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Incognito Series, Book 4: Dead Drop
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Incognito Series, Book 4: Dead Drop


Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
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Men and women who have sacrificed their personal identities to live in the shadows and uphold justice for all--no matter the cost. 


Roan Emory, Network operative, formerly Daniel Sands, was inducted against his will. Parris "Perry" L'Engle, an FBI agent and the only woman he ever loved, has never been convinced that the car accident that took Daniel's life was legitimate. Just before his disappearance 25 years earlier, Daniel had been approached for recruitment by a covert agency. Now the scenario that had seemed like the catalyst to tragedy is taking place again. Outside her son Danny's office, Perry hears a familiar voice she'd overheard the day before Daniel disappeared, giving an identical recruiting pitch to her son.

Horrified, she vows this cipher won't get him... but he can lead her to Daniel. When she finds the man Roan Emory in Chicago, she has to face the fact that Daniel had willingly given up her, their love, and the child he'd never known she was carrying. 

Roan is a man on the edge with the face of a fallen angel and the heart of a machine. Denying his emotions is how he's existed all these years. Better not to feel when he can't change his circumstances. He'll never be free of the Network. Even if they willingly let him go, their enemies will see him as collateral. His presence outside could cripple them. Only legitimate death can free him. Ironically, though he's found his heart again with Perry, he knows the only one who can save their son from the same fate that destroyed their lives is Roan Emory--the most dangerous man in the world.

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  • Karen Wiesner
    Jan 3, 2018, 16:36
    5 star review from Fallen Angel Reviews
    Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read Award
    L-Edit Slip Contest Finalist
    5 star review from EuroReviews
    5 star review from Long and Short Reviews
    5 star review from Huntress Reviews
    Recommended Read from Joyfully Reviewed
    4 1/2 star review from Dark Diva Reviews

    5 Books! "The previous book, BOUNTY ON THE REBEL'S HEART, had me thinking the author might be heading towards more mainstream romantic expectations. As the first chapter unfolded in DEAD DROP, my throat constricted with tension and my breath labored with anticipation. The feelings that grabbed me in the previous books are back, stronger than ever. This time we're seeing a different perspective--the repercussions The Network leaves behind once someone is "recruited". Once again, emotional drama embraces pain, hope, passion, anger and betrayal as Ms. Wiesner sharpens our focus on Perry and her son Danny and what they went through once her husband and Danny's father, died. Perry is cool. She's a strong and tough woman who is equally strong in her love and devotion to her son as well as to her job. I was tickled that she got away with what she did to Angelo for as long as she did. I felt like cheering, "You go, girl!" I appreciated how well Perry's character was written, although there was one point where I wondered, "Would someone be devoted to someone who was considered and accepted as dead for as long as Perry's character had?" It made me think. It made me contemplate how I felt about my own loving relationship. If I had Perry's training and keen sense of observation keeping in mind the field she was in, could I have done and felt the same way? I have to say, 'yes'. I also think that Perry has much in common with women whose husbands or sons are MIA in any military conflict. I find Karen's depiction in that regard quite astute. Whether she planned that or not, I don't know. But in my opinion, that's pretty powerful. As for the hero? It still astounds me that Roan Emory is a white hat guy. He has a lot of issues, most of them The Network gave him. What do you do when you’re the enemy, but not? How do you feel when you are revealed as a White Hat guy but no one believes you? Coming to accept Roan as a hero wasn't as hard to do as I thought it would be. Why? Because Karen found the perfect foible. The key to any romance reader's heart is a truly tortured and conflicted hero who has known love and through no choice of his own, had it ripped from him. And when he's been brutally trained and programmed to turn his back on a true love he'd already possessed to become a creature of duty? When he's faced with that reality, what is there left to live for? The Network never allows agents to retire back into the world. In no way can I see the character of Roan Emory chained in such a way and still keep his sanity. Once upon a time, I was cheering for his demise. This time I was cheering for Roan to succeed in his mission. Because this time, it was personal. Remember too, thanks to The Network's ice maiden, Shannon McKee, and her denial of emotions, she destroys any hope of hope and I think she's as worse an enemy as the terrorists. Heck, even Frankenstein found love and emotion. Nature can be delayed but not denied. And Angelo? I'm keeping my eye on him. He has me warming up to him in a big way in this book. I hope the rug doesn't get ripped out from under my tender appreciation of his character. After all is said and done, DEAD DROP met my romance book needs. It embraced strong and pure passion and love, it held my absolute attention with its suspense and high tech wonders and the characters made me care while I cried, bit my nails and ate lots of chocolate as I read wide-eyed while wondering if love, Perry, Roan, Angelo and Danny would survive. DEAD DROP is dead on. And I'm ready for more." ~Long and Short Reviews

