They call themselves "January 30", after the date of a British massacre in Belfast. They are allied with no one, killing American diplomats and KGB agents, Arabs and Israelis, IRA gunmen and Loyalist soldiers. But they are definitely the enemies of peace--and they are plotting an assassination that will shatter an uneasy truce that reigns in Ireland.Former IRA enforcer Sean Dillon must hunt down January 30 before they kill again. Before they spark another war. Before Dillon himself falls prey to the ultimate assassin--the Angel of Death...
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September 26, 2004
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Excerpt from Angel of Death by Jack Higgins
A cold wind blew in from Belfast Lough, driving rain across the city. Sean Dillon moved along a narrow street between tall warehouses, relics of the Victorian era, mostly boarded up now. He stood on the corner, a small man, no more than five feet five, wearing a trench coat and an old rain hat.
He was on the waterfront now. There were ships out there at anchor, their riding lights moving up and down, for there was a heavy swell driving into the docks. There was a sound of gunfire in the distance. He glanced in the general direction, lit a cigarette in cupped hands, and moved on.
There was an air of desolation to the whole area, examples of the devastation caused by twenty-five years of war everywhere, and his feet crunched over broken glass. He found what he was looking for five minutes later, a warehouse with a peeling sign on the wall that said MURPHY & SONýIMPORT & EXPORT. There were large double doors with a small Judas gate for easy access. It opened with a slight creak and he stepped inside.
It was a place of shadows, ampty except for an old Ford van and a jumble of packing cases. There was an office at the far end with glass walls, one or two panes broken, and a dim light shone there. Dillon removed his rain hat and ran a hand nervously over his hair which he'd dyed black. The dark moustache which he'd gummed into place on the upper lip completed the transformation.
He waited, still clutching the rain hat. It had to be the van, only reason for it being there, so he wasn't surprised when the rear door opened and a rather large man, a Colt automatic in one hand, emerged.
"Slow and easy, my grand wee man," he said in the distinctive Belfast accent.
"I say, old chap." Dillon showed every sign of alarm and raised his hands. "No problem, I trust? I'm here in good faith."
"Aren't we all, Mr. Friar," a voice called, and Dillon saw Daley appear in the doorway of the office. "Is he clean, Jack?"
The big man ran his hands over Dillon and felt between his legs. "All clear here, Curtis."