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Authors: Jeffrey Layton

The Good Spy

BOOK: The Good Spy
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Highest Praise for
The Good Spy
“The excitement never stops in
The Good Spy
by
Jeffrey Layton. Richly detailed and bristling with
fascinating political intrigue, the story sweeps between
the United States and Moscow as American software
engineer Laura Newman is captured by Captain
Lieutenant Yuri Kirov, who is desperately trying to save
fellow Russians trapped in a secret spy submarine sunk in
American waters. A battle of wits and wills erupts
between the two, and the danger intensifies. Will the
Russians escape? This is high adventure at its very best.”
—Gayle Lynds,
New York Times
bestselling
author of
The Assassins
 
“An explosive high-stakes thriller that keeps
you guessing.”
—Leo J. Maloney,
author of the
Dan Morgan thrillers
 
“Layton spins an international thriller while never
taking his eye off the people at the center of the tale.
A page-turner with as much heart as brains.”
—Dana Haynes,
author of
Crashers, Breaking Point,
Ice Cold Kill,
and
Gun Metal Heart
 
“Breathless entertainment—a spy story with heart.”
—Tim Tigner,
bestselling author of
Coercion
,
Betrayal
, and
Flash
 
“A Russian Federation spy sub lies marooned in
American waters near the US–Canadian border. What
follows is a fast-paced adventure that will challenge
readers' expectations and take them on a thrilling
journey—even to the bottom of the sea, in scenes of
chilling claustrophobia. Written with authority,
The
Good Spy
is a visceral yet thoughtful read about an
unusual pair of adversaries who join forces to take on
two superpowers in an impossible mission.”
—Diana Chambers,
author of
Stinger
A
LSO BY
J
EFFREY
L
AYTON
 
