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Suspense Thriller Fiction by John T. Cullen

Jean-Thomas Cullen writing as John T. Cullen

=  Memories of Love and War (1942-1992)  =

Vast, Panoramic Thriller Covering Fifty Years. At the core of this huge suspense novel is the story of young U.S. Navy Lt. Tim Nordall, who starts out as a technical specialist and ends up becoming an important spy. He's on a British destroyer torpedoed by a German U-Boot off the coast of West Africa in 1942. As the only survivor, he is washed ashore and taken prisoner by local slavers. He escapes under cover of night from a compound in Mauritania, and hooks up with a pair of renegade Luftwaffe deserters flying a stolen Junkers 88 with contraband cargo. Nordall ends up in the Belgian Congo, where he becomes embroiled in an espionage plot involving a lost shipment of uranium. This shipment, we later learn, is one of several on captured ships in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tim is used by Gen. William 'Wild Bill' Donovan of the U.S. OSS, a copy of British spy services, shadowing a triple agent known as Jaguar, who is operating out of London.

London Calling. During his assignment under cover (as a U.S. Navy logistics officer), Tim not only fences with Stalin's agent Jaguar, but falls in love with a beautiful Polish army nurse who has a complex agenda of her own. All good things must end (or so it seems) and Tim is reassigned to CONUS (Continental U.S.).

San Francisco, a City of Spies. Several threads of the story follow him and intersect in San Francisco. The city in 1945 was not only a prime staging area for the delivery of atomic bombs to the remote Pacific island of Tinian to be dropped on Japan, but also a prime operating field for Stalin's many espionage networks. In San Francisco, Tim befriends (and beds) two fascinating women who are spies as well. Corie is a dashing, pretty pilot for the U.S. Armed Forces, while her roommate Meg is a shadowy agent for unspecified Middle Eastern services. In addition, San Francisco is at the heart of the formative United Nations. In all of that, Tim's Polish nurse surfaces unexpectedly. He's already practically a man with two wives, and now he's torn with a third. Events overcome love and confusion, however. Stalin's spies are about to steal an atomic bomb under everyone's noses in San Francisco, and Tim happens to be in the right place to prevent that with his several women acting like a spider web around him. And then he disappears into history.

Framed Story: Tim's Daughter. Framing and driving the story is the quest, fifty years later, by Tim's daughter, to uncover the truth about what happened to her father, and who among those three women was her real mother. It's a burning issue because she was adopted as a tiny child from a ragtag sailors' tavern in Siberia, where her mother tragically died in the 1940s. She is adopted by a wealthy French family, becomes a Parisian countess, lives a wild life, and then begins to seek answers just as the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union are collapsing. In all of that turmoil, while she circles the globe tracing Tim Nordall's path half a century earlier, she comes in contact with the former Stalinist triple agent Jaguar, now an old man living in Moscow. Her quest brings her to some surprising answers. She finds herself in tears, standing on a beach near San Francisco, looking out across the night and the Pacific Ocean, to a remote beach half a century earlier and thousands of miles away in Siberia, where as a tiny child she stood holding her mother's hand and looking out toward San Francisco, wondering where her daddy had gone. Now she has the answers, in a poignant ending to a journey of life and death, of remembrance of war and peace, proving only that time and the world are circular, leading ever back to one's origins, no matter how long or complex the journey may be. In the beginning of the story we find her on a mission that begins at the journey's end, reflecting the enigma that is life.

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