Tale of the Sica, Book #5
Action Adventure / Crime
Date Published: 04-11-2023
Great-uncle Leon, the most successful assassin in our family’s
2000-year-old history, is back.
It’s 1920, the Great War is over, and the death rattles of the White
Russian armies echo across Europe and Asia as they crumble one by one before
the advancing Bolsheviks. It seems that Leon’s days with the British
Secret Service Bureau are over.
But when a battalion of British soldiers is shanghaied by a diabolical
Baltic baron hellbent on conquering Mongolia and backed by an international
organization of fascists, Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, head of the SIS,
sends his number-one assassin to take care of business.
From London and Paris to the Crimea, Georgia and war-ravaged China and
Mongolia, Leon and his accomplice, the beautiful Countess Catherine von
Merenberg, are plunged headfirst into a maelstrom of horror to rescue the
British troops and stop the reign of the Bloody White Baron.
About the Author
Jonathan Harries began his career as a trainee copywriter at Foote, Cone
& Belding in South Africa and ended it as Chairman of FCB Worldwide with
a few stops in between.
After winning his first Cannes Lion award, he was offered a job at Grey
Advertising in South Africa, where he worked as a copywriter and ended up as
CEO at age 29, just before emigrating to the US. Like most immigrants in
those days, he started once again from scratch. After a five-year stint as
Executive Creative Director of Hal Riney in Chicago, he was offered a senior
position at FCB. Within ten years, he became the Global Chief Creative
Officer and spent the next ten traveling to over 90 countries, racking up 8
million miles on American Airlines alone.
He began writing his first novel, Killing Harry Bones, in the last year of
his career and transitioned into becoming a full-time author several years
ago, just after retiring from FCB. He’s been writing ever since while
doing occasional consulting work for old clients.
Jonathan has a great love of animals, and he and his wife try to go on
safari every year. They’ve been lucky enough to visit game reserves in
South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, India, and Sri
It was not a big camp, and Leon didn’t imagine there could have been more than eight hundred soldiers plus their horses and a few camels. He looked around to see if there was a bigger tent for the baron, but he didn’t see one. At the end of the camp on a small hill was a group of soldiers in Cossack uniforms huddled around an open lean-to. Sitting at a table in the middle was a thin man with red hair, a short beard, and a big, bushy moustache. He stopped writing in a leatherbound book when he saw Leon and Chuluun and waved his arm for the Cossacks to move back. Then he fixed Leon in a stare that was even more terrifying than that of Rasputin. “Come,” he said, pointing at a camp chair next to the one in which he was sitting. “Come sit, Mr. Mercenary, and tell me why I shouldn’t just kill you.”
“Because,” replied Leon, “I’d kill you first.”
With a roar the baron shot to his feet, knocking over his chair and making a grab for his saber, which lay on the table. Von Ungern-Sternberg was fast, but his hand hadn’t touched the hilt of his saber when he felt the tip of Leon’s sica rip through his long coat and prick the muscle that protected his liver. The Cossacks ran forward but the baron yelled for them to stop. Then he began to cackle like a demented witch until his eyes, which were like blue ice, filled with tears.
“General Biskupsky was wrong about you. You are not just a mercenary; you are the Lord of Mercenaries. That’s what you shall be known as from now on.”