The Third Corner [A Dark Watch Novel] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by J. L. Abbott
eBook Category: Historical Fiction/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Shots slam into a back alley of post-Civil War Washington, D.C. Two government agents fall. A traitor lurks in the upper ranks of the Grant Administration and conspirators kill the operatives to protect their mole. Kathryn Devereaux and Jared Bentley of the espionage organization, Dark Watch, carry on in the footsteps of their fallen comrades. They're driven by a hidden agenda. The dead spies were their fathers. Revenge stokes the flames of the official assignment as they seek to uncover the deadly knowledge their fathers possessed, and the rebels who killed them because of it. The Dark Watch pair follows a tangled web of deceit, all the while struggling to protect their secret love for one another. Stakes skyrocket when a third player surfaces. A reviled adversary from the War is hell-bent on destroying their mission--and their relationship. The fight becomes personal and no one is safe from her wrath. As Kathryn and Jared battle to safeguard the Presidency, their family, and their love, an unexpected ally offers them a timeless perspective revealing the truth about their present and lending clarity to their past and future.
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, Published: Amber Quill Press, 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2003
10 Reader Ratings:
"Complex paradoxes and ethical conundrums ... I confess to thoroughly enjoying Abbott's combination of metaphysics, history and villainy. The triangle formed by Kathryn, Jared, and Mae is absolutely fascinating. As Kathryn confronts the devastating necessities that result from her political service, she also confronts the darkest side of human nature and the most difficult of challenges. Kathryn and Jared's devotion to one another and to their commit to service to Dark Watch likewise explore the dark and the light, filling The Third Corner with complex paradoxes and ethical conundrums. The Third Corner comes highly recommended."--WordWeaving
"An exciting novel weaving suspense, espionage and the paranormal into an unconventional romance. Abbott's skill in incorporating these disparate genres into a romance novel, creating the kind of book that will please a diverse group of readers, including those who haughtily claim not to read romance novels, is quite satisfying. The paranormal aspect of the novel is never fantastic or unrealistic; rather, it adds another dimension of drama and intensity to the action. With vivid character development, it's easy for the reader to get hooked on the story, wondering if Jared and Kathryn will ever get to enjoy a well-deserved happily ever after. Additional supporting characters are well placed and well defined, and provide excellent foils for both Jared and Kathryn, highlighting their professional capability, personal passion, and familial loyalty. Abbott takes her time setting the action in The Third Corner, carefully introducing the major players in the story and expertly setting the background scene for later plot developments of betrayal and espionage. Making use of descriptive language and dialogue, Abbott accelerates the pacing and action of the novel as the plot progresses. The drama heightens during the shocking conclusion and the suspense over the final outcome is intensified until the sudden, but solid ending leaves the reader breathless with anticipation for Abbott's next Dark Watch novel, The Bluecoat Affair, due out in the spring of 2003."--Amy Brozio-Andrews, Inside The Cover Book Reviews
"A fine blend of spy adventure and romance. The spirit of the post-Civil War period and its people is successfully evoked. The plot is well-constructed. The story is exciting and moves at a rapid pace. Let us hope there will be more adventures of these two lovers."--Barbara Buhrer, Reviewers Choice
"Highly recommended! An excellent read! Ms. Abbott tells an excellent tale. It is well paced and written with a sure knowledge of the period in which it is set. Any reader who likes mystery, paranormal adventure, romance, or thrillers will find this book to their taste. This book kept me reading and I was sorry when it was finished. Any reader who enjoys the battle of wits between good and evil with that something extra thrown into the mix will find this a very, very satisfying read."--Anne K. Edwards, eBook Reviews Weekly
"The Third Corner is beautifully written. The story idea is original and characters seem very believable. It is a book that captures your attention and makes you want to keep reading. Although the ending leaves you to your own imagination (I wanted it to go on and on), the book has a welcomed ending."--Cheryl McCann, Electronic Book Reviews
Washington, D. C.
Monday, May 22, 1871
"You bloody well will let us investigate their murders!" Jared Bentley slammed a fist on the desk before him.
"Easy, dear." Kathryn Devereaux spoke between gritted teeth. "Let's hear Alcott out before we…lose our tempers."
Jared leaned over the desk until his blazing blue eyes were inches from the director's flushed face. "You've never hesitated putting us in the line of fire, Alcott. Not once. Not when it suited the purposes of Dark Watch. We've risked our lives for this God-forsaken organization so many times in the last ten years, I've lost count. But now…now it's personal, and you rein us in? What kind of game are you playing with our fathers' assassinations?"
