• Craig B. Smith, Publisher


Kevin Hunter awakes one morning to find himself tied and beaten in a remote mountain cabin. Lying next to him is the dead body of CIA agent Robert Beske. Kevin manages to escape and then learns that simultaneously his wife Juliana had been kidnapped, but also managed to escape. He volunteers to help the CIA find Beske’s murderer. Earlier, Kevin and Juliana had sailed to Santa Barbara Island, where they discovered some stolen parts of a secret drone guidance system. By Kevin’s intervention, these were retrieved by the Coast Guard and marked the beginning of Kevin and Juliana’s ordeal.

Kevin met Juliana 12 years earlier while working on a project. They fell in love and married. Their new life together was busy with Juliana’s work on climate change, Kevin’s travel on business to the Middle East, and time on their boat when they could get away. In Kuwait, Kevin narrowly misses capture by the Iraqi invasion forces when many of his colleagues are imprisoned by the Iraqis and become human shields at Iraqi military installations. While on a trip to Washington, Kevin is invited by his CIA contact to attend a secret CIA training facility in Virginia. In his absence, another attempt is made to kidnap Juliana. Learning of this, Kevin undertakes surveillance of Saleh, a mysterious Saudi Arabian lawyer who may be behind the effort to steal secret information concerning America’s drone program. A further attempt is made on Kevin and Juliana during Kevin’s travels to Johnston Island in the Pacific. At this point Saleh disappears, after first deciding to double cross his Iranian clients and sell the secrets to the Chinese.

Kevin’s surveillance leads to a possible link in Las Vegas, where Leila, Saleh’s mistress, has seduced an airman at Creech Airforce base where the drones are flown. She is also in an affair with an Iranian engineer working for an American aerospace company. Leila and the airman are arrested and as the FBI closes in, the Iranian commits suicide. Later the world is altered by the horror of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, where Kevin has a project. At Saleh’s suggestion, his Chinese contact attempts to recruit Juliana and is arrested by the FBI. Kevin narrowly misses a fatal attack by terrorists in Saudi Arabia when his travel plans change at the last minute. He promises Juliana, no more trips to the Middle East.

The promise is quickly forgotten when he talks Juliana into a trip to Egypt. Leila has managed to escape from federal prison and returns to Egypt where she joins her brother and a group of Sinai Jihadists carry out terrorist attacks. Kevin continues to aid the CIA when one of his employees in Afghanistan reports on al Qaeda activities, and another travels to Iran to retrieve a flash drive containing information on Iranian drone research. At the CIA’s request, Kevin makes a final undercover trip to Egypt to identify Leila who is arrested by Egyptian authorities as a result.

Following Kevin’s retirement, Juliana organizes a dinner for a small group of friends at Twenty-Two Ocean View, an elegant beachfront restaurant in Newport Beach. After the dinner, Kevin and Juliana walk home along the boardwalk, where a suicide bomber on a bicycle detonates a charge with fatal consequences.

Twenty-Two Ocean View highlights the fact that we are living in a dangerous time. No country, no place—school, theater, concert, marketplace, or church—can be considered truly safe.

A room without books is a body without a soul  — Cicero

© 2018 Dockside Sailing Press

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