Series: Donavan: Thief for Hire
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Release: February 1, 2013
Sean Donovan is doing all right; he has two offshore bank accounts and an American one as well and all three are filling up nicely. His network of clients know his business plan: he is willing to acquire whatever rare or inaccessible product is needed, be it the security plans to an art gallery, a rare Etruscan goblet or a recorded conversation from a former American President. And he will steal it and deliver it to them, no questions asked nor answered.
But he is becoming dissatisfied. In addition to the physical wear and tear inflicted on his body by adversaries, he is now becoming weary of the toll his newly-discovered conscience is exacting from these highly illegal exploits. A series of lies to his most recent client has caused him to think about the impact of his deeds and he doesn’t like how it makes him feel. An idea begins to form; what if he was to undo his last three wrongs? And what if he nevertheless wants to benefit from turning over this new leaf?
This story follows Sean Donovan as he travels from Bucharest to London to Montreal and New York. Will he repent his wicked ways? Will he quit the business before those who he has wronged catch up to him? Will he discover that three wrongs don’t make a right?
Donovan reviewed the vital spots to hit first and hard. Kneecap, genitals, kidney, heart, carotid, and eyeball, if he had to. At thirty feet, it was obvious the man was now avoiding eye contact.
He was a scrawny five feet seven and more Turk than Latin as Romanian looks went. Just over one-fifty, max. Nice tidy shape. No bulge inside the shoulder, but Donovan guessed there would be a knife, maybe a bar, up his sleeve. The man was now fifteen feet away and easing across the path toward the bench. Donovan watched the outline of a weapon drop down the inside of the sleeve and into the man’s hand. Yes, knife or bar.
Donovan jumped up. “Excuse me, sir. Do you have a light?” He moved to cover the brief space between them. “Do you speak English? Vous parlez Français?” Before the thug could swing the weapon, Donovan whipped his ceramic knife down and across the man’s arm, ripping a six inch cut. The man’s eyes widened in shock and then narrowed in comprehension and anger, a bar falling to the ground between them. Donovan swung his right leg in a roundhouse that smashed the peroneal nerve above the thug’s knee, causing temporary paralysis to the leg. The attacker dropped. Donovan ducked into the maze and was gone.
He estimated he had six to eight seconds to find a good corner for an ambush. He was in the process of tearing through the maze, giving thanks he had been through it once before, when he stopped short. Why not listen for his opponent, get out of his way, double back, and then get the hell out? So he did.
Moments later, Donovan was out of the maze, headed back down the hill, and congratulating himself on a great decision. That was when he found himself ass in the air, and the stark realization came, as he hit the dirt face-first, that he had underestimated his attacker. It seemed he had a partner. A kick in the ribs brought a wave of nausea and rolled him onto his side, knees up to his bloodied nose and consciousness beginning to flee. Something wet dribbled into his eye, stinging, and he tasted copper. A giant of a man, with part of his face obscured by his collar, leaned down and reached into Donovan’s front pocket, withdrawing his passport. The giant thanked Donovan with a fist to the kidney and crushed Donovan’s hand with his heel until something cracked. The man then kicked him again for good measure and left.
The last thing he remembered was watching the little gypsy boy emptying Donovan’s wallet in slow motion, a curl of cigarette smoke around his sister’s head, like a halo.