Jack Sussek's Blog - Posts Tagged "spy"

Wow, two months since the last post; 'time,geography' as Jack Reacher would say. Stats: Facebook 'likes' for MANHATTAN AFFAIR - well north of 6000; MANHATTAN AFFAIR book (print and eBook) sales very close behind, sales for my two other works, TWO STORIES and MAN READING A NEWSPAPER(short pieces,) are moderate to good and I am pleased with that; they have not been advertised or marketed in any way so I have to believe their sales are attributable to those who have read MANHATTAN AFFAIR. There is a slight (very slight) buzz in Hollywood/NYC film cirlcle(s) about a possible MANHATTAN AFFAIR film...we shall see - I've heard untold numbers of heart wrenching tales when it comes to Hollywood so I am not even paying attention yet. As they say, 'when the money is in the bank...'
So, where am I? In the middle of my next novel as of now UNTITLED, a thriller certainly, a little different than my last book but centered on two of the characters from it. This is, bluntly, a spy thriller - based on stories and experiences I've had in the last ten years or so and the people, places, and hands on experiences I have had in places like Afghanistan, the UAE, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon,Europe, and, of course, the United States and New York City. It is going well, about halfway there and hope to have it released mid - 2013. To be frank, I am very excited about it, it is a good story and will keep you at the edge from the first page. These are the kind of books I like, not just fiction, but well written biographies, histories, science (fiction and non), basically anything. That's what makes a good story. Keeping you there. Forcing you to go to the next page. Until next time -
3 likes ·   •  2 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on November 30, 2012 16:37 • 134 views • Tags: jack-sussek, manhattan-affair, mystery, new-york-city, novels, spy, thriller
Just finished the first draft of my next novel tentatively titled DIMON. Essentially a straight out espionage story set in our time and takes place in Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mexico, and the United States. Dimon is the protagonist, his antagonist is working with elements of the Iranian Secret Intelligence Service (IRGCSIS), there are good guys and bad guys and sometimes hard to tell who is who.

Dimon and two other characters, Coldwell and Delbarton, appeared near the end of my last novel MANHATTAN AFFAIR and this story is centered around them and the secret and autonomous organization they work for. The book begins when an asset of the Office (the organization Dimon works for) signals he wants to defect from the Pakistani ISI. Things unravel from there.
1 like ·   •  1 comment  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 22, 2013 13:08 • 114 views • Tags: afghanistan, cia, dirty-bomb, espionage, iran, isi, mi6, nsa, pakistan, spy, terrorism
The noise of a casino falls into two categories: if you are engaged, that is to say, if you are pulling a slot machine handle or coolly glancing at your newly dealt hand or blowing hot breath into your fistful of dice, the smell of sweat and booze and cigarette smoke, the sound of music, of laughter, of bells ringing and curses mumbled, of cigarette lighters flicking and cries of “Come on lucky!” are all nothing but background sounds, so-called white noise. But if you were standing off to the side, idly observing the floor, this ‘white noise’ was a cacophony of chaos, not unlike in many ways a child’s birthday party, and could be quite annoying. For Dimon though, who was not gambling, who in fact was off to the side standing by one of the faux Roman columns at the edge of the gaming floor, it was the first category; for in spite of the fact he was not engaged in any of the activities on the floor he was perhaps engaged in the biggest game of chance known to man; laying odds on matters of life and death. His focus was absolute and anything else was simply background, part of the landscape.
There were three; one at a Blackjack table who was in the middle of a monstrous winning streak, ironically providing nearly iron-clad cover for himself; the second sitting amidst a gaggle of chain-smoking senior citizens over in the dollar slots; and the third, furtively glancing at his watch as he stood up from a stud poker table, pocketing his meager chips, and beginning to walk through the center of the casino towards the exit. Dimon observed the other two as they caught the movement of number three and shifted in their seats. This was the signal, Dimon decided, when number three begins to walk toward the exit.
At that moment Reichart, unknown to Dimon, started his car, pushed a button on his chronograph, and drove towards McCarran airport. He had exactly three minutes to get clear of the Bellagio Casino.
Dimon spoke softly, nearly inaudible to anyone within a few feet of him. “Number three is up; make your approach. Now.”
