Alexander Leonidovich Ryzhkov, a Russian oligarch and former general in the Russian Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU), runs a covert operation in the Middle East, supplying a Saudi terrorist leader with four Russian nuclear suitcase bombs and a list of two US cities to target. A CIA operation thwarts the planned attack and kills many Russian agents, including his brother Sergei Ryzhkov. The oligarch is out for revenge. Ryzhkov approaches a former CIA station chief and offers him money in exchange for the CIA operatives’ names. Armed with this intelligence, he launched his vendetta, targeting the former CIA operatives Mark Ericksen, now CEO of EyeD4 Systems, his fiancé Kate McDonald, a banking consultant, and Lars Wahlberg, COO of EyeD4 Systems. Ryzhkov’s asset also revealed Ericksen, a former Navy SEAL Team-Six officer killed several Russian agents while rescuing McDonald during the CIA operation. Can Ericksen and his former operatives avoid the assassins’ poisoning efforts and turn around the deadly game of hunter and prey?
Reviews for the Book
“The Ryzhkov Vendetta” is author Barry L. Becker’s second novel in the Mark Ericksen thriller series. While book one, “The Ericksen Connection” brought with it nuclear suitcases, book two packs a punch full of cyanide in forms I never knew possible. From California to Russia, Sweden, and scenic stops in between, this quick and thrilling read brought non-stop action page after page. Despite being the second in the series, “The Ryzhkov Vendetta” read successfully as a standalone. While nary a moment of calm, this second book brought friends from Mossad, the American alphabet of agencies, and Russians, as Ryzhkov sought to carry out his agenda. Kicking off with the wedding of Mark Ericksen and Kate McDonald, the honeymoon ends quickly as Anthony Ferrari soon puts a target on Mark’s, and his friends’ back. Jam packed with assassins, evasive actions, and plans; readers are taken across continents as the spy games continue. From the luxurious Menlo Park to Moscow and many European cities in between, “The Ryzhkov Vendetta” keeps readers on the edge of their seats as Mark hopes to outrun the hit on his head, and that of his friends’, for good. Becker is so talented at bringing his own behind the scenes knowledge to the forefront of his novels. Whether it be character descriptions, to industry insights, his books read like a movie as the scenes play across the reader’s mind. The political games, adversaries, and acquaintances wind together into a fast-paced espionage thriller. Read this as a perfect complement to book one, or pick it up as a standalone, either way you are sure to enjoy the ride. - Jill Rey
About the Author: Barry L. Becker
Barry L. Becker retired in 2013, after spending twenty years as a sole proprietor for his independent manufacturers’ representative company. Also, he provided marketing consulting services to the Biometrics Technology industry. He served as the vice president of international sales & marketing from 1984-1991 for Eyedentify. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company specialized in eye retinal technology for positive identification within sensitive and classified facilities. Their major customers were intelligence agencies, ministries of defense and interior, defense contractors, nuclear power plants, banks, and financial institutions. He traveled over 500,000 miles during the period from 1985-1990.
One of his most memorable times was meeting the actor Sean Connery at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1987 and discussing the movie “Never Say Never Again,” where the villain, a senior-level CIA executive, allegedly duplicated the American President’s eye-retina ID template to neutralize cruise missiles around the world for the bad guy. I told him the screenwriter had it wrong. He said “really!” And he asked, “Do you have information on the technology?” I replied, “Of course, I’m in sales.” He asked me if I could give the information to the concierge and have them send it to him. I shook his hand and told him I would gladly do it. I found Mr. Connery to be a gentleman.
In 1987, his article entitled “Eyedentify counters security threat,” appeared in the Journal of Defense & Diplomacy, Volume 5, Number 8.
The Author did research in Geneva, Switzerland in April 2014. See photo.
Barry earned a bachelor’s degree in creative arts interdisciplinary and marketing from San Francisco State University. He has completed Executive Programs at both the Columbia Graduate School of Business and Stanford Business School. The Ericksen Connection is A Mark Ericksen Thriller Book 1. The Ryzhkov Vendetta is A Mark Ericksen Thriller Book 2. In 1987, his article “Eyedentify Counters Security Threat” appeared in the Journal of Defense and Diplomacy. Mr. Becker resides in Oregon.
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