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Fearless Pursuit

Fearless Pursuit

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"Barbara Freethy writes a beautiful, edge of the seat story, full of intrigue, mystery and romance. This is my favorite FBI series! Can’t wait to read the next book!" Christine - Goodreads

Secrets and lies…strangers and spies…

After the death of an asset, Special Agent Jax Kenin goes undercover bartending at an exclusive Hollywood club in hot pursuit of a spy ring. His mission gets complicated when a beautiful brunette begins asking questions about an old murder. She's making people nervous, and he needs to get her out of the way before she blows up his operation.

Maya Ashton is on a mission of her own, determined to make a movie about the mysterious death of her famous grandmother, Natasha Petrova, a Russian-born movie star who died before her thirty-sixth birthday. Unfortunately, Maya keeps running into roadblocks, including one particularly sexy and attractive bartender.

When danger follows Maya home, Jax has no choice but to protect her. Their missions become entangled, their pursuit of two separate truths suddenly becomes one. And what they discover will shake up their personal lives in ways they never expected. To survive, they must find the truth, before it kills them.

A thrilling, twisting novel of espionage, murder, and romance that will keep you guessing until the last page from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy. For fans of Susan Stoker, Laura Griffin, Melinda Leigh, Rachel Grant, and Jayne Ann Krentz!

What the readers are saying…

"This was such a gripping story. Not only were Jax and Maya fantastic characters, the story was really complex and fascinating. Freethy’s books are always well developed and her characters jump off the page." Booklovers Anonymous

"Fearless Pursuit will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end. What an intriguing, mysterious story. Jax and Maya have immediate chemistry! The twists and turns that this story takes kept me guessing. The Off The Grid: FBI series is a fabulous series but Fearless Pursuit is by far my favorite one!" Cindy – Goodreads

"Fearless Pursuit will leave you breathless. All of this author’s books are well written with vivid characters that make her books difficult to put down unfinished. This one will leave readers guessing until the very end." Jane – Goodreads

"Just when I think this FBI series can’t get better, Barbara Freethy proves me wrong again! I’ve enjoyed all of these books, and Jax and Maya’s story is no exception. Family intrigue, Russian Spies, Old Hollywood Glamour and modern day challenges bring this mystery & love story to life." Mary - Goodreads


Special Agent Jax Kenin pulled up across the street from Falcon Motors, a luxury car dealership just off the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. He kept the engine running in the old black Chevy Impala because he desperately needed the air-conditioning. It was a hot July night, still in the nineties at eight in the evening, and he was sweating through the chinos and button-down shirt he'd put on for the upcoming meeting. 

He straightened as two people left the dealership. From his surveillance and research over the past three weeks, he knew that the woman, Anna Schneider, was in sales support. The man, Jeffrey Vinton, was a mechanic. He wasn't interested in either of them. 

Who he was interested in was Yuri Pashin, a thirty-year-old Russian male who was responsible for delivering high-end vehicles to wealthy individuals throughout Southern California. He'd made contact with Yuri ten days ago at an acting class where he was posing undercover as an actor. He'd bonded with Yuri through their Russian backgrounds, telling Yuri that his parents had died when he was young, and that he missed speaking Russian with them. That part was true. 

He'd also told Yuri that he had a weakness for poker and that he needed to repay a large debt very quickly, or he could be in danger. That part was not true. But the lie had led to Yuri offering him a one-time job at the dealership. Yuri was supposed to deliver a car to Palm Springs, but it conflicted with an audition he had set up, so he needed a driver, and Jax was happy to step in. 

Tonight, he was supposed to meet Yuri and his boss, a man by the name of Eddie Bozic. If Bozic agreed to hire him, he'd show up at six a.m. tomorrow morning and drive the car down to the desert. Of course, neither Bozic nor Yuri would know that he'd be making a long stop at a nearby garage where his FBI task force would go over every inch of the car. If the vehicle was being used to smuggle drugs, guns, or anything else, they'd find it. This could be the break they needed to get inside a Russian-led spy operation in LA. They'd been catching glimpses of the operation for weeks, but it wasn't until they'd gotten a lead to the car dealership that they'd had something solid to sink their teeth into. 

