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Thief: A Robin Monarch Novel
     

Thief: A Robin Monarch Novel

5.0 1
by Mark Sullivan, Jeff Gurner (Read by)
 

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Robin Monarch is a man with a complicated past and dangerous present. He's been a soldier, a CIA agent, a freelance operative but first and foremost, Robin Monarch is a thief of the highest order. Orphaned at twelve, Monarch originally stole for survival, then he stole for his friends and cohorts, now he steals to order, and to give back to the to the woman who

Overview

Robin Monarch is a man with a complicated past and dangerous present. He's been a soldier, a CIA agent, a freelance operative but first and foremost, Robin Monarch is a thief of the highest order. Orphaned at twelve, Monarch originally stole for survival, then he stole for his friends and cohorts, now he steals to order, and to give back to the to the woman who saved his life many years ago.

With the help of his team, Monarch breaks into the legendary Christmas party of Beau Arsenault, a shady investor and behind-the-scenes player at the very highest levels of power politics. Arsenault is not above bending or breaking the rules if there's illicit profit to be made. Monarch has decided that those illicit profits will be better used to take care of orphans and street kids. Using the party as cover to break into Arsenault's secret vaults, Monarch comes away with two unexpected things. One is a bullet—he gets shot when he's caught trying to escape with tens of millions of negotiable instruments. The second is a lead on what might be his most audacious exploit ever. A previously undiscovered tribe in South America may well have the secret to the most sought after knowledge in history—that of eternal life. And Robin Monarch must use all his skills—as an operative, as a thief—to keep this secret from falling into the worst possible hands.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/27/2014
Early in Sullivan’s exciting third Robin Monarch novel (after 2013’s Outlaw), the latter-day Robin Hood burgles the Greenwich, Conn., mansion of billionaire Beau Arsenault during a Christmas party. Once Arsenault identifies the escaped thief, the mogul takes his revenge by arranging the kidnapping of Sister Rachel Diego del Mar from her medical clinic in a Buenos Aires slum. Monarch pulls out all the stops to save Sister Rachel, who once rescued him from a dead-end life in the Brotherhood of Thieves. In action spanning the globe, three of Monarch’s associates stalk Swiss banker Tristan Hormel in Europe; Claudio Fortunato, his oldest friend, hunts for clues in Buenos Aires; and Monarch joins scientist Estella Santos and her crew on a journey up the Amazon in search of a tribe that may hold the secret to human longevity. Two old enemies seek to beat Monarch to this prize. Sullivan puts a fresh spin on a familiar premise. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

“Terrific page-turner...Sullivan has crafted a remarkable antihero in Monarch, and the mix of action with thought provoking insight into what constitutes good or evil makes this a winner on every level.” —Booklist (starred review) on Thief

“Exciting… Sullivan puts a fresh spin on a familiar premise.” —Publisher's Weekly on Thief

“Sullivan has created a fine adventure-thriller hero in Monarch, who fits perfectly into the Ludlum or Vince Flynn mode. The action and the surprises are nonstop. Readers will demand the next one in the series, pronto.” —Booklist on Outlaw

“Action-packed… Comparisons to Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne series are justified.” —Associated Press on Rogue

“[Sullivan] takes his game to an entirely new and higher level. He never hits a low point, never trips, and never stops…the conclusion will leave you impatiently waiting for the next installment.” —Bookreporter.com on Rogue

“Diabolical! Filled with twists, turns, crosses and double-crosses, Sullivan delivers a harrowing international thriller!” —Lisa Gardner on Rogue

“A true juggernaut of a thriller, pure adrenaline in print…with the creation of Robin Monarch, Sullivan's crafted a Jason Bourne for the new millennium.” —James Rollins on Rogue

“This lightning-fast read brings to mind Robert Ludlum and Mission Impossible--and will definitely appeal to adrenalin junkies.” —Booklist on Rogue

“Thriller fans fond of high-stakes rescue scenarios will be more than satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly on Outlaw

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781427244338
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Publication date:
12/16/2014
Series:
Robin Monarch Series , #3
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Thief

A Robin Monarch Novel


By Mark Sullivan

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2014 Mark Sullivan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-5441-3


CHAPTER 1

BUENOS AIRES


THE THUNDERSTORMS BEGAN LATE that afternoon and continued on into the night, lashing the Argentine capital with six inches of rain that backed up the drains in the rich neighborhoods, and turned the streets to oozing mud in the slums.

Around nine thirty that evening, the fourth wave swept over Villa Miserie, the worst slum in the city, and drummed down on the steel roof of a small medical clinic. Inside, a missionary and physician named Sister Rachel Diego del Mar worked feverishly to save the life of a woman bleeding out after childbirth.

"Maria," she called to the woman, who was moaning. "You need to stay with me now. Your beautiful baby boy needs you."

