Requiem for an Assassin
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
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Copyright © 2007 by Barry Eisler
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Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Requiem for an assassin / Barry Eisler.
1. Rain, John (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Japanese Americans—Fiction.
3. Murder for hire—Fiction. 4. Assassins—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3605.I85R47 2007 2007008805
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
For Owen, Rachel, and Sandy, with love
REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN
J IM H ILGER and his team sat hunched over a group of surveillance photos in a budget hotel room in Kuta, on Bali’s famed west coast. The late-afternoon monsoon rains had given way to a clear night sky, and the adjacent beach was still noisy with revelers—Australians, drinking away the last night of a holiday before returning to the grind back home; American frat kids, a bit more adventurous than their peers in Fort Lauderdale, lured to Kuta by true stories of cheap accommodations and oceanside discos and like-minded young people searching for sin; dark-skinned Balinese beauties in bikini tops and sarongs, looking for rich white boyfriends, or, failing that, a night or even an hour in exchange for a proper tip in convertible currency. In fact, the hotel was a popular stop for tourists who had found a local “date” nearby and were in a hurry to consummate the transaction, and the high turnover, cash basis, and reluctance of patrons to meet each other’s eyes made places like this one good expedient safehouses, not just here in Indonesia, but in many other countries where Hilger operated. Sex could be a good cover for secrecy; salaciousness, for murder.
For security, the five of them had arrived one by one earlier that evening at staggered times, and, so as not to stand out, each had come accompanied by an appropriately nubile Balinese companion. Indeed, Hilger knew that two of the men had arrived early enough to fully indulge the cover their temporary girlfriends provided, but Hilger was untroubled by their behavior. He had commanded men in war and understood their needs, and besides, he would rather they get a taste of the local fauna early so they would be less inclined to chase after it late at night. The man they were hunting was dangerous, and Hilger wanted everyone sharp.
Hilger knew the man as Dox, said to be short for “unorthodox,” a nom de guerre the man had acquired during his unsung service in Reagan-era Afghanistan. Once upon a time, Dox had been a Marine sniper, one of the best, but these days worked freelance. Hilger had
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