After the events of Blood Money, CIA case officer Bai Hsu is assigned to a high-security private school for what he’s told is an easy assignment. Just a few months after he arrives, a hostile operative with ties to North Korea tries to break in to a school event, with motives unknown.
As his investigation progresses, he unravels a plot that, if not stopped, will result in the untimely and murderous deaths of tens of millions of people.
Bai Tide is Bai’s greatest challenge yet. A mission that will take him from the windswept beaches of San Diego to a whiteout blizzard in the foothills of Pyongyang, and make him question everything he thought he knew about working in the field…and about himself.
“Let’s go, ladies. Hustle!” I yelled from the middle of the track field. Overhead, the searing sun broiled the top of my head from the middle of an October-blue sky, its heat broken only by sporadic ocean breezes. I winced whenever the wind blew my white cotton shirt against my back, which I’d been told by the school’s physician had a first degree burn that would heal in a few more days.
Ahead of me, a pack of ten teenage girls jogged past wearing the school’s official Phys Ed uniform of green nylon shorts and white t-shirt with “San Diego Prep” written in bold green lettering across the back. The name of the school was misleading. Even though it was located in San Diego, it was technically on Swiss soil. During the 1950’s, the Swiss government opted to capitalize on its reputation for security and discretion by turning their California-based embassy into a boarding school. That way, internationally-minded families based in America could send their kids to a Swiss boarding school without suffering jet lag at every visit. They later inked a deal to open a second embassy in Los Angeles, but were allowed to maintain ownership of the San Diego property adjacent to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve as a courtesy in exchange for periodic favors.
The parents of the girls running past me paid an average tuition of sixty thousand dollars per year per child, all for the sake of that legendary Swiss protection. Well, that and the academics. You better believe with tuition that expensive, the headmistress brought in nothing but the finest educators she could find. And me.
I wasn’t the only spy on the school’s payroll. The students were valuable political collateral from all over the world, which meant other governments had counterintelligence officers keeping an eye on things. I had no idea who the other spies might have been, but I had to imagine that, like me, they’d been handed a stack of textbooks and told that they were now high school teachers. Just a school full of wealthy kids, overpaid teachers, and bored spies. What could go wrong, right?
About Erika Mitchell
Erika Mitchell was born in Orange County, California to a published author and an Anarchist’s Cookbook aficionado. She moved to Seattle, Washington as a freshman in high school, where she promptly realized she owned just one pair of pants and that was going to be a problem in a place with an actual winter. She graduated from Northwest University in 2003 with a degree in Psychology, which she has yet to use. After a brief foray into technical recruiting (a disaster), she found her calling as a writer and, wonder of wonders, was actually able to find a job where someone paid her to do just that as a blogger. Blogging turned into writing novels, where Erika has found her niche in the espionage and thriller genre. Erika currently resides in a small suburb outside Seattle with her husband and two children.
Author website: http://www.erika-mitchell.com
Author blog: http://www.parsingnonsense.com
Author Twitter account: @ParsingNonsense
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