About the Book
Title: Bai Tide
Author: Erika Mitchell
Genre: Espionage Thriller
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.
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: www.erika-mitchell.com
Author blog: www.parsingnonsense.com
Author Twitter account: @ParsingNonsense
Author Facebook page: www.facebook.com/erikamitchellbooks
I hadn’t dressed for a foot pursuit across the beach and was losing ground fast. My shiny black dress shoes burrowed into the dry sand with every step and my tuxedo jacket flapped open as I pumped my arms and tried to gain on the man I’d chased away from the Hotel Coronado a minute ago. The San Diego evening was cooler than you’d expect. Brisk gusts of wind bounced off the sea at sporadic intervals beneath a full moon blazing out of a cloudless, star-spattered sky.
Rolling breakers hurled salty spray into my face as I tore the jacket off and dropped it behind me. My quarry raced ahead, undeterred by the crappy footing. Under five and a half feet tall, with a body fat percentage that had to be in the low teens, he wore a baggy all-black ensemble, complete with a matching ski mask, bulky infrared goggles, and combat boots that kicked up little spits of sand with each stride.
Whoever he was, his speed was impressive; he widened the gap between us by almost two paces for each one I took. Something in the way he was running made me think he knew where he was going. Unless he planned on running south all the way to Mexico, the most likely place was the parking lot of a condo complex a quarter mile ahead. I had to assume he’d prepared a contingency plan in that parking lot somewhere. Guns, explosives, sharp rocks, something painful of that nature. If I didn’t catch up with him before he reached his defense cache, I had the feeling I wouldn’t like the welcome.
“Enough of this crap,” I said as I stopped just long enough to pry off my shoes. A daily barefoot run on the beach routine has some advantages, not the least of which is being able to keep up with Splinter Cell rejects during nighttime sand chases.
I put on a burst of speed and kept my eyes on the troublemaker who’d ruined what had been, up until ten minutes ago, a tedious evening of guarding teenage girls at a school-sanctioned Welcome Formal. Of course, when the girls you’re getting paid to protect are the daughters of the wealthiest and most influential people in America, you can’t afford to stop paying attention for even a minute lest you miss something. Something like an intruder dressed in black trying to break in through a window along an unused service corridor. Maybe it sounds weird, but I was actually pretty grateful to get out of there and put my training to use. If not for the man in black, my post at the school would have run the risk of being the most boring assignment of all time. I didn’t sign up to be a case officer for the CIA so I could listen to girls whine about corsages and hair spray.
Without dress shoes slowing me down, my long legs ate up the gap between me and the troublemaker in short order. By the time I could hear his labored breathing and the staccato, panicked sounds he made as he ran, I knew I had him. All I had to do was tackle, disarm, and subdue him and I’d be free to find out what the heck he was doing trying to sneak into a high school formal. He wasn’t at that dance to make friends, and there were a lot of people who would need to know who he’d been targeting and why.
The darkest, farthest corner of the public parking lot materialized in the darkness ahead. It was empty but for five cars scattered throughout the spaces. I didn’t have time to note the makes and models present because my quarry stopped up short, clutching his side as though he had a stitch.
In retrospect, I should have realized it was a trap. If I’d known who I was dealing with at the time, I would have handled it differently. Maybe I would have kept my distance, maybe I would have run away, screaming, as fast as possible. What I definitely would not have done is try to tackle him.
Which, of course, is exactly what I did.