Killpath by Don PendletonKillpath by Don Pendleton

Killpath

byDon Pendleton

Mass Market Paperback | July 7, 2015

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A powerful Colombian cartel goes too far when they torture and kill a DEA agent. Tasked with dismantling their operation and taking out their leader, Mack Bolan heads to Cali with an unlikely ally—a convicted murderer known as the Witch. The former cocaine dealer has an axe to grind with the cartel's kingpin, and she's willing to go along with Bolan's plan as long as they avenge her sons' deaths in the process. 

But sending the woman in as bait works too well. Outnumbered and outgunned, the two will need more than their combat skills to dodge the bullets. If they're going to survive this Colombian street war, they'll have to trust each other and work as a team, even when it seems the end is near. The cartel may fear the Witch's revenge, but the Executioner will make them dread justice.
Don Pendleton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on December 12, 1927. During World War II, on December 7, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Radioman First Class until November of 1947. He served in all the war theaters, receiving various medals. He received his GED while in the Navy. In 1952, in the midst of the Korean c...
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Title:KillpathFormat:Mass Market PaperbackProduct dimensions:192 pages, 6.6 × 4.1 × 0.54 inShipping dimensions:6.6 × 4.1 × 0.54 inPublished:July 7, 2015Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:037364440X

ISBN - 13:9780373644407

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Mack Bolan, the Executioner, slipped into the shadows, gliding slowly through the night, scarcely disturbing the surrounding foliage.He was armed for a soft probe tonight. A Drug Enforcement Agency operative had gone missing, and he was searching for her on this small Texas estate. While more conventional law enforcement would take at least a couple of days to seek out the agent, Hal Brognola knew that the Executioner's touch was exactly what was needed to dig her out of the fire.Bolan moved with the stealth of a black panther, despite the forty pounds of gear stashed in his combat harness and the pockets of his blacksuit.He did not merely blend in with the shadows; he was one, flowing across the property with fluid grace and silence until he was only a few feet from a guard. Behind the man, Bolan was in a good position to take stock of the rest of the estate's security. From his approach, and from viewing the area with a night vision monocle, he could tell the place was mobbed up to the gills. The guard in front of him wore night vision goggles and was packing serious firepower, an M4 carbine equipped with various optics and grips. It was an impressive setup, but it was an obvious case of the guard putting everything he thought was cool onto his personal rifle. Even now, the guy was fidgeting with the unnecessary weight.Bolan wished he could have given this tyro a chance to learn from his mistakes, but the sentry was armed, and he was currently pulling guard duty on an estate where a kidnapped federal agent was held captive. This man was willing to kill, even if he was too heavily burdened to do it efficiently. With a swift movement, Bolan brought a loop of inelastic polymer wire down over the guard's head and yanked on the handles. The wire sliced through skin as if it were butter, crushing down on the tough, fibrous tube of the man's windpipe. The garrote would take a little more effort to cut into his trachea, but for now, the guard was unable to speak, which was a fine start in silently removing him from his post.Bolan dragged him back into the trees at the edge of the property. The man grasped at the wire and his hands came away covered in crimson liquid. The polymer dug deeper and was now embedded at least an inch into the guard's throat. Bolan was not someone to let a man suffer, so he pulled down hard, breaking the mobster's neck on the point of his Kev-lar polymer knee guard.Fast. Silent. Relatively merciful. The warrior tucked the body beneath a patch of bushes, leaving the wire garrote around the dead man's neck. There was no way he could untangle the weapon without spattering himself with blood, and the scent of gore was something that carried and could compromise this operation.Speed and stealth were the Executioner's priorities tonight. Overwhelming firepower from the start would only endanger the captive agent and draw the law into this. Bolan hoped that this wouldn't become a recovery instead of a rescue. Still, he was well-equipped for any situation that might