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The Executioner (Department 89 #3)

One Man Holds The Key To The World’s Nuclear Balance Of Power

An undercover German Intelligence spy in the Russian FSB is betrayed and forced to go on the run. But he is eventually captured by a sadistic ex-KGB colonel, now working freelance for the Russian President.

His capture sets off a wave of panic at the highest levels of the government. The German chancellor, Claudia Meyer, gives Major Sophie Decker, chief of the elite Department 89 an order. Go deep into Russian territory and rescue the agent. If necessary, she must be his executioner.

There’s only one problem. The Russians know Decker and her agents are coming. The stage is set for Department 89 to face their toughest challenge yet – and their greatest loss.

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Exceptionally well written, a pleasure to read and highly recommended to anyone looking for good reading.
Amazon reviewer

When Anatoly Yurasov came out of the FSB building in the Lubyanka Square in Moscow, he had no idea he was about to be arrested by his colleagues.

It had been a long stressful day and the only things now on his mind were a couple of vodkas, a hot meal, and his bed. But first he had to deliver an envelope to a building on the way home. Day was turning into night, rain came down in a steady drizzle, and commuters kept their heads down in a determined effort to get past the crowds and get home.

Since Yurasov’s mind was elsewhere, he didn’t see the two well-built men get out of the car behind him. Both dressed in leather jackets and flat caps, they seemed unbothered and immune to the rain. They simply stared straight ahead at Yurasov’s back as he quickened his step down the street. The car in which the two men had been sitting was now moving at a slow pace and this made some people on the street nervous. They knew instinctively who the men were. They had seen this act before many times.

Some sixth sense made Yurasov turn round and when he saw the two men, his eyes widened in fear. The men stood still, with their legs spread slightly apart in a defensive posture. They made no effort to conceal their presence. They didn’t care if they were seen or not. One way or another, Anatoly Yurasov would not be walking the streets of Moscow after tonight.

Suddenly Yurasov ran, which confirmed his guilt to his pursuers. After all, an innocent man would indignantly ask why he was being followed. But Yurasov knew his time was up. He should have quit while he was ahead. But instead, he was facing a cell in the Lubyanka, next to the people he had personally put there. It was not a pleasant thought.

The FSB car screeched on ahead, burning rubber. It clipped the edge of the pavement, as a slightly breathless Yurasov abruptly turned the corner. If this had been even ten years before, he would have given these bastards a serious run for their money. But the last decade spent behind a desk had made him unfit, and now he was going to pay for it with his life.

As he ran along the side street, one of the men came running out of a side alley and swung a glancing blow at Yurasov’s face. He then grabbed Yurasov by the coat collar, pivoted, and threw him against a wall. By now, his colleague had caught up, and determined not to be left out of the fun, threw a punch to Yurasov’s stomach.

The car screeched to a halt and the driver got out, looking over at the shaking figure of Yurasov lying against the wall, desperately trying to get his breath back. The man who had thrown the punch to the stomach spat into the gutter and looked back at the driver.

“Call in and tell them we have him.”

“They’re going to be pissed” said his partner, “we were supposed to follow Yurasov to wherever he was going. The general is going to have our balls for breakfast.”

“Hardly our fault if he turned around, is it?” growled the first one. “Besides…..”

He bent down and pulled an envelope out of Yurasov’s inside jacket pocket.

“….I think we have what we need right here. Let’s get him back to headquarters and see how long it is before this little bird sings.”

* * *

Sergeant Thorsten Albrecht of German Military Intelligence walked into the Moscow supermarket and looked casually around the aisles. He was pretending to look for an item, but in reality he was there to find the supermarket manager, who was his contact in case things went wrong. He couldn’t go to the German Embassy. It would certainly be watched to see who entered, and he would be arrested before he could make it to the front door.

Things in the past few hours had indeed gone very badly wrong. Anatoly Yurasov had been arrested by FSB colleagues, and the word on the grapevine was that he had been running an undercover German agent inside the FSB for close to a year. Little did people know that Albrecht was that agent. Keeping as calm and unconcerned as he could, Albrecht went back to his office. He copied relevant FSB files onto a USB stick, shredded anything remotely incriminating, took a hammer to his mobile phone, and then walked out of the very building that Yurasov had walked out of, several hours previously.

