by John Ringo
Book 1 in the Paladin of Shadows series (2005)
Retired after 15 years in special ops due to a myriad of physical ailments, Michael Harmon is having trouble fitting into his new role as a University of Georgia undergrad.
Instead, Ghost (named for his uncanny ability to “blend”) likes to stalk unknowing coeds and speculate on the carnal possibilities. But when a van-load of men suddenly abduct a blonde that Ghost had been following, he gives chase and follows the van to a deserted warehouse, where he uncovers a terrorist plot to kidnap and brutalize dozens of innocent American women.
Ghost’s military training kicks in, and after killing most of the jihadists within the warehouse, he tracks a truckload of sedated abductees to a 727 at an Atlanta airport and hitches a ride to Syria. In the action that ensues, Ghost unearths plots involving WMD production, rogue nukes, sexual slavery, and the assassination of world leaders — all of which culminates in a breathtaking showdown at (where else?) a strip joint in Amsterdam, in the champagne room!