    Joyfully Reviewed Recommended Read! "DEAD DROP is another great installment to the Incognito Series. The lead up to this fourth book is well worth the wait. I think this is the most emotional of the previous stories and so far my favorite. Each story of the Incognito Series intensifies the series and keeps me wanting more. The action in this installment is top notch and the storyline made it hard for me to put this book down once I started it. It’s difficult for me to give specifics of the book for fear I may give to much away, but I highly recommend DEAD DROP. For any suspense novel lovers and for fans of Karen Wiesner ‘s Incognito series, I Joyfully Recommend DEAD DROP to you." ~JoyfullyReviewed.com

    5 Angels and FAR Recommended Read Award! "DEAD DROP is another exciting adventure in the Incognito Series. Perry is one strong, determined lady that will stop at nothing to protect those that she loves. Even with all the heartbreak she has suffered in her life and the derision she has faced for her belief that [the man she loves] was dead, Perry stands up and does what needs to be done while keeping hope alive. Roan has had his choices taken away by The Network and only survives by putting the work first and keeping his past buried. Author Karen Wiesner has once again surpassed my expectations with the Incognito Series! Her characters have such life and passion in them that they stay with you long after the story is over. And I have to say that I love a book that keeps you in the moment and gives you no time to think ahead of what might be coming as DEAD DROP does. If you haven't yet had a chance to read this series then you are definitely missing out on a great read!" ~Fallen Angel Reviews

    5 Flags! "Author Karen Wiesner continues to demonstrate the enviable capacity to enrapture her readers within the first page or two of any story. DEAD DROP is no exception to this rule, for readers will find it a not-to-be-put-aside novel. As Book 4 in her outstanding Incognito Series about The Network, DEAD DROP works well as a series installment, but also as a stand-alone story. Readers, race to your nearest outlet and pick up DEAD DROP, then set aside a block of time sufficient to read it start to finish, because you will not be willing to put this book down until the end!" ~EuroReviews

    5 Stars! "There is a one year difference between the ending of the last book [BOUNTY ON THE REBEL'S HEART] and the beginning of this one [DEAD DROP]. If possible, this story is even better than any of the previous. There is more going on than I can tell in the synopsis, dealing with an organization called R.E.D., but I can tell nothing without spoilers. This plot takes a while to fully develop; therefore, more characters are involved than usual. However, this also means that more is going on and the readers will have a hard time finding a moment to catch their breaths. There is little or no downtime in this story; I stress that. The middle is just as fast-paced and intriguing as the beginning and the end. The main characters are well developed and so are most of the secondary ones. All-in-all, I am beginning to believe that the author, Karen Wiesner, has one of the most fertile imaginations I have ever seen." ~Huntress Reviews

    "WOW. This book, out of the so far eight-book series, is my absolute favorite. It is full of emotion, drama, and a past not forgotten. Roan Emory, the enigma, the world’s most dangerous man, the machine with no emotions, and the Network’s most valuable operative, is the center of this story. The machine begins to feel human again, as his past is replayed and begins to haunt him. The emotions and narration in this story are so real that it almost feels as if the reader is experiencing everything with the two main characters. The reactions, the emotions, everything in the story are just so incredibly believable. It is a page turner, a thriller, a romance, an action-packed novel, and everything in between, even a bit of sci-fi. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in reading something interesting or enjoyable. It’s a fun, light read, but filled with drama and action to the brim. Five stars to Ms. Wiesner for producing another highly readable and enjoyable story about the Network and its members. Anyone who has read books 1-3, I hope this book will make you love Angelo more than you already do, like it did for me." ~TCM Reviews

