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About Matthew Bracken
Matthew J. Bracken was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1957, and graduated from the University of Virginia and UDT/SEAL Training in 1979. Besides writing five full-length novels and many short stories and essays, he has also built a steel sailboat of his own design and has made several major ocean voyages on it. About a hundred pages of each novel may be read on his website at www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com.
Matt has also published The Bracken Collection, including his short stories Professor Raoul X; What I Saw at the Coup; Alas, Brave New Babylon; The Alienork Way and Wolfophobia on Dog Island. The collection also includes: The Civil War 2 Cube; Night Fighting 101; When the Music Stops- How America's Cities May Explode in Violence; Trapping Feral Pigs and Other Parables of Modern Life; Dear Mr. Security Agent; Covington Gives a Glimpse of Civil War 2; and 24 more essays and short stories.
A free audio version of Alas, Brave New Babylon may be found on the media page of Matt's website. The running time is one hour.
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BULLETS RAIN DOWN UPON A PACKED FOOTBALL STADIUM, killing dozens, and triggering a panic stampede which leads to a thousand more deaths. A police marksman kills the sniper, a mentally unbalanced Desert Storm veteran holding a smoking assault rifle. It's an open and shut case, or so America is led to believe...
In the aftermath of the stadium massacre, an outraged public demands an end to the threat posed by assault rifles, and Congress passes emergency legislation banning their private possession. American gun owners have one week to turn in their semi-automatic rifles, or face mandatory five year federal prison terms.
Jimmy Shifflett, the alleged stadium sniper, is linked to a shadowy "gun club" in southeastern Virginia, which the FBI believes is a cover for a secret right wing militia terror group. Those who knew Shifflett the best don't believe he was a member of any militia, or that he was guilty of the horrific mass murder.
But if he didn't fire the "assault rifle" into the stadium, who did, and why?
A small band of Virginians, thrown together by fate, is forced to undertake a desperate odyssey through a minefield of government blackmail, official deception and covert death squads, to discover the truth behind the stadium massacre, and save their own lives.
Background and synopsis
Dan Kilmer is a former Marine sniper in his early thirties. He returned home from military service in the Middle East and gave college a try, but his combat experiences prevented him from fitting into campus life. In a South Florida boatyard, his uncle was attempting to refurbish an old cargo schooner, and Dan left college to help him finish the flagging project. After two years of work but before the sixty-foot boat was relaunched, his uncle fell from a scaffold and died. While still in his twenties, Dan inherited the schooner Rebel Yell. Soon after, he left the United States to embark on a series of voyages, mostly in pursuit of beautiful women and good times. While he was away from America, new federal taxes were imposed on luxury property, including privately owned yachts. Dan cannot pay these or other new taxes, so he can’t return to the States without risking confiscation of his schooner. Instead he must always fly under official radar and earn a living by his wits while staying one step ahead of the IRS and other government agencies. He must navigate the reefs of government control while always searching for a way to make money without the permission of the local authorities. This usually requires some type of shady dealing, subterfuge, and stealing from thieves as Dan moves from port to port. A shifting cast of crew members inhabits Rebel Yell, but the novel is about Dan Kilmer and his quest to live as a free man in an increasingly unfree world.
In The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, Dan's trading schooner is located in southwest Ireland, where he is attempting to sell drums of diesel fuel salvaged from an abandoned NATO base in Greenland. The global financial system has collapsed, and both paper and digital currency have no value, but diesel fuel and gold still do.
While waiting to sell his remaining thirty barrels, Dan is approached by a retired SAS colonel and asked to carry a dozen former special operations commandos to the Canary Islands, where they will be transported by a landing craft to Morocco to conduct a rescue operation. Two months before, nearly seventy Irish and English girls had been kidnapped by sea-jihad pirates from their elite Irish boarding academy and taken to Port Zerhoun, which is under the control of a cartel of modern corsairs. There, they will be sold at auction as sex slaves, unless a ragtag team of former commandos can get them out in time.