“…the perfect marriage between crime and terrorism.”

Titus Cain is living an idyllic life most can only dream about. He’s a self-made multi-millionaire and founder of a successful software company. He has a warm and loving wife, and a large, but unpretentious country house atop ten acres of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. And Titus is the kind of man who knows he has a lot to be thankful for.

Then Cayetano “Tano” Luquin walks into his life one summer evening escorted by three armed assassins. They’ve come for Titus, but this is no ordinary kidnapping. Titus is free to go on living as he pleases– but he must make a series of “bad business investments” totaling $64 million over the next four days. And there are rules. Strict rules. Simple rules. And they must be followed. Or there will be terrifying consequences.

Giving in to Luquin’s demands, Titus frantically scrambles to liquidate millions of his company’s assets, and makes the first payment with only moments to spare. But then he discovers that Luquin is driven by stakes higher than he had revealed, and he is far more vicious and cruel than Titus had ever imagined.

Titus is trapped by the rules of an enterprise that is the perfect marriage between crime and terrorism. Realizing that every decision he makes, every word he speaks, and every move he makes could cost the life of someone he loves, Titus decides to fight back.

His only hope resides in an ally as cold-blooded, secretive, and determined as his enemy: the enigmatic Garcia Burden.


“…I planned to do the next novel with this secondary character as the protagonist.”

This is one of my few novels that have been set in Austin where I live. It’s both a pleasure, and a little unnerving, to do this. I don’t know why, exactly. But in many ways it’s liberating to do so, and in this particularly story I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This novel is another example (the other is SPIRAL) of an instance in which I created a secondary character that I would have liked to continue in subsequent novels as the protagonist. In fact, I had planned to do that with the next novel. I won’t reveal who the character is. But after you read the novel I think you’ll be able to identify him.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to happen. Universal Studios bought the feature film rights outright before my manuscript had even gone into copyediting…and they specifically stated in my contract that they were also buying the rights to this particular character! As is often the case with film rights, the screenplay of THE RULES OF SILENCE was “fast tracked”…and then nothing happened. So one of my favorite characters still languishes in suspended animation.