To my readers: thank you all for taking the time to read Pandora’s Grave and express your support over the past year. It has meant the world to me, and it’s no stretch when I say that I couldn’t have done it without you. By way of thanks, here’s a brief excerpt from the soon-to-be released sequel, Day of Reckoning. May God bless you all in this new year!
6:27 P.M. Eastern Time, December 20thWashington, D.C. It was dark when Kranemeyer left the Alibi Club, night enfolding the city like a heavy garment. Rain was falling, mingled with sleet—slippery beneath his dress shoes. On the way back to his Suburban, he passed a panhandler on the street, the sign in his hands reading “Homeless Vet”. Was he? It was hard to say—for every veteran the government had left abandoned on the streets, there were two more using the claim of service as a meal ticket. More deceit, in a city full of it. There’s no going back, Barney. Not once you’ve started down this road. Kranemeyer pushed the senator’s words away as he levered himself up into the SUV, forcing himself to focus on the task ahead. One thing and only one thing mattered. It wasn’t justice, there was none to be had in this world. Right and wrong. . .those were issues to be decided at a later date. They did this to my men in Cambodia, Coftey had said, gazing into the open flames of the fireplace. Sent us out into the night and abandoned us. Never again. The DCS sat there for a long moment, in the darkness of the vehicle, sleet tapping against the windshield like a ghostly finger. It was a personal failure. He was the spymaster, and he had never even suspected. God only knew how many lives had been lost because of it. Reaching inside his unbuttoned jacket, he retrieved the H&K USP from its holster, his movements slow and methodical as he screwed a suppressor into the muzzle. Practiced. He caught a glimpse of his own face in the overheard mirror, hellishly illuminated in the red taillights of a passing car. An implacable Ares. Do whatever you need to do, Barney—know that I have your back, all the way. Just don’t let him walk. The slide of the semiautomatic slid forward with a metallic click, chambering a cartridge. Kranemeyer laid the weapon on the passenger seat beside him and shifted the Suburban into Drive. No one was walking away from this. . .