Pages

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Spotlight: The Drafter by Kim Harrison





Title: The Drafter
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 560
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Sci Fi/Fantasy

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
The room was a featureless eight-by-eight, relieved by a single chair and the door pad softly glowing in the recessed overhead lights. Pulling up from a stretch, Peri stifled a shudder as a feeling of electricity crawled over her skin, pooling where the training suit pinched.
      Concerned, she passed a hand over the spiderweb of white stress lines in the otherwise black leather, frown deepening when her hand turned to pinpricks as the electric field in the fabric phased. Seriously? The slick-suit ran from her neck to the top of her boots, elevating her slight form to dangerous and sexy, but a wardrobe malfunction would slow her down.
      “Hey! Excuse me?” she called toward the ceiling, her high voice laced with demand. “I’m getting excessive feedback from my slick-suit.”
      A soft chime fell flat in the tiny room as the audio connection opened. “I’m sorry,” a man’s voice said, the hint of sarcasm telling her they knew it. “Possible suit malfunctions are acceptable under the parameters of the exercise. Begin.”
      Again the chime rang. Adrenaline surged with her quick intake of breath. She didn’t see the cameras, but people were watching, comparing every move to an unattainable perfection. Squandering a cocky three seconds, she stretched to show her confidence along with her lithe shape. Challenge one: technological fence, she thought, glancing at the locked door pad.
      In a swift motion, she grasped the back of the wooden chair, flinging it into the wall. It hit with a startling crack of wood, and she knelt before the pieces. Nimble fingers bare of the slick-suit’s gloves sifted through until she found a metal pin. Rising, she padded to the locked door and used it to wedge open the door pad.
      This task is mine, she thought, then walled it off, concentrating on the maze of wires until she found the one she wanted. Hand fisted, she tensed to yank it free, then hesitated. With her “malfunctioning” suit, she might end up on her ass, blowing out smoke as she tried to remember how to focus. Not worth the risk, she thought, following the wire back to the circuit board and shorting the door with the pin instead. The ceiling chimed her success. Peri saluted the unseen cameras, smug as the door slid open. Eleven seconds.
      Pin set between her fingers to gouge, she dove into the cooler air and into a spacious, spongy-floored room. The ceilings were higher, the light brighter, and at the far end, a closed door beckoned, the light on the lock already a steady green. Beyond it was everything she’d been working for, everything she’d been promised. She just had to get there.
      A faint whisper of air gave her warning. Peri ducked, lashing out with a back kick to send a man pinwheeling into the wall. Shit, he’s huge! she thought as his slick-suit flashed white. But it was fading to black even as she watched. He wasn’t out of it—yet.
      “Nothing personal, right?” she said, her eyes jerking from his holstered weapon to the two men sprinting to her. Three against one wasn’t fair, but when was life ever?
      They attacked together. Peri dropped, rolling to take out the closest. He fell and she swarmed him, jabbing his throat with her elbow. There was the telltale thump of a pad, but she’d struck hard enough to make him gag. His slick-suit flashed white as she rolled to her feet. One down.
      The second grabbed her, a glass knife at her throat. Screaming in defiance, she stabbed his ear with the chair pin. He howled in real pain, and she threw him over her shoulder and into the first man, now recovered.
      Following them both down, she scrambled for his blade, running the glass training knife across both their throats. The glow of the technological blade against their skin flashed, indicating a kill, and their slick-suits turned white. Gasping, they went still, paralyzed. Real blood, looking alien in the training floor, dripped from the one man’s ear.
      Peri straightened, keeping the pin as she turned her back on the men and walked confidently to the distant door. No more of their lame excuses, she thought, the adrenaline high still spilling through her, though shifting to a more enduring burn of anticipation. She’d been working toward this for months. How many times did she need to prove she was ready?
      With a heavy thunk, the lights went up. At the door, the pad shifted to a locked red.
      Peri jerked to a halt. “Excuse me?” she directed at the ceiling, and the audio connection pinged open.
      “You failed to demonstrate proficiency with projection weapons,” the man said again, but she could hear an argument in the background.
      Peri cocked her hip, knowing the time was still running, ruining her perfect score. “You mean a gun?” she asked with disdain. “Handguns are noisy and can be taken away, and then I have to do more damage to fix it.”
      “Your time is still running,” the man said, smug.
      “How can I prove my value if you keep changing the rules?” she muttered, stomping back to the three men, still paralyzed in their white slick-suits. Jaw clenched, she snatched the nearest man’s handgun. “I already killed you,” she said when the man’s eyes widened, and she spun, shooting out the cameras in the corners instead: one, two, three.
      “Reed!” the man shouted as his screens undoubtedly went black.
      Peri dropped the weapon and waited, shaking the pinpricks from her fingertips. The audio channel was still open, and a smile quirked her lips as she caught some argued phrases, “best we have” and “it’s that shitty attitude of hers that makes her perfect.”
      Glancing at her watch, Peri shifted her weight. “So am I going, or do you want me to try it again with feeling? I have stuff to do today.”
      There was silence, and then a younger voice took the mic. “You will report to medical tomorrow at nine. Congratulations, Agent Reed. It’s yours.”
      Her breath caught, the quick intake lighting a fire all the way to her groin, and then she steadied herself. “Friday,” she countered, ignoring the men behind her, groaning as their slick-suits returned to a black neutrality. “I want to say good-bye to my mother.”
      Again the silence, and Peri’s good mood tarnished as she caught a whispered “Might not remember her when she gets back.”
      “Friday,” the young voice came back, and Peri’s jaw clenched at the pity in it. Her mother didn’t deserve anyone’s pity, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to say good-bye.
      But the door lock had shifted green, a solid thump echoing as it opened onto an empty, white hallway. Her thoughts already on a shower and what was in her closet that her mother might actually approve of, Peri paced forward into the light.

About the Author


Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive.  After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow.  She's currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.

For More Information

No comments:

Post a Comment