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Authors: Henry Porter

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Three Great Novels

BOOK: Three Great Novels
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Table of Contents
Critical acclaim for Henry Porter
‘Magnificent . . . [he has] learned the oldest lesson: that characterisation and narrative are all’
‘As with his first thriller,
Remembrance Day
, Porter demonstrates great technical ingenuity . . . Yet this is embedded in a complex web of emotional relationships . . . Porter has proved that he is a torchbearer in a great tradition’
Christopher Silvester,
Sunday Express
‘At times [the hero] quietly reminded me of Sean Lemass, in John le Carré’s
The Spy who Came in from the Cold
. I cannot think of a higher compliment’
Marcel Berlins,
Sunday Times
‘The best book of its kind I’ve read since
The Day of the Jackal
. When thrillers get better than this, I’d like to read them’
Jack Higgins
‘A captivating first novel . . . Pacy and well-researched and culminates in an explosive finale’
‘A fiendishly cunning plot . . . A tough ingenious thriller . . . As polished and professional a piece of work as you would expect from any veteran thriller writer’
Literary Review
Henry Porter has written for most national broadsheet newspapers. He was editor of the Atticus column on the Sunday Times, moving to set up the Sunday Correspondent magazine in 1988. He contributes commentary and reportage to the Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph. He won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for
in 2005. He is the British editor of the American magazine Vanity Fair and divides his time between New York and London.
Empire State
First published in Great Britain in 2003 by Orion
This ebook first published in 2010 by Orion Books
Copyright © Henry Porter 2003
The moral right of Henry Porter to be identified as the author
of this work has been asserted in accordance with the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. 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 permission in writing of the publisher, nor to be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
All the characters in this book are fictitious,
and any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A CIP catalogue record for this book
is available from the British Library.
eISBN : 978 1 4091 2357 6
This ebook produced by Jouve, France
The Orion Publishing Group Ltd
Orion House
5 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane
London WC2H 9EA
An Hachette UK Company
For Graydon Carter
Thanks are due first to my agent, Georgina Capel, who showed great faith in this book from the start, and also to Jane Wood, my editor, who tirelessly made suggestions and gave me encouragement during its writing. She was helped by Sophie Hutton-Squire. It would be difficult to overestimate their contribution, or that of Puffer Merritt, who read and corrected the first draft with her usual enthusiasm and generosity.
The idea for
Empire State
came to me on a fishing trip organised by Mark Clarfelt in June 2002. So I thank him for the happy accident that set off a train of thought, and also Stephen Lewis, Matthew Fort, Tom Fort, Jeremy Paxman and Padraic Fallon who unwittingly nurtured the plot during the course of a very idle afternoon by the river. My friend David Rose introduced me to Hadith literature, Roger Alton made many clever suggestions, Lucy Nichols helped with occasional research and Aimee Bell gave me the 1949 first edition of E.B. White’s hymn to New York,
Here is New York
, which contains some inspirational thoughts used here.
During the research of a book of this nature there are many who help but cannot be thanked by name. I was particularly grateful to a man who, at some risk to himself, arranged a tour of the Egyptian prison system, and then found the island where part of this book is set. My contact in Albania was also invaluable. He shed light on his mysterious homeland and gave me insights into the history and workings of the intelligence service.
Empire State
is a work of fiction - no secrets are betrayed here - but there is some authentic detail which has been gathered from numerous sources. Without them I would flounder. In parts of the book I drew from actual incidents. There
an al-Qaeda cell in Albania. Five suspects were arrested in a CIA-backed operation and flown to Egypt where they were tortured before being tried. Two were subsequently executed. I have also used part of a story of a group of migrant workers who were gunned down by the Macedonian security forces on March 2, 2002. At the time, it was alleged they were terrorists, planning an attack on the US and UK embassies in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, a claim which the United States government was unusually forthright in rejecting.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Liz Elliot. Throughout the writing of this book, as with the others, she has been the source of much support and good judgement.
The passenger known as Cazuto arrived in the Immigration Hall of Terminal Three, Heathrow, in the early afternoon, carrying a raincoat and a small shoulder bag. He joined one of the lines in the non-European Union section. Looking mildly about him, the American registered the two uniformed policemen with Heckler and Koch machine guns on the far side of the immigration desk, and then a group of men who were clearly searching the lines of travellers about to enter the United Kingdom on that stupefyingly cold day in May.
Larry Cazuto, in reality Vice-Admiral Ralph Norquist, guessed they were looking for him and noted the urgency on their faces. This interested him because they could not have known which flight he was on. His schedule was kept secret even from his wife and secretary, who knew only that he would be in Europe for a time, not on what day he was travelling or that he would be seeing the British Prime Minister and his intelligence chiefs.
The President’s special counsel on security matters decided that he would not at that moment make himself known. Instead he did what comes easily to a middle-aged man with a paunch and a slight academic stoop - he merged with the crowd and turned his benevolent gaze to the line forming behind him. He glanced upwards to the security cameras but none was trained on him and it was clear they weren’t sweeping the surge of travellers in the Immigration Hall. In front of him, a woman in her late forties - rich-looking and attractive in a brash way - was struggling to change her phone from an American to a European service while keeping hold of several pieces of hand luggage. He leaned into her vision to ask if he could be of assistance, and as she replied she dropped the open passport clamped in her teeth. He picked it up and returned it to her, noticing the semi-circular impression of lipstick on one of its pages. ‘You’ve given yourself a visa stamp,’ he said pleasantly.
The woman smiled. As she took the passport, one of the bamboo handles of a large tapestry bag escaped her grip and the contents tumbled to the floor. He crouched down and helped her again. As she swept everything back into the bag with the speed of a croupier, he examined her and wondered whether he imagined the intent that pulsed briefly in her eye. She got up, thanking him profusely and they went together to the desk, where he made a point of looking over her shoulder to see if the name in her passport matched the initials on the silver cigarette lighter that he’d retrieved from the floor. This was second nature to him and it struck him as odd, and almost certainly significant, that they did not tally, not even the first name and initial.
By now the men on the other side of the barrier had spotted him. Norquist recognised one of them; the knobbly faced Peter Chambers, a senior bureaucrat from MI5 whom he’d met eighteen months before.
‘I’m afraid we’ve got an emergency, Admiral,’ said Chambers. ‘We’re going to escort you into London.’ He gestured to a man who had come up behind him. ‘This is Sergeant Llewellyn from the Metropolitan Police Special Branch. He will…’
Before Chambers could say any more, Norquist held two fingers to his chest then jabbed them in the direction of the woman, who was now headed down the escalator to the Baggage Hall, her bags hooked over her shoulders and the little gold-coloured mobile raised to her ear. ‘Can you check her out? Her passport says her name is Raffaella Klein but she has the initials E.R. on her cigarette lighter. She seemed to be making a point by dropping everything. This may help,’ he said, slipping Chambers a chip of plastic the woman had failed to pick up and which he’d palmed as a matter of course. It was the SIM card for her US phone service and it would tell them everything they needed to know.
‘We’ll get right on to it,’ said Chambers. He beckoned to a lean, casually dressed man who had been hanging behind the two armed police officers and gave him the card. ‘Get Customs to search her and then keep her under observation.’ He turned back. ‘Now, if you don’t mind, sir, we’re in a bit of a hurry. Your luggage has been taken directly to the car. I’ll explain everything once we’re on our way. We really
go, sir.’
BOOK: Three Great Novels
2.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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