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Rule 53

Book 2 in the Leigh Harte Series

Sequel to Red Hot Summer

Published 6th December 2019

Leigh Harte is on the hunt. Karl Gouderhoff disappeared leaving only a cryptic message with the British Home Office in Huntington.

Appointed to the Irish military as a communications specialist, and reluctantly working for the new Huntington Director, she’s deployed to the Irish Embassy in Washington. This brings her face-to-face with her former lover, Jake Mann, now employed by Senator Wilma Swayne.

The Senator’s Great American Rebuild Project threatens to undermine international and diplomatic relations between other nations and the US. In investigating the fallout from one disastrous military exercise, Leigh stumbles on a secret organisation called the Conglomeration and discovers a connection to another of her father’s old cases, and the result of his past mistakes.

Her own past threatens to rear its head, and she and Jake find themselves allies but no longer on the same side, as they walk the line between both country's national security and accusations of espionage.

Rule 53 Original Soundtrack

00:00 / 02:11
00:00 / 05:38
00:00 / 05:23


The younger man wavered on the kill shot. His prey, having stumbled, now lay prone, but he was far from defenceless; words and secrets were his weapon of choice. The younger man listened to the secrets spilling from the trembling man, shaking not from fear but from the wind chill in the early winter’s eve.

The revolver levelled at his head didn’t faze him, secure knowing the secrets he held would keep him alive. They had so far, and the young Garda before him seemed to be of a higher calibre than the general rank-and-file police officer. Catching him was proof of that, and now he threatened to take the older man’s life, but the Garda recognised the enormity of the information spilling out. Not a deathbed confession, and as the information flowed the gun lowered, and his survival secured.


Elaine Nolan delivers another fast-paced page turner with Rule 53. It's a masterful tale of international intrigues, deceits, and betrayals. Sometimes Truth and Justice require all the rules be broken.

~ Susan Jane Smith ~

~ The Merry Jaynz ~

Chapter One

I trained your father,” the old Lieutenant-General told her. “A devious bastard, if you don’t mind my saying.”

“And if I do?” Leigh asked.

“Young lady, there are times to soften the truth, and times to let it fall like a hammer. This is a time for the latter.”

“It’s not news to me,” she answered.

“That’s not the hammer, but this; continue as you are and you will turn into him.”

“Again, that’s not news,” she said, and he wondered if the hard exterior was a genetic trait, not learned.

“You enjoy the comparison, don’t you?”

“Why do you say that?” She sat back in the old leather sofa and swirled the honey-sweet whiskey liqueur served to her by a junior officer, and in this hallowed space where only the senior ranks could enter. Not being enlisted, or given officer status, it was a privilege for her, invited by the old man. More a request than an invitation, bordering on an order.

The old officer studied her, finding her as inscrutable as Lee during his training there.

“Are you trying to be him?” he asked.

“I barely knew him,” she said, but paused. “That’s not true; I never saw this side of him.”

“And what have you discovered so far?”

“He was fearless, whereas I spent most of my life living in fear.”

“He wasn’t fearless, his first time on night-time manoeuvres terrified him.”

“Yet he, as I have, survived it.”

“Yes, I’ll grant you that. You’re both made of stern stuff. It might be what keeps you alive.”

Leigh sipped her drink, and waited for the lecture. The Lieutenant-General held the firm belief that women had no business being in counter-espionage, or even regular espionage for that matter. She tried pointing out all the female agent-provocateurs throughout history, but it did nothing to change his mind. She resigned herself to another earful. To her surprise, he remained silent on the matter.

“Try not get yourself killed, as he did. Foolish fellow, getting himself in the line of fire.”

That pissed her off, that accusation of carelessness, but she held her temper in check.

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