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By S. J. Rozan (Edited by)

Brand-new tales through: Thomas Adcock, Kevin Baker, Thomas Bentil, Lawrence Block, Jerome Charyn, Suzanne Chazin, Terrence Cheng, Ed Dee, Joanne Dobson, Robert Hughes, Marlon James, Sandra Kitt, Rita Laken, Miles Marshall Lewis, Pat Picciarelli, Abraham Rodriguez Jr., S.J. Rozan, Steven Torres, and Joe Wallace. S.J. Rozan was once born and raised within the Bronx and is a lifelong New Yorker. She’s the writer of 8 novels within the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith sequence, and of the stand-alones Absent buddies and during this Rain (forthcoming). Her books have gained Edgar, Nero, Macavity, and Shamus awards for most sensible novel. She’s at paintings on one other sequence novel, Shanghai Moon.

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From his wallet he pulled a business card and dialed. Then he stood at the phone booth and waited, knew he was being watched now through an apartment window. It was like this too in Hong Kong, when he went to one of those places, being watched at the front door by a camera or spy making sure he was not a policeman or vagrant or gangster who could not be trusted. He counted to fifty in his head, then he went to the front door and was buzzed in, took the stairs to the fourth floor. He knocked on the door and it opened just a crack.

He left her naked and curled and sleeping, felt bad for her though he could not say why. He left her an extra hundred dollars, then went to the diner by the college next to the subway station and drank tea and waited. He still had the professor’s brochures in his pocket, along with a map that he had torn from the whore’s telephone book. Around noon he walked onto campus, past the security booth and parking gate, through the roaming clusters of students. He headed into the building, up the stairs, knocked on the professor’s door.

He saw houses with big wooden decks lining the shore. He could not stop his teeth from chattering, could feel all his bones and flesh shaking, his stomach and head filled with fire, and this told him he was not dead. He hugged the suitcase close to his chest even as he crawled onto the beach, spitting and coughing, his innards burning like oil and acid in his blood. When he looked back he saw the lights still shining, the freighter locked down. He had swam more than three hundred meters to get to shore, felt like a kind of superman, alone, freezing, but uncaptured and alive.

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