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Electronic Crime in Muted Key

Murder He Forgot

Killing Sam Forever

The Wrong Menu

Death in The Fishing Net

Shorts

The Night I Met Me

Oh, What a Night!

Harry and His Unfinished Business

Three Mind Games

Love, Life, and Loss

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I would like to thank Justin for his comments, suggestions, and editorial help in the creation of this book, Patrick Elliott for his advice, Luc Jones for his time and advice when I visited Moscow for research, and Hugo for joining me on the Russian trip, and, of course, to the rest of my family for their continual support.

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Chapter One

The Beginning of September

Skinny latte,’ Jake said, barely a second before he heard the explosion. He turned to see where it had come from, and a second blast blew him off his feet. He was in Starbucks, Leicester Square. The plate-glass windows shattered, people screamed, parts of the ceiling caved in, and jagged, lumps of timber and brick flew through the air. Tables and chairs smashed into each other and lay broken and upended. The injured moaned, and cried out. Bodies were everywhere. Jake ended up facedown on the floor, pinned against the serving counter where the force from the blast had left him.

He was brought to consciousness, seconds later, by the sound of ambulance sirens and the wailing of the police cars. He lay still, with his eyes closed, and waited for a surge of pain. When it didn’t come, he opened first one eye, then the other, and flicked dust and debris from his eyelids. He gasped. He could make out the blurred outline of people moving slowly, but with purpose, through the swirling detritus that filled the air. Now and again, they’d stop and lean down, and tend to a person who lay on the floor. Jake became aware of sounds he hadn’t heard before. After a bit, he realised the sounds were of people in pain and distress. Some were yelling for help, some were screaming in agony, some just crying from shock, and some, he guessed, were dying.

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