Scratch One

Scratch One

5.0 1
by Michael Crichton, John Lange
     
 

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To prevent an arms shipment from reaching the Middle East a terrorist group has been carrying out targeted assassinations in Egypt...Portugal...Denmark...France. In response, the United States sends one of its deadliest agents to take the killers down.

But when the agent is delayed in transit, lawyer Roger Carr gets mistaken for him. Now, with some of the world's

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Overview

To prevent an arms shipment from reaching the Middle East a terrorist group has been carrying out targeted assassinations in Egypt...Portugal...Denmark...France. In response, the United States sends one of its deadliest agents to take the killers down.

But when the agent is delayed in transit, lawyer Roger Carr gets mistaken for him. Now, with some of the world's deadliest men after him, will he survive long enough to prove his identity? 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/10/2014
In this thriller written under the John Lange pseudonym, Crichton borrows heavily from the Hitchcock comic thriller North by Northwest, though the light tone isn't obvious from the outset. The book opens with a series of violent attacks: in Monaco, a man narrowly escapes being gunned down; in Egypt, another is smothered to death in sand;and a third is shot in the head in Portugal. That's only the first chapter, and Crichton proceeds to poison off a Norwegian businessman in Denmark, and have an exporter fall in front of a Paris train. The violence and intrigue set the stage for American attorney Roger Carr, first seen grabbing a bedmate's breast by accident instead of the ringing phone he was reaching for at his London hotel. Carr comes to France to buy a villa for a wealthy client, but is soon dodging bullets fired by those who have mistaken him for a killer. Crichton's not known for a humorous touch, but he makes good use of it in this outing. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"One of the best books in the Lange bunch." - Trash Mutant

"Scratch One is a great starting point for this “new-old” series, and should have alerted the world in 1967 that an excellent, up-and-coming novelist was in our midst." Borg.com

"Pure, high-octane entertainment." -  Pop Mythology

"A joy to read." - Geek Nutz

"Great delight to Crichton fans who are still mourning his 2008 passing." Geek Girl Project

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781783291199
Publisher:
Titan
Publication date:
10/29/2013
Series:
Hard Case Crime
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
327,488
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.74(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Monday: Principauté de Monaco

Victor Jenning, tanned and very fit, walked down the steps of the Casino into the cool night air. They were already bringing his blood-red Lamborghini around from the lot. It was a new car, and Jenning was pleased with it—Carrozzeria Touring body mounted over a 3.5 liter V-12 engine that ran smoothly at 240 kilometers an hour. It was a hardtop, of course. Jenning loathed driving fast in an open car—unless he was racing—and he had rolled enough cars to have a healthy respect for solid protection overhead.

People were gathering to admire the car as he came to the bottom of the steps. It was only natural; the car had never been produced prior to 1965, when old Ferrucio Lamborghini, the tractor and oil burner tycoon, had established a limited production shop in Cento, just a few miles from Ferrari’s plant at Maranello. Three hundred Lamborghinis were made a year, so it was still quite a rarity. It had cost him $14,000.

As he made his way around the crowd, he answered their questions with smiles and a slightly bored voice, then got in behind the wheel. He was a jaded man, and so felt only mild pride, but it was sufficient to make him forget—momentarily at least—the ten thousand dollars he had just dropped that night at baccarat, in a particularly poor run of luck.

He started the engine, listening with satisfaction to the bass growl from the twin exhausts. The crowd parted, and he reached down for the lights. His hand flicked on the windshield wipers, and he had a twinge of embarrassment. Damn! It was painfully obvious that he’d owned the car just a week. He bent over to peer at the switches.

At that moment his windshield shattered in front of him.

The crowd gasped; somebody screamed. Another shot, and Jenning, who had immediately dropped as low as he could, felt pain in his right shoulder. He turned on the lights, released the brake, and put the car quickly into reverse. Still hunched over, he roared backward, sat up, spun the wheel around, and tore off into the night. Air blew through the gaping hole in his windshield, and he swore to himself.

Victor Jenning was a man accustomed to attempts on his life. There had been four in the last two years. None had come close to succeeding, though he had a slight limp as a result of the second. In a strange way, he did not mind the assassination attempts—they were part of the game, one of the risks in his line of work. But he hated to see his new car damaged. It would take weeks, now, to get a new windshield fitted properly.

As he drove through the dark streets of Monaco toward the doctor, he was so furious that he did not bother to reflect that, had he known how to work his lights, he would probably be dead.

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