Red Right Hand

Red Right Hand

Book - 2016
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NOMINATED FOR THE 2017 ANTHONY AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
If the good guys can't save you, call a bad guy.
When viral video of an explosive terrorist attack on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge reveals that a Federal witness long thought dead is still alive, the organization he'd agreed to testify against will stop at nothing to put him in the ground.
FBI Special Agent Charlie Thompson is determined to protect him, but her hands are tied; the FBI's sole priority is catching the terrorists before they strike again. So Charlie calls the only person on the planet who can keep her witness safe: Michael Hendricks.
Once a covert operative for the US military, Hendricks makes his living hitting hitmen... or he did , until the very organization hunting Charlie's witness--the Council--caught wind and targeted the people he loves. Teaming up with a young but determined tech whiz, Cameron, on the condition she leave him alone after the case, Hendricks reluctantly takes the job.
Of course, finding a man desperate to stay hidden is challenging enough without deadly competition, let alone when the competition's shadowy corporate backer is tangled in the terrorist conspiracy playing out around them. And now Hendricks is determined to take the Council down, even if that means wading into the center of a terror plot whose perpetrators are not what they seem.
Publisher: New York :, Mulholland Books,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316259569
031625956X
Characteristics: 341 pages

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j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

“Listen very carefully,” he said. “I don’t give a flying fxck what time it is. Get your goddamn boss on the line and tell him that the Devil’s Red Right Hand would like a word with him.”
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JAKE RESTON’S GAZE traveled from the yellowed photo in his hand to the squat brick structure of Fort Point jutting into San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge looming above it.
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“Says here sixteen hundred people have leaped off it to their deaths since it first opened. A record forty-six in 2013 alone.”
===

“Ah. I see. You think I’m hitting the sauce a little hard.” “Not my business,” she replied. “No disagreement there.” “I mean, it’s a little early, is all. Most folks aren’t even off work yet.”
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“Retired from what?” From running false-flag missions for the U.S. government, he thought. From killing hitmen for a living once he got back home.

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

Hendricks’s business model was…unconventional. When someone was marked for death, Hendricks would make sure that person’s would-be killer wound up in the ground instead—so long as the intended victim paid up, that is.
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“Wait—you’re the guy who’s been whacking our hitters?”
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“You don’t understand. If I talk, they’ll kill my family.” “What do you care? Half your family wants you dead.” “That doesn’t mean that I don’t love them,” he said.
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When Engelmann came after Hendricks, he did so by targeting the only two people in the world that Hendricks cared about: his partner, Lester, and his former fiancée, Evie.
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Sal hoped that Izzie never got any better at lying than she was today, midway through her seventh year. But he knew better. Lying was in her DNA. Her hateful bitch of a mother did it for sport. Sal did it for a living.

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

Bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division, or CID. The CID fell under the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, or CCRSB, and was responsible for policing everything from violent crime to major thefts. The Counterterrorism Division fell under the National Security Branch, or NSB. The NSB was founded in 2005 in response to a presidential directive to consolidate the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and intelligence resources of the Bureau under a single senior Bureau official, ...
===

Frank was only sixty-three—a decade younger than anyone who met him might’ve guessed—but they’d been sixty-three hard years. He’d spent a good forty of them drinking, smoking, and whoring around like he was still that young punk from Hoboken with something to prove to the big dogs across the Hudson in New York. Now he was paying the price for those transgressions—and it turned out the interest was steep.

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

He was solely responsible for executing Council orders and looking after Council interests worldwide. It was a position that commanded fear and respect. He had no formal title, because he had no need of one—but thanks to his predecessor, who’d originated the role, those who whispered about him in dark corners of the underworld referred to him as the Devil’s Red Right Hand.
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“He looks like hell.” “You think? I’d say he looks pretty fxcking good for a dead man.”
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My parents named me after Rosalind Franklin, the scientist whose research Watson and Crick ripped off to write their paper on the helical structure of DNA. Mom always said it was her way of reminding me that if I wanted something in this world, I had to fight for it. Dad used to joke that he went along with it because he thought that an old-lady name would scare off potential suitors.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

Sal had a head for figures. It used to come in handy when he had to calculate the vig back in his loan-shark days.
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I never told her how inspiring her story was to me. I never told her how much it helped me realize my own teen angst was so much self-indulgent bullshit.”
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I felt like shit for not standing up for her—for not standing with her—when I had the chance. When it might’ve mattered. When it could’ve saved her life. I was too self-involved. Too timid. Too afraid.
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“I rigged their search history so it looked like they’d visited chat rooms of known terror groups. Added them to the no-fly list. Posted their Social Security numbers and credit card information on the dark web. Made a website for each of them that kept track of their online-porn-viewing habits and rigged the SEO so it’d be the first hit anybody who Googled them found.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