The second Maria Vasquez walked into the clinic, the sixty-two-year-old physician had noticed the swelling around the pregnant woman's eyes, cheeks, wrists, and ankles, and suspected she'd developed a life-threatening clotting disorder. The doctor's suspicions were well founded. Tests revealed mom and baby were in mortal danger.

Sister Rachel had done a spinal block and performed a Cesarean section almost immediately, saving the baby. But ever since the baby's birth, Maria had been hemorrhaging. It took all of Sister Rachel's skills to stem the tide, but at a quarter to eleven she believed she'd done it. The young mother had lost a lot of blood, but her vital signs had stabilized. God willing she'd live to care for her baby boy.

The missionary hung her head, and thanked her lord and savior for guiding her. She'd been up for nearly nineteen hours, and felt woozy. Inez, the night nurse, sat in a rocker by Maria's bed, the baby in her arms. Sister Rachel told the nurse that she was going to clean up and get some sleep, but to wake her if Maria's condition changed for the worse.

"Yes, Sister," Inez said. "You sleep all night. I'll be right here."

The idea of an entire night's sleep was almost too much to hope for, the missionary thought. When she worked at the slum clinic, she rarely had more than four hours straight rest before some poor soul would turn up on her doorstep, sick or broken, and desperately needing her skills.

Sister Rachel was in no way bitter or self-pitying about her lot in life. Even after nearly thirty-two years as a member of the Sisters of Hope, the doctor believed she was doing God's work, and she prayed she would do that work until the day she died.

After showering and changing into a fresh set of scrubs, she let down her long silver hair and tied it in a loose ponytail. Then she headed to her office at the rear of the clinic, wondering how life was at the orphanage she ran outside the city.

The burden of the clinic and the orphanage sometimes felt too much. She looked forward to setting the weight aside for a few hours at least. Shutting the office door behind her, she turned on the light switch and pivoted to see her cot was made up already, which made her smile.

What would she do without Inez?

Then Sister Rachel heard a floorboard creak, and twisted left. A big man with a goatee was already upon her. He wore a black stocking wool cap pulled down over his ears. There was a small camera mounted on a harness strapped to the cap. Before she could scream, he clamped a hand across her mouth and jabbed her in the neck with a syringe.

In seconds the room swam toward darkness.

But before she passed out, she heard him say, "Let's see if you can save Robin Monarch this time around."

CHAPTER 2

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT

THIRTEEN WEEKS EARLIER ...


IT WAS TIME TO steal the son of a bitch blind.

That pleasing thought coursed through the thief's mind as he huddled in a silver Range Rover parked at the Babcock Preserve, a three-hundred-acre park in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was December the eighteenth, the Friday before Christmas, and snowflakes were beginning to fall. The all-news station was calling for fifteen inches of snow by morning.

This suited the thief's purposes. Falling snow hid tracks. Falling snow erased your passing.

The last of the dog walkers and hikers reached their cars and left just after dark. The thief sat there, letting the snow build on the windshield without triggering the wipers until the Range Rover felt more like a cocoon than a car.

Finally, at 6:25 P.M. he reached over the backseat and retrieved a clothes bag that protected a two-thousand-dollar tuxedo he'd purchased three days before. He got out of the car, left it running, and locked it. He went over to the park's lavatories, new tux in hand.

Stripping out of clothes, the thief barely glanced at the tattoo on his inner right forearm: the letters FDL laid out in scrollwork with a pickpocket's hand rising off the center of the D. He used white athletic tape to fix slender CO2 cartridges to both inner forearms. To these he attached tiny high-pressure hoses that coupled into the rear of stubby stainless-steel tubes the diameter of a pencil. The open end of the tubes sat roughly where someone might take your pulse. Over these devices the thief put on a starched tuxedo shirt, and then trousers cut with an elegant drape. Looking in the mirror, tying a maroon bow tie that complemented a festive paisley vest, he appraised the mysterious Robin Monarch as if he were a different person all together.

Late thirties, well over six feet, and two hundred and ten pounds, Monarch was lanky and yet powerfully built. His face, however, was harder to pin down. With slightly dusky skin and gentle features, it was handsome, but also vague and malleable if the need arose. With the right makeup or prop, he could fit in almost anywhere.

To that end, Monarch slid rolls of cotton high inside his cheeks, and then put in contact lenses that turned his eyes sea green. They complemented the henna highlights he'd washed into his normally dark curly hair. To complete his disguise, he put on black-framed glasses with clear lenses, a small hearing aide, and an antique Patek Philippe watch that fit carefully over the stubby tube taped to his left wrist. High on his lapel he pinned a boutonniere that featured a sprig of holly and red seeds. Completing the transformation was a beautiful mouse-gray Chesterfield overcoat and bone-colored cashmere scarf.