Blowout
 
Warhead
 
Vortex One
THE
GOOD SPY
JEFFREY
LAYTON
PINNACLE BOOKS
Kensington Publishing Corp.
www.kensingtonbooks.com
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
Table of Contents
Highest Praise for
The Good Spy
A
LSO BY
J
EFFREY
L
AYTON
Title Page
Dedication
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
CHAPTER 33
CHAPTER 34
CHAPTER 35
CHAPTER 36
CHAPTER 37
CHAPTER 38
CHAPTER 39
CHAPTER 40
CHAPTER 41
CHAPTER 42
CHAPTER 43
CHAPTER 44
CHAPTER 45
CHAPTER 46
CHAPTER 47
CHAPTER 48
CHAPTER 49
CHAPTER 50
CHAPTER 51
CHAPTER 52
CHAPTER 53
CHAPTER 54
CHAPTER 55
CHAPTER 56
CHAPTER 57
CHAPTER 58
CHAPTER 59
CHAPTER 60
CHAPTER 61
CHAPTER 62
CHAPTER 63
CHAPTER 64
CHAPTER 65
CHAPTER 66
CHAPTER 67
CHAPTER 68
CHAPTER 69
CHAPTER 70
CHAPTER 71
CHAPTER 72
CHAPTER 73
CHAPTER 74
CHAPTER 75
CHAPTER 76
CHAPTER 77
CHAPTER 78
CHAPTER 79
CHAPTER 80
CHAPTER 81
CHAPTER 82
CHAPTER 83
CHAPTER 84
CHAPTER 85
CHAPTER 86
CHAPTER 87
CHAPTER 88
CHAPTER 89
CHAPTER 90
CHAPTER 91
CHAPTER 92
CHAPTER 93
CHAPTER 94
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
THE FOREVER SPY
Teaser chapter
Teaser chapter
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright Page
To my wife, Meta
CHAPTER 1
D
AY
2—T
UESDAY
K
irov plowed into the gloom. The firestorm deep inside his right shoulder raged but he hung on. He'd lost all sensation below the left knee—it was just dead meat. If the unfeeling crept into his other limbs he was doomed for sure.
He focused on the captain's orders: “Get to shore. Call for help and then coordinate the rescue. Don't get caught!”
He was the crew's only hope. If he failed, they would all perish.
The diver propulsion vehicle surged against the aggressive tidal current. As he gripped the DPV's control handles with both gloved hands, his body trailed prone on the sea surface. Hours earlier he'd exhausted the mixed gas supply, which forced him topside where he used a snorkel to breathe.
The chilled seawater defeated his synthetic rubber armor. His teeth chattered against the snorkel's mouthpiece. He clamped his jaws to maintain the watertight seal.
Shore lights shimmered through his face mask but he remained miles from his destination. The DPV's battery gauge kissed the warning range. When it eventually petered out, he would have to transit the passage on his own, somehow swimming the expanse in the dark while combating the current.
Two grueling hours passed. He abandoned the spent DPV, opening the flood valve and allowing it to sink. He butted the tidal flow until it turned. The flooding current carried him northward.
He swam facedown while still breathing through the snorkel. As he pumped his lower limbs, his good leg overpowered its anesthetized twin, forcing him off course. He soon learned to compensate with his left arm, synchronizing its strokes with his right leg.
The joint pain expanded to include both shoulders and elbows. The frigid sea sapped his vigor to near exhaustion.
While staring downward into the pitch-black abyss, he tried not to dwell on his injuries or his weariness—or the absolute isolation, knowing he could do nothing to mitigate them. Instead, his thoughts converged on the mission.
They're counting on me
.
Don't give up. I can do this; just keep moving.
He continued swimming, monitoring his course with the compass strapped to his right wrist. An evolving mantle of fog doused the shore lights he'd been using as a homing beacon. For all he knew, the current could be shoving him into deeper waters.
Maybe at dawn he would be able to get his bearings. Until then, he would plod along.
I wonder where the blackfish are now.
During a rest with fins down and a fresh bubble of air in his buoyancy compensator, he heard dozens of watery eruptions breach the night air as a pod of
Orcinus orcas
made its approach. Sounding like a chorus of steam engines, the mammals cleared blowholes and sucked air into their mammoth lungs. The sea beasts ghosted by at ten knots. Their slick coal-black hulls spotted with white smears passed just a few meters away from his stationary position.
The killer whales ignored him. They had a mission of their own: pursuing the plump inbound silver and chum salmon that loitered near the tip of the approaching peninsula. At first light, the orcas would gorge themselves.
There was no time to be afraid; instead, he marveled at the close encounter. Oddly, the whales' brief presence calmed him. He was not alone in these alien waters after all.
Time for another check.
He stopped kicking and raised his head. He peered forward.
Dammit!
Still no lights and the fog bank oozed even closer.
Where is it?
He allowed his legs to sink as he mulled his options. His right fin struck something.
He swam ahead for half a minute and repeated the sounding.
I made it!
CHAPTER 2
L
aura Newman sat on the tile floor with her long chocolate legs bent sharply at the knees and her spine propped against a cabinet. She wore only a plain white T-shirt.
Laura cradled her abdomen with both hands; her stomach broiled. “Oh Lord,” she moaned. “What's wrong with me?”
It was 6:18
A.M
. Jolted awake, she'd just made it to the bathroom before the first purge.
Ten minutes elapsed. Feeling better, Laura stood and walked back into the bedroom. She slipped on a bathrobe. Knowing further sleep would be impossible, she decided to brew a cup of tea. If her stomach settled down, she'd jog along the beach after sunup.
