A.K.A. Jane (Jane Nichols, Book 1) by Maureen Tan

By Maureen Tan

Meet Moura. aka Molly. aka Max. aka Jane Nichols. From a rolling place she will be able to attach a knife with an enemy throat. With a number of punches on a keyboard she will enthrall strangers with a wickedly crafted secret. yet now as ghosts taunt and accountability calls, Jane flees to the moss-draped safe haven of Savannah. Her plans are basic. To leisure. to jot down. And to seek down the killer of the undercover agent who enjoyed her.

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I looked away from her glare, stared down at the coffee in my mug, wondered if the confrontation I had always dreaded had finally come. Even away from his employ, I owed Mac silence. Casual words, innocently spoken, too often cost my fellow agents their lives. Perhaps it was unfair, but my relationship with Dora—with anyone—had to be on 54 MAUREEN TAN my terms. And if those terms lost me a valued friend? I shrugged unhappily at the thought, but so be it. I raised my eyes to Dora’s. “Do you really want me to tell you the carefully constructed and absolutely verifiable lie that was prepared for my acquaintances?

Manners were irrelevant. I drank endless cups of weak tea, choked down a procession of rubbery beef sandwiches, related my experiences. AKA JANE 35 They challenged my information, made hostile accusations, badgered me for details. They questioned me through the day and into the night. I answered until their faces blurred before my eyes, until their words held no meaning. Then I told them to piss off. I left the conference table, staggered to the battered leather sofa at the far end of the room.

I was running my hand through my hair, trying to force the grimy spikes into some sort of order, when the corporal returned. Behind him was Jack Edwards, a bureaucrat from MI6’s London office. I wondered how he had managed to bully his way into the operation. MI-5 was responsible for Britain’s internal security, MI-6 took care of external problems. Usually the only thing our organizations shared was loyalty to the Crown. 36 MAUREEN TAN The corporal and Edwards were followed by Mac. He paused in the doorway, looked at me appraisingly.

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