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Excerpt: Traitor by David Hagberg

Traitor is the final, explosive adventure in the thrilling Kirk McGarvey series from New York Times bestselling author David Hagberg—perfect for fans of Jason Bourne!

When McGarvey’s best friend, Otto, is charged with treason, Mac and his wife, Petey, set out on a desperate odyssey to clear Otto’s name. Crossing oceans and continents, their journey will take them from Japan to the US to Pakistan to Russia. Caught in a Kremlin crossfire between two warring intel agencies, Mac and Petey must fight for their lives every step of the way.

And the stakes could not be higher.

Traitor will be available on April 26th, 2022. Please enjoy the following excerpt!


Chapter Two

Kirk McGarvey and Pete strolled down the tree- lined path from the Sankara Hotel and Spa to the cabanas overlooking the sea toward the nearby island of Tanegashima, from which the Tanegashima Space Center launched rockets into space. The late September evening was soft, in the midseventies, and only a slight breeze came from the Vincennes Strait separating the two islands.

McGarvey, Mac to his friends, was tall, athletically built, and extremely fit for a man of fifty. His brown hair was thick, his face honest, and his eyes, sometimes gray and at other times green depending on his circumstances, never seemed to miss a thing, which in his line of work as a fixer for the CIA was a definite plus. He was an expert with a wide range of weapons, including his old and trusted friend, the Walther PPK in the rare 9mm version, plus explosives and hand- to- hand combat.

“A penny,” Pete said. Like Mac, she was dressed in resort wear, linen slacks and a light top.

“Serifos felt more like home, but this place could work,” he said. He’d been moody for most of the afternoon, missing something that he couldn’t really get a handle on, though it wasn’t the converted lighthouse on the Greek island that he’d used as a refuge between operations, which most often ended in violence, and casualties at his hand.

After a recent incident that resulted in the deaths of six Spetsnaz operators who’d been sent to assassinate him and Pete, the Greek National Intelligence Service had politely asked them to leave and not return.

They’d compensated him for the cost of the lighthouse and the improvements he’d made— which amounted to nearly $1 million U.S.— and gave the two of them twenty- four hours to pack up and go, leaving the Greek military to clean up the mess.

“Are you asking or telling me?” Pete asked.

He had to smile, though he was getting the odd feeling that someone or something was gaining on them. And still he could not shake his fear for Pete. Every woman he’d ever been involved with, including his wife Katy and their daughter, Liz, had been killed because of who he was, what he did.

He’d started with the CIA just after getting out of the air force, more years ago than he wanted to remember, and after a long psychological workup by some of the best shrinks on the planet, he’d been offered the job as a black operator, an assassin, a program the Company steadfastly insisted did not exist.

And he’d been good, almost too good, and he’d quit the Company. But trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went, starting in Switzerland, where he’d run to hide after an incident in Chile that had gone bad for him. The CIA needed his help, the country needed his help. And he’d come back into the fold as a freelance operator.

“A little of both,” he told her.

“Okay, so what’s eating you? Another premo?”

McGarvey’s premonitions—premos, Otto called them—had almost always come true. The Company shrinks had early on labeled him to be almost preternatural. He had a sixth sense of a sort that made him feel things that other people couldn’t. It wasn’t ESP, but rather an acute awareness of his surroundings, and especially everything in his past—good and bad—that warned him when trouble was brewing somewhere that might come his way.

“I can’t put a finger on it.”

Pete pulled up short. “Now you’re starting to worry me.”

This far from the hotel’s main building, the only light came from lowpower lanterns that lined the sand path. Away from the large cities, especially Tokyo, Japan had always been about serenity. Yakushima and the Sankara epitomized this philosophy.

Someone was behind them. Mac could feel it more than hear any specific thing.

He pushed Pete aside and as he turned around reached for the pistol usually holstered at the small of his back.

A slightly built Japanese man, dressed for the city, his tie loose and his suit coat draped over his arm, came out of the darkness and stopped short. “You cannot be armed, Mr. McGarvey, unless you somehow smuggled your Walther through customs at Narita. Of course, that isn’t the case, nor did you meet with anyone who could have given you a pistol.”

McGarvey let himself relax a little.

The man was a cop or an intelligence agency officer, he had the look, but he smiled as he took out an identification wallet and opened it. “

I am Enki Fumiko,” he said. “Officially I’m badged with the prefectural police department’s security bureau.”

“In reality you work for the Cabinet Secretariat, I assume?”

“Actually, military intelligence. I’m Colonel Enki and I was sent down from Tokyo to have a chat with you and Mrs. McGarvey, but only after it became apparent that you were looking at properties to buy here on Yakushima.”

“Which is uncomfortably close to Tanegashima,” McGarvey said.

“That does not concern us. Serifos does. May we talk?”

“Here or back at the hotel?”

“Let’s walk along the beach, no one is there at the moment, and I won’t take up much of your time.”

McGarvey exchanged a glance with Pete, whose expression was neutral, and they headed the rest of the way down the path, which led to a spectacular beach with open cabanas under thatched roofs.

“This is a beautiful island, Mr. Enki, will we be allowed to buy property here?” Pete asked.

“At this point I can give you only a provisional yes, that will depend greatly on your cooperation this evening.”

“What do you need?”

“What happened on Serifos to cause the government to ask you to leave?”

“Someone tried to assassinate us twice in Georgetown, and once at our home in Florida, so we tried to get out of the way on the island,” Pete said.

“Who and why?”

“It was a personal vendetta,” McGarvey said.

Enki pulled up short. “A Russian? North Korean? Pakistani?”

“Actually an American with a serious amount of money who was probably playing a game,” McGarvey said.

“‘The Most Dangerous Game,’ I read the short story in English class when I was ten,” Enki said. “And you hoped that island would eliminate any possible collateral damage.”

“The Greek government didn’t see it that way,” Pete said.

“Neither would we have.”

“Which is why you came here to interview us.”

“We would like a reasonable assurance that such an incident wouldn’t take place on this island. We value our serenity, especially in places such as this. Can you guarantee such a thing?”

“From the same man who attacked us?” McGarvey asked.

“For a start.”

“Then yes, I can give you my word that he wouldn’t be coming after us here or anywhere else for that matter.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Because we know who he is, and he knows that we know.”

“Then arrest him.”

“We don’t have the proof,” Pete said. “Yet.”

Enki was troubled, but he nodded. “I’ll take your word that this particular man would be no further threat. But trouble does seem to follow in your footsteps, Mr. Director.”

“That’s something I can’t help,” McGarvey said, and he was about to say that they would be leaving Japan first thing in the morning, but Pete interrupted. “It’s something that we can’t help, Mr. Enki. If you want assurances that trouble won’t follow us here, we can’t give it to you. But if another assignment comes up, it will almost certainly not involve Japan. Can you give us your assurance that no one in Japan will be gunning for us? Because we value serenity as much as you do. It’s one of the reasons we’re here.”

“And the other reasons?”

Pete smiled. “It’s beautiful, the people are friendly, and the food is terrific.”

“Like Serifos?” Enki asked.

“Better.”

“More isolated, fewer tourists, and therefore easier for us to keep a close eye on who comes here,” Enki said. “I sincerely hope you find what you’re looking for.”


Click below to pre-order your copy of Traitor, coming 04.26.22!

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