The Riviera Contract
2002, six months after the World Trade Center attack, Hayden Stone having taken an early retirement from the FBI, is working for the CIA. On his last assignment to Afghanistan, a colleague is killed and Stone blames himself for his death. A friend in the upper ranks of the CIA offers him an assignment to the South of France. Stone accepts, thinking this is exactly what he needs to get his life back on an even keel: French life on the Côte d’Azur. Well, he’s in for a surprise. He has little time to enjoy the Mediterranean ambiance, as two terrorists, acting separately, attempt to murder him. Meantime, Stone meets an old love, a Contessa, who he had seduced and abandoned years before.
Through a series of setups and encounters, Stone learns that a brutal Middle Eastern terrorist is in Provence to deliver a strain of the Ebola virus to major U.S. cities. At the same time, the CIA and French intelligence have targeted a seriously ill al Qaeda functionary who is seeking medical attention in Nice. Complicating matters still, a Saudi prince and his son-in-law on a yacht off Villefranche are assisting this al Qaeda figure. They lease the contessa’s palace so that, without her knowledge, doctors can administer to the functionary. Stone romances the Contessa who loves him, but doesn’t trust him and with cause, for he has become fond of a young French researcher, who secretly works for French Intelligence.
Hayden Stone certainly has his hands full.
About Arthur Kerns (Scottsdale, Arizona Author)
Arthur Kerns joined the FBI for a career in counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. Upon retirement, he became a consultant with the Intelligence community and the Department of State. His lengthy assignments took him to over sixty-five countries. He earned degrees in International Relations from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia and an MBA from New York University. He spent a year studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. A past president of the Arizona chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, he is married with two sons. His award-winning short stories have been published in a number of anthologies.
He is a book reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. Diversion Books, Inc. NY published his espionage thrillers, The Riviera Contract and The African Contract. The third in the series, The Yemen Contract, was released in June 2016. A spin-off, Days of the Hunters, based in Tuscany is expected to be published in 2019. In addition to his espionage thrillers he has completed a mystery based on the unsolved 1929 murder of an FBI agent in Phoenix. The manuscript won an Arizona Authors Association award for unpublished novel.