“Justice Beyond Law” is my first novel, my first fiction.
Hunt down al-Qaida terrorist cells in the U.S., New Delhi and Kathmandu with ex-cop/Marine Jack Brandon and two ex-CIA women operatives in Barry Kelly’s “Justice Beyond Law.” The author’s 21 years of experience in the CIA guide the fictional action and adventure in his first novel.
The Prologue to “Justice Beyond Law”
Arthur Cohen, congressman from New York’s 10th District, was anxious to begin his usual morning run. Everyone else in the Cohen house was still sleeping, at least in the case of his wife, Shara, who liked waking up softly, especially since their third child was expected late next month. Without his workout he had trouble concentrating on the minutiae of constituent problems. They invaded his time to work on new legislation. At 7:15 a.m. the world looked good. The weather forecast was for a bright sunny early winter day. The first rays of light made the forecast look good. The coolness of the night still prevailed and wafted around him like a cocoon as his ten-minute-a-mile stride carried him down the slope to the C&O Canal. The dirt path along the canal was the best place he had ever found to run. It was good
for his over-forty knees. He often felt he could run forever along the canal. This morning he would run for exactly another twelve minutes and ten seconds, and his life would end.
Just before first light Jason settled himself into his shooting position and waited for his target to come striding down the canal path. It wouldn’t be long now. In the distance Jason could see a few runners approaching. Runners all have distinctive styles. Jason saw the blue and white warm-up suit come in view. The second runner was his mark, but to be sure Jason used his binoculars to compare the runner to the photo his Control had given him. It was a match. For the last two mornings from his carefully chosen shooting position, he had watched the congressman run along the tow path. Jason liked punctual targets. He had one here. Right on time. The light was good. At one hundred meters he would fire one round into Cohen’s chest. Then he planned to hit two more people among the cyclists, runners, and dog walkers to confuse the police and worry the local population.
Jason was concealed near the top of a steep bank. He had a clear view of the canal path. His getaway car was parked just off MacArthur Boulevard, a short walk from his ambush site. The weapon, a Steyr-Mannlicher SSG-69, when broken down could be concealed under his long dark coat. Although Jason was over sixty, he was a born hunter with steady hands and a keen eye. Jason’s spare frame carried the same weight it had decades ago when he came across the Canadian border. Nothing about him stood out.
The perfect kill was always easier than the perfect escape. The target neared the stone he had placed to mark the distance. Cohen’s left foot landed beside the hundred meter marking stone at the same instant Jason fired his first round. He hit Arthur Cohen in the middle of the chest. Cohen took one more half-step and fell on his face. No one paid any attention to the partially silenced first shot.
Jason held his position and selected the next target, a tall blond ponytailed runner with a near perfect stride, who had been gaining steadily on the blue and white warm up suit. Ponytail saw Cohen fall and broke her stride. Sighting on her upper right thigh, Jason’s second shot knocked her down within three feet of his kill. As other runners and bikers seeing the blood and the downed figures scrambled for cover, Jason, secure behind a screen of dead wild grapevines, selected a young male cyclist on a silver racing bike and shot him high on the right shoulder. The bike swerved and plunged into the shallow canal, causing more chaos.
Jason picked up the three brass casings, smoothed out the impressions made in his ambush position, and then worked his way back up the slope, wiping out all traces of his movements.
Jason didn’t mind killing. These people were all enemies, and the mission came straight from Moscow. He would just as soon have killed everyone on the canal trail, but he always followed orders. Jason did not hurry. It would be ten minutes before the first District of Columbia police car and an emergency medical unit arrived on the
scene and by then he would be part of the morning traffic headed north around the beltway. In two hours Jason would be back on Tilghman Island on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, secure in his job as an owner- operator of a small marina. He would call his Control as soon as he turned off 495. This job was worth a nice sized bonus.
Get a closer look at the book (available in print or ebook)