Nine Lies: a compact and complex quick thriller

NineLiesStoner slipped a balaclava over his head, opened the door and slid smoothly from the seat, walking while unwrapping the long lethal package as he moved to the steps in front of the entrance. He swung the weapon from the hip, flicked the selector to single round rapid fire and shot the guy, the guy he’d been following for so long, straight through the chest.

The man fell backwards, there were the inevitable screams and running away, no defensive armament appeared. Stoner swung the AK until it was pointed directly at the target, a short, slim, neat Asian woman of indeterminate years and no obvious terror, and pulled the trigger once again…

JJ Stoner is one of those men who resolve sticky situations for the British government. At least, that’s what his job description would say. If he had one. But even an accomplished assassin can have a bad day, as Stoner discovers in the new quick thriller, Nine Lies.

Stoner certainly didn’t expect brain tissue and skull fragments to feature quite so prominently in a routine surveillance operation. That’s bad enough, but things get worse as the week goes by.

Machiavellian inter-agency intrigue sees Stoner pretending to be a Russian agent while fulfilling a mission for the CIA. Somehow JJ ends up at the wrong end of a gun barrel, dodging bullets. And not all of them miss their target…

When you’re a deniable – and hence potentially disposable – covert operative, killing people is sometimes the easy option.

Staying alive isn’t always so straightforward.

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A witty mix of hardboiled humour and gritty gunplay, Nine Lies comes recommended for readers who enjoy Walter Mosley, Derek Raymond and Don Winslow. Here’s what Robb White, author of Dead Cat Bounce has to say about it:

‘The author’s usual clever plotting is redoubled within a complex scheme of betrayals and counterplots that builds the suspense. JJ had better discover what happened fast or he will be the next target. The Hard Man, that shadowy obese figure who moves among the upper echelons of Britain’s secret intelligence world, is at his best — or worst, depending on your point of view.

‘Westworth has pulled off a compact and tension-filled outing for his amoral killer, one of the most genuinely interesting fictional characters I’ve encountered in decades.’

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Nine Lies is a self-contained short story which features characters from the Killing Sisters crime-thriller novels and the Stoner stories. It fits in between CzechM8 and A Last Act Of Charity but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story without reading the other books. Go on… Live dangerously!

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Please note that the Stoner stories are intended for an adult audience and contain explicit language and violence.

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