Not bad, Monarch thought. Not bad at all. Now I look like any other pompous ass in the party pages of Vanity Fair or New York Magazine.

The thief exited the restroom to discover a Greenwich police patrol car idling next to the Range Rover. An officer was out and shining her light inside the vehicle.

Without missing a beat, Monarch walked over to the car, calling, "I'm right here, officer!"

Brunette, late twenties with a suspicious twist to her lips, the officer shone the light his way, said, "Always leave your car running and unattended, sir?"

"I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" Monarch said, turning his head so she could see the hearing aid. "I'm a bit hard of hearing."

She said it again, louder this time.

"Only when it's snowing and colder than a witch's tit," Monarch replied agreeably. "I was just getting changed for the Arsenault's Christmas bash."

"Driver's license?" she asked.

While she inspected an impeccably forged New Jersey driver's license that identified the thief as Asa Johanson, thirty-three, he wove his cover story in an easy manner. Johanson was an interior designer and friend of Louisa Arsenault. In fact, he'd just driven down from Vermont, where he'd been working on a complete redo of the Arsenault family ski house at Stowe. He'd needed a place to change, and the toilets seemed to do the trick.

After several long moments, the officer handed Monarch back the license and told him not to drink too much; the weather was going to get a lot worse.

Assuring her that he rarely drank, and that he had a bed waiting in Greenwich, the thief cheerily thanked her for her concern, and climbed back into the Range Rover. Glancing at the dashboard, he saw that he was far ahead of schedule. His plan had been to arrive at the gates of stately Arsenault manor at a stylish seven fifteen, during the height of the crush of the several hundred people lucky enough to have been invited to the mogul's legendary Christmas party.

But now, with the officer watching, he put the Range Rover in gear, waved, and drove off. The officer fell in behind Monarch and trailed him all the way to the Arsenault estate. It was barely seven when he rolled up behind a crème-colored Bentley and a jet-black Rolls.

The patrol car continued on. While he waited for the Rolls and the Bentley to clear security, Monarch fitted a tiny macro over the lens of his iPhone and slipped it into his pants pocket. Then he reached into the glove compartment, got an unopened pack of Rothman cigarettes, and tucked it inside the breast pocket of the tux.

The Bentley drove on through. A burly guard carrying a clipboard came to the window.

"Your name, sir?"

"Johanson," Monarch said, showing him a forged Christmas party invitation featuring an embossed golden tree. "Asa Johanson."

The guard glanced down his list, nodded, said, "Just you, Mr. Johanson?"

"My blind date stood me up. Can you believe the nerve of some guys?"

The guard coughed, said, "Pull up front. A valet will take your car."

"Where will it be parked?" Monarch asked.

He gestured back across the street. "By the stables. A valet will bring it when you're ready to leave."

"Perfect," Monarch said, and drove on through the gates.

CHAPTER 3

THIS WAS THE KIND of job Robin Monarch loved. The stakes were admittedly high, but if he succeeded, the mark, in this case the tycoon, would be in no position to complain to anyone official.

The thief felt confident as he pulled the Rover up to the valet. He'd done his research. He knew his target, its location, and his method of entry. But he reminded himself that in this sort of setting, with several hundred people mingling inside a grand home, things would be fluid. He was going to have to adapt.

Climbing from the Rover, Monarch removed the Chesterfield coat and put it on a hanger in the back. He didn't want to stop at any coat check leaving the party. Tossing the valet the keys with his gloved hands, he strode easily up the heated walkway, heading toward massive carved oak doors that depicted a bull goring a fleeing bear.

The air was spiced and he spotted a pot of it brewing on a burner set discretely in some bushes to the left of the doors. From beyond the doors came Christmas music, a beautiful woman's voice was singing a soft jazzy rendition of "I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)."

Before Monarch could knock, the door opened and caught him in a blaze of yuletide light and good cheer. The doorman stood aside, and the thief stepped inside a foyer that looked like a movie set, including an elevator with a burled walnut door, and a grand spiral staircase with a rail wrapped in fresh cedar ropes, flowing red bows, and pinpoint white lights that glinted like ice crystals falling on a bitter cold morning.

There were fifteen or so people in the foyer, all in evening wear and fine jewels, most of them moving toward a hallway and the ballroom, as Monarch remembered from the blueprints.

"Can I get your name tag?" asked a woman in a light Irish accent.

Two young, pretty women, the Irish redhead and the other an Asian with frosted hair tips, were throwing him winning smiles from where they sat behind a table covered in badges adorned with sprigs of mistletoe.

Monarch tapped the hearing aide, gave her a quick glance at the forged invitation, and said, "Asa Johanson."

That surprised her and she extended her hand, studying him. "I'm Grace Lawlor, Mrs. Arsenault's P.A. You're the late add then?"

