomb.

Ambrose Lincoln was himself a human experiment, a man whose mind had been erased by electronic shock treatments because the rogue operation believed he could be more effective if he wasn’t shackled by fears and memories of the past.

It would be his duty to uncover and silence those who were stealing America’s most vital secrets and selling them to Russia and Germany. If he fails the United States might well lose the war, and Lincoln finds himself embedded in a conspiracy of lies where nothing is as it seems to be.

Sampler

THE LIMOUSINE WAS long, black, and empty with the exception of the driver, and he had obviously been paid to drive and not talk. He looked military but had no doubt fought in a war that most had already forgotten, if anybody had ever known about it at all. He was tall and as thin as an M-1 rifle. His face bore too many scars, and his bald head had been well polished with oil. He wore sunglasses even though the sun had fallen behind a ridge of distant mountains. The desert had become purple, streaked with the last rays of sunlight and darkened by the shadows.

Ambrose Lincoln nodded when he climbed into the limousine.

The driver grunted.

The limousine was on the move by the time the back door slammed shut.

Lincoln opened the briefcase. It held what he had expected, a Walther P38 9mm pistol, manufactured in Germany. The handgun found all sorts of ways to enter the United States, some legal, some otherwise.

He recognized it immediately.

He had no idea whether or not he had ever fired one but figured he had.

He closed his eyes and thought back in time. The days before today. The years before today. For Ambrose Lincoln, it was a short journey. His mind was a landscape that had been torn into small pieces and tossed into the wind.

His instincts remembered everything.

His mind was little more than a charred remnant that lay in smoldering ruins, as if a wildfire had swept through his brain and, perhaps, it had. The electrodes had erased everything.

It’s best that you don’t remember. It’s best that you never know.

That’s what the voice said.

A man with an empty past is not afraid of tomorrow. A man who has died is no longer afraid to die. Graveyards are filled with men who were afraid.

The voice was harsh.

And brittle.

Lincoln shoved the pistol into his belt, just beneath the small of his back, and watched darkness stalk the distant side of the desert. A chilled wind cut through the sparse grasses of a volcanic landscape. A half moon hung crookedly atop the crest of the mountains. One lonely star hung beneath the moon as though it were held in the sky by a single thread of twine.

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