From emergency meetings in the Oval Office to a Russian mafya boss's luxurious hideaway outside St. Petersburg, The Eleventh Commandment sweeps readers off their feet from the first paragraph. As in Jeffrey Archer's previous bestsellers, The Eleventh Commandment features enough plot-twisting ingenuity, exotic characterization, and narrative surprise to take the art of thriller writing to a new level. In his latest novel, Jeffrey Archer is at the peak of his page-turning powers. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
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Connor Fitzgerald has an impressive resume. Military hero. Devoted family man. Just as he's about to put his twenty-eight-year career at the CIA behind him, he comes up against the most dangerous enemy he's ever faced: His own boss, Helen Dexter. But when her status is threatened by a greater power, her only hope for survival is to destroy Fitzgerald.
Meanwhile, the country braces itself as tensions with a new Russian leader reach the boiling point…and it's up to Fitzgerald to pull off his most daring mission yet: To save the world. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge. There were still a couple of hours to go before the kickoff of the annual match against Brazil, but half the television sets in Colombia would already be switched on. It was well known that the local criminals regarded the match as a ninety-minute parole period.
And it would be weeks, probably months, before anyone worked out the real significance of the break-in that Saturday afternoon. The alarm was still sounding as Fitzgerald closed the back door and made his way quickly through the small storeroom toward the front of the shop. He ignored the rows of watches on their little stands, emeralds in their cellophane bags, and gold objects of every size and shape displayed behind a fine-mesh grille.
All were carefully marked with a name and date, so their impoverished owners could return within six months and reclaim their family heirlooms. Few ever did. Fitzgerald swept aside the bead curtain that divided the storeroom from the shop, and paused behind the counter. His eyes rested on a battered leather case on a stand in the center of the window. Printed on the lid in faded gold letters were the initials DVR.
He remained absolutely still until he was certain that no one was looking in. Fitzgerald was not surprised that the piece had already been placed in the window. He was about to climb over the counter when a young man strolled past the window.
Once he was out of sight, Fitzgerald straddled the counter and walked to the window. He glanced up and down the road to check for any casual observers, but there were none. With one movement he removed the leather case from its stand and walked quickly back. He leapt over the counter and turned to look out of the window again to reassure himself that no inquisitive eyes had witnessed the burglary. Fitzgerald swung around, pulled aside the bead curtain and strode on toward the closed door.
He checked his watch. The alarm had been blaring away for ninety-eight seconds. He stepped into the alley and listened. But apart from the alarm, everything remained silent. He turned right and walked casually in the direction of Carrera Septima. When Connor Fitzgerald reached the pavement he glanced left and then right, wove through the light traffic and, without looking back, crossed to the far side of the street.
He disappeared into a crowded restaurant, where a group of noisy fans were seated around a large-screen television. Nobody gave him a glance. Their only interest was in watching endless replays of the three goals Colombia had scored the previous year. He took a seat at a corner table. A battered sign with the words J. Several minutes passed before a police car screeched to a halt outside the shop. Once Fitzgerald had seen the two uniformed officers enter the building, he left his table and walked nonchalantly out of the back door onto another quiet Saturday-afternoon street.
As Fitzgerald slumped into the back of the battered yellow cab, he turned up the radio. Fitzgerald checked his watch again. Seventeen minutes past one. He was running a couple of minutes behind schedule. He moved a few inches to his right, so as to be sure the driver could see him clearly in the rearview mirror.
He hoped that at least one of them would be able to identify the South African nasal twang. Fitzgerald had always been good at accents. In high school he had regularly been in trouble for mimicking his teachers. Fitzgerald mentally switched off from a language he had little interest in mastering, although he had recently added falta, fuera , and gol to his limited vocabulary.
When the little Fiat drew up outside the El Belvedere seventeen minutes later, Fitzgerald handed over a ten-thousand-peso note and had slipped out of the cab before the driver had a chance to thank him for such a generous tip.
Fitzgerald ran up the hotel steps, past the liveried doorman and through the revolving doors. In the foyer he headed straight for the bank of elevators opposite the check-in desk.
