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Authors: David Kessler

No Way Out

BOOK: No Way Out
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No Way Out

 

David Kessler

Copyright © David Kessler 2010

 

The right of David Kessler to be identified as Author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and other copyright laws.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

 

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

 

First published in the UK 2010 by Avon (a division of HarperCollins) as
No Way Out

This edition published 2012 by House of Solomon

Acknowledgements

A very big thank you is due to Megory Anderson for her advice on San Francisco and to Shelanda Adams for her advice on Oakland. As is often the case with creative writers, I have nevertheless had to take literary license on some points. For example, the San Francisco Giants did
not
play at home to the LA Dodgers on the evening of 2 September 2009. Rather, on that date, the Giants were playing
away
to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Giants
did
play the Dodgers at home some three weeks
earlier
, but that was an
afternoon
meeting, at least the last day of the game was. None of this would have suited my intricate plotting and for that reason I had to rearrange the fixtures to suit the exigencies of the storyline.

I feel that if another thriller writer – considerably more famous than myself – can change the timelines of Soviet leaders Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Cherneko, then I am surely permitted to play fast and loose with the baseball calendar. However, Americans – for whom baseball is sacrosanct – may disagree. If so, apologies in advance. No Fatwas please!

To Eran, my brother in all but name

“He who fights with monsters should take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

 

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

 

 

 

Contents

Acknowledgements

Contents

Saturday, 4 July 2004 – 23:40

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 7:30

Friday, 5 June 2009 - 8:50

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 9:45

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 10:15

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 11:05

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 14:40

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 15:15

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 15:30

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 16:50

Friday, 5 June 2009 – 19:30

Saturday 6 June 2009 – 11:00

Friday 12 June – 9:40

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 10:30

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 13:00

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 14:30

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 15:40

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 16:30

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 18:10

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 19:45

Friday, 12 June 2009 – 21:1500

Monday, 15 June 2009 – 10:25

Monday, 15 June 2009 – 13:00

Monday, 15 June 2009 – 16:35

Friday, 26 June 2009 – 11:20

Friday, 26 June 2009 – 12:05

Wednesday 15 July 2009 – 12:40

Wednesday 15 July 2009 – 15:15

Wednesday, 15 July 2009 – 16:30

Wednesday, 15 July 2009 – 18:05

Thursday, 16 July 2009 – 16:20

Monday, 17 August 2009 – 10:00

Monday, 17 August 2009 – 13:00

Monday, 17 August 2009 – 17:30

Monday, 17 August 2009 – 18:10

Monday, 17 August 2009 – 18:20

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 – 12:40

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 – 15:40

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 – 17:10

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 9:10

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 10:15

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 12:30

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 13:05

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 13:20

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 13:30

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 13:35

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 13:45

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 – 15:15

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 10:10

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:00

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:10

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:20

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:30

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:40

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:45

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:50

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 11:55

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 12:10

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 12:15

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 12:50

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 13:05

Thursday, 20 August 2009 – 13:30

Friday, 21 August 2009 – 10:20

Friday, 21 August 2009 – 12:30

Friday, 21 August 2009 – 14: 50

Friday, 21 August 2009 – 22:15

Saturday, 22 August 2009 – 09:00

Saturday, 22 August 2009 – 09:20

Saturday, 22 August 2009 – 09:30

Saturday, 22 August 2009 – 10:20

Monday, 24 August 2009 – 10:15

Monday, 24 August 2009 – 11:50

Monday, 24 August 2009 – 21:30

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 – 10:30

Wednesday, 26 July 2009 – 11:40

Wednesday, 26 July 2009 – 11:55

Wednesday, 26 July 2009 – 12:05

Wednesday, 26 July 2009 – 12:10

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 14:45

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 14:50

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 14:55

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 15:00

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 15:05

Wednesday, 26 August, 2009 – 18:00

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 20:30

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 21:05

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 21:30

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 21:35

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 21:40

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 – 22:30

Thursday, 27 August 2009 – 01:20

Thursday, 27 August 2009 – 10:50

Saturday, 29 August 2009 – 11:25

Sunday, 30 August 2009 – 13:50

Sunday, 30 September 2009 – 22:15

Monday, 31 August 2009 – 10:15

Monday, 31 August 2009 – 10:40

Tuesday, 1 September 2009 – 6:45

Tuesday, 1 September 2009 – 10:35

Tuesday, 1 September 2009 – 11:05

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 9:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 10:05

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 10:35

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 10:45

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 11:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 11:35

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 11:45

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 13:05

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 13:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 13:40

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 14:25

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 15:10

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 16:30

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 16:55

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 17:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 17:30

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 17:45 PDT (20:45 EDT)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:00

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:30

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:35

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:40

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:45

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:50

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 18:55

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:00

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:05

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:10

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:15

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:20

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:25

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:30

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:35

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:38

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:41

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:44

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:47

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:50

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:53

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 19:55

Wednesday, 2 September 2009 – 22:00

Afterword

Extract from
Hello darkness my old friend

Saturday, 4 July 2004 – 23:40

It was only a set of fingers flying across a keyboard, yet they could work so much malice.

She watched in awe as her words appeared before her, the letters on the screen keeping pace with her fingers. What was so amazing was how little she had to change to wreak so much damage. All she had to do to alter the behavior of an entire computer program was make minor alterations to just two of the lines of the coding and then switch two of the other lines around. Hackers and “midnight programmers” would laugh at the absurd simplicity of it. Some of them might even have been mildly amused by the sheer audacity of it. But few of them would have condoned her objectives. Most hackers tended to be free-wheeling libertarians, not embittered racists. And she wasn’t even trained as a computer programmer, apart from one short online course she had taken recently.

But the irony went deeper than that.

Everyone knew the old cliché that you can radically change the interpretation of a contract by an ambiguous pronoun or the meaning of a statute by a harmless-looking punctuation mark. In England a diplomat and humanitarian called Roger Casement was said to have been “hanged by a comma” after he was found guilty of treason under a medieval statute.
But who would have believed that the same was true of a computer program?
And the biggest irony of all was that she couldn’t tell anyone – like the criminal who commits the perfect crime and wants to brag about it to others, but can’t, because if he tells other people, then the crime would no longer be perfect!

But so what?

She wasn’t doing it for fame or glory. She was doing it for justice – plain, old-fashioned justice.

As she continued her work, she glanced up and looked out through the window. In the distance she could see the flickering lights of the nocturnal city. It reminded her that there was a world out there beyond her private world of vengeance. But she forced herself to ignore the distraction. Her fingers continued to dance across the keyboard in the small pool of halogen light that fell upon the desk. The rest of the room was in darkness.

BOOK: No Way Out
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