The Assassin: excerpt

I’m taking a bit of a jump start to my upcoming thriller The Assassin by publishing a small sample here. I had intended to wait until I have the edited version, but I got impatient and wanted to share it with you instantly. All the typos and grammar mistakes are therefore mine.

The Assassin by Susanna Shore

PROLOGUE
The sharp retort of a ball hitting the centre of the tennis racket reverberated around the court. The sound was much like a single round from a marksman’s rifle with a silencer on. His rifle. And he’d timed the shot perfectly to coincide with the women’s number one returning the first serve of the third best player in the world. It was the women’s final at the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. No one would pay attention to the strange echo. And as his mark didn’t collapse and the dark colour of his shirt covered the entrance wound, he would be well on his way before anyone even noticed that the man was dead.

As it was, he was in the service area on the ground floor when the ruckus began, audible through the loudspeakers that broadcasted the game to the dressing rooms. He was carrying a tennis racket shaped bag like so many others there, dressed in fashionable tennis clothes, with wrap-around sunglasses and a cap pressed deep in his head. He didn’t look back when people around him reacted to the sounds from the court, but just put the bag into the booth of the car that was exactly like at least a dozen cars on the players’ parking area. What was it with tennis players and black Audis anyway?

He drove calmly to the gate where the security waved him out, the news not having reached them yet. It was only coming in that they’d payed any attention to his right to be there, but his credentials were sound—if fake. After the gate, he blended into the Saturday afternoon traffic, heavy, but not congested. He’d scouted beforehand a route with the least CCTV surveillance, and followed it to an anonymous rental garage in Kingston, ten kilometres west of Wimbledon. Securely in, he took out the racket bag containing his rifle, spent ten minutes cleaning both, and shelved the bag with its rifle among all the similar innocent-looking items.

He removed the number plates from the car and replaced them with the originals, careful not to scratch them. The fake plates went on the shelf in their box with others. A quick change of clothes into a dark, tailor-made suit, a removal of the blond surfer wig he’d worn over his short black hair and adding brown contact lenses, and he was indistinguishable from the couple of million suits filling London.

After the last check that the garage was neat and the car was in pristine condition, and wiping the door handles and the steering wheel clean with his gloves on, he drove out. Forty minutes later, he was in a car rental at the Heathrow airport, chatting up the pretty receptionist as he returned the key, leaving her an impression of a charming Frenchman. A television mounted on the wall behind her showed breaking news from the Wimbledon tennis court where a high-level Saudi diplomat had been assassinated. The police had no clues.

***
Did you enjoy the sample? You can continue reading on my webpage. The Assassin will be published on September 23. You can preorder it here.

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