He had to wait only a few moments before one of the four elevators returned to the ground floor. When the doors slid open he stepped inside and pressed the button marked 8, and the CLOSE button immediately afterward, giving no one a chance to join him. When the doors opened on the eighth floor, Fitzgerald walked down the thinly carpeted corridor to Room He pushed a plastic card into the slot and waited for the green light to glow before he turned the handle.
He checked his watch yet again: twenty-four minutes to two. By now he calculated that the police would have left the pawnshop, having concluded that it was a false alarm. They would phone Mr. Escobar at his home in the country to inform him that everything appeared to be in order, and would suggest that when he returned to the city on Monday, he should let them know if anything was missing.
But long before then Fitzgerald would have replaced the battered leather case in the window. How long would it be before he discovered the only other thing that was missing? A day? A week? A month? Fitzgerald had already decided he would have to leave the odd clue to help speed up the process. Fitzgerald took off his jacket, hung it over the nearest chair, and picked up the remote control from a table by the side of the bed.
He pressed the On button and sat down on the sofa in front of the television. The face of Ricardo Guzman filled the screen. Fitzgerald knew that Guzman would be fifty next April, but at six feet one, with a full head of black hair and no weight problem, he could have told the adoring crowd that he had not yet turned forty and they would have believed him.
After all, few Colombians expected their politicians to tell the truth about anything, especially their age. Ricardo Guzman, the favorite in the upcoming presidential election, was the boss of the Cali cartel, which controlled 80 percent of the New York cocaine trade and made over a billion dollars a year. The same people would then be surprised, only an hour later, to see him striding into the packed stadium. Herrera would be seated in the VIP box, but Guzman would be in the middle of the crowd behind one of the goals.
The image he wished to portray was of a man of the people. Fitzgerald estimated that there were about six minutes of the speech left. He pulled the leather case off the bed and onto his lap. Five minutes, Fitzgerald calculated. He opened the case and stared down at the Remington that had been out of his sight for only a few hours.
To hell with the God-almighty dollar! Fitzgerald gently removed the McMillan fiberglass stock from the leather case. He took the Hart stainless-steel barrel from its resting place and screwed it firmly into the stock.
It fitted like a glove. Within a year I will have the Americans treating us not as a Third World country, but as their equals. It felt like an old friend. But then, it should have: Every part had been handcrafted to his exact specifications.
He raised the telescopic sight to the image on the television screen, and lined up the little row of mil dots until they were centered an inch above the heart of the candidate.
He could barely hear the click above the noise of the crowd. Fitzgerald lowered the rifle, rose from the sofa, and put the empty leather case down. It would be another ninety seconds before Guzman reached his ritual condemnation of President Lawrence. He removed one of the hollow-point bullets from its little leather slot inside the lid of the case.
He broke the stock and slipped the bullet into its chamber, then snapped the barrel shut with a firm upward movement. He could repeat word for word the final sixty seconds of a Guzman speech. He turned his attention from the television and walked slowly across the room toward the French windows. Fitzgerald waited patiently.
The Eleventh Commandment
The Eleventh Commandment is a novel by Jeffrey Archer , first published in The chief of the CIA , Helen Dexter, decides, on her own, to order the murder of political figures of other nations on the basis of their views on the United States. The book starts with the murder of a candidate for the Colombian presidency. During this time, Helen finds out that she would be fired if she is found out to be ordering assassinations on several nations. To cover up her work she plans to have her chief assassin, Connor Fitzgerald, eliminated. The CIA rejects Connor's resignation and asks him to go on a final mission to assassinate a candidate for the Russian presidency. While attending a speech, Connor is arrested and placed in a Russian jail to be executed.
Seeing a way to rid himself of the stubbornly independent CIA Director, President Tom Lawrence hires Chris Jackson, who recently quit the agency, to dig up proof that Dexter ordered the hit. Jackson becomes convinced his old buddy Fitzgerald was the triggerman. Dexter catches wind of his inquiry, and orders the assassin to undertake a final mission. He is sent to kill the Communist Party candidate for president of Russia. It's a trap. Fitzgerald is set up, arrested in St. Petersburg, and condemned to hang.