Tara Chace may be the most dangerous woman alive. She can seduce you into believing she's the woman of your dreams-or kill you with the icy efficiency of an executioner. As the new head of Special Operations for British Intelligence, she no longer has to court death in the field-she wants to.Throw away the old rules, the old school, the old-boy network. The world of international espionage is about to learn the hard way that spying is no longer merely…A GENTLEMAN'S GAMEGreg Rucka's electrifying thrillers have pushed the boundaries of suspense fiction to where few have dared to go. Now, in A Gentleman's Game, one of the genre's most fearless writers brings readers of international espionage his most fearless heroine yet: a no-holds-barred woman who's as lethal as an assassin's bullet.
Inspired by his Eisner Award-winning Queen & Country graphic novel series, the author of the adrenaline-charged Atticus Kodiac thrillers (Critical Space) offers up this British cloak-and-dagger hardcover introducing Tara Chase, an intrepid, relentless female assassin. In a coolly orchestrated terrorist raid chillingly reminiscent of September 11, a well-trained trio of al Qaeda-linked fanatics bomb London subway trains at three major stations, killing 372. In retaliation, Minder One (the head assassin of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligent Service) Tara Chase is given the assignment of killing Dr. Faud bin Abdullah al-Shimmari, a Saudi Arabian religious leader. She can't undertake an operation inside Faud's high-security Saudi homeland, but when the Mossad gets involved on a mission of its own, the hit is scheduled to take place on Yemeni soil. In a bit of bad luck, Chase completes her primary mission with a daring hit on Faud inside the Great Mosque, but ignites international outrage when she blows away a Saudi prince, too. As a result, her queen and countrymen betray her, and she is forced to flee with one final chance to avoid being sacrificed as a pawn in a worldwide political chess game. Though a trifle muddled by bureaucratese, the novel's superb pacing, offbeat characters, wry plot twists and damning insight into oily schizoid Middle Eastern diplomacy add up to an engrossing read. Agent, David Hale Smith at DHS Literary Inc. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from A Gentleman's Game by Greg Rucka
London--Oxford Street, Marble Arch
07 August 1517 GMT
The planning was exceptional, the result of two years spent preparing for the action, an operation meant to run like clockwork. And much like clockwork, it nearly failed, simply because men are not machines, and they feel fear.
When it came upon him, it came by surprise. It stole his breath and cramped his stomach, and for an instant he was certain he would wet himself. Just inside the Marble Arch tube stop he balked, the wash of passengers flowing past him in both directions. He felt the uncomfortable pressure of the glass bottles in his backpack, felt the sweat springing to his palms. Adrenaline filled him, made the stink rising from the tunnels all the more rank, the perfumes and deodorants and colognes that much more cloying. The noise of the station, the echoes of the trains and the voices and PA, became almost unbearably loud, adding to the sudden rush of vertigo.
For a second time, he thought he might vomit.
He steadied himself against the wall, closed his eyes, fought to control his breathing. Of all the things he had practiced, of all the things he had envisioned the eleven times he had made this same trip as a dry run, he had never considered this. He had known he would be nervous. He had even acknowledged that he might be scared. But this level of fear was unexpected, and it unmanned him.
Worse, it made him question his faith, and that added a new emotion, a rising sense of shame. He willed himself to walk on, to continue through the turnstiles and onto the escalator and down to the platform, painfully aware that seconds were passing, that the schedule they had so carefully crafted was now in dire jeopardy. And still he couldn't move.
He thought of the others, ready to board trains at Baker Street and Bank, and he was certain that their faith was stronger than any fear. His mind, which had seized, as paralyzed as the rest of him, suddenly snapped into gear once more, began racing with doubt. Even if he did move, they would fail. Even if he did move, it wouldn't work. Even if he did move, he would be stopped before boarding the train, before opening his backpack, and perhaps the others had been stopped already, had been caught already. Perhaps they had talked, and even now, on close-circuit monitors, he was being watched, and the police were beginning to close in upon him.