Get Back Jack
New! The Hunt For Reacher Series #2When Jack Reacher makes mistakes, who handles the fall-out?
FBI Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar’s off-the-books assignment leads them to the surviving members of Jack Reacher’s elite military unit. Five years ago, Reacher sorted and destroyed a team of arms dealers in Lee Child’s Bad Luck & Trouble before he moved on. But he made mistakes. Now, his bad luck and trouble legacy plunges Otto and Gaspar into the minefield of a grudge war between Reacher’s fearless old friends and chilling new enemies.
When his enemies take women and children hostage for ransom, Kim’s relentless pursuit leads her deeper into the deadly war Reacher failed to finish. Mercenaries and Kim’s unwavering heart push her through — until she meets the wrong woman with nothing to lose.
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“Full of thrills and tension, but smart and human, too. Kim Otto is a great, great character – I love her.” Lee Child, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Jack Reacher Thrillers
Friday, November 5
What would Jack Reacher do?
Sanchez considered the question again for a moment before he ignored orders and executed the scumbag with a single shot to the head.
At close range, any gun might have done the job. Sanchez had chosen a Glock 19, Gen 4. Utilitarian, tough, reliable. Comfortable grip, controllable recoil, easily concealed. Used by law enforcement because of its stopping power.
A perfect choice for a man anticipating precisely this situation.
Six and a half long seconds later, Sanchez punched the off button on the military grade speakerphone.
Twenty-two floors below, the gunshot exploded through the eavesdropper’s equally high- tech headset, traumatizing her eardrums almost as if she’d been standing in front of the bullet.
The crisp audio feed she’d appreciated for the past eighty-seven minutes and seventeen seconds was gone, as though she’d been dropped head first into a vat of clammy marshmallow cream.
Could Sanchez have gone off the rails at the very first obstacle?
She increased the audio to maximum volume and strained to hear his explanation, but heard only the severed connection’s silence.
She jumped up, ripped off her headset with one latex-gloved hand and flung it to the floor of the four-by-four janitor’s closet.
She might have screamed.
Thoughts slammed like racquetballs inside her skull as she stormed back and forth in the hot, tiny closet. Even if she could’ve heard them, her sweat-soaked coveralls and paper boots no longer rustled crisply with each step as they had earlier in the evening. Behind her surgical mask, she sucked deep breaths and shouted silenced, frustrated curses.
She forced herself down into her guerilla training. Allowed fifteen more seconds to assess, analyze, plan, and perform.
Assess and analyze.
O’Donnell should have seen it coming. She felt slightly less stupid because O’Donnell had missed the obvious, too. Sanchez was far wilier (and certainly far crazier) than she’d believed. But O’Donnell had known Sanchez better than she did and O’Donnell was now dead. It was entirely possible that O’Donnell had committed suicide by allowing Sanchez to kill him now instead of torturing him later.
The two remaining targets could disclose what O’Donnell had refused to reveal. Which meant her goal was still in play.
O’Donnell had made either a stupid blunder or a stupid choice, but his death didn’t compromise her ultimate mission. She could still acquire what she’d come to collect. Her plan was altered, but not irrevocably thwarted.
Still, Sanchez’s unsanctioned killing of O’Donnell was nothing short of disaster. For him.
He had to know that, too. Which brought her back to the fact that Sanchez was far from okay. She must have missed something important about him. Something that might present a bigger problem. But what?
She hurried through her recall of the meeting she’d overheard. The erratic shuffling of Sanchez’s shoes as he paced O’Donnell’s office, pouring out his woes. At the time, she’d been impatient, stewing in her own sweat in the airless closet, willing Sanchez to get the hell on with it. She hadn’t paid close attention to his ramblings. Mere impressions stuck in her memory. She ticked them off rapidly.
Sanchez increasingly distraught as he explained his plight, his anger growing while he recounted his five-year ordeal.
O’Donnell expressing shock. (Maybe he wasn’t lying.)
Sanchez blaming O’Donnell, who claimed surprise. (Maybe he’d been a bit contrite.) She cringed, recalling Sanchez’s sudden switch from rage to whining pleas, begging
O’Donnell to save him this time, as O’Donnell and the rest of their crew had failed to make the smallest effort to do five years before.
O’Donnell claimed he couldn’t supply what Sanchez needed. (Almost certainly lying, of course, as thieves everywhere do.)
Sanchez’s ordnance replied. Then what?
Seven seconds before she’d recovered her wits enough to check the timer. What happened next?
She’d been partially deafened by the blast. Her experience told her bullets blasted predictably into bony skulls, through gelatinous brain and out again, carrying moist soft facial tissue along with them. She could almost smell the gunshot, the metallic scent of blood.