2 likes ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 22, 2013 13:59 • 186 views • Tags: dimon, jack-sussek, mystery, spy, thriller
The entrance to the Connaught Hotel is on an off-centered corner and outwardly circular so that al-Jariri’s team had to have two vantage points. The odds the target could be at either periphery, and thus outside a single line of fire was, al-Jariri decided, too unfavorable. To remedy this difficulty he chose his two best shooters and covertly placed one on a rooftop in Carlos Place and the other opposite, in a third floor apartment, on Adams Row. As an extra precaution al-Jariri himself was positioned directly across from the hotel on Mount Row, discreetly sitting in a specially made chair, not unlike the fighting chair on a sport fishing boat, which was bolted into the bed of a utility laundry van. The small, discreet, opening in the side of the van allowed an unimpeded view of the hotel and his line of sight was straight on. The only unknown was the hotel’s taxi stand which stood at the hotel entrance. If another party arrived in a group of taxis, say at the moment of action, he couldn’t be sure he’d have a clear sight line to the target. Ultimately though it was, he reluctantly admitted, a slight risk, it was the best spot to direct the others from. In the end, given all the factors involved and the way he had triangulated the kill zone, his confidence the target would be hit was high enough for him to give the mission a ‘go.’
The U.S. Envoy to the Middle East, former Ambassador Joseph Stratton, had arrived well after midnight the evening before having achieved, according to the headlines in the morning papers, a breakthrough in the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli’s. A comprehensive peace accord, it was rumored, was to be announced later that day at the American Embassy only blocks away. The as yet unknown caveat; that is to say, what no one but the Ambassador and the President of the United States, as well as the principals of the two parties in question knew, was that the Ambassador himself was to personally oversee, control, and monitor the progress of the agreements and supported by the President of the United States, a personal guarantee as it were, due to the Ambassador’s enormous credibility in the region and in particular with each head of state. Without that personal guarantee, it was admitted, no agreement regarding the so-called two state solution could have been reached. Both sides, the Israeli’s and the Palestinians, had full faith and confidence that Ambassador Stratton would steer the agreement fairly, without prejudice, and be sure all aspects of the pact would be adhered to.
The only piece of information Ahmed al-Jariri did not have this morning was what time the Ambassador was to leave the Connaught to go to the Embassy for the press announcement. He and his team had been in place since 03.30, less than an hour after the Ambassador had arrived and al-Jariri had received his information and the order to proceed, but as far as al-Jariri was concerned it did not matter what time the Ambassador left. He and his team were ready.
Ahmed al-Jariri made a good living eliminating targets of choice. He was not widely known, not infamous as it was, and that was an added bonus to his services. His employers had confidence al-Jariri, aside from his work, would remain unnoticed and anonymous, and provide the cut out necessary to remain unconnected to his actions. Of course, there were instances where suspicion of his employers could not be avoided. When the third-in-command of Shin-Bet was gunned down on a Tel Aviv street some years ago there was a very short list comprised by the Americans, Europeans, and Israeli’s of in whose interest this action would most benefit and al-Jariri’s client, the leader of the militant wing of Hamas, was at the very top. But even still, al-Jariri himself had managed to evade any attention. They may have suspected who wanted the Israeli’s death but they had no clue as to who pulled the actual trigger.
This, perhaps, was al-Jariri’s greatest talent; his ability to disappear, to remain invisible, to work incognito. In addition to his efficiency, his infallible accuracy, his organizational talents, and ability to travel, perhaps his best skill was his talent for melting away, causing an action while remaining unseen. Not one dossier nor even a single photograph existed of Ahmed al-Jariri. No intelligence service, no security apparatus, no government knew who Ahmed al-Jariri was. And this, he well knew, was the true value of his currency, the ultimate key to his success, and the secret of his survival. And, in his business, simply the best reason to hire him.
Al-Jariri glanced at his watch, an expensive Tag – Heuer chronometer. Not quite 7.00. The brightening sky revealed an overcast ceiling, muting shadows, obscuring dark shades and colors. Al-Jariri glanced up at the rooftop on Carlos Place and saw the thin barrel of a Mannlicher .270 casually resting against the parapet wall. Looking to his left he saw the same thin barrel angled sharply at the corner of a third floor apartment window, cracked open slightly to allow the protrusion. Under the gray morning sky these thin lines were nearly invisible and al – Jariri felt the first fluttering of anticipation in his stomach. This always happened at the outset of an action and he was comforted by this familiar feeling.
At exactly 7.15, by the measure of his Tag – Heuer, men in dark suits began to appear at the entrance of the Connaught. Suddenly three black Chevrolet Tahoe’s, the steering wheels on the left side rather then the right, pulled up to the entrance. The American’s, al-Jariri saw, were not trusting anyone’s security but their own, not even the British. Interesting, he thought. It indicated the seriousness the American’s were placing on this endeavor. Al-Jariri spoke softly into the tiny mouthpiece clipped to his shirt collar.
