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Chapter 1



Jake Maguire got the call at two p.m. on Friday. Homicide wasn’t his specialty, and viewing a bludgeoned body didn’t sit easily with him.

He was a young, good-looking FBI special agent, and had his whole life ahead of him. The fatherly Asian victim did not.

The summer heat and humidity were sweltering, even by Virginia standards. Taking a deep breath, Jake plunged in and did what had to be done. He consulted with Red Stokes, a police detective for Arlington County, and took notes about the scene of the crime.

If the police saw a possible federal case, they brought the FBI in, and Jake was the Bureau’s point man in the Northern Virginia area.

Wearing vests and sterile gloves, the crime scene investigators hadn’t disturbed the body lying in the bushes just off the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. One could easily have jogged or cycled past the corpse without seeing it. Several poles driven into the soil held shrubbery back for a better view.

The bruise to the forehead had barely broken the skin and begun to bleed. “The blunt blow may have been enough to knock the victim unconscious,” Stokes explained to Jake.

Stokes, a red-haired detective in his forties, shoved a nearby branch aside. An aluminum baseball bat lay on a bed of dry leaves. It was a kid’s bat, but was dangerous nonetheless.

“Is this what killed him?” Jake asked.

Stokes lifted a flap of the victim’s cotton print shirt. A hunting knife had been jabbed into the hairless chest. The entire blade pierced up through the diaphragm and into the heart.

“That killed him,” he said.






Assigned to a brutal murder case on an idyllic bike trail near Washington, DC, young FBI special agent Jake Maguire fears the murder is linked to an imminent cyber attack. Yet nobody in the U.S. Government seems willing to act. Delving into the highly secretive bulwark of national security agencies, he stirs up powerful forces, and is shocked to see his name on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. He must summon his inner strength and keep a clear mind as he risks his life and his career to uncover a brazen plot to take over the Internet.  




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