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The shot was an explosion that spewed a shower of bright sparks from the pistol's muzzle into the darkness and kicked the barrel upward, but the arm of the shooter quickly straightened to level it again. The shooter fired the second and third shots into the lighted interior of the car, and the late-night silence returned. After a few seconds, crickets began to chirp tentatively again from nearby yards.
There were three holes punched through the rear window of the car, and even from his vantage across the alley behind the shooter, Parish could see that Mark Romano's head had been pounded forward, and the windshield had been sprayed nearly opaque with his bright red blood.
Parish watched as one of the women gently but firmly placed her arm around the shooter's left shoulder and took the gun from the right hand. The waiting escape car rolled up and within a few heartbeats the shooter had been hustled into the back seat. Parish leaned in to speak softly to the driver. "Go ahead. We'll finish up here."
The car moved off down the alley with its lights still out. Parish walked into the garage, stopped by the side of Romano's car, and bent to stare into the still-lighted interior at the bloody face to be sure there was no possibility of life. He reached across the body to the dashboard and took the remote control unit. He closed the car door, stepped out of the garage, and pushed the remote control button to bring the door down to cover the scene.
As he turned, Spangler emerged from the darkness at his side and pointed at the back of a house down the alley. "There was a face in that window for a second."
"Better take care of it beforewe go," whispered Parish. "They haven't had enough time to get the shooter out of the area."
The two men walked quickly and silently up the alley. They were both tall, but they moved toward the house with a surprising ability to blend into their surroundings, passing through each shadowy space beside the garages, moving along rows of garbage cans to make their shapes get lost to the eye among the many others in the dark alley.
The house was two lots down from Mark Romano's-they had waited for a night when the nearest neighbors were away-so the face could not have seen much from that window, beyond the six-foot cinder-block wall that separated the alley from the yard. Parish and Spangler moved to the wall, barely glancing at each other, as though they had done this so many times that each knew the steps, neither needing to check where the other was.
In seconds Parish was up and over the wall into the yard behind the house, and Spangler had made his way along the fence beside it. As Spangler went over the fence and dashed up the low steps toward the kitchen door, he could hear Parish breaking the glass in the window at the back of the house, and he hit the door with his shoulder before the musical sound of glass hitting the floor inside the house had stopped.
The door flew inward, cracked into the wall, bounced, and swung back, but Spangler was already across the small kitchen, his gun drawn, slipping up the hallway toward the back bedroom at a run. He went low, held his pistol ahead of him, and stepped into the doorway.
He saw a man in boxer shorts standing inside the room leaning against the wall, both hands on an aluminum baseball bat, waiting for Parish to try to climb in through the broken window beside him. Spangler fired once into the man's chest as Parish fired twice through the window into the room.
Spangler's head spun so he could see what Parish had shot. It seemed at first that it was just a lump in the blanket, but then Spangler saw the telephone cord leading from the nightstand under the covers. He tore the blanket and sheet aside to reveal the body of the woman, the telephone receiver still clutched in her hand.
He moved to the window, pulled the sash up, and stepped back to let Parish climb in. Parish glanced at the man on the floor as he hurried to the bed where the woman lay. He snatched the telephone from her fingers, put it to his ear, and smiled as he set it in its cradle. "Dial tone. She hadn't gotten the call off yet."
"Close, though," said Spangler. He turned to go.
"Not yet." He nodded at the dead man below the window. "That bat isn't the right size for him, is it?"
Spangler whispered, "Kids?"
Spangler followed Parish into the hallway, mirroring his rapid, efficient movements. Parish stopped at each doorway on the left, put his head inside, turned to look both ways, then moved on. Spangler took the doorways on the right. Parish stopped at the end of the hall, where the door was closed. He tried the handle, found that it would not turn, and nodded to Spangler. Then he stepped back and kicked.
As the door flew open, Spangler stepped in after it. He decided that the boy crouching on the floor at the far end of the bunk bed must be nine or ten, and the little sister he had pushed behind him would be around five. Parish and Spangler seemed to have the same thought, which was that they must make use of the children's shock and immobility before they tried to run or crawl under something, as children often did. Both men centered their shots in the children's foreheads.
