Heat Sync



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HEAT SYNC



Recruited from SEALS to join Jaspers, a covert military force, Henry Thompson (H.T.) believes he’s training to assassinate foreign threats to this country. Only after he graduates and gets his orders does he realize that his true mission is to kill the President of the United States by using the White House access his girlfriend provides, and that he’s already too boxed in by his handlers to refuse. Heat Sync is an exciting but non-traditional thriller that deeply probes the emotions and psychology of a patriotic killer.
 

Review:
Great Combination of insight and action.
The way you judge a man's character by how he acts around a short skirt made me smile on the first page. The entire book was like that. Words strung together smoothly that shed insight to human nature followed by mystery and action. Very enjoyable and exactly what I've come to expect of Wes deMott's books - KNB, VA



 I loved the character development and fast-paced plots of all Wes's books. In fact, I enjoyed reading "Heat Sync" so much that I was afraid the ending would be disappointing but it was equal to the twisting plot. Having read Grisham's "The Appeal" just prior to "Vapors" I liked DeMott's books more. Looking forward to the next. When will we see movies? - Channing P.
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A Really, Really fun book, DJ, NH, Listmania owner Really Really Thrilling Books, Amazon.
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I usually can't afford the time for fictional thrillers, but this one was worth it. It felt like a prequel to The Bourne Identity.
Nathan Brown's review on Goodreads, , Read from March 04 to 10, 2011 

More reviews after the sample chapter.


Prologue 

Master Sergeant Jim Parrish stopped at a building bleached by the sun, its pale color matching the desert that surrounded this North African capital like a barren moat designed by god to make it nearly inaccessible. It would be even harder for him to get out once all the transportation was monitored and the roads were barricaded, so he'd had to factor that desert carefully into his escape plans. 

It was well over a hundred degrees and Parrish sweated under his traditional flowing robe and headdress as he bartered for a silver bracelet he wanted for a woman he had never known but hoped someday to meet. Even a savage like Parrish could dream. 

He spoke to the ragged street vendor in Arabic, a harsh language he'd learned years ago and practiced frequently, although he couldn't wait for the day when he could forget the back-of-the-throat grindings and glottal stops that sounded far too brutal for such an intelligent culture. At the Defense Language Institute it had been fun to practice the sudden stop of a word by emulating working-class Brits saying "What-a-lot-of-little-bottles," but it wasn't a joke here. If he mispronounced a word or forgot a response he could blow his mission. He should just keep quiet, but he always had to test himself under pressure. 

The vendor talked fast and held firm on his price even though it was clear how badly he needed to sell something. As the impoverished tradesman extolled the craftsmanship of his work, his pride battled across his face in a pathetic war with the desperation of his situation. After holding the bracelet so that the sun glistened off and into Parrish's eyes, he picked up a dull ring of little value and polished it on his sleeve, admired it and then offered it to sweeten the deal. 

Parrish looked around slowly, barely listening as the sirens got within a few blocks. They were coming fast, so he paid the vendor his price. It was too high, but he respected the man's hard work and pride and didn't want to take any of it away. He put the bracelet on his wrist, straightened the long, loose white fabric of his dishdashah and walked away from the grateful seller who shouted the peace of Allah upon him. Parrish gave the cheap ring to a little boy who looked it over and then tossed it to the ground. 

By the time he got into position at the corner, the sirens of the motorcade were less than a block away, screaming through the streets as if predatory and unstoppable. Cars sped out of the way or pulled to the curb and waited. He looked at the bike he'd chained to a street sign, just to make sure no one had moved it a little and changed the trajectory of the satchel on the package rack that contained an explosive device he'd constructed himself, with none of the materials traceable to the United States. 

The motorcade turned down the street, just as the intelligence report had predicted. As soon as the last of the advance security cars passed through the target area, Parrish clicked a remote transmitter to arm the device and turn on the light beam that crossed the road so that the king's own limousine would trigger the explosion, self-detonating himself without even knowing it. Too many times in situations like these, an assassin would fire early or late and totally miss his target, but the Red Army Faction had perfected this method to kill the head of Deutsche Bank, who was said to be untouchable, proving it to be an effective and hard-to-prevent device for killing people. 

Two or three seconds after arming the weapon, the king's level-four armored limousine broke the light beam, just like a customer walking into a store. But instead of triggering a chime or bell this broken beam detonated twenty pounds of dynamite packed in a thick steel box in the satchel with a five-pound copper lid aimed directly along the light beam. 

