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Death Is My Comrade von Marlowe, Stephen (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 10.12.2014
  • Verlag: Bastei Lübbe
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Death Is My Comrade

With a body in his office and a pocketful of secrets, Drum heads to Moscow Eugenie is seventeen, with long legs, blond hair, and an appetite for misery. Daughter of a corrupt millionaire, she has bounced around Europe's finest boarding schools, and Chester Drum knows she's trouble the moment he sees her tearing her blouse to implicate Ilya Alluliev, a Russian diplomat, in rape. The man came to give her a message, an envelope that quickly finds its way to Drum's safe. Inside is an unsigned note claiming that a Russian Nobel Prize - winning poet is in grave danger. As soon as he reads it, Drum joins the poet on the Kremlin's hit list. The next day, Drum goes to his office and finds Alluliev on the floor, shot dead. The police cannot help him; Drum will find answers only behind the Iron Curtain. At the height of the Cold War, Drum will risk his life for the sake of a fire-eyed teen with a heart made of ice. Review quote: "Tight ... wild ... an eventful and effective thriller." - The New York Times Book Review - "A cult author for lovers of noir fiction." - Mónica Calvo-Pascual, author of Chaos and Madness - "A great pulpster ... always one of my favorites." - Ed Gorman, author of The Poker Club - "Langton's sparkling prose and inimitable wit offer a delectable feast for the discriminating reader." - Publishers Weekly - "Like Jane Austen and Barbara Pym, Langton is blessed with the comic spirit- a rare gift of genius to be cherished." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Biographical note: Stephen Marlowe (1928-2008) was the author of more than fifty novels, including nearly two dozen featuring globe-trotting private eye Chester Drum. Born Milton Lesser, Marlowe was raised in Brooklyn and attended the College of William and Mary. After several years writing science fiction under his given name, he legally adopted his pen name, and began focusing on Chester Drum, the Washington-based detective who first appeared in The Second Longest Night (1955). Although a private detective akin to Raymond Chandler's characters, Drum was distinguished by his jet-setting lifestyle, which carried him to various exotic locales from Mecca to South America. These espionage-tinged stories won Marlowe acclaim, and he produced more than one a year before ending the series in 1968. After spending the 1970s writing suspense novels like The Summit (1970) and The Cawthorn Journals (1975), Marlowe turned to scholarly historical fiction. He lived much of his life abroad, in Switzerland, Spain, and France, and died in Virginia in 2008.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 170
    Erscheinungsdatum: 10.12.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783958591905
    Verlag: Bastei Lübbe
    Größe: 799kBytes
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Death Is My Comrade

Chapter One

H er name was Eugenie.

She flew into Washington on a Thursday in June, was almost raped-or said she was almost raped-Friday night, tangled with the cops, the State Department and the Russian Embassy over the week end and was declared persona non grata on Monday. Quite a history for a seventeen-year-old girl fresh out of a finishing school in Montreux, Switzerland. But then, there aren't many seventeen-year-old girls like Eugenie.

I first saw her late on a hot, muggy Friday night. I'd driven across the John Philip Sousa Bridge with Marianne Baker and out of Washington across the Maryland tidewater flats to Lucienne Duhamel's summer cottage near Chesapeake City. Earlier, Marianne and I had bent elbows and made small talk with Washington's dinner-jacket set at Lucienne's Chevy Chase town house. Lucienne Duhamel was Eugenie's mother.

As I stopped the car Marianne chided me: "Don't they make speed limits for private detectives, Chet?" But she was smiling.

"You told me I'd like Eugenie."

"Lecher," Marianne said, and we got out of the car. "She's all of seventeen." Which gave Eugenie ten years on Marianne Baker, who's twenty-seven.

Marianne is small and blonde with a year-round natural tan that makes her hair look like platinum, especially on a moonlit night in June in tidewater Maryland. She has laughing brown eyes and a short upper lip and a full lower one and twin six-month-old sons back in the apartment in Georgetown. The boys' father, Wally Baker, is dead. I am their godfather. They're called, one for Wally and one for me, Wallace and Chester. Since they'd only recently been weaned, this was almost Marianne's first night out since her husband was killed. I'd wanted her to enjoy herself. The laughter had gone out of her eyes when Wally died. I thought it high time some of it came back. She looked happy now.

Eugenie was going to change that.

Arm in arm we went along the walk to the front porch of Lucienne Duhamel's summer cottage. I could hear the tidewater lapping against wooden pilings in back. It was very hot and very still, with a lot of moon but no wind. Light showed in the front windows of the small, cedar-shingled cottage.

"I'll say there aren't any speed limits for private detectives," Marianne told me. "Lucienne and Mr. Laschenko aren't even in sight yet."

Then we both heard their car driving up, and its headlights raked the cedar shingles. I had gotten one foot on the porch when I heard the back door slam.

"That's funny," Marianne said. "Who do you suppose it was?"

"Not Eugenie, I hope, after the build-up."

Marianne made an exasperated sound.

Behind us, Laschenko tromped once on the gas pedal of his car and cut the motor. Getting out, he called in his booming voice: "Eugenie? A surprise, Eugenie!"

The surprise was that since Eugenie hadn't wanted to attend the party at her mother's town house, Lucienne Duhamel had brought the dregs of the party here. The dregs consisted of Semyon Laschenko, Russia's special cultural attaché in whose honor the party had been given; Lucienne herself; Marianne, who would do a piece for View magazine on Lucienne's latest bid to oust Perle Mesta from her role as the hostess with the mostest; and a private eye named Chet Drum who would rather spend his time with Marianne Baker than with anyone else.

"Surprise, Eugenie!" Laschenko called boomingly again.

That was when Eugenie screamed. Not before, not when Marianne and I had first driven up and not even when the back door slammed. When she heard Laschenko's booming voice. She had held her scream for then.

I crossed the porch in two strides and pulled open the screen door. I heard Laschenko's and Lucienne's running footsteps on the crushed-shell path. Marianne said something as she came in right behind me. We saw Eugenie before Laschenko and Lucienn

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