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32,000 YEARS AGO: High in the Pyrenees in what is now Spain, a young Neanderthal is pursued and mortally wounded by a Cro-Magnon hunting party.  Attempting to escape his attackers, he seeks refuge in a cave.

TODAY:  In the holy city of Najaf, a powerful Iraqi cleric has been critically wounded in an ISIS terror attack. If he dies, peace and stability in the region die with him.

The only hope rests with his son, Tariq, who has currently gone missing somewhere in the Basque mountains north of Madrid.  With time running out, the CIA turns to -- MICHAEL CORBETT.

American by birth and Oxford-trained, Corbett is a world-class archeologist. But to the CIA, he is an “exfiltrator,” a freelance operative who specializes in locating and extracting high value targets under extreme duress. Having been hired by the University of Salamanca to lead an archeological team into the Pyrenees to explore a newly discovered cave that may be the last redoubt of the Neanderthals, he accepts the CIA’s assignment.

But there are complications…

At Oxford, he and Tariq were friends. Today Tariq is believed to be living with a woman, a doctor named Amaia, who runs a free clinic in a remote Basque village. She was also once Corbett’s lover.

At the same time AN ISIS TERROR CELL begins tracking Corbett believing he will lead them to Tariq.  Religious fanatics, they are obsessed and will stop at nothing from carrying out the “Will of God.”

Racing against time and the Terrorists, Corbett must find Tariq and exfiltrate him…before ISIS takes his head!















“Fast-paced with a labyrinth of thrilling twists and turns. THE EXFILTRATOR blends action and international intrigue with an archeologist hero reminiscent of Indiana Jones and a style calling to mind the acclaimed Fredrick Forsyth.”


[Charles Veley – Author of The Last Moriarty]



“A first-rate thriller rich in atmosphere that builds to an explosive climax that should have movie producers reaching for their checkbooks…!”

[Bill Barich – Author of Laughing in the Hills]




“Simmons raises the bar with this one. THE EXFILTRATOR ‘s Michael Corbett is right up there with THE EQUALIZER’s Robert McCall.”


[Michael Sloan – Creator of “The Equalizer” TV series and author of the best selling Equalizer: Requiem]







A Novel



By Garner Simmons






Copyright © 2021 Garner Simmons/Equuleus Productions, Inc.

Los Angeles, California

All rights herein are reserved. No part of the text

may be reproduced in any form or in any media without

written permission of the publishers, except in brief quotations

used in connection with literary reviews.

First edition.

ISBN: 9798701359381

Jacket design by Damonza.com

To George Wead, who first opened my eyes to Spain.

And to Sheila, who has made all things possible.

Also by Garner Simmons

Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage - The Definitive Edition

50 Years After The Wild Bunch from the Writer Who Knew Him Best

Available at bookstores and at Amazon.com

Audiobook version at Audible.com

performed by Jason Culp


First and foremost, I want to thank my wife Sheila McHugh Simmons, whose suggestions, insights and exceptional editorial skills plus her willingness to read, reread and proof the text has added immeasurably to the quality of this novel. To George Wead and a friendship forged at Northwestern’s graduate school that has lasted through the years ever since.  To my sensei, Michael Haller, whose Japanese sensibilities have helped to keep me focused on what is important. To Charles Veley and Bill Barich, among the most skillful writers I have ever known, who encouraged me to pursue this project. And to Tom Rose, Lee Woltman, Craig Bell, and Karl Baumgartner, all of whom read early drafts and provide me with their candid comments. To Grant Rosenberg with whom I have spent serious time in the trenches. To Rick Mancke and Barbara Hobbie, who were good enough to read multiple drafts and whose comments caused me to dig deeper. And to Tom Yerg, a friend and chess aficionado whose deep knowledge of the spy genre plus his willingness to help me polish my imperfect Spanish have made this a far better book.  To my attorney, Wayne Alexander for his faith and guidance through thick and thin. And to Larry Becsey, my Los Angeles literary agent of more than 25 years and his remarkable assistant Emma Alban, whose keen insights are reflected in these pages. To my New York literary agent Murray Weiss for helping me prepare the manuscript and to better understand the idiosyncrasies of today’s publishing world. And to Bob McCullough, whose faith in my writing and willingness to put in endless hours to make certain we got it right. To Adam Leipzig for his constant support.  And finally, my brother, John Galbraith Simmons, the real writer of the family, whose advice and critical insights helped me shape and organize this novel from the very beginning.  To one and all, may you find this book worthy of your efforts.

Garner Simmons

Woodland Hills, California




The Exfiltrator






The Pyrenees Mountains, Northern Iberia

32,000 B.C.E.

Scrambling over the rough, rock-strewn terrain, the young Neanderthal drove himself onward and upward toward the distant ridgeline and the promised safety of the cave. Around his neck, a half-dozen shells painted violet, a talisman suspended upon a strand of twine, rattled together as he ran. The frigid air tortured his lungs, burning with each labored breath. He could hear the sound of his own wheezing. Beads of sweat began to form along the slope of his forehead collecting on his brow, stinging his eyes.  Stumbling over a root, he tumbled, falling hard.  Scrambling up, he hesitated, turning to look, attempting to catch a glimpse of his pursuers. No sign… nothing.  No… wait. 

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