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Kill Me If You Can
Kill Me If You Can
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097543
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571873
$14.99/U.S.
400 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Matthew Bannon, a poor art student living in New York City, finds a duffel bag filled with diamonds during a chaotic attack at Grand Central Station. Plans for a worry-free life with his gorgeous girlfriend Katherine fill his thoughts—until he realizes that he is being hunted, and that whoever is after him won't stop until they have reclaimed the diamonds and exacted their revenge.

The perfect lie

Trailing him is the Ghost, the world's greatest assassin, who has just pulled off his most high-profile hit: killing Walter Zelvas, a top member of the international Diamond Syndicate. There's only one small problem: the diamonds he was supposed to retrieve from Zelvas are missing. Now, the Ghost is on Bannon's trail—but so is a rival assassin who would like nothing more than to make the Ghost disappear forever. From "America's #1 storyteller" (Forbes) comes a high-speed, high-stakes, winner-take-all thrill ride of adrenaline-fueled suspense.

Kill Me If You Can
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097543
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571873
$14.99/U.S.
400 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Prologue | THE GHOST

One

SOME PEOPLE ARE harder to kill than others. The Ghost was thinking about this as he huddled in the deep, dark shadows of Grand Central Terminal. A man named Walter Zelvas would have to die tonight. But it wouldn't be easy. Nobody hired the Ghost for the easy jobs.

It was almost 11 p.m, and even though the evening rush was long over, there was still a steady stream of weary travelers.

The Ghost was wearing an efficient killing disguise. His face was lost under a tangle of matted silver-and-white hair and shaggy beard, and his arsenal was hidden under a wine-stained gray poncho. To anyone who even bothered to take notice, he was just another heap of homeless humanity seeking refuge on a quiet bench near Track 109.

He eyed his target. Walter Zelvas. A great hulk of a man with the nerves and reflexes of a snake and a soul to match. Zelvas was a contract killer himself, but unlike the Ghost, Zelvas took pleasure in watching his victims suffer before they died. For years, the ruthless Russian had been an enforcer for the Diamond Syndicate, but apparently he had outlived his usefulness to his employer, and the Ghost had been hired to terminate him.

If he doesn't kill me first, the Ghost thought. With Zelvas it was definitely a matter of kill or be killed. And this would surely be a duel to the death between them.

So the Ghost watched his opponent closely. The screen on the departures monitor refreshed and Zelvas cursed under his breath. His train was delayed another thirty minutes.

He drained his second cup of Starbucks cappuccino, stood up, and crumpling his empty cup, deposited it in the trash.

No littering, the Ghost thought. That might attract attention, and the last thing Zelvas wanted was attention.

That's why he was leaving town by train. Train stations aren't like airports. There's no baggage check, no metal detector, no security.

Zelvas looked toward the men's room.

All that coffee will be the death of you, the Ghost thought as Zelvas walked across the marble floor to the bathroom.

A half-comatose porter, mop in hand, was sloshing water on the terminal floor like a zombie tarring a roof. He didn't see Zelvas coming.

A puddle of brown water came within inches of the big man's right foot. Zelvas stopped. "You slop any of that scum on my shoes and you'll be shitting teeth," he said.

The porter froze. "Sorry. Sorry, sir. Sorry."

The Ghost watched it all. Another time, another place, and Zelvas might have drowned the man in his own mop water. But tonight he was on his best behavior.

Zelvas continued toward the bathroom.

The Ghost had watched the traffic in and out of the men's room for the past half hour. It was currently empty. Moment of truth, the Ghost told himself.

Zelvas got to the doorway, stopped, and turned around sharply.

He made me, the Ghost thought at first.

Zelvas looked straight at him. Then left, then right.

He's a pro. He's just watching his back.

Satisfied he wasn't being followed, Zelvas entered the men's room.

The Ghost stood up and surveyed the terminal. The only uniformed cop in the area was busy giving directions to a young couple fifty feet away.

The men's room had no door—just an L-shaped opening that allowed the Ghost to enter and still remain out of sight.

From his vantage point he could see the mirrored wall over the sinks. And there was Zelvas, standing in front of a urinal, his back to the mirror.

The Ghost silently reached under his poncho and removed his equally silent Glock from its holster.

The Ghost had a mantra. Three words he said to himself just before every kill. He waited until he heard Zelvas breathe that first sigh of relief as he began to empty his bladder.

I am invincible, the Ghost said in silence.

Then, in a single fluid motion, he entered the bathroom, silently slid up behind Zelvas, aimed the Glock at the base of his skull, and squeezed the trigger.

And missed.

Some people are harder to kill than others.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Kill Me If You Can
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607884674
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Jeff Woodman & Jason Culp

Jeff Woodman has narrated numerous audiobooks in many different genres including Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The Life of Pi. He has also done numerous ESL programs and cartoon voices for Japanese animation. Jeff has appeared in several episodes of Law & Order and various off-Broadway plays.

Jason Culp has been an actor since he was 10 years old. He was featured on television in Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, and in the cult film, Skinheads. He has narrated a number of audiobooks and is completing a memoir.

Kill Me If You Can
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097543
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571873
$14.99/U.S.
400 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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