Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell) Summary & Study Guide

Barbara Nickless
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This section contains 1,154 words
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Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell) Summary & Study Guide Description

Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell) Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell) by Barbara Nickless.

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: Nickless, Barbara. Ambush. Thomas & Mercer, March 19, 2019. Kindle.

In this third installment of the Sydney Rose Parnell series by Barbara Nickless, a believable female heroine named Sydney tries to secure the justice which she and so many others fought for in Iraq. Sydney, a Marine veteran, had vowed to keep an orphaned, Iraqi boy named Malik safe. She felt that she had failed him when he disappeared from the military base. With a report that Malik has been spotted in Mexico City, Sydney was more determined than ever to ensure that the innocent boy could live a safe and normal life. Sydney was in a race to locate Malik before the Alpha found and killed him. Alpha was Sydney's name for the mastermind behind an ambush on American forces. The Alpha was killing anyone with knowledge of this ambush. Malik had accompanied his uncle to the Iraq border to pick up a load of American weapons and Iranian soldiers. Malik had videoed the transfer. In this third installment of the Sydney Rose Parnell series, Nickless presents the story of a believable female heroine (Sydney) as she tries to secure the justice for which she and so many others fought for in Iraq.

Jeremy Kane, also a veteran of the war in Iraq, was just beginning to feel comfortable in his life back in the United States when he received a call from Lester Crowe, a Marine buddy who had never fully recovered from the trauma of war. Crowe warned Kane that there were people following him, trying to kill him. Kane generally did not pay attention to Crowe’s paranoia. However, he had been researching events surrounding the death of Resenko, a Marine private, and Haifa, an Iraqi translator and Malik’s mother. His new awareness caused him to be extra vigilant because he believed that his family was in danger as well.

Weeks later Kane was on duty as a security officer at Denver’s Union Station when he was forced to confront what appeared to be a homeless man. This man called Kane by name and attacked him with a knife. Just before the man pushed Kane onto the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train, the man told Kane the Americans were responsible for Resenko and Haifa’s deaths. Kane also spotted a woman in the crowd across the tracks and knew he was being killed because he had been snooping where he should not have been.

Meanwhile, Sydney was in Mexico City fighting for her life in an attempt to reconnect with Malik, the Iraqi orphan she had befriended during the war. She had tried to adopt him. A man named Zarif drugged her and took her to the isolated compound where he was keeping Malik hidden. Zarif told Sydney he was willing to do whatever it took to keep Malik safe. He sensed that she was the key to Malik’s freedom. Sydney learned from Malik that it was Americans who killed his mother, Haifa, and Resenko, her lover. He also told her about a supply run to the border of Iran that Americans ordered his uncle to make. Malik had taken a video of his uncle’s truck being loaded with American weapons and Iranian soldiers.

In the airport on Sydney’s way back to America, she was threatened by an unnamed man who told her she had 48 hours to bring the Alpha, Sydney’s name for the man behind the ambush in Iraq, the intel that he wanted. If she did not comply, the Alpha would order his men to kidnap and torture Michael Cohen, Sydney’s boyfriend. Sydney had balked about telling Cohen, who had no military experience, what happened to her in Iraq because she feared it would change his opinion of her. When Sydney did confess to Cohen that she had altered the bodies of an American soldier and Iraq interpreter, making it appear that they had been killed by an IED blast, Cohen told her that he was not sure what to think. His words that he was not sure if he could trust Sydney to have his back wounded her.

Sydney began investigating Kane’s death because she believed it was not simply the act of a homeless man but a premeditated murder. Max Udell, known as Sarge, a Marine who had been briefly a member of the Alpha’s team joined Sydney in her search for answers about Kane’s death and the identity of the Alpha. They traced Mark Fadden, the man who had pretended to be homeless, to an abandoned strip club in Denver where Sarge had heard the Alpha had people taken to be tortured. The stakes for Sydney rose when she received a picture by text from the Alpha showing that his men had Cohen and were in the process of torturing him. Sydney went into the strip club alone, believing Cohen was there. After surviving a tangle with Fadden only because Sarge showed up just in time, Sydney’s K9 partner Clyde located a prisoner in the club. Only it was not Cohen, it was Sydney’s lover from Iraq, Doug “Dougie” Ayers, a man Sydney believed had been killed in the ambush.

After coming to terms with the new reality, Sydney, Dougie, and Sarge put their heads together and came up with a plan. Sarge was to go to a copy store in Arizona where Dougie believed his partner, Richard Dalton, had mailed a copy of the video Malik had made. With this proof in hand, they would be able to go to the FBI with proof of the treasonous acts. Meanwhile, Sydney and Dougie headed to a plot of land belonging to Valor Industries, a company that produced weapons, on the hunch that Cohen was being held there. They learned the Alpha was not a man but instead Laura Almasi, daughter of the patriarch of Valor Industries. Sydney and Dougie manage to free Cohen from the compound but Clyde is shot. They also learn that Sarge was captured and killed by the Alpha’s men, and that the video was confiscated. With no proof of the treason, they believe their chance to bring down the Alpha is gone.

Ironically, x-rays of Clyde made prior to his surgery show that he has a second microchip placed near one of his hind legs. When this chip is scanned, it is discovered that the chip takes them to a file that includes Valor Industries emails as well as a copy of Malik’s video. Dougie figures that Dalton, who believed in having multiple plans, must have had the chip put in Clyde at some point when he was watching the dog. Almasi was charged with a laundry list of federal offense while Malik was free to live a normal life.

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