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The Rules of Silence    by David Lindsey order for
Rules of Silence
by David Lindsey
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Take one of the movies Ransom or Don't Say A Word, subtract the kidnapped child and add in global terrorism and superspies, and you have an inkling of what this thriller is all about. The protagonist, Titus Cain, is the enlightened multimillionaire CEO of his own biomedical engineering startup, CaiText. He's happily married to his ideal woman Rita and enjoys his job, his life with her, and his friends.

Then the nightmare begins. People start to die but it's all over even before their funerals can be held. An especially nasty super-villain named Alvaro walks out of the night to tell Titus that he's to consider himself 'secuestrado' or kidnapped. Not in the usual sense though. He is to go about his normal affairs as though nothing has happened, but begin to transfer large sums of money to specific accounts. Any variation from his orders will result in the unpleasant deaths (disguised as accidents) of those nearest and dearest to him.

Friends and associates die in horrific fashions after only minor deviations from orders. Luckily for Titus, he recalls a shadowy security connection, and follows it to make contact with someone 'good at working outside the box'. Garcia Burden identifies Alvaro as someone with ties to international terrorism. Burden's been after Alvaro for some time, and begins to move his own people into place. But Burden warns Titus that he will not be able to stop what he's starting, and must accept the methods used, which turn out to be silent and ruthless. And then there is the mystery of the man, known to Burden, who waits patiently in a mildewed motel room. How is he involved?

The next few days turn Titus Cain into an amateur James Bond, applying high tech tracking devices to his adversaries, and dealing with these very violent men up close and personal. The Rules of Silence is an unusual thriller that will keep you scanning its pages in horror till the end. Though light in characterization, the action moves at explosive speeds, always below the radar of the public eye ... for people in Burden's profession 'silence keeps its own counsel.'

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