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The Sentinel (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child & Andrew Child

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child & Andrew Child

Author:Lee Child & Andrew Child [Child, Lee & Child, Andrew]
Language: eng
Format: epub, azw3
ISBN: 9781473579033
Publisher: Transworld
Published: 2020-10-26T18:30:00+00:00


SIXTEEN

There were two people at the kitchen counter in Mitch’s apartment alongside Reacher, and they were both mad at him.

‘I can’t believe you offered to sell the server.’ Both of Rutherford’s hands were clenched into fists. ‘You had no right. It’s not yours. We don’t know where it is. And ten measly grand? Cerberus will be worth a hundred times that much. A thousand times.’

‘I can’t believe you would even think of going.’ Sands threw the slip of paper on to the countertop. ‘It’s a trap. It’s obvious. How can it not be?’

Reacher took a mouthful of coffee. ‘OK. First of all, Rusty. Don’t worry. I have no intention of selling your computer thing. And Sarah, yes. It’s almost certainly a trap. But sometimes the only way to know if the stove is hot is to touch it.’

Sands glared at him.

‘Someone smart told me that once,’ he said.

‘You’re obviously not smart if you’re even considering walking into a trap.’

‘I never said I was smart. Stubborn, maybe. Obstinate even, on occasion.’

‘Why offer to sell if you had no intention?’ Rutherford said. ‘Are you going to rip Klostermann off? We can’t do that. I have to live here. My reputation’s tattered enough already.’

‘We’re not ripping anyone off,’ Reacher said. ‘It was a test. To get a sense of how important these records are to him. Or sensitive. Or embarrassing. I named a big number and he didn’t turn a hair. That tells us something. And here’s another reason. Say Klostermann isn’t what he seems to be. Say he’s somehow behind Garza’s murder and the attempt to kidnap you. Do you want him thinking you’re not willing to play ball? This way his incentive is to keep us alive.’

‘If you care so much about being free and healthy why would you knowingly walk into an ambush?’ Sands said. ‘Are you crazy?’

‘Not in the slightest,’ Reacher said. ‘And I’m not going to walk into anything. The best way to defeat an ambush is to be there first. Which I will be. But logistics aren’t the most important thing. You’re focusing in the wrong place. Look at the note.’

Sands picked up the scrap of paper. She re-read it slowly, and checked the other side. ‘What? I don’t see anything.’

‘The first two words. What do they mean?’

‘Romeo, Juliet. R J. Reacher, Jack. Your name.’

‘Exactly. Someone made it personal. I’m not some faceless guy who got in the way any more. They’re coming after me specifically. They need to understand that’s the wrong thing to do.’

Reacher parked Marty’s car half a mile south of the factory and covered the rest of the ground on foot. He moved slowly. He stopped frequently, but never at the same interval. He never continued until he was certain no one was following. And no one was watching. The clock in his head said 10:45. Seventy-five minutes before he was due at the rendezvous. More time would have been better but experience told him seventy-five minutes would be enough. Nine times out of ten.



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