Read The Expediter Online

Authors: David Hagberg

Tags: #Thrillers, #Fiction, #Suspense, #Espionage, #Crime

The Expediter

BOOK: The Expediter
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THE
EXPEDITER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WRITING AS DAVID HAGBERG

 

 

 

Twister

High Flight

 

 

The Capsule

Assassin

 

 

Last Come the Children

White House

 

 

Heartland

Joshua’s Hammer

 

 

Heroes

Eden’s Gate

 

 

Without Honor

The Kill Zone

 

 

Countdown

By Dawn’s Early Light

 

 

Crossfire

Soldier of God

 

 

Critical Mass

Allah’s Scorpion

 

 

Desert Fire

Dance With the Dragon

 

 

 

WRITING AS SEAN FLANNERY

 

 

 

The Kremlin Conspiracy

Moscow Crossing

 

 

Eagles Fly

The Zebra Network

 

 

The Trinity Factor

Crossed Swords

 

 

The Hollow Men

Counterstrike

 

 

False Prophets

Moving Targets

 

 

Broken Idols

Winner Take All

 

 

Gulag

Kilo Option

 

 

 

Achilles’ Heel

 

 

WRITING NONFICTION WITH BORIS GINDIN

Mutiny
:
The True Events That Inspired
The Hunt for
Red October

DAVID HAGBERG

 

A TOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK
NEW YORK

The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied so that you can enjoy reading it on your personal devices. This e-book is for your personal use only. You may not print or post this e-book, or make this e-book publicly available in any way. You may not copy, reproduce or upload this e-book, other than to read it on one of your personal devices.

Copyright infringement is against the law. If you believe the copy of this e-book you are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at:
us.macmillanusa.com/piracy
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

THE EXPEDITER

 

Copyright © 2009 by David Hagberg

 

All rights reserved.

 

A Forge Book

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

175 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10010

 

www.tor-forge.com

 

Forge® is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

 

Hagberg, David.

The expediter / David Hagberg.—1st ed.

    p. cm.

“A Tom Doherty Associates book.”

ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-1111-5

ISBN-10: 0-7653-1111-9

1. McGarvey, Kirk (Fictitious character)—Fiction.  2. Assassination—Fiction.  3. Murder for hire—Fiction.  4. P’yongyang (Korea)—Fiction.  5. Korea (North)—Relations—China—Fiction.  6. China—Relations—Korea (North)—Fiction.  7. Nuclear warfare—Prevention—Fiction.  I. Title.

 

PS3558.A3227 E97 2009

813'.54—dc22

2008038097

First Edition: March 2009

 

Printed in the United States of America

 

0   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

 

 

 

 

This novel is for Lorrel, as always.

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction, so I’ve moved some locations, mostly within the city of Pyongyang, to suit my story. My apologies to students of geography and to Kim Jong Il.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pyongyang, Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea

 

 

 

ONE

 

At precisely midnight Huk Kim pulled back the covers, got out of bed, and checked to make certain that the sleep agent she’d given her Japanese roommate hadn’t worn off yet. But the girl was totally out of it, and in the morning she would remember very little of what had happened after their dinner in the hotel’s dining room two, and absolutely nothing after her head had hit the pillow.

Kim was a thirty-one-year-old, short, slightly built South Korean woman, and her movements were quick, almost birdlike as she tied a folded plastic trash bag around her waist with shaking hands, then dressed in dark slacks, a lightweight dark pullover, and sneakers.

She was frightened to the core, as she had been on the previous kills, but she had no way out, short of leaving her husband, something she couldn’t even conceive of doing.

Checking a second time to make certain her roommate was deep asleep, Kim slipped out of her twelfth-floor room and made her way to the end of the deserted corridor, then downstairs to a service area at the rear of the hotel where deliveries were made each morning between four and seven. From there she was able to get outside without being seen, something that would have been impossible from the lobby.

The evening was pleasantly warm, and almost totally dark and silent. Other than the few lights around the hotel, and a few on the bridge across the river, North Korea’s capital Pyongyang lay sleeping
in darkness, only a pinprick of light here and there to hint that a city of more than two million people existed less than two hundred meters away.

She shivered. She loved her husband and the fabulous money they were making together, but she hated the work, doing it only for him. Assassinations were usually carried out at night so that the shooters could get away. After five hits in three years, Kim had learned to depend on the dark but she hated it.

Keeping to the deeper shadows, she moved across the driveway that led up to the single road circling the small island of Yanggak, then held up in the bushes and hedges to wait for her husband, and to watch for the policemen who traveled on foot in pairs.

Yanggakdo International Hotel was the city’s only accommodation for unapproved foreigners, such as South Koreans or Japanese, and for everyone who came into North Korea in a tour group. No one was allowed out of the hotel or off the island after dark, and the road and two bridges leading across the river to the mainland were patrolled 24/7 by special police armed with short stock versions of the AK-47 assault rifle.

A dark figure darted up from the service driveway, and Kim eased farther into the hedges until she was certain it was her husband Soon, then she showed herself and he came across to her.

“Any signs of the cops?” he asked, keeping his voice low.

“Not yet,” she said.

They pulled on black balaclavas.

Soon was slender, but well-muscled with a square face and dark almond eyes that Kim had always found devastatingly attractive. They’d met six years ago when she’d been assigned as a brand-new second lieutenant to his South Korean Special Forces Sniper Unit outside Seoul. She always smiled when she thought about the exact moment she’d first laid eyes on him, handsome in his captain’s uniform, self-assured, even cocky. She’d fallen instantly in love with him, and had told him so on the spot.

BOOK: The Expediter
13.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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