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He thought about his conversation with Maggie and stared at his phone for a long moment. A sliver of guilt crept in as he wondered if he could deliver on the promises he’d just made. After a beat he knew he could. He knew he had to. He would call Dickerson and make it happen. Feeling better about it, Rapp punched in Stan Hurley’s number on his secure BlackBerry to get an update. After three rings the scratchy voice of Hurley answered. Rapp didn’t bother to say hello. “So . . . were you right?” Rapp asked in reference to Hurley’s prediction that Adams had used Max Johnson to bug Lewis’s office.

“About who he was using?”


“Yep,” Hurley answered. “He’s been on the payroll for about two months.”

Rapp wanted to ask him how he was paying him, but was hesitant to get into too much detail over the phone. “Motive?”

“Another member of the Mitch Rapp fan club.”

Rapp looked north and then south. No cars so far. “How so?”

“Can’t say if there was any personal animosity, but my guess is he was intrigued by the idea of taking down a real gunfighter.”

Rapp thought about that. Hurley liked to refer to the clandestine folks as gunfighters. Everyone else was a limp dick or a desk jockey. Theirs was an entirely separate culture from that of the other folks at Langley, and it was not unusual for other groups to harbor acrimony against the spooks in the building. Johnson had spent his entire career within the secure perimeter of Langley. There were probably a handful of times that he’d gone overseas to do a security review of an embassy and the CIA’s personnel, but he’d never participated in a real op. The entire focus of his career had been to protect Langley’s secrets and bust those who didn’t play strictly by the rules. “Any idea what he was using to listen in on the sessions?”

“He’s not certain, but it sounds like it might have been off-site.”

“All right, I’m on it. I gotta go. I’ll call you later.” Rapp hit the end button and thought about the task he was going to give Coleman. Max Johnson, while not exactly an A Team field guy, was nonetheless someone they should not take lightly. What concerned Rapp was that Johnson would be dumb enough to get involved with a guy like Adams. Hurley’s assessment of the situation was as good as any, but they weren’t talking about an impulsive twenty-year-old. Johnson was a thirty-plus-year veteran of the business. He should have known better than to get mixed up in something like this.

Rapp checked the street again. No Crown Vics, Caprices, or LTDs came sliding around the corner on two wheels, so he put the car back in drive and drove over to Lewinsville Park. Rapp had spent countless hours here as kid. He and his neighborhood buddies played every sport there was, and if they weren’t at the park they were down at the pool and tennis club off of Great Falls. Rapp was smiling to himself and thinking about the summer his brother had gotten them banned from the pool when he saw Coleman pulling into the parking lot in his big black SUV. Without saying a word they both left their vehicles and traveled down the path between the bleachers to the synthetic-turf lacrosse field.

It was a typical late April morning for the area. The temp was in the midseventies and the skies were partly cloudy, with the threat of storms off in the distance. Rapp had changed into a pair of comfortable jeans and a long-sleeved shirt for his flight. Coleman had on a pair of khakis, a button-down shirt, and a blue sport coat. The two men faced each other but didn’t look at each other. They were more concerned with their surroundings than making eye contact.

Coleman looked over at the basketball courts. There were four kids playing hoops, young enough that they should probably be in school, and definitely too young to be on the payroll of the FBI or any other organization. He ran a hand through his blond hair and asked, “Don’t tell me we already have a problem.”

Rapp kept his eyes on the parking lot. “Not with the thing you’re thinking of,” he said, referring to the op they’d run in New York, “at least not in the way you might be thinking. Although,” he said, glancing at Colemen, “I did hear something interesting this morning.”

“What’s that?”

“Charlie O’Brien told me that little prick Glen Adams took off for Caracas without letting anyone at Langley know he was leaving the country.”

“You don’t say. I thought you guys had rules about that.”

“Most definitely. You have to notify senior management as well as security.”

“And he did neither?”

“That’s right. He’s stepped in some real shit.”

“Do they have a line on him?” Coleman asked, already wondering if his guy had been able to disappear. They had agreed that it would be best to have no communication unless there was an emergency.

“You mean Langley?”


“No,” Rapp said. “Not so far.”

“Is the FBI in on it?”

Rapp shook his head. “Irene wants to keep it in the family . . . at least for the next six hours. We have some people looking at the hotels, and we’re quietly talking to a few of our contacts in the Venezuelan DIS. If we don’t get some answers quick she’s going to have to bring in FBI and State.”

Coleman nodded. “Do you think he defected?”

“Who knows . . . as long as the guy doesn’t give away any of our secrets I’d just as soon he hung himself.” Rapp checked out the boys on the court and then finally looked at Coleman. “The name Max Johnson ring a bell?”

Coleman’s blue eyes closed a touch as he tried to remember where he’d heard the name. After a moment he said, “Yeah. He’s one of you guys, or I should say was.”

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