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Beijing

 

Raymond O. Flowers sat hunched over his office computer, his right index finger poised over the button of his mouse. He had entered the amount of $50,000,000.00 and placed the mouse pointer on a button labeled "Transmit." Should he transfer the money? It was a huge amount that would be easy to spot by American law enforcement agencies.

He lifted his handsome, Cary Grant-like face and glanced out his high-rise window. The streets of Beijing were purged of buses, cars and bicycles by the highly contagious and deadly SARS virus. Only the occasional pedestrian hurried past, features obscured by a surgical mask. A sweet breeze swayed trees with their buds and young blossoms, belying the dangerous germs that it bore.

Behind him, his department was eerily empty, cleared of his smoothly efficient Chinese and American staff. His young family waited in the lobby twelve floors below. Their bags were loaded in a taxi, which stood ready to bear them to the international airport.

He checked his pocket for his airplane tickets. By noon, he and his wife Carolyn and two small children could be out of the disease-ravaged country and on their way to San Francisco.

Everyone, from the President of the United States, to his company's head honchos, to his loving family, depended on him to make the final transfer into the President's bank account in the Cayman Islands.

But it was a decision he knew he would regret for the rest of his life.

He closed his eyes and pressed his index finger down. The mouse clicked, and fifty million dollars transferred instantly from China to a secret account halfway around the world. It was an illegal act that he prayed nobody would ever discoverÉ

 

 

Eight months later, the following article appeared in the Washington Post, touching off both the Chinagate investigation and the search for Raymond O. Flowers.

 

 

Prosecutor Probes President in Chinagate Kickbacks

"Missing Person" Key Witness in Case

 

Under mounting pressure from Congress, President Bernard White appointed attorney Stanley Polk as Special Prosecutor to investigate the brewing Chinagate controversy that may cost him his office.

The story first broke last autumn when reports surfaced of the President receiving a large sum of money in his offshore bank account. This coincided with a U.S. Trade Representative-brokered deal with China. In the deal, Washington voted in favor of granting China World Trade Organization (WTO) status, raising the possibility that the mysterious funds were a kickback to the President from the Chinese.

According to a member of Stanley Polk's team, a key witness named Raymond O. Flowers, transferred funds from China into the President's personal offshore bank account.

"Unfortunately for the special prosecutor, Raymond O. Flowers is missing and unable to provide the testimony that is most crucial to the case," the source said. "We will be looking into cover-up attempts by the President, including efforts by the White House to prevent Raymond O. Flowers from testifying."

Flowers would have to be living on the moon not to be aware of the controversy swirling around him. Many seeking him at the present time might pose a serious threat to h is life.

Which raises the question: Is Raymond O. Flowers still alive? And if so, does he know that he can single-handedly clear or sink the President?

 

 

By mid-winter, Raymond O. Flowers' family was deceased, his job was a distant memory and he was vilified in the press by the White House. He was all alone, possibly abroad, and running scared, somewhere in the vast, unruly sea of humanity. Raymond O. Flowers had become the world's most wanted man.

 

 

 

 Description

 

One day you're a happily married man with a great job and family. The next day both your job and family are gone, the White House wants you rubbed out, you're broke and on the run in China and terrorists want to capture you...all because you're the key witness in a case against the President. There's nowhere to run when the U.S. President, the Chinese and Islamic terrorists all want to track you down! From Washington to Hollywood to Cuba to China, a diverse group of strong-willed heroes challenges powerful forces in a full-throttle race for life, liberty and justice. As in his other thrillers, Fritz Galt gives us a penetrating glimpse into foreign cultures, throws a glaring spotlight on flaws in our national security and evokes the strength of our national character in a story that will make you lock your doors and read all night!

 

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