By Jeffery Deaver

Behind the well known U.S. protection businesses— the FBI and CIA between them—lies a seriously guarded, nameless govt corporation devoted to intelligence surveillance and to a hugely really good model of citizen safety.

Shock waves of alarm ripple in the course of the clandestine enterprise whilst Washington, D.C., police detective Ryan Kessler inexplicably turns into the objective of Henry Loving, a pro, ruthless “lifter” employed to procure info utilizing no matter what capacity useful. whereas Loving is deft at torture, his services lies in getting an “edge” on his victim—leverage—usually via kidnapping or threatening relations until eventually the “primary” caves stressed.

The activity of preserving the Kessler family members alive falls to a guy named Corte, a senior federal safety officer referred to as a “shepherd.” Uncompromising, relentlessly dedicated to maintaining these in his care and a passionate board video game aficionado, he applies incredible gaming technique to his paintings. For Corte, the reappearance of Loving—the guy who, six years prior, had tortured and killed somebody as regards to him—is additionally a chance to avenge his friend’s loss of life. The project quickly escalates right into a fast paced duel among Corte and Loving, a deadly volley of wits and calculated dangers.

As he shepherds the Kesslers to a hid secure residence, Corte needs to expect Loving’s each step because the lifter strikes in on his prey, and with the aid of razor-sharp investigator Claire DuBois and his longtime best friend, FBI agent Paul Fredericks, pinpoint which of Kessler’s possible insignificant circumstances has prompted Loving’s go back. because the workforce digs deeper, all the Kesslers comes less than shut scrutiny, and in captivity their kinfolk bonds are stretched to the breaking point—as the lifter attracts close to, Corte needs to finally make a choice from keeping his fees and exposing them to a killer within the identify of long-awaited revenge.

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I advised him I’d be again to the secure condominium once i'll, then disconnected and known as Claire duBois. bankruptcy 37 the home was once small yet good saved up. The backyard used to be great. I didn’t be aware of the names of the vegetation yet, within the low-voltage landscaping lighting, they appeared abundant and trimmed and subtly colourful, burgundies and blues, most likely forms of perennials that Joanne Kessler might have liked. once we lived in Woodbridge, Peggy had attempted gardening for a season. It didn’t final. I parked in the street and climbed out, felt a bone in my again pop. The scent of smoke me. within the motor vehicle I’d become a clean pair of denims and a sweatshirt yet hadn’t had a bath, in fact, and the acrid smell from the hearth at Loving’s rose from my epidermis. I went to the door and knocked. a gorgeous blonde, round thirty, opened it partway and peered at me carefully from at the back of a thick chain. I well-known her from Claire’s study. She tested my identity after which, nonetheless wary, requested how she might support me. “Can I are available? ” “What’s improper? Is whatever flawed? ” “Please. ” She enable me inside of. This was once a home of children—toys, cups, crafts and clothes—and she was once approximately 5 or 6 months’ pregnant. “Cheryl, correct? ” Her head bobbed. “We don’t imagine there’s something to be troubled approximately. ” phrases that after all made her immediately involved. Her eyes widened. “I’m afraid we’re having a few difficulty going in contact together with your husband. ” “Oh, my God, no! Is he damage? ” I advised her reassuringly, “We don't have any cause to think that he's. yet we can’t get via on his radio. ” Tears operating down her face, Cheryl used to be respiring challenging as she compulsively bent down and accumulated children’s pajamas and different outfits stacked at the flooring. I’d interrupted a laundry consultation. I acknowledged, “We understand he was once operating a drug surveillance operation however the dispatcher at headquarters didn’t comprehend the place. Do you may have any proposal the place he's? Did he say whatever to you? ” “Yes, certain. ” “Where? ” She gave me the positioning. Then further, “But why can’t you get via? What’s occurred? ” “I don’t know,” I stated gravely. “But there’s a cellular command submit no longer faraway from there. carry on. I’ll textual content them. ” I appeared down at my telephone and typed at the keypad, hit ship. i'll consider the electrical stress as she rocked from side to side, watching the telephone. “Please …” Then I seemed up and smiled. “He’s there. He’s fantastic. The radio broke is all. Our provide division’s bringing a brand new one now. ” “Oh, thanks, God. ” The tears endured for a second. “I’m sorry to have troubled you. ” “No, no. And he’s ok? ” “Yes, he’s fine,” I repeated. “Sorry for the scare. Oh, yet do me a want. ” “Yeah, yes, something. ” “He’s in the course of the surveillance operation now. It’d be greater when you don’t name him until eventually the morning. ” “Of direction. I’m so relieved. I can’t inform you. I’m so relieved,” she repeated manically, wiping tears. I stepped outdoors and walked again to my vehicle, the gravel crunching underneath my ft and the odor of smoke wafting round me. One element of board video games that I occur to love is for you to play the a part of some other person.

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