To give you a flavour of my book Global Raider here is an extract from Chapter 2. Extracts will continue every Tuesday and Friday.
General Jake Hammerton cast no shadow on the busy New York pavements. In the grey evening light he moved amidst the noise and glare of its human beings while keeping his concentration on events across the street, his mind on the kill.
Both he and the traffic stayed the same pace as Perry, his target, who strolled the opposite side of West 49th. Traffic clustered then stretched, rolling in a slow shuffle towards the intersection. The truck trailing Perry matched his progress, the driver carefully maintaining position to the rear, his wheels eighteen inches from the kerb. Training, Jake knew, brought perfection.
Amidst the congestion Perry occasionally drifted from sight, then Jake whispered into the mouthpiece of his body set, ensuring the two-man team that followed kept the target in view. Perry walked with positive steps, the black briefcase clutched in his right hand. Jake checked time and position. The target was five hundred metres from enemy contact and five metres from termination point. Lights on the intersection turned green and Jake took the opportunity.
“Execute immediately,” he again spoke softly into the microphone on his lapel, stopping at the corner to watch the truck move forward, knowing four men from Walsh Security would be clustering in Perry’s path. Somewhere ahead a siren wailed, a long, angry shriek cutting over the city noise.
Jake saw the annoyance on Perry’s face and watched him side step in the apparent confusion of pedestrian confrontation. Next moment he was sprawling in the road, his head between the front wheels and those which followed, his body stretched facedown before the next set of wheels humped slightly. Jake heard the distinct pop of calvarium bone above the fading siren and watched the truck clear the corner to drive down 5th Avenue. He saw no sign of the four-man team. A woman screamed and people started to gather.
“Target down, briefcase swapped.” Jake heard the whisper of one of his men over the earpiece and responded with a grunt of pride. Good men all of them, he thought, and strolled away in the opposite direction.
Henry Taylor had the Buick idling at the kerbside, his unlit pipe clenched between teeth, his expression bland. He released the locking mechanism and Jake slid his solid bulk into the back seat.
“Twenty seconds from time of command to execution. That team is superb,” Jake said.
“Crowded sidewalk, just ain’t safe no more.” Henry sucked on his pipe.
“So perish all traitors.” Jake lowered the rear window and took the black briefcase passed by one of his men from the pavement. “Fireback is rolling, Henry. One year down the line and Khalid is coming into target.”
“You are now twenty minutes to rendezvous.” Henry checked his watch and drove out into the traffic.
Jake opened the briefcase and looked through the contents, unfinished sandwiches, New Scientist magazine, business cards, correspondence. “Boring life he lived, Henry.” Jake parted the magazine and found sheets of figures inside. “Flight details, we got evidence.”
“You going to tell Mr Walsh?” Henry asked. “He’ll find out.”
“Only what I want him to know. Best he’s kept out the frame. He’s got problems enough.” Jake looked to the pavement as they passed over the intersection. He saw police there, someone taking pictures of the uncovered body, a second policeman lifting a black briefcase. “Did you hear his head pop?” Jake asked. “Like a firecracker on the 4th of July. Real patriotic.” Jake smiled and sat back in the comfort of his leather seat.
Twenty minutes later he slid shut the side door of a grey panel van. A fixed table and four swivel chairs filled the centre floor. He nodded greetings to the three occupants but received scant acknowledgement in return. Forward of the enclosed cargo deck an FBI agent clicked the van into drive and pulled away from the kerb. Jake steadied himself, opposing the momentum as he sat in the empty seat. A tall, hooked nosed block of a man with cropped hair and lined face, he gave the image of being stone cut. His smile held no mirth and was not returned by the senior security agents opposite. Jake considered them Government hackers, pension men, eager for glory, scared of retribution. He saw the three as scavengers, hooded crows, hunched and ready to pluck the eyes from any opponent.
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