“Target imminent. Prepare for action.”
Two single and well spaced microphone clicks were heard in response. Then there was a rustling at the entrance of the hotel and the tall 6’ 6” body of the ambassador suddenly appeared in the dim, gray, early morning light, his head well above his bodyguards. Even at this distance al-Jariri could see the deep lines drawn around Stratton’s eyes and crossing his forehead, the obvious sign of a lack of sleep but al-Jariri did not empathize with Stratton. He only saw the tactical errors. Number one security mistake, al-Jariri thought as he heard the sound of a car backfire - don’t leave an open target - and then he watched the ambassador’s head turn into a mass of red and white mist as it exploded over the heads of the others surrounding him.
“Team two go,” al-Jariri said calmly into the microphone and although he could not see them he knew two separate bakery trucks were idling on the backside of each of the buildings his two men were in, waiting for them to descend the stairs and crawl into the back of their trucks. By 9.00 one would be on the Eurostar to Brussels, the other heading west on the M-41 to a ferry that would take him to Ireland. In thirty minutes al-Jariri would be on a train to Edinburgh where he would catch a flight to Amsterdam.
As he heard his driver start the engine of the laundry van Al-Jariri reached for a cell phone, opened it, and hit ‘send.’ The text message was instantly received by his man in St. Pancras Station across town and simply said, ‘go.’ The man then proceeded to the Eurostar ticket counter and bought a one way to Brussels. He would stand at the designated spot and hold his packed suitcase containing clothes and proper paperwork, a raincoat and that morning’s edition of the ‘The Guardian’ carefully folded under his arm like every other commuter, and when his colleague arrived from the building in Carlos Place he would hand them over along with his ticket. He would then turn on his heel and walk out to the street and disappear. As he continued to send text messages he knew the same routine would be played out at the ferry terminal in Holyhead, 350 kilometers away on the west coast of England, as well as in King’s Cross train station on the edge of central London. By noon that day al-Jariri and his team will have virtually disappeared off the face of the earth.
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 22, 2013 11:25 • 133 views • Tags: assassination, dimon, jack-sussek, spy, thriller
Renaud Piton swung the dark platinum Aston Martin DB9 around the Square Albert Besnard off the Place du Marechal Juin and into the Rue Ampere. There was a Hertz car rental facility nearby where he knew the manager and had an arrangement whereby he could park his Aston there at his leisure. Piton would never have parked his beloved Aston on the street. Particularly a Parisian street. And the Hertz manager, a second cousin from Marseilles, was happy to accommodate Piton as well as receive the additional compensation of 50 euros per visit. For Piton it made meeting Buckley in the 17th all the more easier.
“Bonjour, Reny,” Buckley said as he looked up from his coffee. Piton swung a chair over from a nearby table. The late August air was warm but pleasant under the café awning. Traffic was light, most Parisians were away, and the café was not crowded.
Piton was of few words. Wasn’t given to say much, preferred to listen and let his actions speak. Among the few who knew him, or knew of him, that was a certainty. There were those for whom he’d worked for in the past; delicate, intimate, close hand work, who to this day wouldn’t know his voice if he stood before them and recited De Gaulle’s farewell address. But mention the name Renaud Piton to those few and they knew very well who you were speaking about. Buckley liked to joke, not in Piton’s presence of course, that Piton was a man who ‘carried himself softly but spoke with a big stick.’ That always got a laugh. Further obscuring Piton’s existence, after Buckley first made his acquaintance nearly five years ago, Piton has not worked for anyone since. An arrangement that pleased them both.
Piton waved to a waiter and said “espresso,” in a soft but clear voice. It was not a demand but neither was it a request. It was simply a statement. It went right to the root of Piton’s understanding of the world. His presence in the café was to be served. The waiter’s presence in the café was to serve. Piton’s purpose here was to simply communicate his desire. And the waiter’s only purpose, as far as Piton was concerned, was to fulfill it. Piton liked to boil things down to their essence, keeping things as simple as possible. Life was complicated enough, he felt. No need to add to it if one didn’t have to.
Buckley lit a cigarette. He offered the pack to Piton but Piton refused. He did not smoke. Buckley knew this but it was an informal habit of his to offer him the cigarettes anyway. Sort of a ritual they both went through when they met.
