Who killed Whiskey 2-2?
And why won't it stay dead?
A marine sniper team on a mission in tribal territories on the Afghan-Pakistan border, Whiskey 2-2 is ambushed by professionals using the latest high-tech shooting gear. Badly wounded, the team's sole survivor, Gunnery Sergeant Ray Cruz, aka "the Cruise Missile," is determined to finish his job. He almost succeeds when a mystery blast terminates his enterprise, leaving a thirty-foot crater where Sergeant Cruz was meant to be hiding.
Months pass. Ray's target, an Afghan warlord named Ibrahim Zarzi, sometimes called "The Beheader," becomes an American asset in the region and beyond, beloved by State, the Administration, and the Agency. He arrives in Washington for consecration as Our Man in Kabul. But so does a mysterious radio transmission, in last year's code. It's from Whiskey 2-2.
MISSION WILL BE COMPLETED.
CONFIDENCE IS HIGH.
Is Ray Cruz back? Has he gone rogue, is he insane, or just insanely angry? Will he succeed, though his antagonists now include the CIA, the FBI, and the same crew that nearly killed him in Zabol province? Not to mention Bob Lee Swagger and CIA agent Susan Okada who gives Swagger more than just a patriotic reason to take the case.
Swagger is recruited by the FBI to stop the Cruise Missile from reaching his target. The problem is, the more Swagger learns about what happened in Zabol, the more he questions the U.S. government's support of Zarzi and the more he identifies with Cruz as hunter instead of prey.
THE THIRD BULLET
It's not even a clue. It's a whisper, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it's enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time.
Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he's asking questions few have asked before: Why did the third bullet explode? Why did Lee Harvey Oswald risk it all by returning to his rooming house to secure a pistol he easily could have brought with him? How could a conspiracy that went unpenetrated for fifty years have been thrown together in the two and a half days between the announcement of the president's route and the assassination itself?
As Bob investigates, another voice enters the narrative: knowing, ironic, almost familiar, that of a gifted, Yale-educated veteran of the CIA Plans Division. Hugh Meachum has secrets and the means and the will to keep them buried. When weighed against his own legacy, Swagger's life is an insignificant expense - but to blunt the threat, he'll first have to ambush the sniper.