The Third Woman
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The unique Stephanie Patrick returns in another brilliant thriller by Mark Burnell. Icily professional, Stephanie has been living life as her alias - the professional terrorist - Petra to the full. Having completed an intelligence contract in St. Petersburg she returns home, but civilian life eludes her when she is lured to France by the call of a friend in need. In Paris, a bomb-blast triggers a chain of events which contaminates every aspect of Stephanie's life. It's clear that she's been betrayed. But by whom? She must identify the threat before she can run from it! Stephanie saves herself by taking a hostage, but soon the tension between captive and captor accelerates dangerously beyond her control. As powers shift critically, Stephanie struggles to maintain Petra's professional cool, and to hold herself together. Ultimately, she's the only one who can save them - but will it be at the price of the hostage's life? Mark Burnell has written another gripping thriller which will appeal to fans of Robert Harris and Michael Connelly. The Third Woman is a welcome return for a unique heroine.
> That doesn't quite cut it. You sent me to the Lancaster. I only just made it out, no thanks to you. > I'm not in the habit of betraying my most lucrative clients. > Give me a name and we'll see who set us up. > John Peltor. 'Christ, not again,' I mutter. 'I should have guessed.' > How? > He used an alias. > Alan Stonehouse? > Paul Ellroy. I try to put the sequence together. The Sentier bomb goes off I turn to Stern for help. Stern turns to a source. Stern's source steers me towards
Or that it wasn't. Newman said, 'I'd need a reason.' 'So think of one. But I'm going to see her one way or the other. Do it my way and I give you my word that no harm will come to her.' He stared at her for several seconds. 'Bitch.' 'I know.' When the time came they went into his office. His mobile phone was on his desk. He put it on speaker-phone. 'Go ahead. Dial the number.' As Newman reached forward, Stephanie added: 'Her private number.' Scheherazade Zahani answered at the fourth ring.
Fox News for real news. But that doesn't invalidate me as an American.' 'Perhaps not.' 'Maybe I'm just not that mainstream. Maybe I'm just a little too … tangential.' Just as she was. Was that it, then? Were they the same? Strip away the professional veneer – the business suit, the gun – and what was left? An evasive core. 'Tangential. That's a good word. Your relationship to Solaris – is that tangential too?' 'Now you mention it – yes, it is.' 'What is Solaris, exactly? You never really
But does. 'Do yourself a favour. We know the way it works. If our positions were reversed, you'd do the same to me.' Through his grimace, he mutters, 'No way, man. I'd have you first.' 'Better than after, I suppose.' 'That depends.' 'Drop the act, Lance, and I promise I'll make it quick.' His breathing is already turning shallow. 'They'll never stop looking for you, Petra.' 'Who?' 'That's the beauty of it. I don't know.' 'Well, they can try. But they won't find me.' 'One day they
it. It sounded like a lie. Or, even worse, a boast. Either way, something that had nothing to do with her. She gave it to him as plainly as she could. 'I was an assassin.' There was no outrage, not even surprise. It was the answer he expected, it appeared. Perhaps even the answer he'd hoped for, confirmation of anything being better than doubt. 'For the British government?' 'Yes. But not officially.' 'Is it ever official?' 'The organization I used to work for doesn't exist. It never did.'