He shifted in his seat, impatient to get on with the meeting. While he'd learned patience in the five years he'd spent working for the bureau, waiting was still his least favorite thing to do. But for now, he had to go at Yuri's pace. If he got too anxious, he could spook him. 

There was a small part of him that wished the gregarious and friendly Yuri, who had told him about his passion for music and his dream of making it as an actor, was not involved in anything more than selling cars. But that wasn't the case. Regardless of whether or not he liked the guy, he had a mission, and his job wasn't to save Yuri; it was to take down a criminal operation. 

As the clock ticked its way toward 8:25, he suddenly saw the side door fly open. Yuri came running outside, looking frantic and distraught, his suit jacket flying out behind him as a shot rang out. Yuri ducked and swerved, sprinting toward the sidewalk. 

Swearing under his breath, Jax threw the car into drive and took a fast U-turn, pulling up alongside Yuri. Yuri gave him a quick look and then jumped into the passenger seat as another shot hit the car's bumper. 

As Jax sped down the street, he saw a dark figure running toward an SUV parked in front of the dealership. 

"What's going on?" he asked, pressing down on the gas. 

"Bad shit," Yuri gasped. "Get out of here."

He spun around the next corner on two wheels. "Who's chasing us? Was that your boss? Was that Bozic?”

"No. Pullman," Yuri said shortly, his breath still coming hard. "He was talking to Bozic on the phone."

"Who's Pullman?"

Yuri didn't answer. He seemed to be far more winded than he should have been for such a short run. 

"Are you hit?" he asked, his gaze sweeping across Yuri's body for any sign of blood. 

Yuri's hand moved to his throat. "Can't…breathe."

"Just try to slow your breath down," he advised. 

"The drink. Shouldn't have had the drink." There was panic in Yuri's eyes as he started clawing at his throat. 

"What drink? What's wrong?" 

Yuri started to gasp. "Pullman…poison." 

"I've got to get you to a hospital," he said, wondering how the hell he was going to do that. The SUV was right on his tail, and this road was heading up into the hills and away from medical care. He needed to change that, but the streets were narrow, and there was a steady stream of traffic coming down the other side of the road. 

The SUV hit his back bumper, and he pressed his foot down harder on the gas. 

"Did you tell Pullman about me?" he asked Yuri. 

"No." Yuri began to cough, then heave, having more difficulty breathing. 

Jax saw a big turn coming up and made a split-second decision that might kill them both, but Yuri's time was running out. He suddenly slammed on the brakes and yanked the wheel hard to the left, spinning around into the opposite lane. And then he was heading straight toward the SUV. 

The driver swerved to the right to avoid a collision. The curve took him over the hilly side of the road, and he plunged through a guardrail and down a hundred-yard drop. 

Jax had no time to see what had happened, racing back toward Sunset, to the nearest hospital. "Hang in there, Yuri. I'm getting you help."

"I shouldn't have done it. Mother…sick. Needed money."

"What did you do? Were you moving something in the cars? What was it? Drugs, guns…"

"Secrets," Yuri gasped. 

"It's a spy operation? Who's in charge?" 

"The Wolf."

"Who's the Wolf?"  


He shook his head in confusion. "What does that mean, Yuri?"

"Where it started. Where they go," Yuri gasped. "Stay away from there. They'll kill you, like they killed me."

Yuri fell forward, slumping over the seat belt. 

"Dammit," Jax yelled, slamming his hand on the wheel. As he saw the foam coming out of Yuri's mouth, he knew he was gone. And there wasn't anything he could do about it.  

He grabbed his phone and called his boss. "My asset is dead."

"What the hell happened?" Flynn demanded.

"I don't know. He ran out of the dealership and jumped into my car as someone took a shot at him. But he wasn't hit. He died from poison. He said something about a drink before he started gasping for air."

"Where are you now?" 

"On my way to the hospital. I had to get rid of the shooter first. He was in a black SUV. I ran it off the road around Viewcrest Avenue. Don't know if the driver lived through the fall."

"Did he see you?"


