Books by Sean Flannery

ACHILLES' HEEL by Sean Flannery
Released: Aug. 31, 1998

More suave than Bond and just as death-proof, brainy, and with a touch more brawn, Bill Lane of the National Security Agency (Kilo Option, 1996, etc.) once more takes on ex-KGB assassin Valeri Yernin ("the Surgeon"), who's less dead than was once thought. The Barents Sea is the graveyard of Russian nuclear reactors and ships no longer serviceable. But when a Romeo-class diesel-electric sub is —accidentally— scuttled there with no survivors yet actually seems to be on its way to Morocco for sale to Sierra Leone—or perhaps to a country even closer to the US—Lane attempts to divert the sale and offers a Russian diplomat in Washington twice the price suggested by the enemy. Yernin, meanwhile, vows to kill Lane, knowing that his Achilles— heel is Lane's fellow spy and fiancÇe Francis Shipley, a lieutenant commander in the British Navy and liaison between the SIS and CIA intelligence communities. Disguised as Vandemeer, a South African with a letter of credit for 100 million pounds sterling, Lane flies to London and dickers with the Russians. Yernin arrives as well. Is the assassin now finding Russians who have illegally salted money away in offshore banks, killing them, then draining their accounts? Lane himself has an $8 million inheritance, which keeps him in fawn-colored, hand-tailored Italian silk suits, HÇrmes ties, cashmere sweaters, Gucci loafers—or hand-sewn half boots—and the best Dom Perignon, with Francis telling him, "My God, you're gorgeous.— Yernin bungles his first attack on Lane and Francis. A second attempted assassination also fails. Then Yernin kidnaps Francis and flies her off to the Western Sahara, straps a Semtex bomb to her leg, and awaits the arrival of Lane. Fast and amusing. If Flannery (a.k.a. David Hagberg) has any luck, his hero could rise to the top as a Bond clone. Read full book review >
KILO OPTION by Sean Flannery
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Brainy and brawny NSA agent Bill Lane, who almost single- handedly prevented a Russo-American war in old pro Flannery's Winner Take All (1994), does another star turn in foiling a dastardly plot to destabilize the already volatile Mideast. When Frances Shipley (a comely SIS operative seconded to a UN peacekeeping mission) receives satellite photos documenting a hit- and-run raid on a secret Iranian naval base, she shares the news with Lane (a former lover). Aware that the Islamic theocracy has acquired four submarines from Moscow, the quick-witted G-man concludes that die-hard disciples of Saddam Hussein have penetrated the coastal installation to determine whether the subs have atomic weaponry. The US President fears the worst, and Lane is off to inspect the sub pens for himself. Betrayed by someone high in the American government, he's taken prisoner by SAVAK, but not before learning that the Iranians have entered into an unholy alliance with Ukraine. Freed on the strength of an upper-echelon promise that he'll assassinate the ousted but ever-dangerous Saddam, Lane next tangles with a villainous Kiev agent named Valeri Yernin. Yernin goes on to hijack a sub on a shakedown cruise in the Persian Gulf, and sinks a Saudi patrol boat. While this action brings Saudi Arabia to the brink of war with Iran, Yernin has an even grander scheme: to lay nuclear waste to Israel as well as to America's Eastern seaboard and place the blame on Tehran. Before he can launch the deadly missiles, however, Lane and a crew of SEALs from the Sixth Fleet stop him cold. Escaping once again, Yernin visits Kuwait long enough to kidnap Shipley and spirit her to Saddam's desert hideaway. The resilient Lane tracks him down once more. He manages to rescue Shipley, expose an American traitor, and kill the erstwhile Iraqi strongman, but Yernin makes yet another successful getaway. . . . A wild-and-woolly romp that should delight fans of Flannery's apocalyptic thrillers. Read full book review >
WINNER TAKE ALL by Sean Flannery
Released: March 1, 1994

Flannery (Counterstrike, Eagles Fly, The Zebra Network), who also writes as David Hagberg (The Capsule, Desert Fire, Twister), here offers a multifront techno-thriller that turns on the power vacuums created by the Soviet Union's breakup. While the author's shooting script has been overtaken by geopolitical events (notably, Ukraine's agreement to give up its atomic ordnance), his casus belli scenario has enough plausible conflict and momentum to keep most readers in rapt suspense until the final pages. At any rate, on the eve of Operation Pit Bull (large-scale Russo-American war games offshore of Rio de Janeiro, in which both countries have substantive economic stakes), a US spy ship is sunk, evidently by a Kremlin-controlled submarine, in the international waters of the Barents Sea. As it happens, the killer craft is a Ukrainian vessel acting on orders from Pavl Normav, a renegade general in Kiev, who is determined to subvert the joint maneuvers, precipitate a nuclear holocaust, and make his newly independent nation a devastated world's sole superpower. Whilst hot lines hum between Moscow and Washington, the US President assigns thirtysomething Bill Lane to the case. The brainy NSA agent quickly deduces diehard Ukrainians, not Russians, are throwing high-tech monkey wrenches into the potentially volatile works. But whether Lane can stop cunningly sabotaged aircraft and warships from turning the Rio scrimmage into an Armageddon in which Kiev's maverick militarists emerge as triumphant survivors is quite another matter. Although the intrepid, globe-trotting G-man can't prevent the opposing forces from inflicting severe casualties upon one another, he stymies would-be assassins, a venal senator, faint- hearted diplomats, Ukrainian desperados, and a host of other foes, averting a doomsday outcome at the eleventh hour. Fine absorbing fare for devotees of what-if brinksmanship. Read full book review >
MOVING TARGETS by Sean Flannery
Released: April 1, 1992

Flannery (The Kremlin Conspiracy, Eagles Fly), who also writes as David Hagberg (Twister, The Capsule), bravely essays an elaborately complicated spy story in the disarray of the former Soviet states in the near, terribly confused future. Real-life events have already left Flannery's complex puzzler a little behind, but not so much as to spoil a good moles-in-the- spyworks story full of intriguing, fully drawn characters from both sides of the old cold war. Most of the espionage has to do with Albert Tyson, the President's acting national security advisor. Despite a flawless, fast-moving rise to the top of the intelligence community, Tyson has begun to look a bit rotten. FBI agents have uncovered Tyson's sexual liaison with a KGB agent. Is he passing secrets to her? Is he loyal or is he being set up? In Moscow the top CIA man at the embassy is picking up bits of a story having to do with an imminent betrayal of the US by someone close to the President. Does this have anything to do with Tyson? Certainly the Russians are as meddlesome as ever, scooping up American contracts and torturing them as if it were the 1950's. But nothing is straightforward. Agents of the old directories of the KGB are keeping secrets from one another, as are the FBI and the CIA, and intelligence agency employees are stepping into each other's traps and plots with fatal results. While everybody's attention is on Tyson, somewhere in Moscow a computer operator is hacking his way into the KGB's financial records, where lie the answers to everyone's questions. The setup is long, and the extraordinarily large cast is at times difficult to keep straight, but it's worth sticking with for the clever and thoroughly believable painting of interagency warfare, diverted loyalties, and political confusion in our time. Quite good. Read full book review >