From the book
RAPP secured the gray nylon rope to a cast-iron vent stack and walked to the edge of the roof. He glanced at the balcony two floors below and then looked out across the City of Light. Sunrise was a few hours off and the flow of late-night revelers had faded to a trickle. It was that rare moment of relative inactivity that even a city as vibrant as Paris fell under once each day. Every city had its own unique feel, and Rapp had learned to pay attention to the ebb and flow of their natural rhythms. They had their similarities just like people. For all of the hang-ups about individuality, few understood that for the most part, people's actions were habitual. They slept, woke, ate, worked, ate some more, worked some more, ate again, watched TV, and then went to sleep again. It was the basic drumbeat of humanity the world over. The way people lived their lives and met their basic needs.
All men also had their own unique attributes, and these often manifested themselves in habits--habits that Rapp had learned to exploit. As a rule, the best time to strike was this witching hour, between dusk and dawn, when the overwhelming majority of the human race was asleep, or trying to sleep. The physiological reasons were obvious. If it took world-class athletes hours to warm up before a major event, how would a man defend himself when yanked from deep sleep? However, Rapp could not always choose the appointed hour, and occasionally a target's habits created an opening that was so painfully obvious, he simply couldn't ignore the opportunity.
Three weeks earlier Rapp had been in Athens. His target walked the same bustling sidewalk every morning from his apartment to his office. Rapp had considered shooting him on the sidewalk, as there was plenty of cover and distraction. It wouldn't have been difficult, but witnesses were always a concern, and a police officer could always stumble by at the wrong moment. As he studied his target, he noticed another habit. After arriving at work, the man had one more cup of coffee and then went down the hall with his newspaper and took a prolonged visit to the men's room.
Other than catching people asleep, the next best thing was catching them with their pants down. On the fourth day, Rapp waited in the middle stall of three and at the appointed hour his target sat down on his right. Rapp stood on the toilet seat, leaned over the divider, called out the man's name, and then after their eyes met, he smiled and sent a single 9mm hollow-tipped round through the top of the man's head. He fired one more kill shot into the man's brainpan for good measure and calmly left the building. Thirty minutes later, he was on a ferry slicing through the warm morning air of the Aegean Sea, headed for the island of Crete.
Most of the kills had been like that. Unsuspecting fools who thought themselves safe after years of the United States doing little or nothing to pursue them for their involvement in various terrorist attacks. Rapp's singular goal was to take the fight to these men. Bleed them until they began to have doubts, until they lay awake at night wondering if they were next. It had become his mission in life. Inaction was what had emboldened these men to continue with their plots to attack innocent civilians. The belief that they were secure to continue to wage their war of terror had given them a smug confidence. Rapp was single-handedly replacing that confidence with fear.
By now, they were aware that something was wrong. Too many men had been shot in the head in the last year for it to be a...
Author: Vince Flynn
Bio: Vince Flynn is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and three children. Visit his website at ...