Blowback Read Online James Patterson, Brendan DuBois

Categories Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller Tags Authors: ,

Total pages in book: 135
Estimated words: 131003 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 655(@200wpm)___ 524(@250wpm)___ 437(@300wpm)

A brilliant American President is also a psychopath. He has his finger on the red button. And he’s about to start a world war with our most dangerous enemy. Put your finger on the order button. Push it to read James Patterson’s best and scariest novel yet.

US President Keegan Barrett has swept into office on his success as Director of the CIA. Six months into his first term, he devises a clandestine power grab with deadly consequences.
Barrett personally orders CIA agents Liam Grey and Noa Himel to execute his plan, but their loyalties are divided. The CIA serves at the pleasure of the president, yet they’ve sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

When the threat comes directly from the Oval Office, that’s where the blowback begins.


“If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

–traditionally attributed to President Abraham Lincoln



IT’S A BRISK autumn day in June in one of South Africa’s largest cities, and thirty-year-old Benjamin Lucas is enjoying an off day from his South African Diamond Tour. He stands just under six feet, with close-trimmed dark-brown hair, and has a muscular physique from hours in the gym he likes to keep hidden by wearing baggy clothes. On the all-inclusive, ten-day excursion package, he and the other eleven members of his group had walked Pretoria, visited Soweto, the famed site of the decades-long simmer, eruption, and fight against apartheid, and spent a day and night up north at the Madikwe Game Reserve, ooohing and aahing at the sight of elephants, hippopotamuses, and zebras from the comfort of their air-conditioned Land Rovers.

Alone now in Johannesburg, Benjamin keeps up his appearance as a travel writer on an off day, while knowing deep down that if this day ends in failure, the best outcome would be an arrest and expulsion after some torturous days in the custody of South Africa’s State Security Agency, and the worst outcome would be a slit throat in some back alley.

Yet Benjamin keeps an open and happy look on his face as he saunters into the popular section of Johannesburg known as Cyrildene, the city’s Chinatown. At the entrance to the neighborhood on Friedland Avenue, he stops and takes a photo of an impressive arch ornately styled to resemble a pagoda.

There are close to a half million Chinese living in South Africa, most of them in and around Johannesburg. A few blocks in, he feels like he’s in his hometown of San Francisco. The Chinatown residents, the tourists, the outdoor stalls, the blinking neon signs in Chinese characters marking shops and bookstores, restaurants, and tearooms, the scents of all the cooking bringing him back to his childhood, before he went to Stanford, before he got his master’s degree in Asian Studies at Boston University, and before he joined the Central Intelligence Agency.

Benjamin makes it a point not to check the time because he doesn’t want any watchers out there to think he’s heading for a meeting, which happens to be the truth. But his legend as a freelance writer is airtight, with real articles written under his cover name searchable on the internet, and because everything he’s carrying in his shoulder bag marks him as what he pretends to be: a travel writer.

His wallet contains his identification in his cover name of Benjamin Litchfield: California driver’s license, a San Francisco Public Library card, credit cards from MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as loyalty cards for Walgreens and Chevron, and other bits and pieces of what’s known as wallet litter.

He’s wearing white sneakers, tan jacket, plain khaki pants, and a bright-yellow baseball cap from South Africa’s football team, nicknamed “Bafana Bafana.”

If examined, his Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III digital camera would reveal lots of photos of his tourist activities. There are only a few pieces of technical equipment in his possession, including a tracer in the camera’s electronics, so the CIA station at the Johannesburg consulate knows his location.

And then there are his Apple earbuds. If they were taken from his ears without his approval, they would continue to play tunes from his iPhone, contained in his travel bag.

But now, securely in place, they are playing a double role: thanks to overhead, highly classified Agency HUMMINGBIRD drones, the bud on the left will send out a high-pitched tone if it detects surveillance radio frequencies used by officers of the State Security Service, and the one on the right would send out a low-pitched tone if it detects surveillance radio frequencies used by officers of his real opponent today, China’s Ministry of State Security.

Benjamin casually checks a clock in the window of a store selling medicinal herbs and powders.

It’s 10:45 a.m., and in fifteen minutes, he’s to meet an officer from the Ministry of State Security—their equivalent of the CIA—who wants to defect to the United States, and both earbuds are silent, meaning everything seems to be going well. A countersurveillance team from the Agency ghosted his route earlier, and if they had spotted anything amiss, he would have been instantly contacted through the same enhanced earbuds.