Tuesday, January 15, 2013


My brand-new thriller, PARALLAX VIEW, is now available. I'm very excited about this book and will be posting several preview chapters over the course of the day. Here's Chapter Nine:


May 30, 1987

12:15 a.m.

Ramstein Air Force Base, West Germany


“Is this Mitchell?”

“Who wants to know?”


“Yes, it’s Mitchell.”

“You are alone, yes? You can speak freely?”


“Good. Because we have an assignment for you. An item has been taken out of Russia through the GDR and is being flown to the United States from your air base.”

“So? Stuff flies out of here to the States all the time.”

“Not ‘stuff’ like this. It is critical this item not reach its intended destination. You will ensure that it does not.”

“What is the item?”

“An envelope addressed to your President Reagan. We believe the envelope contains a handwritten letter from Mikhail Gorbachev betraying his country.”

“I’m supposed to intercept a letter? In one small envelope? I don’t know anything about mail delivery. It’s not possible.”

“It is possible, Major. And it will be done. We have been paying you good money for many years and you have provided little return on our investment. Now it is time for you to earn those tens of thousands of American dollars we have deposited into your bank account.”


“This item is far too valuable to be left unguarded. It will be placed on the first available military flight leaving Ramstein and will be carried personally by a member of your CIA. We believe that representative will be a young woman, red-haired and beautiful.”

“A beautiful, red-haired CIA spook?”

“That is correct. We have two witnesses who saw such a young woman execute one of our men in cold blood. We are certain she is in possession of the item. The airplane she boards for the United States is the airplane the envelope will be on. You will ensure that plane never arrives at its destination.”

“Crash a U.S Air Force jet? Are you out of your mind? Why can’t I just steal the letter and deliver it to you through a contact?”

“You propose stealing a Top-Secret document from a CIA professional? It would never happen. You would be dead before you got within three feet of her.”

“But if I can?”

“You do not understand. This item could conceivably change the entire balance of world power. It is imperative it be destroyed. We cannot risk you being caught trying to steal it. You will crash the airplane and thus destroy the letter. Those are your orders. They will be followed. Period.”

I already told you, it’s impossible. It can’t be done!”

“You will find a way, Major.”

“You’re a fucking crackpot. Forget it. I’m out. Find someone else to do your dirty work.”

“Major, you will never guess the report I received today.”

“Report? What are you talking about?”

“One of our operatives followed Roberta as she drove little Sarah to dance class this afternoon. He tells me, Major, that your young daughter is getting quite beautiful. Growing like a weed, as you Americans like to say.”

“He what? Roberta and Sarah? Listen here, you psychotic bastard, you leave my family out of this, do you understand?”

“The roads, Major, they are so dangerous in your country. Automobile accidents are a daily occurrence, often fiery crashes where the victims, sometimes mothers with their young children in the back seat, they crash their cars and burn to death in the fiery aftermath. They may survive the initial accident but then literally cook to death inside the burning vehicle. So sad, Major. So painful for the victims. So avoidable.”


“Are you still with me, Major? Are you paying attention?”

“I’m here, you sick son of a bitch.”

“Good. You will ensure the airplane carrying the item of which we spoke never reaches your country. If you do not accomplish this assignment, well, let us just say I hope you have many photographs of your beautiful little family to keep their memory alive. Do not think about alerting the authorities, either. We will get to your wife and child if you do. Please believe that. Do you believe that, Major?”


“Do you believe that, Major?”

“Yes. I believe that.”

“Then get going. You have a lot of work to do and very little time. The item is either already on the base or will be soon. It won’t be long before the plane carrying it will be lifting off, likely with the CIA operative as the sole passenger.”

“God damn you.”

“Oh, and Major? One more thing.”


“Good luck. And goodbye.”

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