Buckley looked at Piton. Piton was a tall man, dressed in a tailored light gray suit, no tie, expensive black shoes. He was densely muscled, thick and olive skinned, black hair crew cut; his face formed by sharp lines that cut vertical angles down his cheeks and a very pronounced chin so that he seemed to have been carved by a knife or chisel, whittled if you will, out of a monstrous piece of stone. His clear, light blue eyes betrayed no feeling, like the lens of a camera, they simply observed. And his mouth, a cruel opening with a scar across his upper lip, was hard, his lips like the edges of a truck tire. He was the sort of man who instantly frightened lesser men, men with faulty egos or a false sense of themselves, and for women, well, they either surrendered themselves willingly, melted by his testosterone fueled brutishness, or they withered away quickly and hid from him out of instinctual fear. Words like ‘gentle, compassionate, understanding, etc.’ did not exist in his dictionary. Buckley, for lack of a better description, called him his ‘specialist.’
Buckley had made Piton’s acquaintance five years ago after Buckley arranged the sale of 500 pieces of the U.S. manufactured M249 Light Machine Gun, more commonly known as the Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, to a General in the Sudanese Army for $2,500,000. It was a good deal; at $5000 apiece it was far below the cost the United States military paid for the same weapons. But Buckley had not done business with this General before and therefore required a down payment of 50% before he would go forward and make all the necessary arrangements. The General cried a poor mouth and Buckley eventually settled for $750,000 to get the deal started. A month later the shipment arrived in Khartoum as promised but when Buckley went back to his hotel and waited for the General to arrive and complete the transaction he found himself arrested instead.
“There’s been a coup,” the General told him. “And I am arresting you as a mercenary, an enemy of the state.” Buckley’s shipment, of course, was confiscated at the dock.
There were others that had been rounded up as well and they were all crammed into a large holding cell in an old fortress in the capital. There were soldiers, businessmen, lawyers, politicians, hundreds of these so called ‘enemies of the state.’ Among them was a French businessman who moonlighted for a Marseilles smuggling syndicate. Buckley befriended him and soon learned this Frenchman’s employer had some pull in Africa, in particular with Qaddafi in Libya, and the Frenchman, who introduced himself as Yves Chouinard, assured Buckley they would be released soon. Qaddafi was on friendly terms with the Sudanese General and had some sway with him.
A week later, in the dead of night, Buckley heard loud explosions outside the prison. Then some shooting and Buckley recognized the familiar popping sound of AK-47’s and AR-15 assault rifles. Then a zipper of hand grenades exploded and the cast iron door to the prison burst open. Buckley saw a contingent of soldiers, or at least fighters dressed in crisp new military fatigues, rush into the open yard and fire their weapons into the air.
“Chouinard! Chouinard!” they shouted. “Everyone leave! Now! You are free! Chouinard! Come with us! Quickly!”
The one doing the shouting was obviously the one in command and Buckley watched as Chouinard went up to him. The one in command, who seemed to be French as well, grabbed him by the arm and led him toward the door. Chouinard turned and waved at Buckley.
“Come,” he shouted. “Come with me.”
Buckley saw the leader turn and heard Chouinard say to him, “He’s with me.”
Forty-eight hours later Buckley was in a Marseilles café with Chouinard and the leader of their escape team. Renaud Piton. A Marseilles native, former officer in the French COS, currently a freelance security officer with deep experience in African diamond mines, Turkish counter-surveillance against Kurdish PPK, and most recently with an American defense contractor de-mining and eradicating Afghan poppy fields. Chouinard’s employer had Piton on retainer for occasional ‘special’ operations such as the one in which Chouinard found himself in the Sudan. Buckley, that morning in the café in Marseilles, was determined to hire him. He immediately recognized Piton’s talents and knew instantly to have a man with his skills in his employ would prove useful many times over. By the end of the week Piton agreed to accompany Buckley to Paris and soon after that, for the first time since he left the COS, Renaud Piton found himself with a full time job and steady employment.

“What do you mean Nehet is missing?” Piton now asked.
“Simple as that,” Buckley said. “Gone, disappeared. He made the delivery, I’ve confirmed that, but he failed to return to Ankara. I don’t have the GPS receiver, he has it. I have no idea where the package is. The twenty million dollar package. Boxx’s twenty million dollar package. You understand the seriousness of this.”
“I want you to meet with Boxx’s man Rostov. He was with Nehet for the delivery to the waypoint. I want you to find that package. You must find it.” Buckley handed him a manila envelope.
“Yes, of course. I understand.”
Piton finished his espresso and stood. He reached into his pocket and left some coins in the saucer. Then he left.