Parish and Spangler left the room and continued up the hallway. It did not make sense to go out the way they had come. The only car in the alley had been the one that had been used to spirit the shooter away, and there was nothing left near Romano's body that they needed to think about any further. They walked across the small, drab living room, carefully avoided a skateboard that had been left near the front door, slipped the latch, and stepped outside. They made their way around the corner to the car they had parked there, and Spangler drove them up the street toward the freeway entrance.
Forty-five minutes later, when they were driving north beside the ocean, Parish opened his window and tossed the remote control for Mark Romano's garage door opener out onto the pavement. The little plastic case broke apart with the impact and the pieces bounced a few times, cartwheeling and then sliding to a stop a few feet apart in the right lane, where they would be crushed to bits by the next car, or the next, or the one after that.
Posted July 10, 2012
Posted October 8, 2011
Posted August 17, 2011
Posted February 6, 2008
Take a pass on Dead Aim unless you're on a long plane flight with nothing better to do. The plot is too convoluted, not well thought out. The characters are flat and one dimensional. This short 280 pages novel couldn't decide if it's romance or thriller. So in the end it's neither. Skip this one if there is almost anything else to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 22, 2007
Posted January 7, 2006
I totally loved this book!It has a lot of suspence in it.Iris totally outdid herself when she wrote this book.I really recomend it!!!!!!!!!You will NOT be dissapoined!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2005
I have been a fan of Ms. Johansen and her stories for some time, and I do my best to keep the books in order so that I do not miss the stories of the recurring characters. I must say that although Dead Aim was indeed enjoyable, fast paced and full of story, it lacked some of the detail that I had become accustomed to with this writer. I was also disappointed with the ending, I felt that it was rushed. Where Ms. Johansen would normally describe in detail the last few major scenes, she failed to detail the final scenes of struggle between Morgan, Runne and Alex. It was a good book nonetheless, I had just become accustomed to being right there with the characters as they battle their final demons. I would highly recommend No One To Trust, to support my opinion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 18, 2004
This book was a extreamly good book i feel. It was the first Iris Johansen book that led me to read all of her others including bodies of lies unfourtnantly. Although she may have had a bit of a bad spell with that book this book is a very good book that will not dissapoint you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2004
Iris Johansen was at the top of her game with books like The Killing Game, Ugly Duckling, Face Of Deception & Then You Die, but since the release of The Search her books have become boring with almost the same storyline. The Search was one of her shortest books which seem to be written in a rush to please Sarah & Monty fans. Well this book is just as boring, it just goes on & on until the last few chapters and then you only wish the book would end. Irish Johansen was one of my famous writers, but not any more. If your a regular fan you know what I mean. If your a first time reader I suggest you read her earlier books when she was one of the best.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2003
i had to struggle to finish this book and was dissapointed that it did not get better as I went along. The plot was a bit confusing and there were too many characters to keep track of. It was a little unrealistic due to the main characters always being able to escape not only the bad guys but also the entire FBI and police force. They always had a 'convenient' place to go and hide.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2003
Posted September 20, 2003
Posted July 26, 2003
I am very impressed with the writing style of this book. Johansen's mix of mystery, intrigue, romance and murder has brought out a compelling use of seductive power and relationships. The relationship between Alex and Morgan was electric and one that drew me in so much, that I could not sleep. I had to keep reading. The Judd Morgan character was so complex and inticing, that women everywhere will be looking for their real life Judd Morgan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2003
I read about half of this book and could not finish. I just lost interest because it didn't seem to flow very well. There was really no character development and Ms. Johansen does a poor job giving you some good background information on the major players. The plot was easy enough to follow and it had a solid foundation for a good story. However, she should have shared a bit more details about personalities, physical descriptions, etc on the people in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2003
