He’s a charming con man and she’s a dedicated FBI agent, and they’re about to drive each other crazy . . . again!
The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicolas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick Fox has a few tricks up his sleeve to roust this particular Knipschildt chocolate–loving drug lord.
From the streets of Nashville to the back alleys of Lisbon, from the rooftops of Istanbul to the middle of the Thames, Nick and Kate chase their mark. When they find themselves pitted against a psychopathic bodyguard and a Portuguese enforcer who gets advice from a pickled head, they decide it’s time to enlist some special talent—talent like a machete-wielding Somali pirate, a self-absorbed actor, an Oscar-winning special effects artist, and Kate’s father Jake, a retired Special Forces operative. Together they could help make this Fox and O’Hare’s biggest win yet . . . if they survive.
Praise for The Job
“This suspense series continues to mix the humor from [Janet] Evanovich and [Lee] Goldberg’s books with the intricate cons seen in the best episodes of Mission: Impossible. The banter and thrills are nonstop, and readers will be anxious to see what happens next.”—Library Journal
“Even if you can’t always tell the good guys from the bad guys, there’s no doubt who’ll come out on top when the Fox is in the hen house.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.
Hometown:Hanover, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:April 22, 1943
Place of Birth:South River, New Jersey
Education:B.A., Douglass College, 1965
Read an Excerpt
FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare slouched back in her tan leather executive office chair, looked across her desk, and surveyed the lobby of the Tarzana branch of California Metro Bank. The desk actually belonged to the assistant manager. Kate was occupying it because she was waiting for the bank to get robbed. She’d been waiting for four days, and she was wishing it would happen soon, because she was going gonzo with boredom.
The boredom vanished and her posture improved when two businessmen wearing impeccably tailored suits walked through the bank’s double glass doors. One of the men wore Ray-Bans and had a Louis Vuitton backpack slung over his shoulder. The other man was stylishly unshaven and had a raincoat draped casually over his right arm. It hadn’t rained in L.A. in two months, and no rain was expected, so Kate figured these might be the guys she’d been waiting for, and that at least one of them wasn’t all that good at hiding a weapon.
The man wearing the Ray-Bans went directly into the manager’s glass-walled office, and the man with the raincoat approached Kate’s desk and sat down across from her. His gaze immediately went to her chest, which was entirely understandable, as she was wearing a push-up bra under her Ann Taylor pantsuit that made her breasts burst out of her open blouse like Poppin’ Fresh dough. This wasn’t a favored look for Kate, but she was the job, and if it took cleavage to capture some slimeball, then she was all about it.
“May I help you, sir?” Kate asked.
“Call me Slick,” the man said.
“Slick?” she said. “Really?”
He shrugged and adjusted the raincoat so that she could see the Sig Sauer 9mm semiautomatic underneath it. “Keep smiling and relax. I’m simply a businessman talking to you about opening a new account.”
Kate glanced toward the office of the manager. FBI Special Agent Seth Ryerson was behind the manager’s desk, and the real manager was working as one of the bank’s four tellers. The Ray-Bans guy was giving Ryerson instructions. Ryerson turned to look at Kate, and she could see that sweat was already beading on his balding head. As soon as any action started, Ryerson always broke out in a sweat. In five minutes, he’d be soaked. It was never pretty.
Kate and Ryerson had been working undercover, following a tip, hoping the men would show up. The bank fit the profile of the six other San Fernando Valley banks the Businessman Bandits had held up over the last two months. The Tarzana bank was a stand-alone building in a largely residential area and was within a block of a freeway on-ramp and a major interchange.
Kate knew there was a third “businessman” in a car idling in the parking lot. She also knew that an FBI strike team was parked around the corner waiting to move in.
“What do you want me to do?” Kate asked Slick.
“Sit there and be pretty. Here’s how it’s going to work, sweetie. My associate is telling your manager to take the backpack to the vault and bring it back filled with cash or I will put a bullet in your chest. My associate will then leave the bank, but I will stick around for a minute flirting with you. If any dye packs explode, or any alarms go off, I will shoot you. If nothing goes wrong, I’ll simply get up and walk out the door, no harm done. All you have to do is stay calm, and this will all be over soon.”
It was the same speech he’d given to the women at the other banks the Businessman Bandits had held up. Slick always picked a young woman with cleavage to threaten with his gun, which was why Kate had worn the push-up bra. She’d wanted to be his target.