The elderly man's bloodshot eyes slipped away from Jared's face and sought out Kathryn.
She shook her head at his silent plea. "We have every right in the world to have a go at this. Jared and I, and Christian, too. And you know it."
Alcott ran a hand through his thinning gray hair. "It's a mistake turning the three of you loose on this. As you say, Jared, it's personal. And that's exactly why you should allow one of the others to handle their…deaths. For your own safety, if for no other reason."
Kathryn heard the pain in the old man's voice, and she placed a calming hand on Jared's arm. "Sit, please. We need to discuss this"–she took a ragged breath–"as reasonably as we can."
Her partner dropped into the chair next to her with a groan, lowering his head into a cupped hand. "I'm sorry, Alcott. It's just so…" He looked from one to the other. "We all understood from day one that any of us could be killed at any time. You don't become involved in this crazy business expecting to die quietly in your bed."
"And our fathers knew the risks." Kathryn's voice was soft, tight with repressed emotion. "Better than any of us, they understood the dangers."
"I'm not going to change my mind. You are to stand down." Alcott's grayish green eyes darted from Jared to Kathryn. "And that goes for your brother as well, Kathryn. I'll communicate directly with Christian later today." He held up a hand to silence Jared's snarling words. "We have others who'll investigate their murders. Please don't press me about this. I would rather not enforce my decision."
"Can you tell us anything about them? Something." Kathryn grimaced at the note of pleading she heard coming out of her mouth. She brushed her black veil off her shoulders and straightened, the decrepit chair creaking beneath her. "It might help us put this nightmare into some kind of perspective."
"I think they'd learned the identity of the insider." Alcott's soft words exploded through the emotionally-charged air.
"Dear God." Kathryn struggled to breathe. "No wonder they were killed. That traitor strikes at the heart of Grant's administration." She turned to Jared, and watched the handsome man avert his gaze. "What is it?" she whispered to him.
"Father told me he had important information for me. He wanted to meet." A bitter smile arched across his patrician features. "Perhaps I could've saved him if I'd known. If I'd been at that meeting. But I just couldn't leave San Francisco."
Kathryn interrupted. "The trial went on longer than anyone expected. A lawyer can't walk out on his own case."
"You had your orders, Jared," Alcott added. "Maintaining your cover as a working lawyer is always to take priority–"
"'Unless ordered otherwise.' Yes, Alcott. I certainly know the drill by this time."
"And so did Harris Bentley." Alcott paused, turning to Kathryn. "Did Richard say anything to you about this?"
"Not a word." Kathryn adjusted her black paramatta gown, smoothing the dull fabric's folds across her lap. "But, now that I think about my father's behavior over the last several weeks, it doesn't surprise me that he was onto something major."
"Why are you so sure?" asked her control.
"He seemed…excited. A kind of quiet excitement I've learned to associate with Dark Watch. Ever since they launched their first operation during the War, there've been times when our fathers have virtually radiated the intensity of their work. This was one of those times." She glanced at Jared. "Your father joined us for dinner two nights before they died. They'd barely finished chewing their food before they closeted themselves in the library. They were still there when I retired for the evening."
She turned to Alcott. "I didn't question them about their behavior. You know how they were. They shared their thoughts when they were ready."
Kathryn noticed Jared was staring at Alcott with a calculating expression. She recognized the hard intent behind the look, and was not surprised when she heard his cold words.
"What do you know about this, Alcott?"
Their control remained silent.
"Damn it, man!"
Alcott nodded as if his head were too heavy for his neck. "Yes. You have a right to know this. Especially now." His black eyes darted from one agent to the other. "Harris sent me a message the day before he…died."
"Can we read it?" Kathryn said, adding softly, "No. Of course you would've destroyed it."
"He requested a meeting at the President's Mansion for the morning of March 12th–the day he was killed. Very early morning, I might add. Embedded in his note were the sentences–'I managed to find the perfect one for the job we discussed. He's our man, no doubt about it. I really want you to meet him.'" Alcott heaved a heavy sigh. "This was code, of course." His bony frame slumped in the chair. "Yes, I really did want to meet him."
"What else? There's got to be more than that," said Kathryn.
Alcott's dour mouth softened into a small smile. "I never could put anything past you, my dear. Yes, there was one more sentence in which he referred to 'his back yard.'"
"Bolton?" said Jared.
Copyright © 2002 by Jeannette Abbott