    4 ½ Delightful Divas! "Karen Wiesner continues her Incognito Series with this fourth book, DEAD DROP. Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone title, but a reader cannot get the full impact of the Network without reading each book. This book was just as fast-paced and suspenseful as the first three, and had just as much action. However, this book held a different tone. The Network and how it works was just as important in this book as ever, but I felt like I got a more up-close and personal look at the characters than I have to this point. I have met Roan before in the other books. The first time, I didn’t care for him at all; he was a killing machine with no feelings. Each time he has been mentioned since then, Karen has gradually given him a human side. I am very happy to have read his story. It helped me to understand why he was the way he was, and made me dislike the Network even more. Angelo appears again in this book, and as with the others, he proves that while he is loyal to the Network, he still has a human side and realizes that the other operatives do as well. Perry is a fabulous lady. I loved getting to know her. Her reunion with Roan nearly brought me to tears more than once. Despite the twenty-five years of believing that he was dead, she never gave up hope and never stopped loving him. I believe it was her sheer will, stubbornness and unconditional love for Roan that brought him back to life. Karen Wiesner is a master at creating suspenseful, extremely complex plots. Even better is her ability to bring to life powerful characters that hold you captive until the very end. The emotion is as real and deep as the danger at every turn." ~Melissa for Dark Diva Reviews

    4 ½ Delightful Divas! “Okay, that’s what I get when I get into a series and don’t take the time to read the story summary…complete and utter shock! But oh my, what a great shock it was. Who knew that the Network’s most dangerous man had actually had a life before he was a Network operative? Frankly, even though we’ve learned that he’s not the monster—or at least the soulless machine—that he appeared to be in the first couple books, it still took me awhile to process that he actually had a reason to be as disconnected as he is / was. Man, what a hellish quarter of a century the man’s been through. If anyone can get through to him, it would be Perry. This woman has never given up the hope that the love of her life wasn’t killed in the accident that utterly changed her life. And while she has some awesome resources behind her, it’s her drive and her determination to get back the man she loves and save her son from being co-opted by the organization that, in many ways, destroyed her life. Once again, Karen Wiesner takes us on a journey that is not only fraught with masses of intrigue, oodles of tension and a cast of characters that by turns excites and utterly frustrates me. For a group that works so far behind the scenes that they’re basically total unknowns—except for a few people in very high places, they do a lot of good. And I do get that it’s their anonymity that allows them to do what they do, but … *shaking head*… something has to give. And I’ve only got another eight books to read before I—hopefully—get to an end where I’m not going to end up going ballistic. But Ms. Wiesner’s not let me down before, so I’m placing my trust in her that things will work out the right way…uh, which really means my way. *sigh* Nah, I’ll just follow along, swear from time-to-time at whoever it is that’s yanking my chain and rush onto the next book. I am totally loving the series, but I must admit to having to take a break now and again…until I get to the next book and can be heard muttering “why did it take me so long to start reading this one!?” And I will warn you, especially if you’re a fan of stories that are rife with all manner of intrigue, Karen Wiesner’s Incognito Series is one NOT to be missed. A word of advice? Make sure that you have a couple of books in reserve because sometimes, having to wait is killer…even if I’m the one that keeps me waiting until the next time I’m able to completely immerse myself in the world of the Network and the people who are too amazing to not know.” ~Kathy for Dark Diva Reviews

    4 Hearts! "Karen Wiesner has continued this series with an exceptional story of one woman’s belief in her man, her intuition and her skills. Against all odds she does what everyone told her was impossible for twenty-five years. Parris is one of those characters we can’t help but admire. Ms. Wiesner crafts a story of intrigue and deception within agencies of the government whether covert or not that is easy to believe in the world we know. Dialogue, characters and their interactions are all well-constructed. It’s easy to get involved with the story. Mike and Parris epitomize the relationship good partners have during investigations. Young Daniel is well done as a courageous offspring of FBI grandparents and mother. The more we learn of Parris’ and Daniel’s story the easier it is to hope a future might be possible. This author builds the suspense well. She keeps us guessing and hoping right to the very end. This is a great read I didn’t want to put down." ~The Romance Studio