"Okay. Go to St. Edward's Hospital. I'll meet you there," Flynn said shortly. "I'll send someone to the crash site." 

"All right." He ended the call and glanced back at Yuri, wishing he'd been able to get more out of him before he died. All he really had was Wolf and Firebird. What the hell did those words mean?

* * *

Two hours later, Jax parked in the underground lot for the Santa Monica offices of his FBI task force. The three-story building had no outside signage and the only company in the building was his specialized unit that worked on special projects outside of the more bureaucratic LA Field Office. The first floor was a fitness room, the second floor housed the office suite, and the third floor was where the techs worked their magic with surveillance devices and cyber research. 

He headed straight to the second floor, where he found several members of his team seated at the rectangular table in the conference room. Wyatt Tanner, a brown-haired man with a short beard sat next to a stunning blonde, Savannah Kane. Across from them was the dark-haired, dark-eyed Diego Rivera, and Caitlyn Carlson, an attractive brunette with speculative brown eyes. The head of the task force, Flynn MacKenzie, a tall blond with sharp blue eyes, stood at the end of the table in front of a wall of monitors, one of which featured the employees of Falcon Motors, including the now-deceased Yuri Pashin and his boss Eddie Bozic.

As he entered the room, Flynn gave him an assessing look. 

"I'm fine," he said before anyone could ask the question. "And even more determined." 

"Good," Flynn said crisply. "We did some digging while you were at the hospital. Savannah, why don't you start?" 

"First of all, the man chasing you was Eli Pullman," Savannah replied. "He was dead at the scene of the crash."

"Good." If Eli had seen his face, his cover could have been blown.

"We've taken control of the investigation and we've read Damon in," she continued. 

He nodded. They were lucky not to have any territorial issues with the local field office, which was run by one of his former Quantico classmates, Damon Wolfe. Jax loved not having to deal with the red tape and scrutiny that Damon was constantly under.

"Eli Pullman has a long history of criminal activities," Savannah continued, as she brought up the man's rap sheet and photo on another monitor. "He's been busted for everything from assault to drug possession to burglary. He got out of jail three weeks ago and has been staying at a motel off Hollywood Blvd. Diego and I already checked out his room. It was clean—no luggage, no personal items, nothing. Looked like he didn't plan to come back. We're still digging into what he's been doing since then and who he's been seeing."

"As for Firebird," Wyatt said, drawing Jax's attention across the table. "We believe Yuri Pashin was talking about an exclusive club in the Hollywood Hills. It's owned by a wealthy Russian banker, Alexander Dimitrov. The club was built in the seventies by Alexander's uncle, Constantine Dimitrov, also in the banking business. It was originally called the Russia House and catered to wealthy Russian businessmen and celebrities. The club was closed down after a fire six years ago. It remained that way until six months ago when Constantine's nephew, Alexander, reopened the club under a new name—Firebird. Since then, it has become one of the hottest memberships in town. It's no longer a Russian club, but there are quite a few wealthy Russians who are members, including Eddie Bozic."

Wyatt paused, as he pulled up photos of the club on the screen. "As you can see, from its opening in 1977 to its reopening this year, a lot has changed," Wyatt continued. "But while the building has been extensively remodeled, the décor is still an homage to the past. The five-star restaurant is open to the public, as is the rooftop deck with pool, spas, and cabanas. But the members have sole access to various other rooms at the club, including a library, poker room, and cigar lounge. There is also a banquet room used for special events. Membership fees start at fifty thousand dollars." Wyatt put up two more photos. "This is Alexander Dimitrov and his beautiful wife, Victoria. Alexander is fifty-two; Victoria is thirty-nine. She's a former model who currently makes a fortune as an influencer on social media. The club is drawing a lot of her friends."

"I need to get into that club," Jax said. 

"And you have a good shot," Wyatt said. "They're looking for a bartender fluent in Russian."

"That would be me," he said, pleased at the easy opening.

"Is your cover intact?" Savannah asked. 

"I think so. All of my meetings with Yuri were at the actor's workshop. The only person who saw me at the dealership is dead." 

"Unless there was someone else inside who you didn't see," Flynn pointed out. "What about Eddie Bozic? You were supposed to meet him, not Pullman."

