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The House of the Hanged

by Mark Mills

Tom thought he'd put the knife-edge lifestyle of a secret agent behind him. But now an old enemy threatens his life and all he holds dear. The potent mixture of danger and love makes this an exhilarating page-turner.

Extract

He saw it now, but as a spectator might, pressed up against the wall of the gloomy stairwell. He could hear the weary footfalls ascending the staircase, getting closer, the sift scrape of a gloved hand on the banister rail, and then the jangle of a latch-key as the dim figure breasts the top step. It's a man, and he's pausing to catch his breath when two hands come hurtling out of the darkness, driving into his chest, driving out what little air remains in his lungs. He doesn't tumble down the steps, he flies, looping backwards through the air in a graceful arc, like a gymnast. He doesn't die instantly. He lives long enough for Tom to come creeping down the steps and crouch beside his twisted body on the half-landing below, long enough to feel the lips pressed to his ear telling him why this is the end, to feel the hand clamping over his bloody mouth with its broken teeth, cutting off the air.

Parallels

From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks
 

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