As a hit man from the time he was very young, money, women, and danger have always ruled Gideon’s life; but for the first time, the job is taking its toll. Neither Gideon nor the city of Buenos Aires has recovered from the mayhem caused during Gideon’s last job. But before the dust has settled and the bodies have been buried, Gideon calls in backup—including the lovely Hawks, with whom Gideon has heated memories—to launch his biggest act of revenge yet...one he believes will destroy his adversary, Midnight, once and for all.
Yet Midnight and his second-in-command, the beautiful and ruthless Señorita Raven, are launching their own revenge, assembling a team of mercenaries the likes of which the world has never seen… and Gideon isn’t their only target. Gideon will need all of his skills if he is to save not only his team, but his family as well.
Dickey’s new novel stirs up a whirlwind of sex and violence that spans the globe...and leaves no moral boundary uncrossed.
About the Author
Hometown:Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:July 7, 1961
Place of Birth:Memphis, Tennessee
Education:B.S., University of Memphis, 1983
Read an Excerpt
***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***
Copyright © 2017 Eric Jerome Dickey
Winter. Early morning. Crowded train leaving the Retiro terminal in Buenos Aires.The assassin Medianoche had been cornered, his team the Four Horsemen temporarily outwitted.
Gideon said, “The gun. Use two fingers. Grip it by the barrel. No fast movements.”
Medianoche tightened his jaw, defiant toward the younger assassin, no man’s prisoner.
The seasoned warrior wasn’t accustomed to being at a disadvantage. Gideon repeated himself, his voice hard, eyes focused: his last warning.
Medianoche eased his gun out of his coat, business end first. Gideon took the weapon. Tossed it out of the window of the thirty-year-old train as it rambled through the rail yard. Medianoche stared at the rugged young man as the rugged young man stared at him.
Gideon said, “You’re older . . . gray hair . . . scarred up . . . but it’s you.”
Medianoche ignored the rambling description, kept his attention on Gideon’s eyes.
Gideon growled. “You were shot in North Carolina.” Medianoche barked out his anger: “Who are you?” “I’m asking myself what the fuck you are.”
Gideon struck Medianoche in the face, on the chin, a strong blow that staggered him, moved him back almost two steps. Medianoche adjusted his eye patch and growled.
Gideon stood in front of him, both hands on a gun aimed at the center of his forehead.
Medianoche scanned the crowd, looked to see who was with Gideon. All he saw were people who didn’t speak English, but their wide eyes said they understood body language.
Mouth bloodied, Medianoche repeated his question, “Who the fuck are you?”
Gideon said, “I’m the kid who shot you in North Carolina. I’m the kid who killed you. I'm your goddarnn son."
On the Night of the Fire
And their war would continue.
Buenos Aires had been destroyed, from the ramshackle villas to the prestigious avenues and high-status boulevards beyond well-known Recoleta, where the streets were paved in gold.
Discomfort increased. Medianoche jerked awake on disheveled sheets, his mind still in battle. He was disoriented, trapped between reality and a restless sleep. Pillows softer than clouds. Sheets white like heaven. Vision focused. He was not in his bed. Not in his quarters on the seventeenth floor of the building that housed the Horsemen. Remembered where he was. He was not far from Avenida 9 de Julio, in a suite of the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires. While he was in battle, the wretched shit smell of the villas had covered his clothing and saturated his flesh. Now the flowery perfume of a mature, intelligent Porteño was on his scarred and wounded skin. He was still in bed with a married Porteño named Caprica Ortiz, a woman as stunning as Sophia Loren when she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Medianoche felt a sharp sting, touched the cuts and swellings in his face. Lip had been split. Face red, bruised. And his chest. It hurt like hell. Gideon had shot him twice, popped him good, close-range shots, kill shots, but nothing penetrated his Colombian-made clothing, gear that was bulletproof. But still, where the slugs had hit, soreness and pain had been left behind.
Caprica Ortiz stirred, opened her eyes, then sat up. “Dios mío. I fell asleep.”
She was born in Argentina, but had been educated at Florida A&M University, garnered her degree, then done her Ph.D. in England. She spoke English with hardly an accent. Her English was better than his.
He said gruffly, “I did too. Don’t worry. You only slept about ten minutes.”
“I was afraid it was close to morning.” “Stay a few more minutes.”
“An hour. I want you again.”
She hesitated. “I will see if that is possible.”
She moved from the bed, took her phone, and went to the bathroom. Medianoche looked at his damaged hands, opened and closed his fingers. Felt the ache in his knees, the pain in his lower back.
The Four Horsemen had lost a battle on the soil of their adopted country.
The images of Gideon and the other mutts on that team were branded into his brain, still sizzled from the heat. There had been an older Russian. There was a big black guy, the nationality of that tall, muscular bastard unknown. He had moved fast, like a marine, maybe a SEAL.
A Latin Brit called Scamz had been their general, their organizer.
