Belly of the Beast

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Belly of the Beast
Belly of the Beast

Ten years ago, Jake Hopper was a CIA agent who was stationed in Thailand. Then one day, things went sour, and his partner, Sunti barely escaped with his life...after accidentally killing a woman. Jake called it quits and returned to the United States when his wife died, and Sunti became a Buddhist monk to atone for his sins. For the past 10 years, Jake has run a successful private security business, and has been raising his daughter Jessica, who is now an adult. While hiking in Thailand, Jessica and her friend Sarah Winthorpe are kidnapped. A group of Islamic fundamentalists known as the Abu Karaf claims responsibility. Sarah is the daughter of United States senator John Winthorpe. For ransom, the Abu Karaf demand the release of 20 prisoners from American custody. The US Secretary of State urges restraint -- he won't negotiate. Tom Collins, an ex-colleague of Jake's, recognizes Jessica on the ransom tape and tips Jake off. Jake knows that he must rescue the girls himself. An old CIA buddy puts Jake in contact with Leon Washington, an active CIA agent who is working in Thailand. Jake goes to Bangkok, and escapes an assassination attempt. Leon arranges a meeting for himself with with Soku -- the internal security chief for General Jantapan. Jantapan is a rebel military general who is making a play to be one of the most powerful men in Thailand. Secretly, Jantapan is messing with some dangerous spiritual forces. Soku provides Jake with a cover story, but the CIA wants Jake out of it -- they are planning to take out the Abu Karaf with the aid of the Thai army, and they don't want a civilian in the middle. Jake is a spiritual man, so he contacts his spiritual master Paijan Paitoon. As Jake is in trouble, Paitoon offers to arrange a divination from the oracle of the order. Jake enlists the help of Sunti. Jake gets Lulu, the girlfriend of arms dealer Fitch McQuoid, to steal information leading to the Abu Karaf. Jake and Sunti follow the leads to a warehouse where they discover evidence of highly sophisticated weaponry. With their enemies now after Lulu, Jake takes Lulu under his wing. Jake shares some of his info with Leon. Can he trust Leon? Another attempt is made on Jake's life -- and this time, Jake is sure that Leon was involved. Finally, the Abu Karaf contact Jake to arrange a meeting -- the pieces are coming together, and Jake figures out that it was not the Abu Karaf who kidnapped Jessica and Sarah. Jantapan tries to send the spirit of an ancient warrior demon to kill Jake, but the ceremony goes wrong and the spirit enters Jantapan himself, giving Jantapan amazing physical and spiritual powers. Jake and Sunti go to meet Mongkol, the leader of the Abu Karaf. Mongkol confirms that ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jantapan has worked to corner the narcotics and arms markets. It was Jantapan who kidnapped the girls, blaming the Abu Karaf so the army would wipe out his competition. Mongkol knows where the girls are, and he gives Jake plans and intelligence. They both need the girls alive. Jake must engage in a battle that will put both his physical and spiritual powers to the ultimate test.

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