Pretender's Gambit (Rogue Angel, Book 51)

By Alex Archer, Mel Odom

With one small chess piece, the sport begins…

For archaeologist and television host Annja Creed, a late-night telephone name from the NYPD skill something: there's been a homicide and the police desire her services. the one hyperlink among a lifeless physique and the killer is a small elephant of white jade. An artifact that's long past lacking.

Once belonging to Catherine the good of Russia, the elephant used to be key in a dicy political gambit all these years in the past. yet there's one other tale connected to the artifact—a rumor of an historic hidden treasure. And for a cruelly formidable media rich person with a penchant for tomb-raiding, the elephant is little short of valuable.

Annja needs to make her stream fast, touring throughout a number of continents with simply the help of her awesome sword—purportedly an identical sword wielded by way of Joan of Arc—and a mysterious temple monk. It's a perilous conflict of wits, and one unsuitable circulate may possibly suggest online game over.

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He became and began for the door, then he noticed one of many Portuguese males he’d encountered weeks prior to. the guy stood on the counter subsequent to the part door and nursed a espresso or a sizzling tea. nobody else used to be round him. Rao didn't recognize the man’s identify, yet there has been no mistaking that merciless glance or these useless eyes. * * * till THE MONK began to stroll out with the police detective and Annja Creed, Calapez concept he had the placement in hand. the truth that the monk used to be there permit Calapez be aware of that the Asian didn’t have the elephant. obviously the piece was once nonetheless in play. even though, while reputation flared within the monk’s eyes, Calapez felt threatened and reacted immediately simply because he most well liked the component to shock to be one in every of his guns instead of a person else’s. He driven clear of the counter and swept his coat again, attaining for his pistol. The detective, concentrating on the Asian, used to be gradual attending to his personal weapon. Calapez had the 9mm out and commenced firing, aiming for the detective simply because he knew the yank may have a weapon and the monk and the girl most likely didn’t. Calapez squeezed the rounds off as quick as he may, placing all 3 of them into the guts of the detective’s chest. the yank went again and down, the pistol tumbling from his hands. the lady dropped down beside him, predicament tightening her positive factors. The monk got here towards Calapez so quickly that Calapez couldn’t deliver his pistol round speedy adequate to heart his weapon at the guy. It didn’t topic, although, simply because one of many males Calapez had stationed outdoor stepped throughout the door and raised a computing device pistol, spraying bullets indiscriminately. * * * SEEING THE laptop pistol within the different man’s fingers as he entered the diner and figuring out that carrying on with to stick contained in the development could purely be endangering the remainder of the shoppers, Rao deserted his ahead momentum and threw himself over-the-counter. As he landed on arms and feet, he swept out his left leg, stuck the legs of the guy tending the grill, and knocked him down in addition, so the computing device pistol’s bullets lower the air the place he’d been, rather than tearing via flesh. the fellow sprawled in surprise and determined to lie there, nonetheless clutching the spatula he’d been utilizing. He mumbled, curses or prayers, Rao couldn’t inform over the yammering computing device pistol. Bullets hammered the chrome steel grill vent and cored throughout the tile wall, spilling ceramic fragments over the ground. Rao ran, staying low at the back of the counter, realizing that his rivals may search to discover him simply because they'd well-known him as a well-known chance whether they didn’t understand what he actually represented. Hoping that his departure might draw his enemies clear of the diner, Rao slid round the finish of the counter and angled for the door. Bullets chased him, slicing throughout the air simply inches in the back of him. fortunately the shoppers have been down at the ground and out of ways. He hit the door with either fingers, spreading the impression in order that the glass door shattered. He ran throughout the falling fragments and out into the road, considering that the Portuguese guy might have manage his cronies at that door, in addition.

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