The First Rule (Joe Pike)
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When Frank Meyer and his family are executed in their home, the police begin investigating the secret life they're sure Meyer had. Joe Pike's on a hunt of his own: to clear his friend's name, and to punish the people who murdered him. What starts out as a simple trail gets twisted fast by old grudges, double crosses, blood vengeance, and a crime so terrible even Pike and his partner Elvis Cole have no way to measure it.
her draw in the deep apricot smell and the scent of her child. She touched her belly where the knife wounds had scarred, as if the pain she felt then and now were linked, and he wanted to touch that place, too, but didn’t. Pike said, “We’ll find him.” “Yes. I know we will find him.” Rina leaned into him, and gazed up with shadowed eyes that seemed to be searching. “I would be with you. It is okay.” “You don’t have to be with me.” “Whatever you like, I will do.” Pike turned away. “Get your
going to steal the money. That was the plan. He was going to steal Darko’s money, and leave the pickup man so scared he would run straight to his bosses. Then Pike would take whatever his bosses had, too. Pike said, “I’ve seen enough. Let’s go.” They would need Rina to identify the bag man, so Pike picked her up a little while later. He had brought them to an empty guesthouse a few blocks south of the Sunset Strip the night before. It was small, but nice, with a lovely courtyard and neighbors
this is what I hear. I don’t know this—I don’t see them—but this is what I am told.” As Grebner answered, Cole reappeared, now carrying a grocery bag tucked under his arm. He motioned Pike over, and spoke so Grebner couldn’t hear. “The guns are here?” “That’s what he says.” “How about Darko? He have a location?” “He has a pager number. That’s it.” Cole patted the bag. “I scooped some billing records and files, but it’s lame. I don’t know if this will help.” Pike and Cole returned to
maybe, for her, it had none. Cole said, “How do you know him?” “He have the big house in the hills, and would have girls for the parties. This was before Michael, when I was first here, fifteen, sixteen years old, I think. He like only Serbian girls, not American or Russian. He trust the Serb girls, and we speak like back home. That is where Michael first see me, up there. Why you want to know?” “So you know he’s one of Darko’s authority men—a close associate?” “I just tell you I know him.
filled with standing metal shelves, and an open door. He paused for the first time, but heard only silence, then approached the open door. The gravel parking lot was empty. Darko and his people were gone. Pike found the front stair and hurried up to the second floor. He stepped over the dead man at the top of the stairs and moved toward the screaming. He worked his way down the hall, clearing each doorway until he was back where he started, then put away his gun and opened the drawer. The baby