    4 Stars! "Karen Wiesner penned an entertaining read of intrigue, romance, and adventure. Perry was an incredible character. She exhibits strength and passion. Fans of romance and suspense will enjoy this book." ~ReviewYourBook.com

    "The fourth Incognito thriller, DROP DEAD, is an exhilarating tale that grips the audience from the opening déjà vu sequence until the final confrontation. The lead couple makes the tale as this is no second chance at love since the Network stopped the first time and prepares to intervene again. Although Karen Wiesner's latest book can stand alone as a terrific, character-driven action thriller, newcomers will want to read the previous saga (see NO ORDINARY LOVE, UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, and BOUNTY ON THE REBEL'S HEART) as these are some of the best novels around." ~Harriet Klausner

    "DEAD DROP is a haunting love story with a melancholy but ultimately hopeful tone. Is it a necessity that Network agents sacrifice all of their personal happiness for the greater good? In DEAD DROP, readers will get an even greater sense of the emotional toll that kind of sacrifice can cost a person. The Network agents' jobs are important, and they do save lives. Favorite Network agent Angelo, third in Command, is back and trying to look out for both the emotional welfare of his agents and the Network, no easy task. Justine Fielding, the Network Communications and Systems Analyst, is reintroduced, her story will be told in the next book in the series. Ms. Wiesner has a gift for making readers care about her characters. Perry is a strong woman who believes that her fiancé did not die twenty-five years ago, and in a way, realizes she was wrong--the man she knew and loved is dead. Roan is a brilliant man who has learned to live in a state of numbness and is more afraid to feel again than he is of taking a bullet in the line of duty. There are no happily-ever-afters in the Incognito Series Books, but characters come to some kind of an understanding, and as a result, hope and renewal are reached. DEAD DROP is no exception; pick up your copy today. I recommend it." ~Romance Reviews Today

    "DROP DEAD is yet another great story to add to the Incognito Series by author Karen Wiesner. Characters within in the Incognito Series are as volatile as the potential terrorist attacks that unfold. Though the Network trains its operatives to a level of unemotional fighting machines, operatives' hearts cannot be ruled. DEAD DROP is another story in the Incognito Series worthy of contemplation for a script for a 'Network' television series. An enjoyable read!" ~Rolling Seas Reviews

    4 Cups! "This [book] made me wonder about 'white hats' and good or evil agencies. With Roan as a killing machine, I found that he did have his soul, after all, so family and love came through to save him. This is a telling story that shows us just what our government agencies might be doing and it is a very scary thought. It also makes me think about all our brave men and women that serve to protect us in the military and for the government. Also the price that may cost them with the loss of family, friends, trust, emotion and even self to get the job done." ~Coffee Time Romance

    "DEAD DROP is the fourth story of the Incognito Series. The reader will be drawn into Roan's story as soon as the first page is turned. Karen Wiesner saved the best storyline for Roan. While I have enjoyed the whole Incognito Series, Roan's story is my favorite. It is a powerful statement for the strength of love being able to make changes in one's life. It is also a wonderful statement of everlasting love--the one we are all looking for in our own lives. If you have not read any of Karen Wiesner's series, you need to get acquainted with this multi-talented writer." ~Writers Unlimited

    "[A] well-written story, Book four in Wiesner's Incognito Series has an interesting storyline and a strong heroine who believes in the power of true love at any cost." ~Romantic Times BOOKreviews

Dead drop--a drop used for the clandestine exchange of intelligence information.


Chapter 1


Parris L'Engle jumped as the phone on her desk rang, then laughed slightly at her own deep focus in searching for a man who'd been lost to her for twenty-five years. She realized when she looked away from the computer screen that her office had become dark in the hours since her partner had left for the night. She should have been long gone herself. Her eyes felt dry, and her stomach reminded her how late it was with a hollow rumble.

Taking a deep breath, she lifted her phone, murmuring, "Agent L'Engle."

