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A Star in the Crescent

Archer Swift

June 2021 978-1-733695-2-5


Nothing is what it seems.

Adam Tinker’s first job at The Firm pitches him into the unknown. He is drawn rapidly into the cross-hairs of international politics and corruption, first in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, and then in Abu Dhabi.

An unwitting player, he flushes out a major conspiracy that could easily disrupt world’s oil supplies and start a nuclear war.

Daring adventurers, idealistic defectors, and well-connected informers cross his path. He sees a true axis of evil where arms sales of many western democracies are convenient currency for western politicians to buy votes and stay in power.

As the stakes rise for Arab states to compete for supremacy with each other, Adam sees the potential for nuclear war in the Middle East and North Africa.

Increasingly uncomfortable with his role, he leaves for another life - only to face a near fatal experience in the process. 


Edward Cunning, Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul in Vladivostok, paid little mind to the first odd phone call he received in February. It came from a woman; a complete stranger.

That day, it was bitterly cold outside. The last thing Cunning needed was to step outside the consulate door at Number 5, Svetlanskaya Street, and go to meet, not just a stranger—not to mention a woman—but in a nearby pizza shop, of all places, for no apparent reason other than to pick up an order of pizza.

Except for the fact that he had not ordered a pizza in the first place!

A month later came a second call. The same female voice, speaking in oddly accented Russian as before but, this time, with a greater sense of urgency. The accent and pronunciation sounded out of place, at least for a clerk at the Oki Doki pizza a few blocks away. But once again, Cunning paid the call little mind.

When the third call came in April, Cunning began to suspect something fishy was afoot. The Russians were known to lure male foreign diplomats into traps, typically using a woman as bait. Though a confirmed bachelor, Cunning’s training and long experience made him fully alert to any form of kompromat aimed at him or the one other member of his small office.

The thing that struck him about the third call was that the caller’s message, still in strange accented Russian, was almost identical, word-for-word, to the earlier two.

“Your pizza order is now ready, Sir. Please, pick up at noon today. To save money, bring strong Bol’shoy Gum shopping box with you—we have no more boxes.”

Times were tough indeed if clients had to bring their own boxes to buy a pizza. But why ask him to bring a box specifically bearing the logo of a large nearby department store? And, above all, why would he pick up a pizza he never even ordered?


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