S. J. Lutton


 Once upon a time

during the bad

old days of the

Cold War...

Soon after the CIA banishes Cody Ballantine to the newly opened consulate in Vladivostok, the discredited agent receives an unusual visitor.

In a conference room overlooking Golden Horn Bay, Andrei Danilov—a well dressed, distinguished looking older gentleman—claims to be Captain Andrew Thompson, an American aviator, perhaps the lone survivor of a reconnaissance aircraft shot down by Soviet MiGs in 1954.

A cautiously skeptical Ballantine sends Danilov's photograph and fingerprints to CIA headquarters. However, official records—other than the shootdown near Cape Gamov—no longer exist to verify Danilov's unlikely claim. A 1973 fire in the National Records Center destroyed millions of military personnel files rendering any such verification impossible.

With little documentation, Ballantine must resolve troublesome questions. How could a U.S. Air Force officer survive (and apparently prosper) in Soviet Siberia for nearly four decades?  Had he collaborated and divulged sensitive information? On the other hand, might Danilov be an ex-KGB agent, perhaps one who interrogated the real Captain Thompson?  Is this a scheme by a crafty opportunist to resurrect a man long presumed dead and thus lay claim to back pay, military retirement benefits, and U.S. citizenship?

The Gamov Incident describes Ballantine's effort to unravel a decades-old mystery while coping with personal issues arising from a failed marriage, a disastrous prior mission in Bosnia, and an unexpected reunion with a woman from a long forgotten encounter.


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