The Scamz Organization. That was the way the Four Horsemen saw them. At least half of the Scamz Organization was morgue-ready on the heels of this fiasco, and the Four Horsemen had lost an ancillary member, Draco, the Beast’s loyal servant. The Horsemen themselves were down to two out of four members. Señor Rodriguez had been killed in action. And the Beast, the man many called La Bestia de Guerra, the Beast of War, the powerful, calculating man who had been the leader since the group’s inception, was dead.
If Medianoche killed a million of the enemy, but lost one of his own in a firefight, that loss cut down to his bone marrow. There was no reason they should not have slaughtered the Scamz Organization.
And Gideon should be as dead as the Beast. That gaucho and the man who had betrayed Medianoche should be meeting in the halls of hell.
Medianoche turned when the bathroom door opened.
When Caprica Ortiz came back, she checked her watch, put her phone on the nightstand, then slipped back under the covers.
She said, “I called my contact. I told him to get me intel on an assassin named Gideon.”
“What’s the turnaround time?”
“He will call me back in a few hours. No guarantees.”
“Have your contact also look up a man named Scamz. Latin with a British accent. He was their leader. Gideon was his hired gun. And a woman they called Arizona was with them.”
She sat up, took her phone again, went to the bathroom, then came back in five minutes.
He asked, “You add those names to the list?”
She nodded, eased back into the bed.
Caprica Ortiz said, “Tell me something, if it is not too much to ask.” “Yes?”
“What nationality are you? What is your true bloodline?”
“My mother was Romanian.” He remembered her dying, drowning in the Baldwin Hills Dam disaster and flood back in 1963.
“What nationality was your father?”
“He was mixed. Jack and Coke, easy on the Coke.”
“Not a kind man.”
“Not at all. Stern and short-tempered, quick to strike. His immigrant father was a rumrunner, moonshiner, and bootlegger. I came from a family of criminals and heroes.”
“You were born in the United States, or immigrated?”
“Was born in Los Angeles. Back before they changed laws and fucked it up. Before the liberals took over, it used to be a beautiful place. But now it’s ugly and out of control. It’s like the villas here in some parts. I look at Los Angeles on the Internet. Don’t like what I see. Just saw they had gunfire at a house party not far from where I grew up. Three people dead and twelve wounded. Wasn’t like that in my day.”
She paused. “Where have you worked? No details, but where does a skilled man like you, where does an organization like the one you are a part of, do what you do?”
“In North Korea in Pyongyang, in Thailand in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima, in Venezuela in Bolivia and Caracas, in Honduras in Tegucigalpa and Juticalpa, in Brazil, in Somalia, in Guyana, in Bangladesh, in Afghanistan, on Tuvalu, in Russia, in Jamaica, in Syria.”
“‘ The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor, and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty, or hunger.’”
“You’re naked, smell like sex, and quoting Fidel Castro.”
“You have taken your weapons around the world.”
“I went where I was sent and did my job as required.”
“Your job. The things you have done, it’s only a job.”
Caprica Ortiz was a new customer for the Four Horsemen. She lived in an unending war as well. Hers started with Argentina’s Dirty War, when the military juntas had kidnapped and killed thirty thousand of Argentina’s citizens. Middle-class university students, unionists, journalists, and intellectuals were disappeared. Caprica’s father was one of the intellectuals abducted and assassinated by the military leaders of her own country. One hundred of those evil men were still alive, protected by amnesty laws until 2003, the mothers and children of the disappeared suffering for more than three decades. Caprica had vowed to be financier, judge, and jury and had hired the Four Horsemen to meet with the men in charge of the Dirty War executions. No man was too old to be put down. They had destroyed families, then gone on to have their own, and that was a slap in the face. Caprica had vowed to see as many as she could find sent to the grave, and hoped their families would finally feel the pain others had endured for decades.
She said, “It was your destructive government and your greedy presidents, until wretched Ronald Reagan, who helped finance the horrors that happened across South America. They were part of the political repression and state terror.”
“It was called Operation Condor.”
“Your arrogant country was complicit in the deaths of many.”
“Don’t blame my country for the evil your country practices. People still get disappeared down here. Executions by police still happen every couple of days. People are getting disappeared down here by the police the same way blacks are being gunned down in the States.”
“I am surprised that I just slept with you. Our politics are dissimilar.”
“A soldier is not a politician. Let me assure you that I am not your enemy. Politicians caused the last meltdown in ‘02. They are the reason television and computers cost four times here in Argentina what they cost in the UK. Politicians limit the amount of foreign currency Argentineans can buy.”
“If a soldier is not a politician, then what is he?”
“Soldiers just enforce the bullshit politicians create.”
“Even if that means making people disappear?’
“A soldier follows orders. A soldier doesn’t set policy.”
“I don’t like your answers. They are the same answers Nazis gave on trial.”
“I can wipe my dick off and we can return to this being straight business if you want.”