A dirty book is rarely dusty.

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Tác giả: David Baldacci
Thể loại: Trinh Thám
Nguyên tác: The Whole Truth
Biên tập: Dieu Chau
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Language: English
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Chapter 7
F THERE’S A BODY OF WATER outside of the former Soviet Union, or perhaps Venice, that one would not want to dive into, it would be one of the Amsterdam canals. They are famous, but not because of their clarity, cleanliness, or healthy circulation.
Shaw hit the water, cleaving it neatly in two. Still, the impact from four stories up was jarring to every nerve and bone in his body. He turned and propelled back up, breaking the surface and looking around for his man. Nothing!
Apparently the Iranian was a fast swimmer for a person hailing from a desert country. Shaw was also a strong swimmer, and when he finally spotted his quarry he shot across the narrow canal with a powerful stroke, nearly hooking the other man’s foot as he climbed out of the water. Kicking out, the Iranian caught him painfully on the jaw with the heel of his boot. It did nothing to improve Shaw’s mood.
The two men squared off near the base of the Magere Brug, its cheerful lights offering an odd backdrop to a pair of boiling furies looking to kill each other.
“You betrayed me!” screamed the Iranian.
“You’ll get over it.”
The Iranian assumed a sophisticated fighting stance. “I was trained as a mujahideen. I fought the devils in Iraq and Afghanistan for years. I look forward to killing you with my bare hands. Serve me well in death, filth.”
Before he could attack, Shaw pulled his throwing knife and let it fly. It struck the other man in the foot, sliced through skin and bone, its point finally embedding in the wooden treads of the bridge underneath.
The Iranian screamed in pain and hurled obscenities at Shaw as he tried to pull his limb free.
Shaw used this moment of distraction to knock the Middle Easterner cold, his foot still pinned to the wood like a butterfly on a corkboard as he lay sprawled on the planks.
“You talk too much,” he told the unconscious man.
An hour later, Shaw sat in the back of a white van with a blanket around his burly shoulders sipping a cup of hot Dutch coffee. Two men in uniforms that were conspicuous for not having a single identifying mark, along with a third fellow in an off-the-rack business suit, sat across from him.
“Diving out windows? Into the canal? At your age?” the suit said as he scratched at a patch of reddened skin on his bald, egg-shaped head.
“Did you trace the call?”
The man nodded. “Quick thinking giving him your phone. We nailed Mazloomi and his crew in Helsinki about ten minutes ago. Nasty group of people. Yeah, real tough.” The man did a mock shiver and then laughed.
Shaw didn’t crack a smile. “Good guys rarely try to nuke innocent people. That’s why we have governments.”
“You really believe that?”
“Yeah, and so do you, Frank, if you had the balls to admit it.”
Frank looked at the twin uniforms and nodded at the door. They quickly got up and left. Frank edged closer to Shaw.
“What’s this I hear about you wanting to hang it up?”
“How long did you expect me to keep doing this?”
“Didn’t you read the fine print? Until you died. Like you almost did tonight.”
“Tonight? Not even close. This was about as dangerous as taking on a nun in a ruler smackdown.”
“Well, if you do ever get around to dying, don’t let it be on my watch. I don’t need the hassle.”
“Thanks for caring.”
“Where to now?”
“Dublin.”
Frank said curiously, “Why?”
“Vacation. Maybe you don’t think I deserve one after tonight.”
“Oh, you can go, but you’ll be back,” Frank said confidently.
Shaw rose, let the blanket slide off his shoulders, and handed his empty cup to Frank. His skin was itchy as hell and it felt like his hair was falling out.
“Just as soon as you send me a picture of you swimming in the canal. Naked, of course.”
“Right. Still glad you came over to our side?”
“I really didn’t have a choice, now did I?”
“Have a nice time in Dublin, Shaw.”
“You can see for yourself, can’t you? Your boys will be right on my ass.”
Frank lit up a Dutch cigar and gave Shaw a smirk through the curtain of smoke. “You think you’re important enough for us to chase all over the world? My God, what an ego.”
“May you never grow old, Frank.”
The Whole Truth The Whole Truth - David Baldacci The Whole Truth