"Is that a bad thing?" Monarch said, affecting chagrin. "The late add?"

"Not at all," Grace Lawlor said, playing with a string of pearls at her neck and smiling. "You are most welcome, Mr. Johanson. By the way, how do you know Mr. Arsenault? I didn't have time to ask."

"Oh," he said, taking the badge from her. "Beau and I go way back. We used to ski together at Stowe. We ran into each other at a gallery I run in SoHo and he insisted on having me out."

"Brilliant," she said. "He'll be thrilled to see you."

"Not as thrilled as I'll be to see him," Monarch replied, winked, and then moved aside as a new batch of the uber-rich arrived wearing enough mink, sable, and chinchilla to cause an emotional meltdown at PETA.

The ballroom ceiling was at least twenty-five feet high and made of embossed copper that picked up the soft light of several hundred electric candles and gas lamps that made the vast space glow as warmly as if the Ghost of Christmas Present was right there. Indeed, there was a strong Dickensian theme to the party. The ballroom had been decorated to resemble a snowy London Street, complete with trompe l'oeil paintings of storefronts including Old Fezziwig's and Scrooge & Marley's counting house. And the servers moving food and drink among the guests were dressed for the nineteenth century with top hats and hook skirts.

The irony of a guy like Arsenault using A Christmas Carol, the story of a skinflint redeemed, was not lost on Monarch. Worth northward of fourteen billion dollars, Arsenault was utterly ruthless, a polished, and yet callous man who had never sported a callus in his entire life. Though his wealthy parents had regularly engaged in philanthropy, the mogul rarely gave money to charity, braying often and publicly that fortitude and an enterprising spirit was all that anyone required to better their lot in life. No one, in Arsenault's opinion, required a handout or a hand up. The theme of the party suggested that the tycoon was spitting at the idea that someone like him could find his way to charity.

So much the better, Monarch thought when he spotted Arsenault across the room. Wearing a green and red cummerbund and a long-tail tux, the fifty-three-year-old was a six-foot-six, boyish-faced man with an egoist's posture and bearing. The mogul was sipping bourbon neat from a cut-glass tumbler and standing with a group of his cronies watching a stunning African American woman in an equally stunning evening dress sing a bluesy "Merry Christmas Baby" next to a black Steinway grand.

Monarch knew her.

Cassie Knox was the hottest female singer on the charts at the moment, a soul and blues singer with six Grammy nominations, and two top-ten singles in the past year. It had to have cost Arsenault a small fortune to get her to appear. Then again, everything about the party suggested that he'd spent several small fortunes on the evening.

Looking as if her face had recently been stretched, nipped, and tucked, Louisa Arsenault, the tycoon's wife, took the end of the song to rush up and embrace Knox. Then Louisa took the microphone and purred at the audience in a sweet Southern drawl, "Isn't she fantastic? Isn't she the best money can buy?"

Despite the singer's awkward reaction to that there were cheers all around.

"Beau?" Louisa said. "Would you like to come up and greet our guests?"

A hush fell over the room as her husband set down his bourbon glass on the lip of a marble planter and made his way up onto the raised platform, grabbing a flute of champagne from a passing waiter along the way. The mogul bowed to Cassie Knox, who looked embarrassed, and then kissed his wife and turned to the crowd, raising his glass and shouting, "A Merry Christmas and a profitable New Year to one and all!"

Monarch, who was already making a beeline for that empty bourbon glass, knew the tycoon was going to say that, word for word. As a matter of fact, he knew a whole lot about Beau Arsenault and his legendary Christmas party.

The mogul had come up on the thief's radar eleven months before, in the aftermath of the kidnapping of U.S. Secretary of State Agnes Lawton by the Sons of Prophecy terrorists. It turned out that the Niamey, the oil tanker the terrorists seized, had belonged to one of Arsenault's many far-flung companies.

Arsenault had also been a college classmate and client of Secretary Lawton's late husband, Bill, who was implicated in the kidnapping, and who took his own life before he could be arrested. According to reports Monarch had seen, the FBI looked at Arsenault but they'd found no connection to the Sons of Prophecy.

And to his credit, the mogul had supported Secretary Lawton in the wake of it all, even speaking at her husband's funeral when the rest of Washington had treated Bill Lawton as a pariah. Other than owning the tanker and knowing Bill Lawton, Arsenault looked like a stand-up guy.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Thief by Mark Sullivan. Copyright © 2014 Mark Sullivan. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

MARK SULLIVAN is the author of several international bestselling thrillers on his own as well as the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 bestsellers Private Games, Private Berlin, and Private L.A. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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Thief: A Robin Monarch Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so enjoyable I did not want it to end. All three books in the Robin Monarch series are all 5 stars. If you like Lee Child you will love this series