By Paul Robertson
Charles Beale lives fortunately within the shadows of Washington, D.C., as a good rare-books broker. Or generally first rate. He has a streak of the gambler in him and while a faithful customer dies--a guy deeply hooked up to the Justice Department--Beale eagerly regains the man's publication collection...and quickly unearths himself with greater than he bid on. in a single quantity, Beale discovers files incriminating a number of significant political figures--blackmail fabric that would have ended in homicide. Weighing questions of justice and mercy--and with a bull's-eye on his back--Beale needs to untangle a classy knot of lethal lies and hazardous secrets and techniques.
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I hope I didn’t. ” “Then have a nice morning. ” “I don’t have any answers. ” The well-worn walk to the Metro station past the urban townhouses of Prince Street, and the bland Metro ride under the Potomac, brought Charles finally to the even more urban townhouses of Georgetown. The streets weren’t very different from Alexandria, just wider and with more cars and more city and more important-looking people. The Capitol and the White House weren’t far away; Georgetown was a closer planet to the sun and less likely to have its own native life.
Traffic was heavy. On the sidewalk, a dozen people were scattered over the length of the block. The gray stone and mirrored windows of the office building across the street were very bright. A cardboard box was in front of him, tight in both hands. He turned south toward Pennsylvania Avenue, three blocks away. The faces he passed were stern and silent against the world, or talking on cell phones, alive, animated, in other worlds. Charles stopped at the first corner. He was being followed. Across the street a young man had stayed even with him.
He took a deep breath and steeled himself. He opened the volume near the middle. ” He closed his eyes. When he opened them, it was still the same. ” he called up the stairs, when he could, trying to sound normal. “Could you ask Mrs. ” “Look,” he demanded, even as she was still in the doorway. It was still on the desk where he’d set it. Defiled. ” Her voice was the stillness that smoothed the waves, and her presence was the water’s depths untouched by the storms above. He touched it. ” She came close, and she saw it, and his shock and grief was mirrored in her eyes.
According to Their Deeds by Paul Robertson