“The Shadow War” spy thriller scene unfolds at Seattle bar

The Amazon Kindle Vella program is neat because as I write and publish each episode of my new spy thriller The Shadow War, you can read along! The first 3 episodes are free. I’ve got the first two episodes written so far and am now writing the third one… with many more to come!

It was fun writing Episode 2: Clandestine CIA Seattle Spy Briefing, which takes place in the Mountaineering Club rooftop bar of the Graduate Hotel in downtown Seattle. I visited the place and loved it. My first thought was I must write a spy thriller scene that unfolds here!

I took the hotel elevator up to the 16th floor and enjoyed an incredible panoramic view of Mr. Rainier, Puget Sound, and the downtown area while sipping its “90 Miles of Paradise” cocktail signature drink. In fact, the drink was named after a famous hiking trail that begins at the base of Mt. Rainier.

I knew I was no longer in Ohio when viewing the menu; it smacked of the Pacific Northwest. If you like to experiment with colorful foods, you can chow down on oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, smoked salmon delivered in a tin with toast, an upgraded wagyu hot dog with heaps of Dungeness crab on toasted brioche.

It was relaxing to sip a drink while gazing out at the stunning views of the Olympics and the Cascades. The patrons weren’t the frat-boy, PBR-guzzling types; paying $14 for a cocktail or $50 for a craft or bottle of red wine did not seem to bother them. Don’t fret, they serve a good-sized mug draught beer for $7.

Here’s a few snippets from The Shadow War, Episode 2 spy thriller:

Snippet 1: He strolled into the Mountaineering Club and sat at the bar. Large picture windows lined all the walls, including the one behind the bar. Mount Rainier and the Cascades appeared like large portrait paintings, even though they were sixty miles away.

Snippet 2: The bartender asked Corey what he wanted. That was CIA operative Ana’s cue. She was sitting alone at a table on the outside patio, glancing occasionally into the bar through a sliding glass door. She entered and laid her empty glass on the bar. “I’ll take another ‘Meany Ski Hut’.” That was the ‘all clear’ sign. She arrived a half hour earlier to case the place out. If anything looked suspicious, she would have ordered something else, and totally ignored Corey.

He smiled at her and the bartender. “May I ask what is in that cocktail?”

The bartender replied proudly, “I created it. Good old American malt whiskey, Islay scotch, rock sugar and coconut water syrup with a tinge of lemon essence.”

Ana held up her empty glass. “I can vouch that it tastes great, a totally unique flavor, not to mention that I feel like I took a couple stomach relaxers.”

Corey and the bartender laughed. “I’ll take one too. I was going to have the ’93 Miles of Wonderlands’, but this sounds irresistible.”

Snippet 3: Corey sipped his drink and glanced out over the rooftop balcony, admiring the beauty of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound before finally speaking. “Bocharov’s last words to me before Vavilova murdered him are the reason we’re here… Track down the name of the student from the University of Washington, for he may lead you to Vavilova. Four decades ago, Young was recruited by him in West Germany. I want you to place a bug in Dr. Young’s office.”

Lastly, I picked out this video for you about the Mountaineering Club: Sky-High Views, Cocktails and smore’s at the Mountaineering Club in U-District. Enjoy!

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community in his Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Read his newest spy thriller The Shadow War, episode by episode, as he writes it in the new Kindle Vella program.

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