This was the third morning her unsettled tummy had roused her. She suspected stress. The demands from work never ceased, but she'd learned to live with it.
Laura opened the bedroom door and walked down the second-floor hallway of the rented beach house. She flipped on a light switch, illuminating the stairway. When she reached the base of the stairs, her bare feet stepped into a pool of water that covered oak flooring.
What
's
this?
Laura wondered.
She took a few more steps on her way to the kitchen.
Laura stood opposite a doorway that opened onto a concrete walkway; it led to the beach. Although the side door remained closed, the door frame's splintered molding by the lock had not been that way when she went to bed.
Laura's muscles locked; her heart galloped.
Oh God, no! He's found me already.
Laura recovered enough to sidestep her dread.
I've got to get out of here.
Laura was reaching for the side door's handle, when she heard movement from behind. She started to turn when a damp, gloved hand clutched her mouth. An arm ensnared her waist.
Laura shrieked but her muffled cries went nowhere.
CHAPTER 3
“S
top struggling or I'll cut you!”
Pinned by the intruder's bulk on the hardwood flooring, Laura complied when she felt the knife tip on her throat.
He sensed her capitulation and withdrew the blade. He rolled off Laura onto his knees but kept his eyes on her. He stood. The blade remained in his right hand.
“Get up,” he ordered, offering his free hand as an assist.
* * *
Sunlight poured through the waterside windows. Laura sat in the dining room chair, still wearing the bathrobe. Gray duct tape anchored her wrists and ankles to the chair. The intruder was in the adjoining living room. He'd just built a fire in the stone fireplace. The cedar kindling crackled to life.
Laura observed her captor. Standing at least an inch over six feet, he had a muscular build, slate-gray eyes, and dense jet-black hair cut short. His angular face sprouted several days' worth of black stubble. She guessed his age around her own—early thirties.
Laura watched as he shed the diving apparel. He piled the gear onto the hardwood floor next to a window. He wore cobalt-blue coveralls under his neoprene dry suit.
Obviously injured, he favored his left leg as he moved about. He hobbled into the dining room.
That's when Laura decided to confront him.
“What do you want?” she demanded.
“Just stay quiet.”
“Who are you?”
“No one.”
“Where did you come from?”
“Stop asking questions.”
“Why were you in diving gear?”
* * *
More tape secured a dishcloth he'd stuffed inside Laura's mouth. It encircled her head in two orbits, restraining her shoulder-length auburn hair. If she turned too far, hair at the nape of her neck pulled viciously. She had to sit statue-stiff, peering at a blank wall.
But she could still see him—out of the corner of her left eye.
Laura's captor was about twenty feet away on the sofa by the fireplace. After a thirty-minute catnap, he sat upright and stretched his arms. He picked up her smartphone from the coffee table. He must have discovered it on the nightstand in her bedroom. There were no other working telephones in the rental.
He keyed the phone, studying the screen. Laura guessed he was running a search. A couple of minutes later, he dialed.
“I'd like to speak with the security officer,” he said.
There was a trace accent but Laura couldn't place it.
He was mute for a minute before responding, “Yes, I want to report an accident.”
The call lasted ten minutes. None of what he said made any sense to Laura. Some doctor had been in an automobile accident and was in a Seattle hospital. And he'd asked for a “security officer.” What was that about?
The intruder nodded off again, his head slumping forward.
What is this jerk up to?
* * *
It was almost noon. Laura's spine ached and her limbs cramped, but her bladder demanded relief. She couldn't hold it much longer.
“Heyyyy!” she blurted in spite of the gag.
His eyes blinked open.
She called out again, louder.
He stood and shuffled toward her.
“What is it?” he asked. Now his accent sounded Eastern European.
Laura mumbled.
He leaned forward and pulled down a section of tape covering her mouth.
She spat out the dishcloth and met his eyes. “Please—I need to use the bathroom.” Her frail voice transmitted a palpable quaver.
“Bathroom?”
She gestured with her head, ripping half a dozen strands of hair anchored by tape.
He spotted the open door near the base of the stairs. “Oh, you need to use the toilet.”
“Yes, please.”
He replaced the gag and then limped to the bathroom. After inspecting its interior, he returned to Laura where he withdrew his dive knife from a scabbard lying on the nearby coffee table. He sliced the tape that anchored her arms and legs to the chair. She stood as quickly as her cramped muscles would allow.
With the knife still in his right hand he said, “You can use it but the door stays open. And don't touch the window.”
Laura nodded her understanding and made a beeline for the bathroom. He followed.
She walked inside, immune to the embarrassment. Laura was thankful to be alive.
BOOK: The Good Spy
13.56Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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