The October List

The October List by Jeffery Deaver

Book: The October List by Jeffery Deaver Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jeffery Deaver
Putin that Dixon had wondered if he was somehow related to the Russian president. He had no accent but sometimes you imagined he did.
    There was a rumble from the corner and Karpankov’s large dog – whose breed Dixon didn’t recognize – stretched and looked over the visitor slowly. Not exactly hostile, not exactly friendly. He flopped back down on his cushion and sighed. The thing had to weigh 150 pounds. The dog’s brown eyes settled on Dixon and would not let go. Black and gray fur maybe naturally spiky, maybe rising, as in hackles.
    As in just before the attack.
    ‘He’s a good boy,’ Karpankov said affectionately.
    ‘Big,’ Dixon said.
    ‘Things’re going good for you, I hear.’ Karpankov looked impressed. ‘The new shopping mall project.’
    ‘Sure,’ Dixon said. And kept his eyes locked with the Russian’s. ‘We’re making money hand over fist, even though I have no idea what the fuck that expression means.’
    Karpankov blinked. Then laughed. ‘Ha, that’s true. I never thought about it. “Hand over fist.” What’s that mean? People are careless, what they say. Clichés, lazy speaking. Makes you sick, sometimes.’
    The view from Karpankov’s office was of the Hudson River. Now, at night, the water was just a strip of black. What ebbed and flowed were lights, yellow, red, green, white, easing north and easing south.
    Karpankov disconnected and then turned to Dixon, who regarded the man’s eyes for as long as he could.
    Those are some very weird pupils, he thought, looking away. Not fifty shades of gray. Two.
    The Russian said, ‘I’m thinking it’s about time we should talk about that project in Newark. You and me.’
    A joyous drumbeat tickled Dixon’s gut. He said enthusiastically, ‘That’s going to be a ball buster, Pete. Eight figures, easy. Mid eight figures.’ Then to himself: Calm the fuck down. You’re talking like a tween gushing about Bieber.
    ‘Eight, yeah, we’re figuring.’
    ‘You’ll clean up with it,’ Dixon said.
    This was a joke because part of the project involved leases to a large dry-cleaning outfit. Dixon had been dying to participate.
    Karpankov didn’t seem to get the play on words, though.
    Dixon kept his face still – you had to when dealing with people like Karpankov – but his pleasure was growing by the second. He’d been hoping for a year that Karpankov would bring him in on some project, any project. But Newark? Jesus. That was Boardwalk. That was Park Place.
    ‘But I need a favor, Hal.’
    For a piece of Newark, he’d definitely help Karpankov out. Whatever the task. He sat forward, frowning with pleasant anticipation.
    But details of the carrot, or stick, were delayed.
    Karpankov’s phone rang and he said a polite, ‘Excuse me.’
    ‘Go right ahead.’ Dixon looked at the dog; the dog looked back. Dixon was the first to disengage.
    He lifted one shoulder then the other, adjusting his gray suit jacket. It was tight and the cloth was thin wool, too thin for the day’s chill. He’d realized this as soon as he’d left the house but didn’t want to go back for his overcoat. The wife. His shirt was a pastel shade of blue that some people probably thought was too gaudy. Dixon didn’t care. He wore bright shirts; they were his trademark. Yesterday pink, today blue. Tomorrow he’d wear yellow. The canary yellow. It was his favorite. And he always wore it on Sunday.
    The Russian ended his call. Then, as always happened in discussions between men, Dixon knew, the mood changed, unmistakably, and it was time for serious horse trading. Karpankov put his fingers together, like he’d buried the pleasantries and tepeed dirt over their grave. ‘Now, I’m aware of something.’
    Karpankov often said that. He was aware of something.
    ‘Have you ever heard of the October List?’
    ‘Not familiar. Nope. What is it?’
    ‘I’m not exactly sure. But I do know this: It’s a list of names of some people

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