… she was just some overzealous undergrad, bright-eyed and idealistic, who’d yet to learn that the broken people of the world rarely wanted to be fixed.
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“You got anything to eat? Seems like I should replace some of the stuffing that I lost.” “Sure,” she said. “You want ramen or ramen?”
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When the towers fell, they took some secret part of him with them, something no new construction, no matter how ambitious, could replace. In Frank’s eyes, the New York skyline was a key that no longer fit.
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She raised her glass in a halfhearted toast. Frank did the same with his. Then they drank, two strangers in a quiet house—he a sip, she the entire glass.
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“Oh, I suspect you’ve got a little set aside for a rainy day.” “I did,” he said. “But this past year, it’s been pouring.”
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When the second bottle ran dry, he told himself he should go grab another, but the truth was, he’d begun to worry about her.

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

The choreography of the scene was quite formal by modern standards. Novak dropping flowers one by one into the water before she leaped took on a ritualistic air, and when Stewart emerged slowly from the water with Novak in his arms, it seemed less a rescue to Frank than a baptism.
===

Bellum’s duties included securing borders, bases, embassies—even entire cities—at the U.S. government’s behest. Protecting the interests of well-heeled multinational corporations—their oil fields, shipping routes, employee housing—and any private citizens who could afford to pay. Supplying the CIA with manpower—called consultants, officially, although in reality they were off-the-books hit squads. Bellum’s domestic interests included training members of the U.S. military and law enforcement at their compound north of San Francisco, the translation and analysis of electronic intelligence at their headquarters in DC, and protecting foreign diplomats on U.S. soil.

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

“I’m working on it.” “You mean you have no idea.” “I mean I’m working on it.”
===

“A COW is basically a cell-phone tower attached to a trailer that can be rolled into an area as needed. It’s meant to support the existing system when there’s an increase in demand, which could be due to anything from the Super Bowl to September Eleventh.
===

“Clearly the two of you have little in common, then—just as Heraclitus would have predicted.” “How’s that?” “He believed that change was the only constant in the universe. As he observed, ‘No man can step into the same river twice, for it is not the same river—and he is not the same man.’” “So you’re saying I ain’t that guy anymore.” “I’m saying everything, even what we think of as our essential self, is fluid.” “I dunno,” he replied. “Seems to me, most people never change.” “I think you’re wrong. We all do. Most of us simply never change direction.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

“Those memories might be not a burden, but a gift. It’s possible you carry them to remind yourself why you’ve chosen a different path.” “That’s a nice thought,” he said. “But if I could, I’d ditch ’em in a heartbeat.” Her face clouded. “I suppose we all have things we wish we could forget.”
===

Cal always tells me that it makes more sense to buy than rent, that our money would go farther elsewhere. But I like it here, and in the end, we’re all just renting anyway, aren’t we?”
===

Two hundred and seventy feet is a long way to fall—four full seconds from bridge to bay. When they hit the water, they were moving so fast that they might as well have landed on a city street.
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They see what they expect to see. That’s why eyewitnesses are so untrustworthy. You’d be surprised how easy it is to plant the seeds of false memory. They probably don’t even realize they’re lying.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

.... insert the spindle of an electric toothbrush into a lock and use its high-speed vibration like a computer hacker uses a brute-force attack. Instead of one rap of the mallet, one chance to turn the lock, the constant shaking knocks the pin stacks around until they line up just right.
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“We wouldn’t come knocking if you people would stop attacking us on our own soil.” “The soil is as much mine as yours,” the imam replied. “And I resent the implication that I am anything like the men who did this. Those men are zealots, savages, lost souls corrupted by leaders whose teachings are an affront to the true message of the Koran. I am not like them. I am a man of faith. A pacifist. Neither I nor Allah condone what happened yesterday.” “A damn shame those savages look so much like you, then.”
===

I am curious: What, besides my religion and the color of my skin, makes you think I know anything of these men?”

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j
jimg2000
Dec 17, 2017

Loved Hendrick’s debut thriller “The Killing Kind 2015.” In this second outing, the mob killers’ killer was hell-bent to avenge his partner’s death with the help of a spunky hacker amidst a terrorist attack of the Golden Gate Bridge. Really admire author Holm’s take on the corrupted “military complex” and stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists. Look forward to read all about the next Hendrick adventure. And here is a more elegant review:
“In his second Michael Hendricks thriller, Holm performs authorial acrobatics, elegantly and nimbly leaping between various locations and voices to produce not just a suspenseful tale kicked off by a San Francisco terrorist attack, but one imbued with multiple fine characters to boot.” —Daneet Steffens, Boston Globe

k
kmre_37
Dec 17, 2016

Easy read, good storyline. Enjoyed the book!

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