"Yuri said Bozic was on the phone with Pullman."

"Maybe go back to your usual blond hair just in case," Flynn suggested. "And shave the beard."

He nodded. He was more than happy to ditch the dark-brown hair dye and the beard. "What about the Wolf? Any ideas on that clue?" 

"I looked up Russian names that might mean wolf," Caitlyn interjected. "Vuk, Boris, and Rudolph all mean wolf, but none of those names match anyone at the club." 

"All right," Flynn said. "Jax—hit up the club tomorrow and try to get a bartending job. Wyatt—stay on Dimitrov and dig into the staff and members at Firebird. Savannah and Diego, why don't you focus on the dealership? We need to know every customer who purchased and/or had a car delivered from Falcon Motors in the last few months. Caitlyn—see what else you can dig up on Pashin. We need to know who he's been talking to. Let's get to work."

As the others left the room, Savannah moved around the table to take the seat next to him. She gave him an empathetic look. "Rough night for you."

He shrugged. "I've had worse. What I can't figure out is why the poison? Why didn't Pullman put a bullet in Yuri's head when he was in the dealership? But he started with poison. He didn't shoot until Yuri ran." 

"It's a good question," she agreed. "Flynn thought about getting a crew in there, but he didn't want to tip anyone off."

"That was wise. We show our hand, and the rats will scurry into the woodwork. We need them to think they got rid of their only threat in Yuri." He paused. "There's a chance my car might be on the security camera."

Savannah smiled. "That was already fixed with a little help from Brandon. He was able to hack into the cameras at the dealership and erase your car."

"Nice work." Brandon Tarek was one of their brilliant cyber techs. 

"We've got your back. But there's still the possibility someone saw you, Jax, or that Yuri told Pullman or Bozic more about you than you know."

"Wouldn't matter. He met me under my cover name and background."

"Well, we should still keep an eye on your alias and see if anyone goes digging."


"Listen, Jax—"

He saw the look in her eyes and knew what was coming. "I told you and everyone else I'm fine, Savannah."

"You're always fine. You're always smiling. You're always chill," she drawled. "But you can let down your guard with us. We're a team. We're family. Haven't the last five years shown you that?"

He nodded, seeing the serious note in Savannah's eyes. "Believe me, I trust the people here more than I trust anyone else in my life." 

"Is there anyone else in your life?" she asked curiously. 

"At the moment, the only person I'm thinking about is one dead Russian. I thought Yuri was a bit player, but he knew enough to get himself killed. And I have to find out what he was involved in before someone else dies."

"Just make sure that someone isn't you."

THE FBI SERIES takes readers on thrilling, romantic, and suspenseful adventures! While an overarching mystery plays out over the first five novels, every story stands completely on its own and there are no cliffhangers!

The books feature complex and exciting storylines ranging from kidnapping to organized crime, terrorism, and espionage. Personal stories often play out against a bigger, broader storyline, and surprising twists will keep you up all night. Start reading today!

Check out more books in the series!

THE FBI SERIES takes readers on thrilling, romantic, and suspenseful adventures! While an overarching mystery plays out over the first five novels, every story stands completely on its own and there are no cliffhangers!

The books feature complex and exciting storylines ranging from kidnapping to organized crime, terrorism, and espionage. Personal stories often play out against a bigger, broader storyline, and surprising twists will keep you up all night. Start reading today!

Check out more books in the series!

  • Perilous Trust
  • Reckless Whisper
  • Desperate Play
  • Elusive Promise
  • Dangerous Choice
  • Ruthless Cross
  • Critical Doubt
  • Fearless Pursuit
  • Daring Deception
  • Risky Bargain
  • Perfect Target
  • Fatal Betrayal
  • Deadly Trap

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Christa Banas
Fearless Pursuit

I haven’t had time to read it , but I love all your books that I’ve read so far

Robert Surratt
Typical Freethy

Very exciting fbi work. Wish our fbi were as active.

Suzanne Fortier
Fearless Pursuit

I so loved this series and this book that this was my 2nd time reading it. Really enjoy this series!