Now, the office was no doubt a gooey mess, Sanchez was gone, and their perfect plan compromised. She’d failed. She'd need a plausible solution before she reported the damage, but that would come later, when she’d removed herself far enough away from the scene.
Now she was pacing again like an outraged tiger. She rubbed her face, and memory-pain sliced afresh; she jerked both palms away from the long-healed scars as if they’d been inflicted again by Sanchez’s betrayal.
She sat on the janitor’s stepstool, becalmed, ignoring the timer, backhanded the sweat from her brow and then stroked the narrow scar that stretched from the corner of her left upper lip to the outside corner of her left eye. Her index finger rested on the bump of keloid above her cheekbone, massaging absently, seeking comfort and clarity.
Rehearsals proved she could disappear in ninety-five seconds leaving no trace evidence.
She should be outside the building in less than three minutes. But then what? Her escape plan was compromised because Sanchez couldn’t be trusted.
Plan and perform.
Eliminate the hostages in Mexico. At least one. Immediately. Sanchez needed to know she was a woman of her word, to believe she’d kill the others if he stepped out of line again.
She’d intended to kill all of the hostages anyway. Right after Sanchez collected what he’d been sent to retrieve. His wife and brats would be of no use then. Sanchez’s failure meant she was forced to revise—terminate one hostage a little early—and delay progress toward the goal, but only slightly.
Damn Sanchez. He was too smart to have failed so spectacularly. He’d no doubt planned everything. What about her hostages? Had Sanchez planned a rescue? Changes were now required there as well.
Sanchez should never have betrayed her. She knew precisely how to deal with him. She challenged herself to remain still, kneading the pea-sized keloid like a prayer bead, while her mind raced methodically as if the devil himself snapped her ass.
Go now. Go now, her intuition prodded with each beat of her pounding heart inside the steamy, sweat-soaked cocoon that enveloped her.
Forty-two seconds after the gunshot, she was ready. She pulled off the wet protective gear, ripped the paper wall coverings down, stuffed it all along with the listening equipment into her oversized litigation bag.
A soaking wet woman fleeing a murder scene would be noticed and remembered in this neighborhood. She’d need fresh clothes immediately. She had none. She shrugged into her overcoat and turned up the collar. For now, she’d alter her planned route as she could and her overcoat must suffice.
She took one last look around the room, satisfied she’d sanitized as well as possible. She flipped off the lights, pressed the knob’s center button to lock the door from the inside, and closed the janitor’s closet solidly behind her. Sliding her gloved hand into her pocket, she slipped down the hall into the lobby and out into the Friday evening pedestrian traffic less than three minutes after Sanchez killed O’Donnell.
Six blocks away, cloaked by the late night crowd waiting for traffic to clear before entering a crosswalk, she heard her own voice murmur, “What the hell was that soldier thinking?”
Her chance to ask him came sooner than she’d expected.
#1 Amazon and USA Today Bestselling Author Diane Capri's work, #1 worldwide publishing phenomenon Lee Child calls "Full of thrills and tension, but smart and human, too." Margaret Maron, Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Award-winning MWA Past President and Grand Master, says: "Expertise shines on every page." And Library Journal raves: "....offers tense legal drama with courtroom overtones, twisty plots, and loads of atmosphere. Recommended."
Diane's new Jess Kimball series kicked off with Fatal Distraction, opening as the #3 Amazon Bestselling Legal Thriller, behind John Grisham. Diane's new Hunt for Jack Reacher series began with Don't Know Jack, which garnered #1 Amazon Bestseller spots on Mystery, Hard-boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Women Sleuths, and Legal Thriller lists both in the U.S. and U.K. and has spent more than 52 weeks in the top 20 legal thrillers. Don't Know Jack was followed by two bestselling short stories in the Hunt for Jack Reacher series, Jack in a Box and Jack and Kill. The second novel in the series is Get Back Jack, available now. Diane's Bestselling Justice Series suspense mysteries were praised by Romantic Times and garnered the coveted "Top Pick."
Diane is the past Executive Vice President of International Thriller Writers, past member of the Board of the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and active in Sisters in Crime and other writing organizations. She comes to writing after a successful legal career and is married to her college sweetheart. She loves her nomadic snowbird existence preferring perpetual summer migrating from Florida to Michigan each year.
Diane says she writes mystery, thriller and suspense for the same reason she reads: to find out what happens, why people do what they do, and how to bring justice to an unjust world. Her books are translated in twenty territories. Diane loves to hear from readers. Contact her at http://dianecapri.com/contact/ to receive notice of new releases, subscribe to Diane's blog, or simply connect with her.
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