Jack Higgins pits the heroic covert intelligence team of Blake Johnson and Sean Dillon against a hidden foe in a very different kind of game-- with a very different set of rules.
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August 02, 2005
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Excerpt from Dark Justice by Jack Higgins
Manhattan on a dark November evening around eight o'clock was bleak and uninviting, an east wind driving heavy rain before it, as Henry Morgan turned the corner of a side street into Park Avenue.
He was a small man wearing a dark blue uniform and cap with the legend ICON SECURITY emblazoned on each shoulder; in one hand was a black leather bag, and the other held an umbrella over his head.
Park Avenue was hardly deserted at that hour, cars swishing by, although there were few pedestrians because of the rain. He turned into a convenient doorway for a moment and looked each way. It was a mixture of offices and residences, mostly impressive town houses, lights at the windows. He'd always loved cities by night and felt a sudden nostalgia, emotional of course, and he took a deep breath. After all, he'd come a long way for this, a long way, and here he was at the final end of things. Time to get on with it. He picked up the bag and stepped out.
A hundred yards farther on, he came to an office building no more than four stories high, a building of some distinction to it, older than the adjacent buildings. There was discreet lighting on the ground floor, obviously for security. A sign in gold leaf on one of the windows said GOULD & COMPANY, BANK DEPOSITORY and indicated business hours from nine until four in the afternoon. He stepped into the arched entrance, peering through the armored plate-glass door into the lighted foyer, and pressed the buzzer for Chesney, only Chesney didn't come. Instead, a large black man wearing the same dark blue uniform appeared and opened the door.
"Hey, you're late. Morgan, isn't it? The English guy? Chesney told me about you."
Morgan stepped inside. The door closed noiselessly behind him. A bad start, but he'd have to make the best of it.
"I'm sorry. I always get Chesney coffee and sandwiches from a place round the corner." He followed the other man through to the reception area. "Where is he?"
"The way I heard it, his gallbladder's playing up again, so they rushed me over from South Street."
"What do I call you?"
"Smith will do." He sat behind the desk, took out a pack of Marlboros and lit one. "A busy night out there, but at least there are a couple of good movies on TV. So you're from London, they tell me?"
"So what are you doing over here?"
"Oh, pastures new, you know how it is."
"Lucky you got a green card."
"Well, I'd been doing this kind of thing over there. It helped."