arise. Aside from various means of silent death in the form of impact weapons, garrotes and knives, he packed his traditional sidearm, the Beretta 93R machine pistol.For backup and long-range engagements when stealth might no longer be a factor, he wore his Desert Eagle .44 Magnum on his hip in a fast-draw holster. This would be his last resort. Bolan decided to leave the dead guard's rifle behind, though he swiftly removed the magazine and the bolt, rendering it useless.Along with his blacksuit, Bolan wore crepe-soled boots, which would make little sound as he crept along. He'd smeared his hands and face with black greasepaint, completing his transformation from soldier to shadowy wraith. This was as much for the intimidation factor as for blending in with the darkness.More than once, the Executioner's jet-black mien had been sufficient to freeze a group of opponents in shock and horror long enough for him to out-gun them. If he were going for pure camouflage, he would have donned multiple shades of gray, which would help him merge even more seamlessly with the shadows. But midnight-black would have a much stronger psychological impact on anyone crossing his path. So far, he hadn't been detected. If someone did see him, Bolan would have a short window of opportunity in which his foe would be struggling to recover from the shock of the shadow man's apparition.The disappearance of DEA operative Teresa Blanca would not have normally drawn the Executioner down to this part of the country within a day of her first failure to report in, but she had been undercover in an effort to break Los Soldados Nuevos de Cali, a rising force not only in Colombia, but also with tentacles stretching out across Central America and latching on to the soft underbelly of the United States. The New Soldiers of Cali had been little more than a blip on the radar five years before, but in the intervening time, they had proven themselves to be ruthless and powerful fighters.The details on SNC were sketchy at best, but as far as the Executioner could tell, the organization was using a combination of military planning, technology and unconventional warfare to enrich themselves and maintain an ironclad control over their territory and the products they trafficked.Blanca had found her way into the SNC and had been sending back some good intel before she popped up in Brownsville, Texas. That was a bad thing since she was supposed to be operating in Cali, Colombia, thousands of miles south. She'd sent off one message, and then nothing.That was ten hours ago. Her panicked support in Cali confirmed that she'd gone to America on a private flight. Border Control hadn't seen any hint of her arrival on US soil.Bolan, already on the Texas Gulf Coast doing some pre-mission observation of a Zetas operation, had picked up a rumor that the Mexican cartel was working with the SNC. It made sense for the two paramilitary units to form an alliance rather than engage in warfare with each other. Granted, both parties would be looking out for themselves, but for now, there was cooperation.Cooperation, including the captivity of a woman trying to uphold the law.Keeping both hands free and moving in a low and easy crouch, the Executioner crept along in the darkness. He was confident he could avoid most of the opposition without a hint of trouble, now that he'd removed the sole sentry who would have noticed his chosen approach to the mansion. Still, shifts could be changing, and there was always the risk of a wandering eye picking up his movements. So far, his instincts had been solid, but he paused to double-check his surroundings.The Zetas security force still moved according to the pattern Bolan had observed earlier. Satisfied, Bolan continued his advance, and within a moment, he was at the small enclosure surrounding the garbage bins. Using the structure for cover, he did a quick eyeball of the camera trained on the kitchen entrance. He pulled out a small device, aimed and sent an electromagnetic pulse toward the surveillance equipment, turning the electronics inside of the camera housing into so much useless scrap. With the back of the house no longer under a live eye, Bolan took off for the kitchen door. Along the way, he traded the camera-killer for a SWAT-style pry-knife.With one hand, Bolan tried the door handle. If it was unlocked, no problem. If it was locked, the chisel-like blade would punch out the latch in a second. The handle caught, so Bolan jammed the pry-knife between the door and the frame until he had sufficient leverage to burst the latch.There was a loud crack, and then the door swung open. Bolan stepped inside the mansion. The sound was likely to draw