BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK
by Chester D. Campbell
As the Cold War sputters to a close and the Soviet Union disintegrates, rogue elements on both sides of the Iron Curtain join in a deadly plot to maintain their hold on power. Months later, international telephone intercepts trigger a CIA investigation into the nebulous codeword “Jabberwock.” Cameron Quinn, a veteran clandestine officer with a drinking problem, draws the task of tracking it down. After his superiors doubt Jabberwock’s importance, Quinn turns for help to a former FBI buddy, Burke Hill, whose tarnished career ended years earlier. For Hill, it becomes a quest to prove his own worth after an accident forces him to continue the investigation alone, without CIA sanction. With the help of Quinn’s daughter Lori, a former CIA operative, he discovers a multinational team of killers rehearsing on an island off the Florida coast. As official and unofficial forces work to stop them, Burke and Lori realize they hold the only hope of stopping a plot to assassinate the American and Russian presidents.
”This is a change of pace for Chester Campbell, best known (to me, at least) for his Sid Chance PI novels. Here he’s working in the global intelligence thriller territory of Ludlum and Trevanian, but (I’m happy to say) with more character development. In the background is a world-changing conspiracy (in the waning days of the Cold War) to assassinate two opposing world leaders simultaneously — a plot hatched by intelligence agents on both sides and meticulously planned. The opposition comes down to two flawed men, one nearing the end of his career in intelligence and the other already out of the business, and happily so. Short chapters, great pacing, good characters, and high stakes. I really enjoyed this book.” Timothy Hallinan, best-selling author of the Poke Rafferty and Junior Bender series
“The protagonist, Burke Hill, is an ex-FBI agent currently working as a professional photographer. As a favor to Cameron Quinn, an old CIA friend, he lets himself be drawn into a Byzantine scheme that will shock the world. Offbeat and fast-moving, BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK delivers step-by-step excitement in a world-class thriller marked by cross and double-cross. Burke Hill and three close friends defy death to stop the operation before it’s too late.” Pat Browning, author of Absinthe of Malice
“As a long-time fan of Campbell’s Sid Chance and Greg McKenzie novels, I had high hopes for his first political thriller. BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK did not disappoint. Burke Hill, disgraced agent turned nature photographer, is a likable and believable hero, reluctantly drawn back into the dangerous and seductive intelligence game. Veteran agent Cameron Quinn is the flawed but sympathetic character who delivers Burke’s call to action. The writing is vivid and the plot convincing. It’s a smart, sharp read, one I found it difficult to put down.” Jaden Terrell, author of the Jared McKean Mysteries