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 20, 2013 13:22 • 116 views • Tags: dimon, jack-sussek, spy, thriller
The café was loud. Voices boomed like rolling boulders down an empty canyon. Spoons tingled tea cups and split the distance between bursts of laughter and muted coughs that bounced between vaulted ceilings and cracked plaster walls. Thin, wispy lines of smoke patched together like woven threads rose from dozens of water pipes and wafted over the large crowded room like a gentle mist over a river at dawn. Men, and there were only men here, shouted and argued and laughed and waved fingers and drank tea from stained cups in between puffs off the hookah. Although merely a popular tea house this café could have passed as one of Teheran’s busiest bazaars. As it was Buckley had the sense life here was a little out of control and it helped ease the tenuous anxiety he always felt in a society where control was everything.
He glanced at his watch for perhaps the twentieth time in as many minutes. He sipped his warm Coke but longed for a good cup of coffee despite the fact he was British. He despised tea. Watered down mud as far as he was concerned. Bashir, of course, was late.
He was always late. That was the thing about dealing with Muslims, Buckley wryly noted. Not like the English at all. In the thirty some years he’d been doing business in the East he’d long ago accepted the fact that time had a different meaning here. He didn’t mean to stereotype, in his business it was fatal, but generally speaking it was true. As if the Prophet had written in some kind of allowance for the perpetual ignorance of punctuality simply by excusing it as God’s Will.
Buckley smiled to himself as he allowed the full weight of his cynicism overrule his better judgment. He had always suspected why Muslims relied on muezzins, those necessary but cherished men who sang the call to prayer. It was the Prophet’s way of insuring the believers prayed on time. Such is life.
Buckley glanced at his watch again, a simple stainless steel affair with luminous hands, a date, a worn crocodile strap, not obtrusive, discreetly plain, a quartz movement. He always wore it when he was doing business in this part of the world, he’d had it for years and, like his unstylish tan linen suit, sans tie, with his scuffed and worn brown leather shoes, it made him feel comfortable, at ease. When doing business in the Middle East he had always felt if he wore one of his more expensive watches along with one of his bespoke Saville Row suits it would convey something he didn’t want his buyers or sellers to infer. Teheran wasn’t London or New York. God, no. What Buckley wanted was to look just like any of the other men sitting in this back alley café in a struggling Teheran neighborhood. And he did. And Buckley knew as far as Bashir was concerned, and all the rest of them, he was simply a go-fer, a middleman’s middleman, struggling like the rest of them to make a living in that rough and tumble area between a rock and a hard place.
He rubbed the back of his hand against the three day growth on his chin and recalled the last time he had seen Bashir. Not that long ago. Late last year. End of November. Or was it early December? Similar café, although instead of Teheran it was Paris, and instead of tea and hookahs it was coffee and cigarettes. And like today, Bashir was late then too. But they’d had a good deal, Buckley remembered, that Paris one. Forty-five hundred crates of US Army claymores delivered to Aden that, as far as the United States Government was concerned, had been destroyed back in 1991 along with thousands of tons of other ordnance left over from the Vietnam War. All part of a Pentagon program to “destroy and upgrade,” a direct result of the so-called ‘peace dividend’ that American politicians claimed they were owed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Buckley smiled to himself. He loved peace dividends and ‘destroy and upgrade’ programs. He smiled as he recalled the hefty profit he’d collected from Bashir that day in Paris. Buckley rarely reminisced but he couldn’t forget how pleased Bashir had been too. And that, Buckley knew, was the age old sign of a good deal. Both buyer and seller equally sharing in their good fortune. Something that seems to be rarer and rarer these days.
Buckley leaned back and reached inside his jacket for a cigarette. He tapped one out and rapidly banged the filtered end against the end of the table before fitting it into the corner of his mouth. He reached into his pocket again and withdrew a scuffed and dented stainless steel lighter with the red star and USSR written in Cyrillic underneath. On the back was written a phrase of which Buckley had long ago forgotten and under that the Cyrillic letters ‘KGB.’ He lit the cigarette and exhaled slowly, blowing the smoke upward, above his head, so that a small halo-like cloud hovered above him.
He loved it when countries decided to destroy weapons. Especially western nations. That was Buckley’s specialty. Selling weapons that didn’t exist anymore. And that, Buckley knew, was the basis of his well developed and deeply formed relationship with Bashir and the reason why he waited, no matter how long, in this noisy, smoke filled café on the eastern edge of this working class neighborhood in Teheran.