attention, but no one would have mistaken it for a gunshot. There would be no sudden, armed response.This conflict was still contained.Bolan slid into the shadows of a large pantry as a man entered the kitchen, his eyes on the fridge. The lights were off, and the refrigerator's glow cast the man in silhouette. This wasn't a casual homeowner. Not too many homeowners, even in Texas, went to get a midnight snack with a semiautomatic shotgun on a three point sling with a full bandolier of shells.Bolan moved quickly, clamping a blackened hand over the man's nose and mouth, causing him to stiffen reflexively. He tried to grab Bolan's forearm and wrist as the Executioner plunged the flat edge of the pry-knife into the base of the man's skull. Flesh, tendon and cartilage parted under the force of his stab. Any attempt at struggle on the part of the guard was instantly over.Bolan lowered the body to the floor, pulling it behind the central counter island. For the moment, the lifeless hardman would be out of sight and out of mind.Bolan inched toward the kitchen doorway that led to the rest of the house, using a pocket mirror to check the hall in both directions before passing through it. He unholstered the suppressed Beretta and made for the closest staircase. Before he reached it, he heard the sounds of a soccer game and excited but hushed voices wafting from a television nearby."Eh, Chuy! Donde estan los cervezas?" a man said in a stage whisper just before a figure filled the TV room doorway.The man asking for the beer froze, eyes wide at the sight of the Executioner, ebony from head to toe, bristling with weapons on his battle harness, and a handgun pointed right at him. At once frightened and confused, the man was paralyzed, buying the warrior a precious second.Bolan stabbed the Beretta and its suppressor between the man's lips, then grabbed the back of his neck and whisked him away from the TV room and into the empty hallway."The girl," Bolan said softly, his voice full of grim threat.The Zeta swiveled his eyes and shook his head in the direction of the stairs.Bolan delivered a powerful knuckle punch just under the Zeta's ear. Pulling the trigger would have alerted the men watching futbol to the death of their friend, and stabbing the guy could lead to a struggle that would also draw his companions into the hall. A knockout punch, however, would be both silent and disabling. The man's knees turned to rubber, and Bolan dragged him over to an empty closet at the foot of the stairs, tucking him inside. So far, so good.Bolan continued to the second floor, feet quiet on the steps and Beretta drawn. It was door-die time, and if he needed to pull the trigger, he'd have the high ground in case anyone heard the thump of a silenced 9mm slug erupting from the machine pistol. He'd do whatever it took to defend Blanca.Or avenge her.As much as Bolan wanted to dismiss that possibility, Blanca had been a prisoner of the Zetas, as well as the Soldados. These cartels weren't known for their mercy. They might have tortured and executed her already, but there was a shred of hope. The guard he'd just knocked out hadn't hesitated when Bolan had asked after the "girl." Hopefully that meant Blanca was somewhere upstairs. Alive. Unless there was another girl in this houseA man wearing no shirt but with a gun holstered at his hip emerged from a bedroom and stepped smugly into Bolan's path. Catching sight of the Executioner, the guy's smirk faltered, but his reflexes were better than his colleague's and his hand went to his pistol.Bolan was faster, though, and the Beretta chugged three times. The slugs penetrated the man's bare chest, and he crashed into the door, knocking it open as he slithered lifelessly to the ground.Bolan heard a confused yelp from inside the bedroom and saw a shadow move across the floor."Quién es—"Bolan charged across the threshold, lunging over the body. The man inside was also half-dressed, but he'd managed to snatch his weapon off the floor and aim it at the intruder. The Executioner sent the man off to his final damnation with a heart-coring second burst. He crumpled against a small desk.There was a woman curled up on the bed, her shoulders shuddering as she sobbed. Whatever had happened in here before Bolan arrived, she obviously hadn't been a willing participant.At least those two sickos couldn't do her any more harm, Bolan thought grimly.But this was not Agent Blanca.Bolan heard movement on the first floor, heading in his direction. He'd given away his presence, and his mission was far from complete. And now he had to figure out how to keep this woman out of the line of fire.All before his enemies reached the top of the stairs.