Arthur Cathcart and Natsumi Fitzgerald wanted to believe they were free of the nearly invisible, malignant forces they had pursued, and been pursued by, across continents and oceans. The slightly brain-damaged tech-freak researcher and the blackjack-dealing psychologist had convinced themselves that life aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean, incognito and in love, could be a lasting refuge. The death of that illusion was as brutal as it was abrupt. Even people who knew how to dodge ruthless outlaws and relentless law enforcement learned there were powers from which no one could ever hide-not in the twenty-first century, not if you wanted more than to simply exist. To truly live in the world, you had to have a world that allows you to live. Soldiers fighting in Vietnam had a saying when pinned down under enemy fire: The only way out is through. And so it is that Arthur and Natsumi take to the fight, where the full expanse of both the virtual and material worlds is the field of engagement, nearly blind to the threats that surround them yet searching for that impossible path back to the ordinary lives they'd been forced to abandon. Wiser, stronger, and more experienced in the art of clandestine combat than they ever imagined they'd be, Arthur and Natsumi understand what makes you strong can also get you killed in a hurry-that the reserves of resilience and determination aren't limitless, that the power of intellect and craft dwindles in the face of a pitiless and resolute foe, that there are a billion ways to die but only one way to live.
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