This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Dr. Robert J. Oppenheimer, the Director of the Manhattan Project that developed the first atom bomb was said to have quoted the Bhagavad Gita after its first successful test, saying: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Dr. Oppenheimer, though not a soothsayer wasn’t far off the mark.
29 September 2021 United Nations 74th Session of the General Assembly New York
If anyone had asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Andrea Malcolm wouldn’t have had an answer. The future wasn’t anything that ever entered the head of the motherless child, who in her short life of only five years, had already lived in nine foster homes. Most days lasting until bedtime with a couple of meals in her belly and avoiding a beating was all her immature mind could manage. Thinking ahead was something that didn’t exist in Andrea’s world. Surviving each day was challenging enough.
When she was eighteen she was able to escape the system, the military seemed the safest bet toward dependable food and housing, so she enlisted in the army. Fortunately she suited the army and the army suited her; so well, in fact that the Agency came calling after her third re-up and she took on a whole new training program. The occupation of trained assassin had somehow never occurred to that innocent child of so long ago, yet here she was twenty-eight years later carefully concealed with an untraceable plastic 9mm weapon trained on her latest mark.
This was the biggest assignment of her career and she was well aware of that fact. In this business you only got so many chances, and she had a sense that this was probably her last. She had no reason for these doubts; so far everything had gone perfectly. All of her press passes and necessary security clearances were in order nothing had gone awry. That was one thing you could count on when you worked for the Agency: they paid attention to details.
There had been no problem getting through security and no problem getting up here to this quiet corner in the gallery. Contrary to popular belief, when the movers and shakers of the world addressed the NATO conference they didn’t draw a standing room only kind of crowd. The upper galleries were empty, just like the advance information had indicated.
Soon the crowd settled down and the Secretary General made his opening remarks. Andie listened only long enough to know when he was finished. She found in her line of work the less attention paid to politics, the better. Once you paid attention, you tended to form an opinion and when you did that, doing your job became all the more difficult. The crowd stirred and her focus shifted.
“…Casimir Radnaezewski!” The entire room rose en masse. The applause was like thunder, reverberating about the high ceilings and bouncing back on itself. The man now standing at the podium smiled serenely and put out his hands to quiet the crowd. Slowly the applause receded and the crowd sat. He began to speak in a calm and measured voice. She had no intention of listening to him speak or watching the crowd’s response. Although her practice was to avoid any and all news, she would have had to spend the last four months camping on a glacier to avoid hearing at least some of the whirlwind that surrounded this guy, and even then, it was doubtful.
When the assignment reached her desk, she was bothered that the mark was a priest. But a serious discussion with her superiors about the big picture put her reservations to rest. After all, working for the Agency meant something. And so did patriotism.
She had studied his picture and everything else in the intelligence folder she’d been given, in addition to shadowing him for the last twenty-four hours. But being the professional that she was she reached in her bag and took one last look at the photograph, then pulled out her Aculon A220 Long Range Binoculars and made a positive ID of her target. Certain this was her man she stuffed the photo and binoculars back in the bag and proceeded to assemble her weapon from the assorted pieces of what appeared to be a cell phone, a camera, and a tube of lipstick. When she was done, she took her place right behind the curtains, loaded the gun and checked her target once more.
Through the opening, she raised the weapon and got him in her sights. As she focused the hatchmarks on his forehead, he raised his head and appeared to be looking right at her. Stunned, she lowered the gun. She looked around her. There was no one there; there was no way she could have been discovered, and the guy would have to have ex-ray vision to actually see her from where he stood. She was completely concealed in the alcove and the curtains gave her great cover. She raised the weapon again and took aim. He looked up at her again and smiled, the smile drew on her memory; from a place and perhaps even a face she once knew. A tear escaped her left eye and slid down her cheek. The index finger of her right hand made contact with the trigger and squeezed.
Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
Jennifer Sibley Jannise: So, I originally read the book because my daughter asked me to. However, I read it in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and thought out. If the author writes and publishes any more books, I would definitely read them.
jodie456: I started reading this book because of the great cover. I found out you CAN judge a book by it's cover!This wonderful story is fresh, exciting, and intense. The story was even better than the great cover! Matthew Thrush's characters are so real, you will find yourself missing them when you are fi...
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...
Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.
shotgundriver: As with all horror fiction, the reader must be able to suspend disbelief to digest this story. Fortunately, the first-person style of the story is so casual, and the protagonist, Ashley, so familiar on many levels, that I found myself sacrificing sleep to stay up and read, as if I was anxiousl...
rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.