We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.

Thích Nhất Hạnh

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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 20
ERGEI PETROV WALKED DOWN THE STREET, his collar upturned against the chill that had descended on New York in the last two days. He’d just finished a taping for a local television show, recounting the considerable horrors that he’d witnessed under the Putin/Gorskhov regimes as the number two man in the Federal Security Service before fleeing the country. The westerners ate up what he was selling and paid well for the privilege, Petrov had found, far better than playing lapdog to dictators disguised as presidents. He didn’t know where the Red Menace campaign had originated from and didn’t really care. Gorshkov was evil. Petrov’s homeland was going in the wrong direction. Whether all the horrors that had come to light recently were true or not he also didn’t care about. Some of them probably were. That was good enough.
He felt for the gun in the pocket of his coat. Petrov was a careful man. He knew he had become a target. If Gorshkov had a top hit list he would be high on it. He always went out armed, never strayed from public places, and his trained eye was ever watchful. He would never drink or eat whenever anyone else was present. He would not die as Litvinenko had. There would be no polonium-210 cup of tea for him.
He walked to the corner and hailed a cab. One drew to a stop beside the curb; the driver looked out.
“Grand Central Station,” Petrov said. The man nodded and he climbed in. As he did, the rear door on the opposite side opened and a man jumped in. At the same instant another bulky gent pushed Petrov from behind and slid in next to him. The doors closed and the cab raced off.
Petrov didn’t even have time to look at his kidnappers. They pressed against him, their bulk pinning his hands to his body, his gun remaining in his pocket. The knife slashed once against his throat even as he felt another blade bite deeply into his right side. And then another bite and then another.
He fell forward as his life drained away.
The cab drove out of town and into Westchester. Next to a small, dark park it stopped and the three men climbed out and into a waiting SUV. It drove off, leaving Petrov’s still body lying on the floor of the cab.
Written on his forehead with a black Sharpie pen was one word in Russian. Its English translation made perfect sense.
Back in the SUV Caesar took off his hat and mask. This was Nicolas Creel’s opening salvo in the “boots on the ground” department. Caesar had one more task to complete tonight. The SUV rolled on for a long time until they reached their destination. Arrangements had been made and money paid and they drove in without a problem. The SUV made its way to the very back edge of the place where a large crater had been dug in the earth. The men got out, opened the back of the truck, and slid out the body bag.
Caesar unzipped the bag and peered in at the face that looked blankly back at him.
Poor Konstantin, his Latino soap opera career never had the chance to take off. Caesar closed up the bag, hoisted it over his shoulder, carried it to the side of the crater, and tossed it in. A dump truck immediately started up, crept to the edge, and tons of construction debris poured over Konstantin’s “grave.” After that a bulldozer drove up and proceeded to push a mountain of earth back into the hole. By the next morning there would be no crater left. Caesar gave the man an informal salute.
Good-bye, Konstantin, we’ll never forget you.
As Caesar and his men drove off he called a private number and reported the success of his mission.
Thousands of miles away, Nicolas Creel scratched another item off his to-do list. Dick Pender was a smart man who knew just how to play the world for a sucker with his head games. But sometimes one “real” dead body could break a million souls. And no one played that game better than Nicolas Creel. And if you could accomplish all that with one dead body, think what you could do with lots of them.
The Whole Truth The Whole Truth - David Baldacci The Whole Truth