The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver
THE FLASH OF LIGHT TROUBLED HIM.
A glint, white or pale yellow, in the distance.
From the water? From the strip of land across the peaceful turquoise bay?
But here, there could be no danger. Here, he was in a beautiful and isolated resort. Here, he was out of the glare of media and the gaze of enemies.
Roberto Moreno squinted out the window. He was merely in his late thirties but his eyes were not good and he pushed the frames higher on his nose and scanned the vistaâ€”the garden outside the suiteâ€™s window, the narrow white beach, the pulsing blue-green sea. Beautiful, isolatedâ€¦and protected. No vessels bobbed within sight. And even if an enemy with a rifle could have learned he was here and made his way unseen through the industrial plants on that spit of land a mile away across the water, the distance and the pollution clouding the view would have made a shot impossible.
No more flashes, no more glints.
Youâ€™re safe. Of course you are.
But still Moreno remained wary. Like Martin Luther King, like Gandhi, he was always at risk. This was the way of his life. He wasnâ€™t afraid of death. But he was afraid of dying before his work was done. And at this young age he still had much to do. For instance, the event heâ€™d just finished organizing an hour or so agoâ€”a significant one, sure to get a lot of peopleâ€™s attentionâ€”was merely one of a dozen planned for the next year.
And beyond, an abundant future loomed.
Dressed in a modest tan suit, a white shirt and royal blue tieâ€”oh, so Caribbeanâ€”the stocky man now filled two cups from the coffeepot that room service had just delivered and returned to the couch. He handed one to the reporter, who was setting up a tape recorder.
â€œSeÃ±or de la Rua. Some milk? Sugar?â€
â€œNo, thank you.â€
They were speaking in Spanish, in which Moreno was fluent. He hated English and only spoke it when he needed to. Heâ€™d never quite shucked the New Jersey accent when he was speaking in his native tongue, â€œhehrâ€ for â€œher,â€ â€œmirrahâ€ for â€œmirror,â€ â€œgunâ€ for â€œgone.â€ The tones of his own voice took him right back to his early days in the Statesâ€”his father working long hours and living life sober, his mother spending long hours not. Bleak landscapes, bullies from a nearby high school. Until salvation: the familyâ€™s move to a place far kinder than South Hills, a place where even the language was softer and more elegant.
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