Ghost by James Swallow – extract

James Swallow is the Sunday Times best-selling author of over 45 books including the Nomad and Exile from the Marc Danes series. His latest novel in the series, Ghost, was published by Bonnier Zaffre on 31 May 2018.

Bonnier Zaffre have kindly allowed me to share an extract from the book.

He’d raced through a narrow, airless passage full of stale odours which spat him out on to Kbira Street a few blocks north of the piazza. He’d followed the old road, moving without thinking, skirting around the dusty flanks of the church of St Augustine. Rabat stood atop a hill, and there was a steady breeze through the medieval streets that plucked at his hair and pushed bits of litter along the gutters. On all sides, terraces of sun-bleached buildings crowded in on one another, most of them closed up for afternoon.

Running on autopilot, Lex almost doubled back before he realised he was on the verge of making a fatal mistake. He staggered to a halt in the pharmacy doorway, trying to catch up with himself, concentrating on what he could remember about the town. He knew there was a coach terminus not far from here, where Rabat met the walls of Mdina, Malta’s ancient fortress capital. All he had to do was slip aboard a local bus and get away, lose himself among the other passengers. The rest he could figure out en route. For now, he was trying to concentrate on not dying.

The red ruin of the Greek’s face flashed up in his mind’s eye, and Lex gagged as he tried to blot out the image. Nestor Kyrkos was connected and the man had enemies, he knew that. He wondered if maybe the man and the woman in the baseball caps had come to end the Greek’s life for some infraction that he wasn’t even aware of. Maybe they weren’t interested in him at all.

But then, reflected in the pharmacy’s window, Lex saw an olive-toned face half-concealed by dead black lenses on the other side of the street, and he knew that he was the real target. Kyrkos and the bodyguard were just collateral. Their deaths had been the shooters clearing the field of anyone who could be a threat, before turning on their true quarry.

Lex slipped out of the shaded alcove and pushed through a group of aging English tourists coming the other way. Over their muttered complaints about his rudeness, he heard the low drone of a subsonic bullet a split second before a sand-coloured block in the wall near his head grew an impact crater. The tourists reacted with mild surprise at the sound of splintering rock as Lex left them behind, hugging the yellow stone of the surrounding buildings, putting them between himself and the killers until he turned the corner.

No sound. Whatever weapons the two assassins were using, they were practically silent. No-one else seemed to be aware of what was going on.

Lex moved as fast as he could without actually breaking into a run, afraid that giving into the panic would result in his death. In his haste to escape, he had left his messenger bag behind at the café, but there was little in there that he couldn’t replace. The most important thing, the invaluable thing, he had on him. The prize for which he had betrayed his comrades had not been out of his reach since he’d left Berlin.

About the book

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of NOMAD and EXILE comes Marc Dane’s most terrifying case yet.

A terrible threat from the depths of the dark net.

A devastating betrayal at the heart of a covert strike force.

A deadly pursuit across a digital battlefield.

A ruthless terrorist fuelled by revenge.

As devastating attacks unfold across the globe, Marc Dane must call on all his skills and ingenuity to track down the mysterious figure behind it all – a faceless criminal known only as “Madrigal”.

About the author

James Swallow is a scriptwriter and veteran author with over 750,000 books currently in print around the world. He was BAFTA-nominated for his writing on the critically acclaimed video game DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION. NOMAD was a Top 5 Sunday Times bestseller and has sold over 50,000 copies. Join the James Swallow Readers’ Club for news from James about all his upcoming books, events and competitions: http://www.bit.ly/JamesSwallow

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