His cover was blown. They didn’t know it was him yet. But very soon, before the night was out, they would know. Nobody withstood torture in the Lubyanka for long.

Walking along the supermarket aisles, holding a bottle of vodka, he saw a man out of the corner of his eye coming out of an office. When the man saw Albrecht, he looked terrified. There was only one reason why Albrecht would break cover, and the thought of being arrested made the manager break out in a cold sweat.

Albrecht sauntered over. “Excuse me. I was wondering if you could recommend a good caviar to go with this vodka?”

The manager recognised Albrecht’s half of the security phrase, but could not bring himself to say his half. His voice was gone. Albrecht’s eyes suddenly looked at the manager as if to say “don’t fuck this up. I’m depending on you.

“Yes” said the manager finally in a hoarse voice, “I know just the one. Let me see if I can find some for you in the back.”

Albrecht beamed. “That would be wonderful thank you. But please be quick. Some friends are probably quickly on their way.”

The manager went into his office to make a brief phone call to his German handler. Albrecht had to be extracted and removed from the country immediately. 

* * *

Little did they know that they were already trapped. Yurasov had cracked after only forty-five minutes and Albrecht’s description was being flashed all over the city. Taxi drivers in the pay of the FSB had Albrecht’s face ping on their mobile phone screen, and when one of them recognised the face, he immediately called it in.

“Yeah, he’s here. In a supermarket opposite me. He went in about five minutes ago. Still in there as far as I know. Right, got it…”

Hanging up, he got a loaded handgun from under his seat and checked the magazine. Reinforcements were on the way. But the driver was ordered to enter the store and stop Albrecht by any means necessary, short of killing him. They were very clear on that point.

* * *

Five minutes later, the manager came back out. He looked as if he had aged ten years since he had gone into the office to make the call.

“Get to the secondary location right now within the next thirty minutes” he murmured, “they will only wait an extra fifteen minutes for you, in case of delays. Now go before you get me killed.”

Albrecht merely nodded. But his attention was caught by a man who had entered the store. Something was not quite right about him. He was scanning the aisles as if he was looking for someone. When Albrecht saw the gun in the man’s hand, he knew he was in trouble.

“Too late” he said to the manager, “I’m truly sorry.”

The manager turned and eventually saw the taxi driver holding the gun. His legs went weak and he started to cry. This got the attention of the taxi driver who looked over and saw Albrecht moving quickly behind another aisle.

“FSB!” shouted the driver, “you’re under arrest. Get out of there!”

Albrecht quietly unscrewed the bottle of vodka, stuffed in his cloth handkerchief, and used a lighter to make a Molotov cocktail. The manager saw the alcohol suddenly fire up and knew what was about to happen.

“NO!” he shouted.

Albrecht had spent three years living in the United States, so he had some experience of playing baseball. So his aim was perfect. The flaming bottle flew over the aisle and hit the taxi driver square on the head, smashing the bottle into fragments. The mixture of alcohol and flames set the FSB agent on fire. Screaming, he thrashed about in agony and in doing so, he fired his gun over and over until the magazine was empty. One bullet ricocheted off a metal shelf and hit the supermarket manager in the chest.

Shoppers had dropped their baskets and were screaming, running for the exits. But Albrecht was not going out the front. Turning, he could see the open doors to the storage area and he ran through. Vaulting over boxes, he could see an open back door into the street. Pulling a gun from his woollen overcoat, he spun around expecting to see people in pursuit. But there was nobody there yet. He turned and ran out the back door.

It's not often that I am so enthralled with a story that I read the entire book nonstop in one sitting, but it happened here.
Amazon reviewer

Books in this series

The Renegade Spy spy thriller
The Reichsbank Gold spy thriller
The Executioner spy thriller
The Traitor spy thriller
Operational Eternal Vengeance
Regime Change spy thriller
Operation Thunderbolt spy thriller
Valkyrie spy thriller

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