Nefarious by Steve Freeman
When Army Communications Captain Alton Blackwell takes a hit to the leg while on active duty in Afghanistan, both his self-confidence and his leg are shattered in the explosion. Assigned to a desk job while recovering, Blackwell nonetheless manages to prove his resourcefulness as he matches wits with Al-Qaeda operatives in the dangerous regions of Kabul. Unable to fully heal, he resigns himself to the abrupt end of his military career as well as any hope to win the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Lieutenant Mallory Wilson.
Upon returning state-side, the quiet civilian life is quickly left far behind when Blackwell’s colleague Zach Lambert calls him from a weekend camping trip in the throes of a devastating illness with forbidding implications.
In a story out of today’s headlines, Blackwell and now-FBI Agent Wilson explore the possible diversion of a biotech’s project to develop an improved vaccine, scouring leads at the CDC and biotec company, putting their Army and professional skills to the test, and narrowly escaping agents with a murderous agenda at every turn. The closer they come to the truth, the quicker the bodies pile up, along with the suspects. To get to the bottom of the sinister scheme, can Blackwell still use wits when his body has failed him? And will he survive long enough to tell his colleague of the feelings for her he has long kept secret?
Nefarious, the debut medical thriller of "The Blackwell Files" Series, is a fast-paced foray charting the investigation of an ex-Army captain and an intelligent, beautiful FBI agent into a covert, sinister project, a saga certain to mesmerize anyone who likes a thriller served up with plenty of surprises and some mind-bending science, set against a backdrop of the pursuit of impossible love.
"A heady thriller that gathers force with the understated menace of a tidal wave, then smashes home...Readers will be absorbed by Freeman's never-flashy expertise...Superb touches of eeriness creep in." Kirkus Indie Reviews
"You're on my favorite authors list. It's hard to keep me interested in a book. This story kept me on the edge. I didn't want to stop reading." Theresa Baldwin
"I REALLY loved this story! I ABSOLUTELY want to read the sequel!" Alyssa Proffitt
Alton awoke with a start, his heart pounding almost as loudly as the battering ram crashing into the front door. How had they found him so quickly? Why hadn’t the diversion worked? Attempting to balance silence with speed, he rose from the couch, glided through the connecting door into the neighboring apartment, and approached the side window.
Thank God Mallory’s place is on the ground floor.
He climbed through the window, closed it with a quiet snick, and—thankful for the cover provided by a dusk rapidly turning into night—limped across the lot to his vehicle, a late-model Explorer stashed behind a couple of low-rider pickups. As he slid into the seat, he could see dark jackets and flashlights huddled around the front door, which was beginning to buckle. Two more agents guarded the back exit.
Alton waited for the agents to break through the door and storm the apartment. Only then did he drive away with headlights off.
Once he cleared the parking lot, he called Mallory. “Don’t go home.”
Thriller/mystery author Steve Freeman is a former member of the US Army's Signal Corps, a twenty-five year employee of a large American technology company, and an avid traveler who has visited five continents. The Blackwell Files novels draw from his firsthand knowledge of military service, the tech industry, and the diverse cultures of our world.
He currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.