From the national bestselling author of The Lions of Lucerne and Path of the Assassin comes another electrifying international thriller featuring all-American hero Scot Harvath, as he plunges into the frigid heart of the Russian tundra to save the fragile state of the union. On a cold January morning, the United States awakes to discover that an old enemy, one long believed dead and buried, has crawled out of its grave to lay siege to the world's only superpower. With the stunning discovery that enhanced Soviet-made suitcase nukes have been secreted in America's major cities, President Jack Rutledge gathers his National Security Council to weigh the feasibility of a first strike against the Russian Federation. There's only one problem. For over two decades, the Russians have been funneling international aid money into a top secret air defense system, which has just been brought on-line and which will render any conventional attack upon their country utterly ineffective. After exhausting all of his other options, and with Soviet sleeper agents preparing to detonate their deadly payloads across the United States, the president turns to the nation's final hope, ex-Navy SEAL and Secret Service Agent Scot Harvath. Assigned to a covert section of the Department of Homeland Security and charged with defending the nation against all foreign aggressors by any means necessary, Harvath finds himself hand-picked by the president to unravel a brilliantly orchestrated, fiendishly timed conspiracy that has already shattered the fragile peace between the world's nations and which, if successful, will leave the United States in smoldering ruins. With family friend and former Deputy FBI Director Gary Lawlor nowhere to be found and suspected of betraying his country, Harvath embarks on an adventure that will test the bonds of loyalty and reveal a nation's deepest secrets. As high-voltage and timely as they come, State of the Union is a frighteningly real, headline-ripping tale of espionage and intrigue that will keep readers guessing until the last tantalizing piece of the puzzle locks into place.
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Brad Thor is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Black List, Full Black, The Athena Project, Foreign Influence, The Apostle, The Last Patriot, The First Commandment, Takedown, Blowback (recognized by NPR as one of the “100 Best Thrillers of All Time”), State of the Union, Path of the Assassin, and The Lions of Lucerne. Visit his website at www.BradThor.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
TUESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 28TH
What I want, Chuck, is ten minutes of peace and quiet so I can think," snapped the president to his chief of staff.
Charles Anderson had never seen his boss like this. Then again, America had never faced a situation of this magnitude before. With less than three hours until he was expected to deliver his State of the Union address, President Jack Rutledge had already made the tough decision of evacuating Congress and settling on a videotaped address from the White House. The hardest call, though, still lay before him.
"Okay, people," voiced Anderson. "You heard the president. Let's give him the room. Everybody out. We'll reconvene in the Situation Room."
Once the Oval Office had cleared out, the president leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and massaged his forehead with the heels of his hands. His oath of office called for him to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution -- a body of laws, which obliged him, "to give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Never in a million years could he have imagined that the execution of his duties would lead to the unraveling of everything America had fought to become.
He was reminded of the first State of the Union address given by George Washington over two hundred years ago at New York's Federal Hall. With the country in the fledgling stages of its great democratic experiment, Washington had focused on the very concept of union itself and the challenges not only of establishing, but of maintaining it.
How in the hell had things come to this? Rutledge wondered as he opened his eyes and studied the two folders on the desk in front of him. Each contained a different version of his State of the Union address, and each had the potential to be equally devastating. The fate of millions of Americans would be decided by what he said and did in the next three hours.
Though not a particularly religious man, President Jack Rutledge closed his eyes once again and this time prayed to God for guidance.
Copyright © 2004 by Brad Thor
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