Summer page-turner: David Baldacci's 'Deliver Us From Evil'

She placed a pillow over his nose and mouth but did not cover his eyes, so he could see his doomed family as his last image during life. She pushed down with considerable strength. The old man could do nothing as his oxygen vanished. "This is a far easier way to die than you deserve," she said as the pump of his lungs quickened, seeking air that wasn't there.

After his chest lurched one final time, she removed the pillow and placed the picture of Huber in his uniform in the pocket of her

robe, along with the small camera. They had not killed his family and had no intention of doing so. They did not murder innocent people. But they had wanted him to believe, with his final dying breath, that he had precipitated the destruction of his loved ones. They knew his death could never match the horror of the slaughter carried out on his orders, but this was the best they could do.

She crossed herself and whispered, "May God understand why I do this."

Later, she passed the guard, a cocky young Argentine, on the way back to her room. He eyed her with obvious lust. She smiled back at him as she playfully twitched her hips, letting him glimpse some pale skin under her thin robe. "Let me know when it's your birthday," she teased.

"Tomorrow," he said quickly, making a grab for her, but she darted out of the way.

That is very good, because I won't be here.

She walked directly to the library and returned the photo to its frame. An hour later the lights flickered once more and then went out. The same ten-second gap occurred before the generator kicked on. Barbara's window opened and then closed. Dressed all in black with a knit cap over her hair, she climbed down a drain- pipe, skirted the perimeter security, clambered over the high wall around the estate, and was picked up by a waiting car. It was not that difficult since the security measures at the estate were chiefly designed to keep people out, not in. The driver, Dominic, a slen- der young man with dark curly hair and wide, sad eyes, looked relieved.

"Brilliant job, Dom," she said in a British accent. "The timing on the power going out was spot-on."

"At least the forecasters were right about the storm. Provided a good cover for my engineering sleight of hand. What did he say?"

"He spoke with his eyes. He knew."

"Congratulations, it's the last one, Reggie."

Regina Campion, Reggie to her intimates, sat back against her seat and pulled off the cap, freeing her dyed blonde hair. "You're wrong. It's not the last one."

"What do you mean? There are no Nazis like him left alive. Huber was the final bastard."

She pulled the photo of Huber and Adolf Hitler from her pocket and gazed at it as the car raced along the dark roads outside Buenos Aires.

"But there will always be monsters. And we have to hunt down every one of them."

Chapter 3

Shaw was hoping the man would try to kill him, and he wasn't disappointed. Seeing your freedom about to end with the distinct possibility of an execution date in your future just made some people a bit peeved. A few moments later the fellow was lying un- conscious on the floor, the imprint of Shaw's knuckles on his crushed cheek. Shaw's backup appeared a minute later to take the man into custody. Shaw mentally crossed off his to-do list a heart- less zealot who used unwitting children to blow up people who didn't believe in the same god he did.

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