Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | April 25, 2014

Prologue to New Book, “Nuclear Poison”

This is the beginning of the work in progress.  It is the second in the Frost series.  Those who read Overload wanted more books featuring that protagonist.


 The blade would be more satisfying, but the suppressed pistol is safer—take no chance of alerting the guards if he screams.

Frost crouches in the hallway, just outside his target’s bathroom on the second floor of the villa. The man he will kill is sitting on the toilet, still dressed in his camouflage Pakistani Army uniform, pants down at his ankles, muttering to himself. He’s taken off his shirt and only wears the olive green tee shirt above his waist.

As a modern Pakistani, he has a roll of toilet paper on the wall and uses it; but bowing to centuries of tradition, he then dips his left hand into the brass, traditional lota vessel of water and further cleanses himself. Thoroughly.

No need for blade or bullet now. He’s dead. Now I’ll get back in my hide and wait for him to leave. Hope it’s tomorrow. Three days in that place is too long.


The man and woman, who had virtually begged him to take the mission, knew the trigger points in Frost’s psyche. The slimy Paki colonel was one of the country’s principal officers in their nuclear program. He knew where the nukes were stored and personally inspected the facilities regularly. He was the perfect target for elimination—there was also strong evidence that he’d been negotiating with al Qaeda to sell them nuclear devices and/or components.

That wasn’t enough, though. They told him about the colonel’s other enterprises. He was being well paid by al Qaeda to recruit and train disaffected Pakistani soldiers to murder U.S. troops the terrorist unit targeted. The sumptuous villa he lived in was a testament to a man who had more than a Pakistani Colonel legitimately earned.

An Afghan soldier had been allowed inside a U.S. Army Special Forces camp a month ago, invited in as an ally. He suddenly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” and shot three men before he was killed. One of the U.S. soldiers was the son of one of Frost’s friends. He died three days later despite the greatest efforts of the Army’s doctors.

Although Frost had refused missions from various government agencies for years, he accepted this one.

“When?” he had said after the pair had disclosed the target’s nature.

“As soon as you can be ready,” the woman said.

“Who’ll know?” Frost says.

“The only people who’ll know your identity and timing are the three of us. A few others will know only what they have to know to support the mission. No more than five,” the man had said.

“Will any politicians know?” Frost.

“No, not unless we need them and you ask for help,” the woman said.

“Details. Now. I’ll kill him. Tell no politicians,” Frost said.

“We’ll only tell one—after the fact—the President.”

That conversation had been less than a month ago, at Ft. Polk, LA. As unlikely a place from which a covert mission would be planned and launched as observers could imagine.


Now, in the Colonel’s luxurious villa in Lahore, Frost moves down the carpeted stairs like smoke, to the big, modern kitchen. He opens the pantry door, and using the shelves as steps climbs to the top and lifts a section of ceiling that gives access to a maintenance tunnel; filled with wires and pipes. There is not enough room to sit up, the space is less than three feet high, but adequate. Water, dry food and ammunition are in a soft-sided pack illuminated when he turns on the LED flashlight. He stretches out on a thin sheet of Mylar and, using the pack as a pillow, relaxes.

Mahmood Hamzi, you’re dead. There is enough polonium-210 in your lota to kill several people. Although you won’t ingest the stuff, the wiping of your ass with that water is adequate to do my job. I won’t have to poison your mango drink in the refrigerator. The radioactive stuff will kill you, absorbed through the mucous membrane of your anus. Appropriate.



  1. I’m hooked already, Thomas! Can’t wait for another journey with Frost.

  2. Thomas. I’m primarily a NOOK book person, only nook book at B&N for you is ‘Piety and Murder’…have it, loved it. ‘Overload’ not available there…yet. RJ Sends .

    • Hi Richard. I’m going to start putting some more of my books on B&N. Send me a direct message on Twitter @ThomasDrinkard. I’ll see what I can do.

  3. Yay!!  Just finished reading what you sent on Nuclear Poison.  Enjoying it so far and catching up with the characters I remembered from Overload.  What you sent was just dipping into Chapter 6, where Frost and Mike were interviewing Dr. Aylor.  I like the way the two main characters work together, with the lawyer being in the first person and Frost, by himself, being in the third.  Send more when you get the chance and I’ll try to keep up. Great start!      Hope you two are having a good weekend.  Busy, as usual, here.  Nate did finish up Spanish well, ‘ace’-ing his final and getting an A+ for the Semester.  Nick has his Earth Science final coming up week after next , so we’re gearing towards that.       We’re going to try to get out in the yard this afternoon and do a little work before the rain moves in next week.  Enjoying the mildness of the days and the relative absense of the bugs.  Know that both will be short-lived.      Love you both!!  Mike      


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