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Goat Rope Cover Image
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Goat Rope

K. A. Bachus

December 2023 979-8-9871690-5-6

Mack might cut your throat but with faultless etiquette.

Christine Barton sees a murder committed while walking her dog in a Montreal park on a bright summer morning in 1999. She finds refuge from the killer in a safe house of spies but feels more like the prisoner of a team of deadly operatives who could be allies but seem like enemies.

Charlemagne, the premier freelance specialist team used by Western governments for black operations conducted without fingerprints, has been tasked with tracing and destroying a well-funded network of political assassins. They must sift reality from deception in a bewildering kaleidoscope of information and agendas and will use Christine to gain the advantage regardless of the cost to her.

With deep, mutual distrust, Christine and Charlemagne work together in the narrow space of their shared interests surrounded by the chaos of a true goat rope.


"Author K. A. Bachus has given readers a fabulous addition to the Charlemagne files and I loved every moment of the ride. This is espionage and a true thriller at its best. The plot is riveting and packed full of action on every single page. The story is extremely well-developed and the pace is perfect - there are no points where things slow down to the point of wanting to skip a page - I was glued to the story throughout. It is full of many twists and turns that will keep every reader on the edge of their seat as they wait to see what happens next. In addition, these characters are very well-written. From the heroes to the villains (and sometimes it is a little hard to tell which is which), each of them is perfect. They all, also, have imperfections, which makes them come alive. Add in the dialogue that is quite realistic and you have the perfect mix to make a believable story.

"Goat Rope is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a great thriller that is packed with action, spies, and an excellent storyline. Because this is book 10 and the first one I have read, I must say that I am hooked and will be going back to read the other books in the series - I want to learn more about this group of government agents known as Charlemagne.  — Kathy Stickles for Feathered Quill

"Author K. A. Bachus has penned an intense experience in this highly descriptive and fast-paced novel, offering a real sucker punch of action and intrigue in a concise narrative style. The plot is intricately woven with espionage, intrigue, and high-stakes action and I was especially drawn to the unique parlance of the narrative and characters to paint a realistically gritty world and showcase the uglier side of humanity. The tension is palpable thanks to clever pacing, twists, and no unnecessary additions, and the characters are realistically flawed, making them deeply relatable and less predictable than your typical heroes and villains. The narrative keeps you guessing as alliances shift and loyalties are tested, and I found the dialogue style hugely effective in getting the plot across and conveying strong character attitudes without the need for huge chunks of wordy prose. Overall, Goat Rope is a compelling thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and I would definitely recommend it for thriller fans looking for their next immersive read." -K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Conventions in the World of Charlemagne Cover Image
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In the fictional world of The Section, certain conventions are followed. It may help the reader coming to The Charlemagne Files for the first time to know some of these.

Who/what/ where is The Section?

The Section is a department of an intelligence agency of the United States. Its employees are civil servants. It includes support staff members who provide identity documents, financial controls, and physical and document security. Operational agents are called babysitters. They arrange on-site logistical support for freelance specialists during operations. Most operations are not conducted within the United States, with some exceptions. Babysitters themselves do not carry identity documents in their own names during an operation and never carry any official identification from their organization. Their purpose is to allow the organization to deny any association with them or their mission. The offices are near the east coast, maybe Virginia.

Nicknames and coins

Babysitters in The Section receive nicknames from their coworkers when they join the offie. These names are often undesirable and used mercilessly among the members of the office. It is part of team building in a stressful occupation.

Coins are traditionally stamped with symbols or mottos that designate the intelligence unit of their owners. The tradition is that when members of the unit are present at the bar, if one produces his coin, then all must produce theirs. Anyone failing to show their coin is responsible for the bar tab. If all produce their coins, then the person first producing his coin is responsible for the tab.

File designations

The highest classification of information is Top Secret. Beyond that, more sensitive information is strictly controlled in a number of ways including designation as special compartmented Information (SCI). This requires an additional clearance and often a named clearance based on Need To Know. In The Section, files on specialists or specialist teams receive a one-word code name, printed across the file and restricted to very few people. When that solo or specialist team is employed on an operation, another designator word will refer to the operation and will be used for funding, reports, etc. Thus CETUS WEDGE (#2 of the Charlemange Files) means an operation dubbed CETUS employing a specialist team with file name WEDGE. It is The Section’s file name for Charlemagne.


A team or solo operative used by western governments for black operations conducted without fingerprints in high-risk situations expected to involve death.

The Importance of Names Cover Image
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What’s With All the Names?

I have been asked this question more than once and not only in regard to the characters in my books. People who know me by one name are sometimes surprised to hear another acquaintance call me something different. In fact, I can count seven different names and nine different titles I have answered to.

Every name depends on context. In non-fictional life, we know this intuitively. Thus, we will call our next door neighbor Dan when having a beer with him, but Coach when discussing strategy in front of our young son on the soccer field.

Fictional worlds of elves, wizards and aliens are familiar enough to most of us that we have little trouble applying real-world rules of context automatically when a character is called Sandra, Sandy, Sweetie, and Mrs. Fether by different sentient beings in the story. The characters in The Charlemagne Files inhabit a fictional world of Intelligence (capital I). Most of the conventions and terms are real but unfamiliar to those who have not read extensively in the genre. 

This particular intelligence world is one I made up, so even with extensive experience with the subject, chances are good that a few things will be unfamiliar. But in both instances, just use everyday conventions and a quick look at the name glossaries I provide in some of the books to stay oriented in the story. It is not strange that a member of the team may call the team leader Misha, while a babysitter, who is essentially an outsider, will receive a disgusted glare for doing so. The people who work with the team but are not on it are never given a name for him, and so are reduced to 'hey you', direct eye contact or making up a handle for him.

Misha was dubbed Mack by English-speaking babysitters because of his skill with a knife.