Books Chapter 10: One for the Other

Chapter 10: One for the Other

Richard Murphy kissed his wife and their two children goodbye. “Don’t have too much fun,” he warned them playfully. His family would be visiting his wife’s extended family, but Richard could not attend because he would be processing tax returns for temporary American expats at the “accounting firm” he worked at. His family was used …

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Books Chapter 9: Take It Outside

Chapter 9: Take It Outside

Marlene drove in her borrowed Mini Cooper S to the Radcliffe Camera section of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Posing as an academe from America, the head librarian granted her reference-only access to the library. Scrolling through the heavy tomes, Marlene selected one and compared it to the part of the cipher text she had …

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Books Chapter 8: Liar’s Den

Chapter 8: Liar’s Den

Marlene was eventually released from French custody. The case was closed after a homeless man admitted to firing the weapon (even though Marlene knew it was a boldfaced lie). Pilar had no immediate family to whom to tell of her death. Marlene went to the quiet funeral at Père Lachaise cemetery. She and the Catholic …

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Books Chapter 7: C’est la Vie

Chapter 7: C’est la Vie

Due to their history together, Marlene was sent to Paris to backup Pilar during a mission to retrieve sensitive documents from an international money launderer during a house party he was throwing. Mal stayed at home. “’Lena!” Pilar greeted her warmly. Marlene was still smarting from Pilar’s snub of Sophia’s funeral. Pilar kissed her on …

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Books Chapter 6: No Women, No Children, No Secret Agents

Chapter 6: No Women, No Children, No Secret Agents

“Hi, my name is Amy,” Marlene thought quickly. “Hi Amy,” the child replied easily. “What are you doing?” “I’m your new babysitter.” “No you’re not,” the child replied. “You’re dressed like a scary person. You’re bad.” “If I was bad, would I be talking to you still?” Marlene asked, smiling. ‘Keep smiling. Smiling disarms everybody,’ …

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Books Chapter 5: Play It Again Sam

Chapter 5: Play It Again Sam

“Here is your next assignment,” Oliver began, dimming the lights in the Section Seven satellite office in Fairview. It was disguised as a construction agency’s office on the seventh floor of an unassuming small-town skyscraper overlooking the town’s only movie theater. The agency photo of a middle-aged man flashed onscreen. “You are being temporarily reassigned …

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Books Chapter 4: The Plot Thickens

Chapter 4: The Plot Thickens

“Thank you Syrai,” Aurora Pagano said evenly. “I do my best,” Syrai replied just as coolly. The two women were sitting side by side on a bench in a London park populated by the usual suspects. “What do you know about her then?” Aurora asked after a pregnant silence. “She’s David’s half-sister. She’s been assigned …

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Books Chapter 3: The Gauntlet Strikes Back

Chapter 3: The Gauntlet Strikes Back

“Adagio, do you copy?” David’s voice crackled in Marlene’s ear. “Roger that,” Marlene muttered. “As we’ve discussed in class, this is simple,” he said, not wanting to say any more than that in case someone was overhearing their chatter. Marlene was walking down the sidewalk in Times Square, her heart pounding and her senses on …

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