Zero Cool (Hard Case Crime)
Michael Crichton, John Lange
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American radiologist Peter Ross just wanted a vacation. But when he meets the beautiful Angela Locke on a Spanish beach, he soon finds himself caught in a murderous crossfire between rival gangs seeking a precious artifact.
From Barcelona to the rain-swept streets of Paris, from the towers of the Alhambra to its darkest catacombs, Peter Ross is an ordinary man in desperate circumstances: racing to uncover a secret lost for centuries, before he becomes its next victim.
“Maybe,” he said. She kissed his ear. “Now?” He considered. “It’s pretty cold out here.” “I didn’t mean here.” “Then where did you mean?” “I meant,” she said softly, “somewhere else.” Much later, while she was taking a shower in his room, he remembered the note. He searched through his pockets and found it, a small, carefully folded piece of paper. The words were hastily scrawled. CALL ME BARCELONA K BRENNER He stared at the note and thought about the frightened girl. He thought about
turned back and looked at her. She was huddled on the bed, her skirt pulled up, looking forlorn and tender. He fought an impulse and said, “The count sounds very remarkable. When do I meet him?” “Whenever you want.” Her voice was flat and mechanical. “That’s why you stayed, isn’t it? To take me to him? After he paid off the judge and got me free?” “Yes.” He looked at her face, tear-stained, pinched. “He must pay you well. Were you really a stewardess, or an actress?” “I’m not acting.” “Oh.
don’t—” “Hamid mentioned something to me about Washington Irving, and something about lions. I didn’t understand. But now I do. Hamid took that body, with the emerald, to the logical place for any Arab to take a valuable object.” “The Alhambra?” “Yes,” Ross said. “I don’t believe it. The Alhambra is a park. It’s got cops, and guards, and everything. How could he have gotten a body in there and hidden it?” “The same way we’re going to get it out,” Ross said. “Now drive into the mountains, and
professor. Angela had run in a different direction and now found herself alone in a deserted part of the Arab Palace, some distance from the fortress. Breathless, she stopped, leaned against a wall. And waited, listening. She heard no sound; apparently she was alone. Reaching beneath her skirt, she removed a small walkie-talkie. She pulled out the antenna and flicked it on. “Professor. Are you there?” A crackling and a buzz. “Professor? Answer me.” Finally, a tired, winded voice. “Yes, my
say.” She snuggled up against him. Half an hour later, she was sleeping peacefully. The phone rang. Ross, on the edge of sleep, answered it. “Hello?” “Dr. Ross. This is Robert Carrini.” “Yes.” “About our little conversation today. You neglected to mention you had spoken with someone previously.” “Previously?” “Yes. On the beach. You spoke with a man. What did he offer you?” “Nothing. Nothing at all.” “Whatever he offered, we will match, and increase by twenty percent. Is that