“Retirement” means something altogether different to a spy. It means someone in authority over you has decided that “coming in from the cold” is out of the question. It means you’d better run.
Laynie Portland has masqueraded as Swedish citizen Linnéa Olander for more than two decades, the last seven years as companion to Vassili Aleksandrovich Petroff, senior technology advisor to the Secretary of the Russian Federation’s Security Council.
Life as Petroff’s mistress is lonely and difficult, even brutal, for Petroff has a pathological need to master what is “his.” But the woman Petroff knows as “Linnéa” is not the compliant, deferential woman he believes her to be. She is Laynie Portland—spy extraordinaire—and Laynie has stolen a wealth of secrets from Petroff and fed the treasure to her Marstead agency handlers.
As Petroff’s abuse intensifies, Laynie fears for her life, and she petitions her agency to pull her out. Instead, her agency declares that she is too well-placed to decommission. Laynie is dismayed to learn that her Marstead chain of command would rather risk her death under Petroff’s hand than lose the valuable intel she provides.
Out of options and faced with no viable alternative, Laynie runs.
Enraged by her betrayal, Petroff vows to capture and punish her, a certain death sentence. And when Laynie disobeys orders, Marstead issues her a “retirement package”—a short walk off the deck of a ferry into the icy black rollers of the Baltic Sea.
Pursued by Russian assassins and hunted by her own agency, Laynie scrambles, fights, and claws her way toward freedom—although she knows that it is only a matter of time before her pursuers overtake her. Desperate and despairing, Laynie is stunned to sense a higher presence at work, acting on her behalf. Could it be the God in whom her sister, Kari, trusts?
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