“Hatch? Proctor here. Someone just offered me a contract to kill you.”
Hatch Lincoln switched the phone to his other ear and picked up his coffee cup before answering, “Did you take the job?”
So begins the international mystery/thriller Return of the Assassin. Two new unforgettable characters are introduced into the high-powered, intriguing world of spies and assassins: Proctor and Croft. The man called Proctor is a retired international assassin who returns to action to repay a debt of honor to Hatch Lincoln, the world’s richest man, when a contract hit is put out on Hatch by the assassin broker called Il Sensale. Melanie Croft is a Charlie’s Angel wannabe who Hatch attaches to Proctor — over his protests — because of her knowledge of the vast Lincoln technical network, a skill that will be required to find the enemy. Follow this pair on a fast-paced, suspenseful search for the assassins who are determined to kill not only Hatch, but Proctor and Croft as well because they stand between them and their target. Proctor is the stern teacher and Croft the beautiful but reluctant rookie. They both fight the forced relationship from the beginning as they travel around the globe in search of their prey: Paris to Venice on the Orient Express, then to Rome, Amsterdam, and finally Houston, where the climatic finish takes place.
As Proctor tells her, “We truly redefine the meaning of the ‘Odd Couple,’ eh, Croft?”
The skilled assassin Proctor’s concern is that Melanie won’t learn the business of killing before she gets them both killed.
She wiped her sweaty hands on her pants again and got out of the car with her silenced Beretta in her right hand, pointed down at her side. She moved away from the van towards the cliff’s edge. The man whom she assumed was Trevi didn’t move. She had a feeling she was about to die. Trevi yelled to her in Italian.
“Good evening, Signorina. I see you came alone. You have great courage. It’s a shame to kill such a woman.”
“I’m not dead yet, Signore. You still have time to go away. Did you verify that the broker is dead?” she replied in Italian.
“He did not answer his phone, but that is not unusual.” He took three steps toward her, circling to his right, her left. She moved to her right, closer to the edge of the cliff, and faced him.
“I guarantee you he’s dead. You’ll not get paid — if you live.”
“You are dead!” he spat.
Ride along with the new Odd Couple on this fantastic, perilous journey. You will not guess who the “bad guy” is until the final pages.
- Wolf Wootan, February 2011
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