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 27, 2013 09:03 • 115 views • Tags: arms-dealer, dimon, espionage, jack-sussek, spy, thriller
Peshawar, Pakistan

There were some shouts; then heavy pounding. Boom! Out the window the air was claustrophobic; thick, black like oil. The stars were out there too, somewhere; hidden by a blanket of diesel exhaust, dust, and wood smoke that had once again settled over Peshawar. Twenty miles out, he knew, you’d see an ebony sky so deep and stars so bright you’d think you were on the moon. Khalid listened and could tell by the sound they were using a steel battering ram. He felt sick, nauseas, exhausted. A chill ran through him even though his forehead shined a thin film of sweat; he shivered lightly. His feet and hands were numb and his mouth dry. The rancid smell coming from the bucket half full of vomit beside him reminded him of the neighborhood in Karachi he grew up in. Odd, he thought. He looked at his watch as he heard the door give way. A little late, he thought. But then again, this is Peshawar. He quickly stuffed the few things he’d been looking at into a worn, well used black leather case; his Qu’ran, a few photos, his good luck piece, and the file he had taken from Islamabad. His hands shook and his arms ached as he struggled to slip the bag’s carrying strap over his shoulder. Then he reached over, grabbed his hat, and put it on his now nearly bald head. He tried to control his shivering.
Boom! Bam! Crack! The door splintered, crashed open. Khalid sat calmly in his chair and leaned against the table. He smiled. Near the end of it now, he thought. The bright fluorescent light above made him look very pale, ghost like. The sores on his body ached and itched but he ignored them now as he watched the soldiers surround him, the pain no longer important. A Major stepped up in front of him. Do I recognize him, he thought? Pretty low rank for someone like me, he noted. I wonder if this Major knows who I am. Then he remembered this wasn’t about him, or them, anymore. This whole thing had left them now, gone on to a much more serious, more intense level. A level much higher than any of them.
“Praise be to Allah,” Khalid mumbled in a raw, raspy sandpaper voice, “the compassionate, the merciful, the all-knowing.” His yellow bloodshot eyes looked directly at the Major. “What took you?” he asked. “I’ve been here a bloody week.”
The Major remained silent and stared coldly at Khalid as a familiar crew-cut American dressed in jeans and a well-worn flight jacket stepped out from behind the Major.
“Hello, Jack,” Khalid said, his voice barely above a whisper now and he suddenly felt an enormous sense of relief wash over him. The pain that had racked his body these last weeks no longer bothered him, as if Jack’s presence had somehow erased it, like a salve or an antidote of some sort. He offered up his left arm, not quite a sacrifice, watched as Jack took it and pushed back his heavily starched sleeve. The American swabbed an alcohol pad on the inside of Khalid’s spongy arm, found a vein, inserted the needle. Only a matter of time now, Khalid knew. Couple days, week at most. The Major took out a set of flex ties, cuffed Khalid’s hands, and placed a hood over his head. Then Khalid heard Jack say in Pashto, “Ok Massoud, it’s your ball now.”
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 23, 2013 14:12 • 202 views • Tags: dimon, espionage, jack-sussek, pakistan, spy, thriller
Heathrow Airport, London.

Jack Rose strolled anonymously along the jet-way sandwiched between a cuckolded husband, his demanding and overweight wife, and three obviously spoiled daughters. They had sat behind him on the plane and he was, by now, much too familiar with their family squabbling, money seeming to be the glue that was tearing them apart. The price he paid, Rose reckoned, for making a last minute stop-over in Paris. He held his battered briefcase in one hand while with the other reached into his inside pocket for his well thumbed passport with the diplomatic cover and the fast track chip. He hoped Charlene had been on the ball and had one of the pool drivers waiting. He had no choice but to spend a few hours at the office before he headed home. He knew all too well if the PM wanted a briefing in the morning he had better be prepared. And chances were extremely high he would. At least that was the last indication Charlene had given him before he left Cairo.
“If the limousine isn’t there it will be your father’s fault,” the heavy woman in front of Rose said to no one in particular. “I refuse to take one of those awful lorries they call a bus,” she whined.
“Did you daddy? We want a limo!”
“Limo! Limo! Limo!” all four chimed.
“It is a hundred and twenty quid for one,” the husband said meekly. “The bus is thirty-five.”
“LIMO! LIMO! LIMO!” the wife yelled. “Don’t you hear them?”
“Don’t be such a cheapskate!”
“Yes, daddy, please, just think of what Sally Crouse will say when she sees us pull up in a limo! Just back from Paris in a limo!”