This book is an awesome catch, its about 342 pages but it is definitly worth it. it took me about 2 weeks to read. After the first chapter your hooked. Johansen is undoubtedly my new favorite author. This book is exciting because it not boring 'backgound' paragraphs, as in what people were doing and how they were doing it, things the narrator would read. She wrote mostly dialog, so its easy to adapt to different roles in the book. Theres also a mini romance happening in this book that you don't expect. read it it's an awesome book! i would rate it 20 stars if i could..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2003
Acclaimed stage actress Kate Burton gives a dynamite reading to the explosive new thriller by this always readable author. Iris Johansen pictures a new take on terrorism, bringing it evermore near to home and hearth. Alex Graham is an acclaimed photojournalist. Her achievements are many, and her work beyond reproach. Now she finds herself at a disaster site in Arapahoe Junction, Colorado. As she digs through debris side by side with other volunteers in a frantic search for survivors the common thought is that an earthquake is the most likely cause of this devastation. That's too pat an answer for Alex who discovers that the carnage was not caused by an unruly force of nature but was the result of an evil plot. This knowledge places her life in jeopardy. Furthermore, there is a conspiracy. Anyone who comes even close to the truth will never utter another word. By dint of sheer luck the first attempt on her life fails. She now finds herself under the wings of an unlikely protector - billionaire John Logan who assigns a bodyguard, tough, relentless Jidd Morgan, to make sure that Alex lives. However, Morgan has a few skeletons in his closet - bones that make someone want to dispose of him. How many wanna-be killers can Alex handle?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2003
Roving photojournalist Alex Graham has a problem with her chosen occupation - she spends more and more time hands on with the rescue efforts at the disaster sites than recording the chaos on film. When her efforts to hurriedly please her boss and take some sweeping pictures of a dam collapse lead her to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Graham is suddenly a target. The faces she has seen, and the words she has overheard put her on the run from people evil enough to manipulate seemingly natural disasters for personal gain. Her protector comes in the form of Morgan Judd, an ex commando who has been pulled into the personal protection business in exchange for some heat taken off him in bureaucratic circles. Judd's service past has made him a useful scapegoat for the powers that be, and the promise of a return to some semblance of a normal personal life is the payment he'd like to receive. Moving from one 'safe' place to another with the assistance of Galen, a fix-it man with favors of his own to return, Graham and Judd begin as the pursued and become the pursuers as they find out just from how deep into the US government the threats originate. Along the way they discover it is more than the threat of death to one witness. While this is a stand alone, regular readers of Johansen will appreciate the inclusion of some faces from her other works. This book reads at times like a script for an action movie, with terse, sharp descriptions and plenty of dialogue that seems to be made for the big screen rather than the more expansive medium of a novel. Completely incredible and entertaining, 'Dead Aim' is a fast and easy read that should please the best selling authors many fans and satisfy new readers looking for their dose of action, kills, spills & government conspiracies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
She is a celebrated photojournalist who covers some of the most tragic news stories of our time. She is on assignment at Arapaho Junction, Colorado where a dam collapsed causing a landslide that has buried many people alive. Alex Graham helps with the rescue efforts along with her friend Sarah Logan and her rescue dog Monty. When Alex arranges a helicopter pick-up at the top of the gorge, it is blown out of the sky by two men trying to kill her. The two killers triggered a second landslide but there is no evidence to support Alex claims. The authorities think it was a result of the dam breaking but Sarah and Alex disagree. Sarah¿s husband whisks her away after she gets injured and gets Judd Morgan to watch over Alex. Judd, a black ops agent, is marked for assassination after seeing something he shouldn¿t have seen. Alex and Judd realize they are dealing with a conspiracy that has it¿s origins in renegade FBI and CIA officials and the executive office. They have to expose the conspirators before America experiences a deja vu tragic destruction of another Camelot. DEAD AIM is a fantastic action thriller that brings back beloved characters from other books written by the author. The two protagonists become romantically involved but that is a secondary plot that is overwhelmed by the non-stop action of the main theme. The respective vulnerability of both the hero and the heroine rings true and endears themselves to the readers but what is really exciting is how they travel different roads to take them to the same point. Iris Johansen will make the New York Times bestseller list with this dynamic and thrilling novel. Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2010
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Posted February 23, 2009
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