Rachel’s note: Today, we’re excited to share a special sneak preview of Casey Research founder Doug Casey’s latest novel, Assassin…
In the third installment of the High Ground series, Charles Knight is released from an especially unpleasant stay in prison, only to rejoin a society overwhelmed by looting, riots, arson, viral panic, mob-think, and economic decay… with a presidential election in the balance.
How can Charles stop the deadly crimes committed by those who control the law, print the money, and confuse the minds of the people?
Read on below…
By Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research
“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
Some people just need killing.
With his rifle’s scope focused, Charles Knight could see the condensing breath of the man three hundred yards away. He watched his target walk up a slight incline onto the mostly brown third tee. A caddy handed the man his driver. The club, with a head the size of a small melon, compensated for the man’s soft muscles and scrawny frame. This manicured golf course catered to three hundred elite members eager to hit the links as soon as the winter mud cleared. It hadn’t yet. Paul Samuels therefore played his early-morning round alone. The caddy would be the only witness.
Concealed among the trees, Charles studied Samuels’s balding head and wrinkled countenance; he appeared as harmless as any elderly golfer. He didn’t look like a criminal responsible for putting the world’s economy on the edge of a precipice and transforming millions into modern-day serfs. But Charles wasn’t here to contemplate the man. In fact, he hardly saw him as a man, but as a creature whose essential nature was . . . alien.
Samuels pointed to some dirt on the club’s face and, cleaning it himself, petulantly berated the caddy. He bent down to place his ball, gripped his club, waggled his hips, bent his knees slightly, drew back on the club, and swung. He stood totally still at the end of his follow-through, staring down the fairway as if waiting for Charles to act.
The choice was binary: kill or don’t kill. Charles had debated the issue at length in his mind. It was a question of right and wrong, but not a simple one. If Samuels were threatening him with a weapon, there was no question—of course he’d kill him. He’d kill him if he were threatening a friend. But what if he were threatening some stranger? What if he were threatening a whole society? And what if there were no alternative ways of solving the problem? College sophomores tried to seem clever in philosophy class by asking whether it would be right to kill Hitler as a baby. Charles’s mind had played out many arguments for and against similar conundrums.
Once he cut away arbitrary legal and religious norms, the rational arguments were of equal weight. Perhaps a better question was not whether he had the right to kill this man, but rather, did he have the right to let him live? His intellect had yet to provide a definitive answer, but his instinct—the practical combination of wisdom and experience—told him to take the shot.
The forestock of the .300 Winchester Magnum rested on a small mound of dirt that Charles had formed just before he’d settled into a prone position that, while entirely relaxed, provided his desired natural point of aim as he lay protected from view in the brush. He pressed his cheek against the stock and exhaled.
No breeze stirred. The air was crisp. The Winchester was zeroed in for this specifically confirmed distance and so he needed to make no adjustments to his scope. There were no other important variables. The birds stopped chirping then, or so it seemed. He gently contracted his index finger, drawing back on a finely tuned trigger. The final release of the firing pin had to be smooth. For a three-hundred-yard shot, no anticipatory reflex, no muzzle movement could be allowed. His finger drew back farther, enticing the weapon as if caressing the ivory of a piano key. Even through his earplugs, the sound of the powder exploding in the cartridge assaulted Charles’s ears as the powerful recoil impacted his shoulder. The smell of burned sulfur arrived next, acrid yet refreshing in the small dose. Smoke touched his eyes.
He stayed for a moment to watch the man fall to the ground. There was no blood. Crawling back ten yards into the woods, he arose, stuffed the rifle and its rest into his golf bag, then hiked to the car. He accelerated the rental down a narrow service road, swerving to avoid a wayward squirrel.
No clouds marred the pure-blue sky.
But the clouds of an impending economic and political hurricane marred Charles’s mind. The storm would soon overwhelm not just the US, but the whole world. There was real risk in this morning’s outing. Its consequences weren’t clear.
He inhaled deeply in a futile pursuit of calm.
Charles had proved long ago that he had the ability to kill an enemy, with forethought and intent. And that ability had been honed by eighteen months in the system.
But he contemplated a better way to neutralize this golf-playing criminal.
And it would be far more effective than his death.
Founder, Casey Research
Rachel’s note: To find out how the rest of this storm unfolds… and if Charles is able to outsmart the cronies after him… you can purchase Assassin here. And be sure to catch up on the first two novels in the High Ground series: Speculator and Drug Lord.