“Dolly’s right George,” the wife said. “Don’t forget about the neighbor’s.” She turned and gave her husband George a look that Rose was sure would strip the paint off a wrought iron fence. Her eyes widened and her mouth turned down in such a way that the corners looked sharp as knives. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to lug our baggage all the way from the bus stop to the house, George. If we take the bus home you’re responsible for the luggage. Right, girls?”
Rose quickened his step and bypassed the doomed family just as he reached the gate for immigration. He saw the passageway for fast track and shot right through.
“Pleasant trip Mr. Rose?”
“Yes,” Rose replied. “The Pyramids this time of year are amazing.”
“I’ve heard that,” the immigration officer said as he stamped Rose’s passport. “Welcome back.”
Rose smiled as he bypassed baggage and went straight out through the arrivals toward the street. He saw no one waiting for him, no one he recognized anyway, and went out onto the street. A line of taxi’s snaked to the left of him and he looked for the que. Suddenly he felt a hand on his arm and before he could turn he heard, “Please come with me, Commander.”
Rose recognized the voice and turned to see the familiar face of Longfellow, lead driver for the pool, and he broke out into a grin.
“Times must be tough for you to be picking up the likes of me,” Rose said.
“Someone’s got to do the dirty work,” Longfellow said dryly.
They walked in silence to the car parked in a handicapped slot at the front, the agency placard splayed across the dashboard. Once inside Longfellow turned in his seat.
“American Ambassador, fellow by the name of Stratton, heard of him?”
“Of course, just saw him yesterday in Cairo,” Rose said.
“Yes, of course. Bloke bought it at the Connaught just after seven this morning.”
"So we're..."
"Going to 10 Downing," Longfellow said as he put the blue strobe light on the dashboard.
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on December 05, 2013 13:00 • 122 views • Tags: dimon, jack-sussek, spy, thriller
Rostov was tired. His body was asleep but his mind was jumpy. He lay motionless in his bed and looked out the window. The sky was steel, smoky gray, like a battleship. He heard his wife in the kitchen fussing with the samovar as he reluctantly lifted his thick wrist. 9.30. Suddenly he sat up and shook his head. Come on, Alexanderovich, he said to himself. One more errand and you can come back and sleep.
The trip home had been arduous. When Nehet left him in Tbilisi it had been three o’clock in the afternoon and he’d had to wait until nine o’clock for the next flight to Moscow. Rostov made due with a wooden bench, a stale roll, and a cup of tepid tea; the two black metal suitcases on the floor squeezed tightly between his legs. Although he’d been up over twenty-four hours he dared not sleep. Adding to his woes the Aeroflot flights to Moscow were sold out and the only flight he could get on was some unknown local airline. It had cost him nearly five hundred US in bribes to allow him to carry on his two suitcases but getting a seat was impossible. Once aboard the plane, an ancient Ilyushin 18V, one of those old four prop jobs that had once been the work horse of the Soviet Air Force, Rostov saw all the seats filled with a lot of children on the laps of adults and a crowd of about twenty standing in the rear of the plane. Rostov quietly took his place in the back squeezing in between two unshaven Uzbek businessmen with gold teeth in cheap suits reeking of garlic. Just before take-off the stewardesses ordered all those standing in the rear of the plane forward behind the door to the cockpit until they reached altitude when she ordered them back aft where they had been standing. Nearly three hours later, on the final approach to Moscow, they repeated the same maneuver again. It was nearly three in the morning when Rostov finally set his two suitcases down in his apartment, his arms numb, his wife sound asleep, and his teenage daughter only God knew where.
Now, on the kind of gray morning only Muscovites truly knew, Rostov made the attempt to motivate himself and get his ass out of bed, quickly shower, dress, suck down a cup of his wife’s reheated tea, make a quick phone call and, with each of the suitcases, walk to Paveletskaya Station where he was to find a certain taxi that would take him on his last leg in this journey to deliver the two suitcases containing the two million dollars US, minus four hundred for the Kurds, seven hundred for travel, and five hundred in bribes, to the man this money belonged to.
In Paveletskaya he found the taxi, the one with a card in the window that said “Borofsky” and underneath in smaller writing, “Gazprom.” Neither he nor the driver said anything as the taxi pulled away and sped down Novokuznetskaya Street. They passed through Koltso as if they were the only car going through the intersection and continued on without yielding through the next two.
At the Novokuznetskaya Metro station the driver stayed left and, after crossing the canal, hung a sharp right and drove straight into an underground parking garage at speed. It happened so quick Rostov did not notice which building they entered. Underneath the driver pulled alongside an elevator that led upstairs and, turning in his seat for the first time, simply nodded at the elevator. Then he pulled a cell phone out of his pocket, dialed a number and said, “He’s coming up.”
