The Forgotten (John Puller)
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In Paradise, nothing is what it seems...
Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case--but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.
A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.
What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.
hand firmly on the wheel, Puller grabbed her with the other and lifted her up. Unfortunately, the wall of water thrown off from the trailing edge of the ship’s wake hit them just as the boat righted itself. Gagging on saltwater, Puller managed to call out, “We’re getting swamped.” They all grabbed buckets that Mecho found under a seat and started bailing. The drains on the boat helped, but they were overwhelmed with the volume of seawater. Puller watched as the sides of the boat started
for him. But there was no sign. In the dark, he could have gone in any direction, and it was a lot of surface water to cover. The boat finally returned. The Gulf waters grew calm once more. He was probably dead, they thought. If not he soon would be. The remaining prisoners, twenty-four of them now, continued their slow ascent to the cells where they would be kept until another boat came to take them onward. They were placed mostly five to a cage. There they joined other prisoners who were also
having to translate. I said if they left you alone, I could guarantee their safety. Otherwise all bets were off. They all looked scared shitless when they left. And I really don’t think they’re going to press charges. They’re too afraid of you.” Puller said, “Okay, I appreciate the assist.” “You’re welcome. Now you can focus on what happened to your aunt.” Puller smiled. “I wish every local cop I worked with was as cooperative as you.” “You treat me with respect, I reciprocate. The moment you
had visited there often. His older brother and only sibling, Robert Puller, would be stationed there for the rest of his natural life, and maybe even beyond, if the Pentagon had its way. “Hello?” “Please hold,” an efficient-sounding female voice said. The next moment a familiar voice came on the line. It was his brother, formerly a major in the Air Force before being convicted at court-martial for treason against his country for reasons that Puller neither was privy to nor would probably
falling to the floor. He jumped back up and screamed, “I am going to sue your ass off.” Puller turned to him. “What is she doing up here?” “That is none of your damn business,” yelled an apoplectic Mason. “It is my business,” said Puller. He looked at Isabel. “Are you here voluntarily?” “Of course I am.” “Now get your ass out of here,” yelled Mason. “And you better damn well lawyer up. I’m going to own your military pension and every other asset you have, including your aunt’s house.”