"Hi, Mom," came the sound of her son's long-time girlfriend Aimee. "I knew I'd find you there."

Perry laughed a little sheepishly at how predictable she was to those who knew her best. She tucked back a strand of sleek mahogany hair that'd fallen out of the twist at the back of her neck. "You caught me." Reluctantly, she pushed away from her desk, turning her back on her computer. "What's up, sweetie?"

"Actually, I was hoping you could do me a favor."

"Name it."

Perry could hear the affectionate frustration in Aimee's voice when she said, "I haven't been able to get that son of yours out of his office. He's five minutes late for our date tonight. I know nothing short of the old Mom-Oust will get him away from there anytime soon. I'm going through withdrawal, I miss him so much."

Chuckling at the reminder of young love, Perry was glad to have an excuse to push herself away from her desk. She reached beneath it to get her discarded pumps. "I'd be happy to help. I'll drop by the college on my way home and make sure he heads out to you pronto."

"You're the best, Mom! We'll see you tomorrow for lunch, right?"

"I'm counting on it. You have a good night."

"Love you."

Perry smiled, straightening after slipping her shoes on. "Love you, too, Aimee. 'Night."

Replacing the receiver, Perry glanced back at her computer screen. In twenty-five years of searching, she'd found nothing to prove conclusively that Daniel might still be alive. Tonight surely wouldn't see a change in that. She closed out the browser on her screen, then shut down the machine.

Once she slung her purse over her shoulder, she walked through the empty halls and out of the Minneapolis FBI field office to her car. The drive to the university, where her son was up for tenure, was short and refreshing. Perry looked forward to seeing him. Though either Danny or Aimee called her every day and she saw them several times a week, she suffered from empty-nest syndrome. Living alone hadn't been easy for her. She missed having a houseful of people. More than once, she'd considered asking Danny and Aimee to move into the house with her. She could present it as a way for them to save on rent, but knowing they both liked their independence too much kept her quiet. She was the one who could use a little less of it.

In the habit of an experienced FBI agent, she walked lightly on her feet. Barely an echo sounded as she strolled down to the basement office Danny occupied. Her son taught microbiology at the university, but his real love was his research into strengthening the human immune system to resist multiple diseases. Danny had become interested in the massive body of work his father left behind early on, and it'd never been any surprise to Perry when he'd taken over Daniel's much touted work in the academic field.

At this time of night, the halls were dark and shadowed. An overwhelming sense of deja vu washed over Perry. The halls she'd walked to meet Daniel twenty-five years ago were similar to these. It seemed like yesterday. Relating to Aimee's agony in wanting to be with the man she loved made it only too easy for Perry to remember. More than two decades ago, she'd been in the role of the girlfriend, desperately trying to get her workaholic, genius fiancé to come out and play for the night. Daniel had usually put up something of a fight before he could be coaxed into it, too.

Perry recalled walking a hall similar to this one, knowing no one else but Daniel remained in the building. She remembered carrying a cassette player into the office adjoined to his laboratory, slipping out of her shoes so she wore only a thin, gauzy slip of a dress. She remembered pouring wine for them before turning on the sensual Latin music they both loved. She hadn't actually gotten Daniel out of his office that night, of course...

Her body alive with the memories, Perry felt tears behind her eyes even as her face burned. She shook her head as if to cool them, angry with herself for dwelling on the past, on bittersweet memories that only made her lonelier. Daniel was gone. She should move on. Had to. How to get herself to do that was the question she'd never been able to answer.

As she neared Danny's office, a strange male voice floated out to her. It didn't belong to Danny. There was something familiar about it anyway. Some instinct--no doubt borne out of her years in the FBI and from growing up with parents who were both agents--made her stop short. She put her back against the wall outside her son's office, listening intently.

Danny said something in a soft, suspicious tone that had Perry reaching instinctively for her gun. Only uncertainty made her hesitate.

The other man spoke authoritatively: "You have the skills we're looking for, Daniel."

The very breath in Perry's lungs halted. That deep voice. Now she knew where she'd heard it before. Outside of Daniel's office at the college, a day before he disappeared. The day before he died. She'd overheard it then just as she was overhearing it now.

