The Dark Knight Rises

BOOK: The Dark Knight Rises
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THE

DARK KNIGHT RISES

THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION

A NOVEL BY GREG COX

BASED ON THE SCREENPLAY BY JONATHAN NOLAN AND CHRISTOPHER NOLAN

STORY BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN & DAVID S. GOYER

BASED UPON CHARACTERS APPEARING IN COMIC BOOKS PUBLISHED BY DC COMICS

BATMAN CREATED BY BOB KANE

TITAN BOOKS

The Dark Knight Rises: The Official Movie Novelization

Print edition ISBN: 9781781161067

E-book edition ISBN: 9781781161074

Published by Titan Books

A division of Titan Publishing Group Ltd

144 Southwark Steet, London SE1 0UP

First edition: July 2012

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2012 DC Comics.

BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.

WB SHIELD: ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s12)

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.

Printed and bound in the United States.

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Contents

Eight Years Ago …

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Acknowledgements

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

EIGHT YEARS AGO…

“Harvey Dent was needed. He was everything Gotham’s been crying out for.”

Police Commissioner James Gordon stood before a podium in front of the courthouse where the late district attorney, supposedly martyred in the line of duty, had once fought for justice by prosecuting the city’s powerful underworld kingpins. Somber dignitaries, including the mayor and city council, were on hand to honor Dent’s memory. A black funeral wreath framed a large color portrait of a handsome man with wavy blond hair, a strong jaw, and a winning smile. Harvey Dent looked every bit a champion of justice, but Gordon had seen his other face. The commissioner hesitated briefly, before continuing.

“He was…a hero. Not the hero we deserved. The hero we needed. Nothing less than a knight, shining
brightly even in Gotham’s darkest hours. But I knew Harvey Dent. I was…his friend. And it will be a long time before someone inspires us the way he did.” Gordon gathered his notes, anxious to get this over with and exit the podium.

“I believed in Harvey Dent.”

The words caught in his throat. With any luck, people would think that he was simply overcome with emotion. God forbid they should guess what he was really feeling. That was a secret he shared with only one other man, a man who had sacrificed his own legend to preserve Dent’s legacy and reputation. A man whose face Gordon had never seen. Gotham’s true dark knight.

Is he watching this?
Gordon wondered, his eyes searching the crowd.
Where is he now?

And will Gotham ever see him again?

CHAPTER ONE

SOMEWHERE IN EASTERN EUROPE

A land cruiser sped over a rugged mountain road, past rocky slopes devoid of human habitation. Scraggly patches of scrub and greenery dotted the barren gray hills. The cruiser had the road all to itself as it raced to make its rendezvous before the sun went down. It bounced over the rough terrain beneath a gloomy, overcast sky that was almost the same gray color as the hills. A keening wind whipped through the desolate peaks and canyons.

A bad omen,
Dr. Leonid Pavel thought. The middle-aged scientist sat tensely in the middle of the vehicle, flanked by grim-faced men armed with automatic weapons. More soldiers guarded the prisoners in the rear of the cruiser: three silent figures with hoods over
their heads. They sat rigidly, their hands cuffed, under the watchful gaze of the guards.

Pavel squirmed uncomfortably, feeling more like a prisoner than a passenger. He ran an anxious hand through a mop of unruly white hair. Sweat glued his shirt to his back.
Am I doing the right thing?
he fretted.
What if I’m making a terrible mistake?

Other sounds began to be heard. Just when he had convinced himself that he should never have accepted the Americans’ offer, the cruiser arrived at its destination—a remote airstrip overlooking a war-torn city. Artillery fire boomed in the distance, the reverberations echoing off the desolate hillsides. Sirens blared. The sounds of the conflict, which had been going on for months now, reminded Pavel why he had been so eager to flee the country for a safer, more civilized location. This was no place for a man of his intellect—not anymore.

The cruiser squealed to a stop, and the guards hustled him out of the vehicle. An unmarked turbojet airplane waited on the runway, along with a small reception committee consisting of a bland-looking man in a suit and a small escort of armed guards. Although the soldiers bore no identifying uniforms or insignia, Pavel assumed they were US Special Forces, probably from the CIA’s own secretive Special Activities Division. The elite paramilitary teams specialized in sabotage, assassination, counter-terrorism, reconnaissance…and extractions. Pavel hoped he could trust them to keep
him safe, especially after his recent narrow escape.

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