2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner -- Multicultural Fiction REVENGE IS A DANGEROUS GAME WHEN IT PITS THE ITALIAN MAFIA AGAINST DEADLY RUSSIAN SPIES The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. The henchman, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. They step dead into a burgeoning war between the Russians and Italians, while trying to dismantle the financial hub of a deadly spy syndicate working in the shadows. Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance lands in Moscow to capture a fugitive American with stolen White House intelligence before he sells it to Russian Intelligence—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle. And when J.J. finally learns the truth surrounding her mother's death in the line of duty, her life may never be the same.
Another cool issue I addressed in The Shadow Syndicate is the link between Russian and Italian Mafia (well known) and the link between Russian spies and the Russian (not as well known). Tony Donato, an Italian American FBI Agent, is estranged from his family. He rejected the "family business" to join the FBI. When his brother is shot by a Russian as a direct result of a counterintelligence case he's working, he's forced to return to NY and face his past, putting him right in this Russian intelligence
One of my favorite parts of writing this series is showing how all elements of the US Intelligence Community work together in uneasy alliances. The goal to defend the United States and Constitution is a common bond between agencies but that bond is often tested because each has a charter to reach the same goals in different ways. For example, the FBI must protect and enforce the laws, while the CIA must break the laws (in other countries). This creates vastly different cultures that often clash. This excerpt represents one such collision but you see friction between FBI and CIA, CIA and DIA, CIA and the State Department all throughout this story--and the series.
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner -- Multicultural Fiction REVENGE IS A DANGEROUS GAME WHEN IT PITS THE ITALIAN MAFIA AGAINST DEADLY RUSSIAN SPIES The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. The henchman, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. They step dead into a burgeoning war between the Russians and Italians, while trying to dismantle the financial hub of a deadly spy syndicate working in the shadows. Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance lands in Moscow to capture a fugitive American with stolen White House intelligence before he sells it to Russian Intelligence—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle. And when J.J. finally learns the truth surrounding her mother's death in the line of duty, her life may never be the same. If you enjoy this book, you will love Book 1--The Bigot List (A J.J. McCall Novel) and Book 2 -- Situation Critical (A J.J. McCall Novel).
This chapter is based on my vague recollection of a meeting rumored to have happened in the FBI years and years ago. A senior FBI official met with a Russian official, and the Russian told the FBI they weren't spying against the US--that we were friends now. A few months after that rumored conversation, Robert Hanssen was arrested. Friends. They smiled in our face while destroying the Russian counterintelligence program from the inside out. The reality is this: Sometimes, you make enemies of friends both to fight a bigger enemy--and to keep them off balance. Terrorists are bigger enemies than spies so in this story the Russians leverage that knowledge to keep concealed a damaging operation. Moles, however, are the game changer--they provide inside information. The Russians have moles in the US government, but there's always a chance that the FBI/CIA have moles, too. That's when the game gets interesting.
This chapter was inspired by my work in counterintelligence especially thinking back to the arrest of Robert Hanssen, the FBI Special Agent who spied for the Russians. Nothing is worse for a law enforcement agency, at any level, than having to arrest one of your own--especially when their traitorous behavior costs you years of effort and rendered useless decades of investigations. And when spies get caught, you would think they'd be full of regret and guilt for their deeds. Unfortunately many times spies are only sorry because they got caught. And when it's time to interview them to determine how much damage they caused--they are cocky and uncooperative because they know you need information they have and their destiny is set; they're going to jail. So, having experienced the arrests of spies from Aldrich Ames to Hanssen first hand--I brought that defiance into Maddix Cooper's interaction with J.J. McCall. With that said, all traitors do have weaknesses, it's up to the agents to figure out which buttons to push...and when.
"[The Bigot List]" is a mystery thriller from S. D. Skye ... hard to put down for lovers of spy fiction, highly recommended. -- Carl Logan, Midwest Book Review ★★★★ "Thick with layers, [The Bigot List] is filled with strife, deceit, lust, pain, mystery, and humor." OOSA Online Book Club THE MOLE HUNT BEGINS WITH THE BIGOT LIST When U.S. Government Human Intelligence Assets are betrayed and killed, the bigot list -- the names of personnel granted special access to highly sensitive sources -- becomes the prime suspect list. And no one knows this better than lie-detecting FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall. She’s lost two of her most critical sources and will lose another if she doesn’t catch him. Codename: ICE Phantom. The long-rumored mole is more insidious than Hanssen and Ames combined. After a decade of fruitless investigations, the Intelligence Community fears its chasing ghosts—but J.J. and her co-case agent Tony suspect the ghost is real. And his body count is going up. Days away from landing at the top of the suspect list, J.J. and Tony are drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt; they have a week to catch the Ice Phantom, save a key source’s life – and their own. Now on Sale BOOK 2--Situation Critical!
I grew up in a law enforcement family. Truly. My dad served in Air Force intelligence before becoming a DC police officer. My mother worked at the FBI -- at Headquarters under J. Edgar Hoover. My brother was a DC police officer. And then I spent 12 years in the FBI working criminal and counterintelligence cases as an FBI analyst. So it was pretty inevitable that I would write a series about an African-American in law enforcement. The fact that the law enforcement officer is a female FBI Special Agent working Russian counterintelligence and counterespionage investigations? Well, that's just how the story played in my head (loosely based on my career and an agent I actually worked with). In writing that story, I have to tell the truth about my experiences. Yes, there's commitment to getting the job done but there's some racism. True patriots do their jobs well despite their personal failings, despite the dissention--they jump in the deep end and save the day. J.J. is a patriot, but her commitment is tested in this scene when she meets the bane of her professional existence in jail, and he needs help. In the successive chapters, we see the history that makes her choice a difficult one and then we follow her as she moves into action.
2014 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD--MULTICULTURAL FICTION THE MOLE HUNT CONTINUES WHEN RUSSIAN SPIES BREACH THE NERVE CENTER FOR U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY... On the lam from the FBI, the ICE PHANTOM continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before seeking revenge on J.J. McCall. Meanwhile, the FBI commences Task Force PHANTOM HUNTER, a team ordered to track down suspected Russian illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community—and not a moment too soon. An agent of the Russian Intelligence Services is targeting the nerve center of U.S. national security, taking the lie-detecting FBI Agent and her cohorts’ next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the U.S. government. J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew of spy catchers while she struggles to deal with sobriety, conflicting feelings for Tony and Six, and an egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away—with murder. If you enjoy this book, you will love Book 1 in the FBI SpyCatcher Series-- The Bigot List (A J.J. McCall Novel) and Book 3 -- The Shadow Syndicate
This story was inspired by a true crime committed by Russian intelligence in the State Department in 1999. When Condoleezza Rice was Secretary of State, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service installed a listening device in a conference room. It was all over the news which is why I can freely discuss the public facts. Questions circled around how they installed the listening device. Did a Russian spy get unauthorized access to the room and install it? Did an insider spy within the State Department install it? The FBI was in charge of the investigation to find out. Turned out the conference room did not host any classified meetings and the operation was generally considered a bust. Well, I took the seed of that idea and exaggerated--what happens when a similar device is found in the White House Situation Room (hence the title)? Can you imagine what would happen if Russian spies had access to the information going in and out of there? It is truly the nerve center of U.S. national security at the highest levels. Cringe yet? So this novel answers a what if question. What if that first operations wasn't a bust? What if the first operation was practice? I hope you enjoy the twists and turns as J.J. answers those questions.
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