Liars and Thieves is Stephen Coonts as you've never seen him before-a story as chilling as it is unforgettable. Tommy Carmellini, a CIA operative who is unafraid to walk both sides of the law to attain his objective, uncovers a dark conspiracy that leads to the highest levels of the American government-and to a ruthless manipulator who will stop at nothing to keep a decades-old secret.
Liars and Thieves opens as Carmellini is sent to post guard duty at a farmhouse in West Virginia's remote Allegheny Mountains, where top government operatives are debriefing a star defector: the ultimate KGB insider, a man with records on every operation and every dirty trick the shadowy intelligence agency has ever run, from Lenin to Putin.
Carmellini arrives to find the guards shot dead and a ruthless team of commandos--American commandos--killing everyone in sight, then setting the house on fire. He escapes in a hail of bullets with what seems to be the sole survivor, a stunningly attractive translator who then steals his car, abandoning him, after a deadly mountain car chase.
But one other person survived the massacre: The man whose fractured memory holds the KGB's most embarrassing secrets, including something for which someone will kill to keep it quiet. Carmellini teams up with his mentor, Admiral Jake Grafton, and together they track down the amnesiac defector. From there, the hunt is on as they become the target of a lethal squad of killers who can only be taking direction from someone very close to the president.
From a bloody ambush at a posh Virginia estate, to assassinations on the decaying streets of inner city Washington, to a makeshift safe house at Grafton's Delaware summer home, no place is outside the ruthless conspiracy's reach.
Carmellini and Grafton must learn to tell friend from foe as they fight their way through a poisonous wilderness of intrigue, all the way to a presidential convention in New York City-and to the surprising identity of someone standing on the verge of absolute power who has jeopardized the safety of the entire nation to prevent a dark secret from ever seeing the light of day.
Readers accustomed to having series hero Jake Grafton save the world every year (Liberty; Cuba; etc.) may be disappointed to learn he's retired but they won't fret for long. Former Grafton sidekick Tommy Carmellini, ex-burglar and CIA operative, has been promoted to star in what's sure to be another excellent, long-lived series. Tommy is hanging out with partner Willie the Wire when ex-girlfriend Dorsey O'Shea turns up asking favors: will Tommy break into a house and retrieve some sex tapes in which she has unwittingly participated? No problem he hands the tapes over and dismisses Dorsey from his mind. Several months later, the CIA sends him to a West Virginia safe house where Russian defector Mikhail Goncharov is being debriefed and there, Tommy stumbles into a full-blown massacre. He kills a couple of attackers, rescues a woman, beats a retreat and quickly finds himself in spy hell: out in the cold, accused, alone, hunted by friend and foe alike. As the plot snowballs, it accumulates characters both good and bad: Goncharov has escaped the safe house but has amnesia; Dorsey returns; deadly assassins try to kill Tommy; and evil politicians scheme. (One of them, a woman, is determined to become president of the United States, no matter what: "Give me four years to line up support and be seen by the public and I could beat Jesus Christ in the next election.") Tommy is smart, brave, skilled and possessed of enough self-deprecating, wisecracking wit to endear him to readers. Jake Grafton makes an appearance to help save the day, but Tommy proves himself more than capable of saving the world on his own. (On sale May 11)