In the far western province of Xinjiang, China, expat operatives ready for a covert incursion at the U.S.-Mexico border. In Mexico City, the kidnapped son of a wealthy land owner is held for ransom. In a Washington DC monastery, a priest steels himself against a demonic force while in Alabama, a child known as the Little One points to something in the night sky. DSS agent Louis Ledlow is suddenly called to Washington where he's briefed on his next assignment. With the assistance of his brother, Father Joe, a newly appointed Exorcist, they enter the fray to untangle the snarl of human villainy and supernatural evil. The two brothers, each combatting ominous threats-one of human origin, the other supernatural, find themselves entangled in a perilous web with the United States President and First Lady caught in the middle, while a desperate battle to defend the homeland rages in the airspace above the Pacific. This is a gripping and timely tale of a three headed monster, an alliance of the most sinister ideologies: the Marxist PRC, the blood thirsty Mexican drug cartels, and the infamous MS-13 street gang. Transporting the reader across the globe and historical timelines, HELLBENDER The Crucible is an intensely written story filled with chills and spills...a fresh and compelling read Michael Saxon Pikunas is retired from a career in federal law enforcement. He and his wife Margaret (Peggy) have four grown children and one grandchild. This is his first book.