The blast instantly destroyed dozens of innocent people and sent the copper lid hurtling toward the limo at 1400 feet per second. The speed bent it into a wedge – a five-pound artillery round that slammed into the limousine and crushed its side as it spun around and the fuel tanks exploded. Car parts flew everywhere and rattled through the city street like shrapnel, cutting down a dozen more pedestrians as the escort vehicle immediately behind the king's slammed into the flaming limousine and exploded a few seconds later. 

Parrish was the first man running toward the king, leading the crowd of Arabs that rushed the incinerating vehicle. It was definitely the king inside and not one of his doubles, his lifeless, burning body wedged against the door with the gold medal of authority still hanging around his neck on a heavy chain. 

Parrish backed away and sheathed the palmed knife he would have used to slash the king's throat had it been necessary. As bodyguards rushed from the other cars, Parrish straightened the gutrah on his head and moved back with the crowd, covering his face and jabbering away in panicky Arabic like everyone else, just another terrified man in the street. 

This kind of killing was a throwback event, the grand old way of assassination at which Parrish was one of the best. The hope for a clean kill that would look like an accident had vanished with Cameron's capture and murder, so Colonel Maddigan had ordered Parrish to do something quick that would distribute the suspicion among dozens of politically-unstable neighboring countries. 

Parrish walked away and down the street, proud of his service to his country, of having just done something significant to protect her. If President Devereau was too bore-sighted to see any threats beyond terrorism, Parrish was sure there would always be men like him who would watch America's back. 

Jim Parrish was nothing more and nothing less than an American patriot.

Chapter 1

"Thompson!" my instructor shouted as our team of SEAL candidates struggled along the beach of Coronado. "Drop the log and double-time to Commander Nance's office. That's an order." 

"Only after we've finished," I said, once again pissing off someone in authority. It was just my way back then, I guess. I never understood why I did things like that, but I could certainly have made some guesses. All my life I'd been a man of many theories, and although it might not apply on a chilly morning on a sandy beach, one of my favorites was that all men, including me, reveal a lot a

bout themselves when a short-skirted woman slides out of a car or chair. 

"Don't screw with me anymore, Thompson. I'm sick of it!" 

Some men – but not my instructor, I was pretty sure – made a point of looking away, as if they didn't care about such foolishness. Those men were saints or, more likely, just too polite or scared to follow the natural instinct that's kept our species alive. That's why I never trust them. 

Other men are cowards, pure and simple, stealing a glance and then looking away. 

"Damn you, Thompson!" 

A few would sneak a sheepish peek and then act like they were sorry, exploiting a woman's natural tendency to forgive anyone who apologizes, even if insincerely. 

And then there have always been the few – like my highly decorated SEAL instructor who at that very second looked ready to remove my head off my shoulders – who would happily take a steady look up her skirt, which is what every damn one of them wanted to do. Those kinds of guys, in my opinion, had courage. 

As for me, I'm twenty-eight, healthy, hetero, and a guy who looked away, stole a glance, and then looked away again. 

"Okay, Thompson, you've just earned a night in the water alone."
 
I might also be a liar. 

"Fine, but I'm still going to finish my mission and won't leave my team." 

Unfortunately for me, women in short skirts never seemed to be sliding out of cars or chairs when wondering what kind of man you were dealing with at Basic Underwater Demolition School. If I'd had any idea what was going to happen in the next few minutes, I might have hired just such a woman to go to Commander Nance's office with me and get out of a chair seductively. It might have saved me a lot of grief, but probably not. 

The day had already been exceptionally tough, but easier in some ways because of the anger that spread like a virus over the base. I was wet and sandy from struggling under the log's weight, shivering on the beach as my instructor cursed a string of threats at me, which were always scary but even scarier since hearing the rumor of a SEAL being beaten and executed overseas. That almost made us glad to be abused, as if we were all bound on both a personal and professional level to suffer with a tortured SEAL brother we never met and never would.

"Make it two nights in the ocean alone," my instructor screamed, as if I'd been the one to kill him. "Now get to Commander Nance's office before I make it three!" 

We kept moving and I wouldn't quit, ignoring his threats as best I could as we plodded slowly through the small dunes of Southern California, a beach-width away from the cold Pacific and an uncivilized world away from the curious guests of the Hotel Del Coronado, struggling through unstable sand in brutal teamwork with a six-hundred-pound log on our shoulders. One hundred pounds per man. One hundred twenty if I left as ordered. 

But I had no intention of leaving. I wanted to feel the pain. I wanted to make the sacrifice and show more courage and loyalty to SEALs than any other man there, even the instructors. 

