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Judith R. Parker
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Intelligence has Mustafa Barenji, an elusive terrorist, intent on causing destruction in the United States. Only an ex-Mossad agent has ever seen Barenji and lived and Zephyr is now retired and hates all clandestine services. Richard Royer, violinist and composer, is mistakenly identified as Zephyr. His wife, Rachel, is kidnapped to assure Royer's cooperation. But Richard has his own problems.
Only a lot of luck or the real Zephyr can prevent global catastrophe. From Seattle to Zimbabwe, Frankfort to London, Washington to Hawaii, the action never stops and nothing is quite what it seems.
Richard signaled the waiter and ordered a dessert he didn’t want. While Joseph was writing the order, Richard whispered, "Tell Mr. Umbulu we want everyone followed when they leave the dining room. Also put all of the others under immediate surveillance. He will know what I mean."
Joseph grinned broadly. "Yes, sir." Raising his voice slightly, he said, "I assure you the trifle is very fresh and very good."
A half moon, assisted by discreet lighting, held the darkness at bay as Richard and David joined the other guests strolling towards the kraal. They stopped outside the gate and lit cigarettes, keeping up a dilatory conversation, watching the last arrivals. Only as the gates were closing, did they slip inside. They found seats on the top bench and Richard studied the enclosure. In the center was a dirt-packed arena with a fifty-foot pole in the center. The kraal was enclosed by a twelve-foot wooden wall. The bleachers extended around about one third of the wall. Richard could spot only three doors; the one through which they had entered, a smaller door to the right of the bleachers and a third directly across the arena.
Richard located Mr. Ho prominently seated in the second row immediately behind the two Egyptians. He frowned inwardly and began searching the crowd. He found it interesting that Whitehead had also taken a seat on the top row and seemed more interested in the audience than in the preparations taking place in the ring below.
Moments later he spotted the two Japanese gentlemen seated in the front row and Avram Adoni in the middle of the packed bleachers. The Greek couple were on the far side of the stands in the third row. Richard leaned back and withdrew the brochure he had picked up as they passed the desk and studied it while they waited for the show to start. He read that the Zambezi River was nearly a mile wide where it fell into the narrow crevasse created eons ago by some cataclysmic event and varied in height from two-hundred-fifty-six feet to three-hundred-forty-three feet. The grounds of the Victoria Falls Hotel ran down to the very edge of the rift and presented a spectacular view of the Falls pouring into the chasm only a few feet away. Across the river was Zambia.
He stuck the brochure back in his pocket, as the lights dimmed, and stared at the spectacle taking place in the dirt ring, his mind busy. Why was the transfer taking place in this out of the way spot? How much bacteria would it take to contaminate the reported cities? What kind of containers would be required? How big? How could it pass through customs without causing comment?
The chanting finally broke into his thoughts and he found himself intrigued by the aboriginal rhythm and melody. Without conscious thought, he began mentally composing.
Later, the only thing he was able to recall of the show was the man diving from the top of a tall pole and swinging by a foot, his head only inches from the dirt. That and the beginning of a piece of music.
The exit was through a small souvenir shop. Richard and David strolled leisurely about the shop, occasionally fingering a trinket or a carving. When the Japanese gentlemen left, Richard signaled David and moved to the door. He smothered a grin as a group of young blacks began scattering in the various directions taken by some members of the audience.
Richard strolled in the direction taken by the Japanese. David soon caught up with him and asked impatiently, "Shouldn’t one of us be following Mr. Ho?"
"I think Reginald has Mr. Ho covered. I’m more interested in our Japanese friends. Did you notice anything after the show?"
"Only that I think we can forget about Mr. Adoni. I overheard him asking about one of these animal skin rugs. He has a daughter in Johannesburg who collects small unusual rugs. He’s taking her a fine Muslim prayer rug. Did you see something I missed?"
"Mrs. Andopoulos dropped her program."
Judith R. Parker makes her home near Ronald, Washington in the central Cascades with her husband, a retired civil engineer, two dogs and six cats. She is a retired corporate CFO.
Parker has been writing mysteries, suspense and westerns for over twenty years. Her short stories have appeared in regional and national magazines and an anthology, A KIND OF JUSTICE, which was an 2002 Eppie finalist. RIDE A COLD WIND won a 2002 Eppie for best western.
Parker is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, Epic, and a past board member of the Northwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
“In Judith R. Parker's DEADLY DIAMONDS, the characters are real. The story is spell binding. I believe that this book is going to make it to the best seller list before the ink is dry.” --Sue Harigan, Member of RIO; reviewer for: All About Murder; All about Fiction; Book News; Murder Express; Carol's Book Reviews
"In the tradition od Louis L'Amour, author Judith R. Parker creates a tale that takes great pride in the human spirit. Parker's recreation of the pristine mountains untouched by humans in contrast to the evil of the man who chases her hero creates a marvelous juxtaposition. A quick, entertaining read, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended." --reviewed by: Cindy Penn
"If you are looking for an exciting story, appealing characters and lots of action, look no farther. Parker's RIDE A COLD WIND, first in the Jason Locke series, fits the bill. Parker has a way with her writing that brings every emotion and sense into play. I highly recommend this book. And make sure you start it in the morning because you won't be able to put it down." --Quote by: Betty Sullivan LaPierre, Author of: The Hawkman series
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 286
Paper Weight (lb): 12.2