Fly Away, Jill

Fly Away, Jill

by Max Byrd


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This adrenaline-packed page-turner from bestselling author Max Byrd brings back the unstoppable P.I. Mike Haller, this time in the streets of London.

Lighting a cigarette in the gray night, P.I. Mike Haller is uneasy about the job that has brought him to London and away from his home in California. His instincts warned him that he was in for trouble—he just didn’t trust the old man who had hired him, and he couldn’t quite explain the reason behind his suspicions. But the photo of the runaway bride had touched his romantic heart. Too bad he forgot to remember the sickening surge of adrenaline that fear brings . . . because Haller would soon find a hard, deadly barrel of a .38 jammed into his ribs, forcing him to make a decision that he must never regret. With its suspenseful, intriguing plot set against the backdrop of London town, Fly Away, Jill brings Haller face to face with the horrifying truth behind one man’s unscrupulous past.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618580283
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Max Byrd is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including four bestselling historical novels and California Thriller, for which he received the Shamus Award. He was educated at Harvard and King’s College Cambridge, England, and has taught at Yale, Stanford, and the University of California. Byrd is a Contributing Editor of The Wilson Quarterly and writes regularly for the New York Times Book Review. He lives in California.

Read an Excerpt

Fly Away, Jill

By Max Byrd


Copyright © 2012 Max Byrd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781618580283

The tunnel was utterly silent, except for the subliminal hum of the power rail, still on its minimum volts. If Henry had stayed behind, I could neither see nor hear him.

The silence stretched on, thinner and thinner. The blackness sank around me like a mask. I was perhaps twenty yards from the head of the train, from the last dying ripples of light. Could Henry see me? I squinted, tried to concentrate. Raincoat tan, suit dark. I squatted slowly in the center of the track, balancing my knuckles against the wooden crosstie. About a foot and a half to my left would be the power rail, elevated a little above the other two on a running brace. I shivered and edged my knuckles sideways. Somewhere farther back in the gaping darkness might be the cross-tunnels, stairs, platforms. I slipped one arm from the raincoat and began shrugging the other arm loose. In the stillness the whisper of fabric boomed like a Michigan marching band. Close to the train, to the dimmer from the stairwell bulb, I heard a single ping. Drop of water? Tap of heel? Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah. I was drunker than any ten Irishmen. One hand slipped on the rough crosstie and I slumped suddenly left, jerked myself upright, let the coat fall free away from the power rail, a crumpled shadow. Scotch boiled in my throat. I wanted to lie down, close my eyes, stop the spinning. I wanted to break Henry’s neck like a stalk of celery. I wanted to reason together.

You never know until you have to. Cats and dogs tumbled in my belly, my balance blew back and forth in gusts, but I closed my eyes, forced my get to life and turned. I was facing nothing, nothing at all but blackness: black, black, unimaginable blackness. Behind me the ping came again, louder. 


He couldn’t see me. Nobody could see anything in the maw of the tunnel. He could only shoot at sounds. Shoot at what he ran into. I lifted my right foot, balanced, pushed. The track was littered with filth, odd shapes and points that snapped at my ankles like teeth in a nightmare. He might see the pale tan of the raincoat if he came close enough. Even in the darkness. He might not shoot if he saw it. He might just beat it unconscious against the track. I swayed, stumbled.


Much closer. Henry would have to pick his steps slowly, inch by inch in the blackness. Henry wasn’t exploding with Scotch. Henry had a gun. His feet never scuffled nearer. A stalking horse. Dinah blow your horn. I squeezed my eyes tight to stop the spinning. A mighty fine line. My left foot slid off the crosstie, my trousers caught on something mid-calf level. I stopped, trembling from heel to neck in the cold emptiness. The power rail brace. In my drunkenness I had got it wrong, got it completely wrong. With all my tiptoeing caution. The power rail was on this side.


Ten feet behind me. I twisted my neck to see black on black, a sliver of light on metal, the pale tan of the raincoat. Henry jumped toward the coat. Lights blazed overhead and flickered once as Henry screamed, as the whiskey churned and erupted in my chest, as I pitched forward and started to fall.


Excerpted from Fly Away, Jill by Max Byrd Copyright © 2012 by Max Byrd. Excerpted by permission.
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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Max Byrd’s plots, like his wit, are sinister and charming.” —Diane Johnson, bestselling author of The Shadow Knows

“Max Byrd is an expert at mingling real historical figures with his invented characters.” —The New York Times

“Lock Byrd’s cage and throw away the key—until he slips out a few more thrillers.” —The Philadelphia Enquirer

“Max Byrd is a fine and forceful writer.” —Lawrence Block, bestselling author of Eight Million Ways to Die

“Max Byrd is in the first division of American crime writing.” —The New York Times

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