"Thirty yards more," I said, using strength I needed for the load. "Give me five more minutes. We'll make it this time." 

"You want me to make it a week?" 

"Twenty-five stinking yards. Come on guys, let's heave and leave."

"Okay, Thompson. That's it, a week it is." 

"Twenty yards more." And then, "Make it two weeks." 

My instructor kicked the sand and threw up his hands, then spun around and looked at the control officer, who ran over and toed across the sand in front of us. "Here's your new goal, Thompson. Your team made it, total points, now drop the log." 

The other men immediately followed his order and I had to go along. The log rolled off our shoulders and the shifting weight took three exhausted men down with it. I doubled over but managed to stay on my feet. "You should have let us do it right," I said. "I wanted to do it right." 

"You're a pain in the ass, Thompson. Now get out of here, double time. You've already earned a week of nights alone in the ocean." 

I straightened up and managed a breath. "I earned two." 

"Go!" He turned away from me.

I took off down the beach in my helmet, wet shorts and T-shirt, with splinters in my shoulder and open blisters on my palms and fingers. My sweat and stink and speed attracted everyone's attention as I ran through the small base. Faces came to jalousie windows, senior officers stopped as I passed on the sidewalk, enlisted men stepped onto the grass and saluted as I pushed against several months of cumulative pain to run that hard, making my sacrifice for the tortured SEAL, paying my price for his death, weaving around the one-story buildings of Coronado Amphibious Base to a building near the main gate. I tripped at Commander Nance's office door, straightened instantly and knocked, then waited two seconds and entered. 

I was out of breath but tried to hide it as I braced at attention while Nance and an Army colonel studied me from the other side of the grim office. I stared at Commander Nance's impressive wall of plaques and commendations, bursts of red, white and blue on a Navy-gray wall. My calf muscles spasmed and made me wish I'd had trousers to hide the show of weakness. 

"I've lost a good man in Africa," the colonel said to Commander Nance while he stared at me. "I have a critical need to replace him." 

"I know," said Nance. "Captain Pike called this morning. Cameron was in my training class at Camp LeJeune." 

"Unlucky bastard." 

"They tortured him before the beheading?"

"God wouldn't have recognized him." 

"Jeez." 

"No family, though, so that's good. And Jim Parrish was there to grab the slack, doing old-fashioned things in which he's so proficient. At least that worked out." 

Nance looked spooked at the man's name – Parrish. He tried to smile but couldn't quite do it. "Jim Parrish. Jeez. Now there's a guy I'm glad is on our side. So what kind of fallout do you expect?" 

"It'll be another reason to beef up the war on terrorism, to spend more money on asymmetrical threats – rich, angry men instead of powerful angry nations. Washington bought into his killers' crude attempt to make it look like terrorism." 

I shivered in the cool room. The colonel noticed and shook his head in disappointment as my shoulders threw off the chill. 

"This fellow is the best you've got?" He asked about me as if I wasn't there. 

Commander Nance – Lurch to his peers, and there couldn't be many – strutted across the room to me. His six-foot-three frame went for six and a half in the colonel's presence, his volleyball-sized head straining a powerful neck stretched a little too proudly.

"Thompson . . ." 

That was my name there. Not Henry or Hank or HT, like my buddies back in Danville, Indiana called me. Here I was Thompson, Lieutenant J.G. 

None of us had a first name anymore. Made sense, too. An instructor would have had a tough time sounding vicious shouting, "We're training you to be SEALS, the deadliest small-force threat in the world. Killers! Survivors! Do you have any idea what that means, Hen-ry?" 

"Sir." 

"Thompson, this is Colonel Maddigan, from the Pentagon. He has new orders for you. Voluntary, of course, just like here." 

"Sir, new orders? I haven't graduated yet, sir." 

That was it, what I knew had been coming. Only fifteen percent of BUDS applicants are accepted, and seventy-five percent of them leave before they graduate as SEALS. Cold has always been the biggest reason, the worst enemy. Cold water, cold weather, cold, cold, cold. They make you sit around and shiver for hours and then demand your best. 

I would never quit, but I wasn't going to graduate either because the cold had won. The handful who could endure it spent hours trying to teach me ways to stop shaking, but I just couldn't do it. Maybe I just didn't have enough body fat, which always made me wonder if the problem could be solved with potato chips and ice cream.

"You've tried like hell, Thompson. We've all seen it, but you won't graduate. In your case it's just physiology, certainly nothing to be ashamed of. You've gone further than most and led your class in many aspects of the training, especially in stealth skills. Which is one of the reasons the colonel is here." 