Kate looked past Slick to the lobby and the bank tellers. There were seven customers in the bank, four at the counter and three in line. No one seemed to notice that anything unusual was happening. Ryerson left the Ray-Bans guy in his office and took the Vuitton backpack to the vault.
Kate’s iPhone vibrated on her desk. james bond showed up on the caller ID.
“Ignore it,” Slick said. “Look at me instead.”
Kate shifted her gaze back to Slick’s carefully unshaven face, his stubble a shadow on his thin cheeks and sharp chin. The phone went still. After fifteen seconds it began to vibrate again. James Bond wasn’t a man who gave up easily.
“That’s annoying,” Slick said. “Do you always take personal phone calls during work hours?”
“If they’re important.”
The phone continued to vibrate.
“Shut it off,” Slick said. “Now.”
Kate shut the phone down. A moment later her desk phone rang.
“I don’t like this,” Slick said. “On your feet. We’re walking out of here.”
“It’s just a phone call,” Kate said. “It’s probably my mother.”
“Up!” he said. “And start walking. If anyone approaches you, I’m shooting you first and then whoever else gets in my way. Clear?”
This isn’t good, Kate thought. There were customers conducting business, coming and going, and there was a possibility that one of them would accidentally cross their path.
“Should I take my purse?”
“Won’t it look odd if I walk out of the bank without my purse?”
“Where is it?”
“The bottom drawer, to my right.”
“Stay where you are, and I’ll open the drawer. Do not move.”
He stood and moved around the desk, all the while keeping his eyes on Kate. He held the Sig in his right hand and reached down to open the drawer with his left. The instant his attention shifted from Kate to the drawer, she smacked him hard in the face with her keyboard. His eyes went blank, the gun dropped from his hand, blood gushed out of his smashed nose, and he crashed to the floor, unconscious.
Kate picked the gun up and aimed it at his partner in the manager’s office.
“FBI!” she yelled. “Don’t move. Put your hands on your head.”
Mr. Ray-Bans did as he was told. Everyone in the bank froze, too, startled by her outburst and shocked by the sight of her holding the gun.
Ryerson rushed out of the vault, his gun drawn, big sweat stains under his armpits. He looked confused. “What happened?”
“I had to go to Plan B,” Kate said. She turned to the customers in the bank. “Relax, everyone. We have the situation entirely under control, and you aren’t in any danger.”
Kate’s desk phone wouldn’t stop ringing. She kept her gun aimed at Mr. Ray-Bans in the manager’s office, and snatched at the phone with her other hand.
“What?” she said.
“Is that any way to talk to James Bond?”
“You’re not James Bond.”
It was Nick Fox, and truth is, Kate thought Nick was pretty darn close to James Bond. A little younger and mostly on the other side of the law, but just as lethal and just as sexy.
Fox was a world-class con man and thief. Kate had tracked him for years and finally captured him, only to have her boss, Carl Jessup, and Fletcher Bolton, the deputy director of the FBI, arrange Nick’s escape. In return for conditional freedom, Nick had agreed to use his unique skills to nail big-time criminals the Bureau couldn’t catch using conventional means.
Kate had been given the unwanted responsibility of helping Nick neutralize the bad guys. She was also supposed to make sure Nick didn’t go back to his life of crime. The Bureau didn’t have Nick under constant surveillance or wearing a tracking device between assignments, so it was up to Kate to keep him on a loose leash. It had been a few days since she’d last spoken to him.
“Did I catch you at a bad time?” Nick asked.
“Yes. What do you want?”
“I didn’t do it.”
Kate went silent for a beat. She had no clue what he was talking about, but whatever it was, at least he hadn’t done it. That was good, right?
“I’m kind of busy right now,” she said.
“No problem. I just thought you’d want to know.”
Kate hung up, and the phone rang again. It was Carl Jessup.
“Your cellphone isn’t working,” Jessup said.
“That’s because I’m in the middle of a bank robbery thing.”
“We’ve got a big problem,” Jessup said in his distinctive Kentucky twang. “Yesterday, Nicolas Fox stole a five-million-dollar Matisse from the Gleaberg Museum of Art in Nashville.”
“Are you sure it was Nick?” she asked, watching as Ryerson called in the troops and cuffed Mr. Ray-Bans.
“I’ve just texted you a photo from one of the museum’s security cameras.”