By Paul Robertson
Charles Beale lives fortunately within the shadows of Washington, D.C., as a good rare-books broker. Or in most cases first rate. He has a streak of the gambler in him and while a loyal purchaser dies--a guy deeply attached to the Justice Department--Beale eagerly regains the man's publication collection...and quickly reveals himself with greater than he bid on. in a single quantity, Beale discovers files incriminating a bunch of significant political figures--blackmail fabric that would have resulted in homicide. Weighing questions of justice and mercy--and with a bull's-eye on his back--Beale needs to untangle a classy knot of lethal lies and unsafe secrets and techniques.
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I’m so glad,” Charles said. Jacob smacked the floor with his walking stick. “You’re glad? You’re gloating, that’s what it is, for outbidding me. ” “That’s all they’re worth. ” “I’m sorry your trip was a waste. ” He smacked the floor again. “They’re not worth that. ” “I didn’t come to have you gloat. ” Smack. “Thirty-five. ” “Bah, humbug then. ” He rubbed his nose. “I like that. ” “Whippersnapper! Mocking an old man! You’ll give me apoplexy, and I have all those airport lines to go through yet.
Charles! ” “You need to work on your customer service, Norman,” Charles said. “You’re not a customer. ” “I’m quite well, thank you. ” The frames of his bulky glasses were as shiny and black as his hair. The lenses were smudged with gray fingerprints, and the hair was smudged with just gray. “My accountant just sent me last month’s report. Taxes are killing me. You need an accountant? ” “What are taxes in Virginia? It must be better than here. This place, you walk around with the mayor’s hand in your pocket.
Maybe the computer’s wrong. ” “Not yet. I’ll tell you when. ” The room was silent again. The invaders had all been repulsed. Charles took the next book, the fifth, out of the box. They were all books of law, government and human rights, by John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, John Adams, David Hume; Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, de Tocqueville and more; man’s nature and man’s hopes of overcoming it, or at least containing it. He held the wrapped book, staring at it. He slowly raised and lowered it, feeling its weight.