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Blood Money - print View larger

Blood Money - print

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The one thing they didn’t count on was his conscience.



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    On the surface, Iraqi-born Azzam Abdullah is nothing more than the unremarkable head of accounting for what is, by all appearances, an innocuous global conglomerate. What’s not so innocuous is the fact that Sun Corp is one of the biggest terrorism financiers in the world.

    After years of informing on Sun Corp’s secret deals to the CIA, an unfortunate confluence of events brings Azzam’s covert treachery to light. When Azzam is forced to flee London for America, Sun Corp’s ruthless CEO decides to use a woman from Azzam’s past to flush him out.

    In a furious race against a heartless zealot’s deadline, Azzam is forced to decide what he values more: His newfound freedom, or the life of an innocent woman.

     

    Excerpt: 

    He imagined homemade meals awaiting him after work, amiable companionship as they walked around Hampstead Heath in the evenings. He did not think that forty was too old to start a family, so he imagined adding to their little family until weekends were filled with football games and picnics, the mornings chaotic and the evenings relaxed.

    There he stopped and forced himself to remember the real reason he was single. It was enough to dispel the happy fantasies entirely.

    The car headed toward theThames, then turned down a poorly lit side street lined with grungy warehouses. Glooming shadows swallowed the feeble light of sparse streetlights, turning the car’s headlights into searchlights. Their driver pulled up in front of a one-story warehouse sided by corrugated aluminum, the front of which was painted with a large number faded beyond easy recognition.

    “This should only take a minute,” Omar said as he followed Azzam out of the car. Their footsteps crunched against the gravel, both of them stepping lightly so as to avoid scuffing their dress shoes. “Do you remember the deal you were working on three weeks ago?”

    Azzam riffled through his memory. “Yes. You wanted me to siphon off one hundred fifty thousand pounds and deposit it by small increments into an offshore Swiss account.”

    “That’s the one,” Omar said, prying the warehouse door’s handle up, then sliding the door open. “I thought you might enjoy seeing the fruits of your labor.”

    Azzam followed him into a tidy warehouse. As his eyes adjusted to the fluorescent lights, he could see looming stacks of crated materials lining the walkway, each accompanied by travel documents and marked by a serial number. At the end of the walkway was an open space where a dozen men chatted and congregated around a tall, open crate. The men took note of Omar’s arrival by falling into a respectful silence.

    Omar approached the crate and rested his fingers against the splintered lip. “Come over here, Azzam. Take a look.”

    Azzam approached the crate with reluctance. He was aware of the tang of pine from the boards of the shipping crate, the caged smell of too many men in an enclosed space. He could not make out the contents of the box until he was standing right next to Omar. What he saw was a row of eight large glass cylinders filled with amber liquid nestled in a bed of wood shavings. The fluorescent lights imbued the cylinders with a sullen glow that reflected and magnified his dread.

    “What are they?” he asked.

    “Ricin.”



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Blood Money - print

Blood Money - print

The one thing they didn’t count on was his conscience.



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