I didn't really hear his consolation speech as I stared at the SEAL trident on his uniform, accepting for the first time that I would never wear it. I tried to convince myself it was too big anyway. 

I turned toward Maddigan. I was petrified wood from weeks of abuse and it showed, while Maddigan was a study in boredom, like a man playing high-stakes poker. 

"Sorry about my appearance, sir." 

Colonel Maddigan made a slow lap around me. He was scary, which surprised me because I'd always thought of the Pentagon as the military's corporate headquarters and the people who work there as soft. After all, how many barroom brawlers could there be at IBM's home office? Maddigan made me believe there might be a few. 

"Lieutenant Thompson," he said, and then stepped in front of me and frowned. He was about forty-five, maybe fifty, my height, five eleven, but much thicker around the chest. His face was cold but handsome. His eyes searched me with an honest intensity and signaled the intellect encased in his rugged head that looked as gnarly and challenging as a coconut. A ragged scar, long healed but forever purple, dug away from his right eye and then severed a shallow grave in his cheek. When the horrible scar reached his jaw, it escaped under his uniform. 

"Thompson, have you heard of the Joint Services Personal Warfare School?" 

I searched for an acronym that might ring a bell. Almost everything in the military had one, and the trick was to figure it out before the time was up. J.S.P.W.S. Jeswas? Jospews? 

"Well, have you?" 

"Well, sir, I think I might have –" 

"You haven't." 

"You're right, sir. I haven't." 

Maddigan smiled, bending the scar dribbling down his face and neck. He looked scarier smiling than frowning. IBM headquarters might be a kick-ass place after all.

"It's a loosely-regulated force of the best people available. Any chance you fit into that category?" 

"I try hard to be the best, sir." 

"Good for you. I'm not impressed." 

"Wouldn't impress me either." 

Maddigan had his next words ready, but my comment made him do a double take. "Your training up to now has been fairly conventional, but Jaspers isn't traditional and not everyone fits. We're far more elite and effective than SEALS, at least in our narrow area of operation." 

That pill stuck a little, so I checked Nance's reaction. He chuckled, which prompted Maddigan to say, "Commander Nance did a tour through my command before he came back to SEALs." 

Nance picked up the story. "Thompson, the colonel collects people from all the services and intelligence communities, from the Border Patrol to the CIA and lots of folks in between. They're all trained to work independently. If you want my opinion, I think you'd do well at JASPERS." 

Jaspers? Not fair. They hadn't used all the letters and they'd thrown in some that didn't belong. "Thank you, sir." 

"You'll be promoted to full lieutenant upon graduation."

"Your confidence is appreciated, sir." 

"And not much of the work involves swimming in near-freezing water. That's been your only setback here." 

Maddigan seemed annoyed by the conversation. Nance shrugged an apology and Maddigan continued. "If you don't quit or flunk out, I promise you a turn at the front line of America's defense, out there on the fringe where you can make a difference. You want to make a difference?" 

"Yes, sir." 

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More reviews:



Suspenseful, Well Written, 19 Dec 2005
By A Reader - Published on Amazon U.S.
This is my first Wes DeMott book and it's an excellent, suspenseful, quick read. If you like Vince Flynn or James W Huston you will enjoy this book. It is a story of a US military Special Forces assassin who wrestles with his CO's orders to act as judge, jury and executioner. Check it out - Amazon UK
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Military Book!
By Melvin Hunt - Published on Amazon U.S.
(...) Colonel Maddigan gives Thompson his new assignment, assassinate the President of the United States. He now has a decision to make. All of this makes for an exciting conclusion. This is a very good book.
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Wow. This was a great read. Fast? Oh yeah, it's fast. Action? Oh yeah, there's action.
HT Thompson is training to be a Navy Seal. Unfortunately Thompson has some problems with some of the water aspects of the training and he might not finish. Enter the head of an elite covert group who feels that Thompson is just 
the guy he's looking for. HT signs up and he's off to a secret training facility. As he discovers, not every one is cut out to be a member of the Jaspers. But he is excelling in the program. Once he graduates he discovers the true nature of the unit and he starts having second thoughts. But this isn't a unit you just walk away from.
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DeMott writes a taut thriller that grabs you around the throat and won't let go till you are seeing stars. The training portions of the book ring with accuracy and that has got to be DeMott's background with the FBI and SWAT coming through. DeMott is brilliant with plotting and pacing. This is a dynamite book. It's like slamming down four or five espressos, it will leave you that jazzed when you finish. Crimespree Magazine - Jon Jordan
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