Her heart thumping wildly, Perry silently eased herself closer to the door. The pebbled glass with gold writing showed her the blurred yet recognizable form of her son with his dark hair and tanned skin. He stood six foot two inches tall with a lean, muscular frame. The man with him was an inch or two taller. Blondish-brown hair, she guessed. Wide shoulders. Wearing a suit.

No, he wasn't someone she knew. Yet Perry didn't second-guess herself. She needed to know about him--to use him to find out what happened to the man she loved. It was possible he was the only person alive who knew something about Daniel's death, something more than vague answers that made no sense.

She well remembered the details Daniel had confided to her about this man. Specifically, she remembered that he'd refused to give his name or the organization he worked for. He'd also insisted Daniel not tell anyone about their clandestine meeting--a meeting during which Daniel had been asked to join a covert government organization. Daniel had been promised the moon for his acceptance. The price? His life. This man had told him he would have to give up his life as he knew it voluntarily, even his family. Everyone he loved.

Daniel had turned him down flat. He'd told Perry everything afterward. He'd even provided her with a detailed physical description of the man, much more than the vague glimpses she'd caught outside Daniel's closed office door twenty-five years ago.

Though Perry had only just completed her FBI training at that time and accepted a position at the Minneapolis Field Office, she'd spent a lifetime with two FBI agents. At the time, she'd assumed the fact that she came up with absolutely nothing on this supposed government recruiter the day Daniel was killed came down to her lack of skill, let alone clearance. Now, twenty-five years later, she'd discovered that the man was a cipher, a complete enigma. She had no idea who he was nor how to locate him. 

Until this moment.

Could there be some connection between this man and the car accident that'd supposedly killed Daniel? Perry had considered it numerous times before, in every possible scenario. If she approached him, would there be consequences similar to Daniel's disappearance? Why was he approaching her son now?

No, she knew she had to be careful. She couldn't come up against this man face to face. She would have to follow him, investigate him. Until she found out something concrete about who he was, she'd have to trail him from a distance.

"You're saying you don't know anything about my father's death twenty-five years ago?" Perry heard her son demand. His tone sounded angry, and Perry tensed at it.

The recruiter's voice, on the other hand, flowed, smooth and convincing, when he said, "This has nothing to do with your father. Our interest is in you."

Danny sounded a little confused when he said he'd think about the recruitment offer only because the man insisted he think it over carefully--just as he had with Daniel.

"I'll contact you early tomorrow for your answer."

Perry ducked quickly back the opposite way she'd come, into a restroom. From there, she was able to peer out and see the man going out the way she'd come in. Her shoes in hand, she hurried after him. At the exit, she scanned the parking lot and the surrounding areas until she saw he'd parked on the street. He was getting into his car.

Perry waited. Only after he pulled out did she run to her own car. She started it and pursued, staying just far enough away not to alert him to her presence.

He stopped at a restaurant. A moment after he disappeared inside, she slipped out of her car, circumspectly coming up behind his rental vehicle to attach a tracer. Then she quickly returned to her car. While waiting for him to come out again, she called up the rental agreement for his vehicle on the laptop in her car. It'd been leased to a man named Samuel Crawford. His address was in New York City.

When she'd entered what little data she had to call up more information on him, she used her cell phone to dial Danny's phone at the college. She got his answering machine. Since Aimee's machine also picked up a moment later, she knew the two of them were on their way to be together.

Perry glanced over at the recruiter's empty car, then past it into the restaurant. The scenario that stood out as the catalyst to her greatest loss was happening all over again. This time with her son.

The thought of losing him the way she had Daniel filled her with terror, and caused a cold sweat break out under her tweed suit. She couldn't bear it. Dear God, she couldn't even handle the thought of it. What could she do to prevent the tragedy that'd almost destroyed her two and a half decades ago?

She would find out who this man was. If he'd had anything to do with Daniel's death. And she'd discover how far he was willing to go to recruit her son.

I'll destroy him if he was responsible for Daniel's death or disappearance. Without a thought, I'd kill him if he tried to take Danny. Somehow, I'll make him pay for the misery he's caused me.


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