What a Way to Start the Day


He didn’t care what anybody thought.  Every time Harold Aaron Smith entered the lobby of the Chrysler Building, he felt exhilarated.  Built against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the seventy-seven stories rose mightily into the New York skyline, symbolizing all the ideals of the great American society.

Harry Smith strode to the elevator and waited for the next ride up.  The captains of industry hadn’t yet started their day.  It was barely six a.m.  Alice, his secretary of twenty years, would be there ahead of him with a fresh pot of coffee and his favorite raspberry Danish.  The elevator

dinged, and the doors glided open to reveal shiny inlaid walls and a plush carpeted floor.  He pressed a button, willing this self-service beauty to whisk him to the forty-second floor.

A Man of God with Many Talents…

Rabbi Marzutti had been feeling uneasy all day, as though someone was watching his every move.  It started when he noticed a man observing him on his way to market.  That same man appeared during his lunch at Les Deux Garçons and followed him on his stroll down the cours Mirabeau.

Marzutti knew how to get rid of a tail.  He’d been trained long ago with the Free French underground and kept his skills polished by an association with Israeli intelligence.  Mossad often called Marzutti for advice, and he provided a halfway house for agents incognito.

Now he was thinking fast.  La Boulangerie had two doors.  He ducked inside and made a quick dash out the rear exit.  Then he slipped into another back entrance that led to a parallel street.  With any luck there would be a cab at the taxi stand.  Good, there was.  He jumped into the back door and barked fast directions.  “Boulevard François et Émile Zola.  Rapidement, s’il vous plaît.”

Excerpt from THE RED SERPENT