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First page of "A Killer of Spies"

IT WAS HAPPENING AGAIN. The dimly lit room stank of cigarette smoke. The two-way mirror showed Erik a reflection of himself he fought to comprehend. He eyed the handcuffs hugging his wrists, binding him to the stainless-steel table that came generic in every interrogation room. His hair was a mess, as if he’d been pulled directly out of bed by the somber German man sitting across from him with an unimpressed scowl stamped on his face.

“Herr Brown, twenty-four hours ago, Monika Martin was a person forgotten, disappeared—”

“Disappeared?” The words tumbled from Erik’s mouth without a thought as his mind explored the connotation.

“Yes. She disappeared from German society without a trace . . . before even the construction of the Berlin wall. But this morning, she reappears in a Mülltonne—a dumpster. Yesterday, she was seen arguing with you. How did you know Monika Martin?”

Erik thought about the frail old woman who had found him outside the café yesterday morning. About the pleading look she’d given him as she asked for his assistance, for him to follow her to somewhere prying eyes wouldn’t find them.

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