Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is reeling from a devastating attack on its terrorist training camp in Bandar Deylam, Iran.
In retaliation, Iran's Supreme Ruler unleashes an ultra secret weapon - Unit 400. This cadre of trained assassins has its roots in ancient Persian culture, when Ismaili leader, Hassan al-Sabbah, unleashed the Hashashin from their mountain fortress at Alamut to assassinate political and religious foes.
One man stands in their way - former Navy SEAL, Logan Alexander, whose Special Forces team travels to Europe, and South America in an effort to track down the elusive killers before they can strike again.
Unit 400: The Assassins is the sequel to my debut novel, Cooper's Revenge, which deals with Iranian support for terrorism, its foreign Special Operations organization, the Qods Force and a Navy SEAL's response to their role in the death of his younger brother. As a CIA officer I spent many years working closely with and supporting our men and women in uniform. Because U.S. government concerns over Iran's nuclear weapons program largely outweigh U.S. anger over Iran's support for terrorism, this issue seldom rises to the fore. Iran is responsible for the death and/or injury of hundreds of U.S. military personnel either directly or through the use of proxies. It is to highlight this situation that I wrote this book.
Which character do you think that readers will love to hate and why?
Nouri Khorasani is a trained assassin within the secretive Unit 400, an Iranian assassination squad modeled on the Hashashin from Persia's ancient past. Khorasani has few, if any, redeeming qualities. He is an American of Iranian extraction, searching for his place in the world, when he decides to visit an uncle who is still living in Iran. There he is recruited into the Qods Force, where he is trained in the art of assassination. Once a social misfit growing up in Boston, he is dispatched to Spain where he develops a Spanish persona that allows him to operate freely in Europe. He proves to be a lethal killer but meets his undoing when he takes on former Navy SEAL, Logan Alexander, who was the mastermind behind a covert operation to destroy an Iranian terrorist training camp, and whom the Ayatollah's have marked for assassination.
What is one thing you would have done differently at the beginning of your writing career with the knowledge that you have now?
I would have begun writing earlier in my life. I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, but work and family took precedence throughout my thirty year CIA career, and as our children were growing up. When I retired from the Agency, I realized that I had an opportunity to fulfill my life-long dream. Who knows? If I had begun earlier, maybe I'd be working on book number twenty instead of number three. I'm not one to spend a lot of time looking back. Living in the present and thinking about my next writing project are too much fun!
What is a hidden talent or pastime that you enjoy that would surprise others?
I am a big environmentalist. A couple of years ago I worked with the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve in Northeast Florida to rebuild an eroded oyster reef in an estuary along the intracoastal waterway just north of St. Augustine. It took a couple of years and involved hundreds of people from across the community.
Currently I spend time volunteering for the Mickler's Landing Turtle Patrol in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL where we identify, monitor and evaluate the nests of the three species of sea turtles that land along the five mile stretch of beach that we cover. These species are loggerheads, leatherbacks and green turtles. Members of our patrol walk the beaches from May-November to do this work.