Stoma Corporation, a giant biotech company, moves in with genetically modified super bees that supposedly are the answer to the world's bee crisis. As tension grows between protestors and a private army of thugs, Doyle realizes that bees aren't the only thing being modified. Annalisa's coworkers start to go missing, and she and Doyle uncover a dark, deadly, and terrifying secret. Things spin violently out of control on the tiny island, and when Doyle closes in on what Stoma Corporation is really up to, he must race to stop them before their plot succeeds, and spreads to the mainland and the world.
Deadout is the thrilling follow-up to McGoran's highly acclaimed novel, Drift.
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By Jon McGoran
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2014 Jon McGoran
All rights reserved.
Danny and I paused at the bottom of the steps, holding our breath and listening as we looked up and down the dank, dark corridor. The only sound was the squeak of a not-too-distant rat. Danny shrugged and took off, running to the left. I watched him for half a second, listening to his shoes scraping against the gritty wet floor. Then I took off in the opposite direction, breathing through my mouth against the mildew that tickled my nose.
Simeon Jarrett had come down the same steps we had, no more than half a minute earlier. I wasn’t entirely sure about coming down here after him, or about the idea of splitting up, but Danny was the cautious one, not me.
As I rounded a ninety-degree turn to the left, the sound of Danny’s footsteps disappeared behind my own. The basement got darker the farther I ran, the spaces growing longer between the dim pools of light from grimy block windows set near the ceiling. The walls seemed to close in on me, and I wondered for a moment if I was having some sort of anxiety attack. Then I realized it wasn’t the walls closing in on me, it was two very large men, and while neither of them was Simeon Jarrett, I was pretty sure they were on the same side of the good guy/bad guy divide.
A situation like that can make you want to start shooting, but that makes a lot of assumptions about your fellow man. And while it might make life simpler in the short run, it can make it a lot more complicated in the long run.
I didn’t have the time or distance to slow down, so instead I slid feet-first between them.
The guy on my left apparently didn’t share my reluctance to make assumptions because he opened fire on the area where I had just been running. It’s possible he was gunning down a giant rat that had been poised to attack, but more likely he was shooting at me.
The sound of the gun was deafening, bouncing around in the corridor. In the muzzle flash, I recognized the two faces above me as Blink Taylor and Derrell Sims, two of Jarrett’s close associates.
Sliding on the floor between them, I brought the butt of my Glock down as hard as I could, mashing the shooter’s foot with a reassuring crunch. He howled and twisted as he fell, squeezing off another shot. This one passed over my head and apparently struck his partner in the hip, because suddenly the howling was in stereo. By the time I was back on my feet and turned around, they were both on the floor behind me. Twenty feet beyond them a cascade of sparks fell from the remnants of an old fluorescent light fixture, apparently struck by an errant bullet. I was shocked the dump had electricity, but grateful for the illumination, just enough to see the two of them grabbing their injuries and rolling around in the same muck that now soaked the left side of my body.
They had both dropped their weapons to grab their wounds, and I kicked the guns out of the way. I cuffed them both, hands and feet, advised them of their rights, and wished them luck with the rats. Then I took off after Simeon Jarrett.
The light from the sparks helped me see where I was going, but the strobe effect was unsettling. Ahead of me, the corridor ended in a perpendicular hallway.
As I approached it, I could see my silhouette against the far wall. The sight of it stopped me cold.
The last time I’d seen that image, it had been in the middle of an afternoon of carnage that left five people dead—nearly six, including me—and was followed a millisecond later by an explosion that threw me against the wall like overcooked pasta. I knew that wasn’t happening now, but I felt trapped in that moment, waiting for that impact. Standing there, frozen, I heard footsteps approaching down the hallway to my left, but still I couldn’t move. Then there he was, Simeon Jarrett, right in front of me.
It happened in an instant: him running up from the side, skidding to a stop, alarm and surprise on his face, followed by an evil smile as he raised his gun.
I think I was snapping out of it, but before I could move, I heard a thunderous, “Freeze!” coming from down the hallway to my left.
Jarrett pivoted and squeezed off two shots in the direction of the voice, and received several shots back in response.
Then he was gone, pounding down the hallway to my right. Danny Tennison ran up, staring at me with a mixture of confusion and concern. “You okay?” he said.
“Yeah, I’m good.”
He stared at me for a moment longer. Then he turned and resumed his chase. I fell in behind him, then passed him. The hallway ended at a metal door outlined in silver light, and I burst through it, out into blinding sunshine and onto a deserted street.
Simeon Jarrett was gone.
* * *
Lieutenant Suarez stared blankly at me from across his desk. I could tell he wasn’t buying it. Neither was Danny, sitting in the chair next to me, his eyes boring into the side of my head.
“Nothing,” I’d said repeatedly when they’d repeatedly asked what had happened out there.
“Nothing?” Suarez said dubiously, almost mimicking me.
I knew Danny was concerned about me, but I was annoyed with him for diming me out. I loved him like a brother, and like a brother, sometimes I wanted to kick his ass. Yes, he deserved an explanation, and as soon as I had one, he’d be welcome to it.
Until then, fuck him.
“Whatever,” Suarez said, closing the file in front of him and rubbing his eyes. “Look, you sure you don’t want to take some time off?”
“I am taking some time off.”
His eyes narrowed, as if he didn’t believe me.
“Weekend with Nola. Visiting a friend on Martha’s Vineyard.”
“Martha’s Vineyard? What’s that?”
“Little island off Cape Cod.”
“Sounds nice. Good for you. But that’s not what I meant, and you know it. You’ve declined counseling, and apparently I can’t force you to go. Okay. We’re all grateful for what you did in Dunston,” he said, waving his hand as though he was quoting a line he didn’t believe. “Until I’m comfortable that you’re one hundred percent—and frankly, the way I see it, you’re not even close—you’re on low-impact duty.”
Six months earlier, while on suspension and out of jurisdiction, I’d stepped into a big case and got banged up. A lot. It had taken a while for things to get back to normal. Guess they weren’t normal yet.
“So, I want you to think about it seriously: are you sure you don’t want to take some leave time? You’ve already been approved for it. Just a few weeks on us, take your time and come back right.”
I snuck a glance at Danny and got the look I expected: a little bit worried, a lot pissed off.
“No,” I said, my eyes firmly back on Suarez. “I’m good.”
Copyright © 2014 by Jon McGoran
Excerpted from Deadout by Jon McGoran. Copyright © 2014 Jon McGoran. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
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