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Authors: Mark Greaney

Tags: #Suspense, #Thriller

On Target

BOOK: On Target
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR
MARK
GREANEY AND
THE GRAY MAN
“There’s probably a cheetah on the Serengeti who can get a gazelle moving faster than Mark Greaney gets
The Gray Man
into overdrive . . . Greaney keeps this vengeance story red-lined and blistering as a hired killer known as the Gray Man burns like det-cord through a small army of trained killers in Prague, Zurich, Paris, and beyond as he zeroes in on the wealthy French aristocrat who betrayed him . . . Writing as smooth as stainless steel and a hero as mean as razor wire . . .
The Gray Man
glitters like a blade in an alley.”
—David Stone,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Skorpion Directive
 
“Hard, fast, and unflinching—exactly what a thriller should be.”—Lee Child, #1
New York Times
bestselling author of
Gone Tomorrow
 
“A high-octane thriller that doesn’t pause for more than a second for all of its 464 pages . . . Greaney has a good understanding of weapons and tactics—on a fictional basis, at the very least—and he uses that to enliven his storytelling, including lots of the kinds of details that action junkies love . . . For readers looking for a thriller where the action comes fast and furious, this is the ticket.”

Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Here is a debut novel like a well-honed dagger: sharp, merciless, and deadly. Mark Greaney’s
The Gray Man
is Bourne for the new millennium . . . Never has an assassin been rendered so real yet so deadly. Strikes with the impact of a bullet to the chest . . . A debut not to be missed.”
—James Rollins,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Doomsday Key
“Take fictional spy Jason Bourne, pump him up with Red Bull and meth, shake vigorously—and you’ve got the recipe for Court Gentry, hero of
The Gray Man
. . . Gentry’s such a souped-up, efficient killing machine, Bourne’s a piker by comparison . . . Greaney’s writing is crisp.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal
 
“From the opening pages, the bullets fly and the bodies pile up. Through the carnage, Gentry remains an intriguing protagonist with his own moral code. The villain’s motives are fuzzy, though he is quite nasty. Comparisons will be made to Jason Bourne, but the Gray Man is his own character. The ending screams for a sequel, but it will be difficult to maintain the intensity level of this impressive debut.”

Booklist
 
“[A] fast-paced, fun debut thriller . . . With unbelievable powers of survival, the Gray Man eludes teams of killers and deadly traps, while the reader begins to cheer for this unlikely hero. Cinematic battles and escapes fill out the simplistic but satisfying plot, and Greaney deftly provides small details to show Gentry’s human side, offset by the petty rivalries and greed of his enemies.”

Publishers Weekly
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have control over and does not have any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
ON TARGET
 
A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Jove premium edition / October 2010
 
Copyright © 2010 by Mark Strode Greaney.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-44360-6
 
JOVE
®
Jove Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
JOVE
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “J” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

For my aunt,
Dorothy Greaney.
Thank you for a lifetime of love and support
(and sorry about all the bad words).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Much thanks and appreciation to Karen Mayer, John and Wanda Anderson, Devin Greaney, Mireya Ledezma, Trey and Kristin Greaney, John and Carrie Echols, Nichole Roberts, David and Suzanne Leslie, Chris and Michelle Burcky, Bob Hetherington, April Adams, Dana and Nancy Adams, Jeff and Stephanie Stovall, Keith Cleghorn, and Jenny Kraft.
Thanks also to Svetlana Ganea, Gavin Smith, James and Rebecca Yeager, Jay Gibson, Alan Webb, Paul Gomez, and the rest of the cadre and support staff at Tactical Response in Camden, Tennessee. To ALL the guys and girls on getoffthex: you’ve taught me more than you’ll ever know, and have helped me more than I’ll ever admit.
I’d also like to thank my badass editor, Tom Colgan, and my kickass agent, Scott Miller. You guys are the best.
PROLOGUE
Dark clouds hung low above the Irish Sea, fat in the moist morning air, and tracked slowly over the assassin as he stood on the wooden foredeck of the fishing boat. A few screeching herring gulls had encircled the vessel while it was still miles offshore; now that it had entered the harbor channel, a flock one dozen strong swarmed above and around, churning the mist with their white wings.
The seabirds shrieked at the vessel, bleated warnings to the Irish coast of the arrival of a killer to its shores.
But their warnings were lost in the vapor.
The boat docked in its harbor slip just before eight a.m. The assassin climbed off the deck and onto the quay without a glance at the two crewmembers. Not a single word had been exchanged in the three hours since the forty-foot Lochin had picked its passenger up from a Lithuanian freighter in international waters. He remained on the deck, moving fore and aft, vigilantly scanning the roiling sea around him, his black hooded raincoat protecting him from the salty spray and the occasional shower, as well as the curious eyes of the father and son who operated the boat. The crew remained in the wheelhouse during the journey, following strict instructions. They had been told to pick up a passenger and then keep away from him, to return with him to Howth Harbor, just north of Dublin. After delivering this odd catch of the day, they were to enjoy their payment and hold their bloody tongues.
The assassin walked through the seaside village to the tiny train depot and bought a ticket to Connolly Station in central Dublin. With half an hour to kill, he stepped down the station steps and into the basement pub. The Bloody Scream served a full Irish breakfast for the fishermen in the harbor; the long narrow room was more than half-full of men wolfing down plates of eggs and sausage and baked beans, washing it all down with pints of ink-dark foamy Guinness Stout. The assassin knew how to assimilate in unfamiliar surroundings; he grunted and gestured to hide his foreign accent, and ordered the same as those around him. He dug into his plate and drained his beer before leaving the Bloody Scream to catch his train.
A half hour later he trudged through Dublin. He wore his brown beard thick and a blue watch cap down over his ears and forehead, a scarf tight around his neck, and a dark blue peacoat into which his gloved hands dug deep to hide from the frigid air. Hanging over a shoulder, a small canvas bag swung with his footsteps. He headed south away from the train station, then turned right at the quay of the River Liffey and followed it as chilled rain began to fall.
The assassin walked on.
He looked forward to getting this errand behind him. He had not been comfortable at sea, nor was he comfortable now in the morning crowd growing around him as he neared O’Connell Street.
But there was a man here in Dublin who, it had been decided by someone with money and influence, should cease to exist.
And Court Gentry had come to see to that.
ONE
At a pharmacy he bought a pack of acetaminophen tablets and a bottled water. He’d been injured a few months back, a bullet through the thigh and a knife blade into his gut. The pain had lessened by the week. The body had incredible power to heal, so much greater than that of the mind. Court had grown dependent on the pills and injections: Vicodin and OxyContin, Demerol and Dilaudid. A surgeon in Nice had kept him supplied since the operation to clean and close his abdominal wound, and Gentry had popped pills each day since. But he’d purposely left them behind when he boarded the freighter; he’d gone over a week now without his meds, and this self-imposed detox was making him miserable.
BOOK: On Target
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