Rostov hauled himself out of the taxi, dragging the two suitcases after him, and stood in the nearly empty garage. It smelled of exhaust and damp cement. The taxi screeched as it pulled away and Rostov watched it speed up the exit ramp. Then it was gone. He walked to the elevator. Without pushing the button he could see by the LCD floor read-out that it was already descending. Boxx’s latest headquarters, he thought. Rostov wasn’t surprised, on the contrary, he expected as much. Boxx was a man who never stayed put for very long. Moved around the world as often as the moon. Something Rostov had gotten very much used to over the years.
The door opened and revealed a burly man of about six feet, his neck the size of Rostov’s thigh, and arms so thick and hard Rostov could see the outlines of the man’s veins in his biceps through his tight shirt sleeves. He had a thick black mustache but his head was shaved, revealing a scar over the top of his left ear. Rostov stepped in and realized he was in a hotel elevator. Judging by the neighborhood it must be the Kempinski, he thought. The elevator went all the way to the top floor and opened into a foyer where two men in dark suits stood guard. Rostov recognized them. They nodded at Rostov and began to walk down the foyer. There were no doors, just paintings, reproductions actually, of old Russia, Czarist Russia, Turgenev’s Russia, in shiny gold leaf frames hanging over bright red velvet wallpaper. Rostov followed the two men. The plush burgundy carpet was soft, quiet. At the end one of them opened the door and waved Rostov through. When Rostov stepped in to what appeared to be the sitting room of a large suite he saw Vladimir Boxx sitting by the window in a silk black robe, his thin hair perfectly combed, his goatee exquisitely trimmed, and a blonde woman sitting next to him, completely naked, holding his hand, her pale white skin flawless and her breasts as fresh and firm as ripe fruit. She was, Rostov thought, absolutely stunning. Boxx looked up, saw Rostov, and pulled his hand back from the woman. He looked at her.
“I will think about,” he said.
“Please, I beg of you Vladimir,” the woman said. Either she didn’t know Rostov had stepped into the room or she didn’t care.
“I said,” Boxx turned away from the woman. “I will think about it. Now leave me to do some business.”
The woman stood up, gave Boxx a kiss on his forehead, and walked toward a door on the left without so much as glancing at Rostov. He felt a tingling sensation in his groin. She was, Rostov thought, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Boxx turned to Rostov. “O.k. Alexander,” he said. “What have you got?”
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 03, 2014 08:32 • 146 views • Tags: dimon, espionage, jack-sussek, spy, thriller
“Right,” Clydesdale said. “So that’s the gist of it; American’s have taken over of course, he was their man, you see. Because it happened here they’ve asked us to assist, naturally, special relationship and all of that. You’ll be working with your counterpart, he’s in Amsterdam now, bloke called Dimon. There’s a thread indicating one or more of the shooter’s will end up there. Seems a big pot of money wired to a bank there got our attention. You’ll be debriefed in Grosvenor Square. Chap named Coldwell waiting for you.”
Rose looked at Clydesdale and tried to get his bearings. Twenty-four hours ago he’d left Cairo planning to debrief the PM on the pending announcement by the Americans here in London that a peace deal had been reached between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. Land for peace, security guarantees, agricultural ties, municipal agreements, Jerusalem issue, all of it put on the table and managed by the Americans focused on the best interests of both parties equally, backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. A breakthrough seventy-five years in the making. Rose was there himself when Ambassador Stratton had gotten the Israeli PM and the leader of the Palestinian coalition to shake hands on the deal. It was momentous, even though the talks, the Cairo meetings, everything had been in secret. That was the whole point. No time for a public discourse, as in the past. Push it out there as a done deal, just like President Carter had done with the Camp David Peace accords of 1979.
But what had been achieved twenty-four hours ago had been completely undone by an assassination squad in the early morning hours while he had been hurriedly making love to Celine in the 17th before his car showed up at the door to take him to DeGaulle. And now, Clydesdale had just told him, his assignment was to assist the Americans in tracking down who was behind the shooting of Ambassador Stratton. Not just the ones who pulled the trigger, rather more importantly the ones who ordered and paid for it. But of course to get there one had to get to the shooters first. Go to Grosvenor Square, Clydesdale said. Chap named Coldwell waiting for you.
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 11, 2014 06:37 • 139 views • Tags: dimon, espionage, jack-sussek, spy, suspense, thriller