A Spy's Life

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Book: Read A Spy's Life for Free Online
Authors: Henry Porter
Tags: Fiction - Espionage
go away for further testing. Clark would tell you better than I can.’ He stopped. A hint of disdain passed across his face. ‘But Clark and his people already believe they’ve got this investigation tied up like a Christmas gift with a fancy bow on top.’
    ‘And you don’t?’
    Ollins gave him the thin professional smile that Harland remembered often seeing in his colleagues back in Century House in London. It was an expression that came with knowledge and enforced silence.
    ‘The Safety Board no longer believes there’s a need for criminal investigation,’ Ollins said. ‘But I can’t hide from you the fact that there are unresolved issues here.’
    So brisk and confident when he appeared in his hospital room, Special Agent Ollins was now weighed down, fatigued. Harland knew that look too.
    They walked around the wreckage in silence. Harland was struck by how small the plane seemed, and also by the smell, which contained several elements – burnt plastic, aviation fuel and a scorched, rusty aroma.
    When he had seen enough, Ollins led him up a flight of open stairs and into an office where a ten-foot model of the plane was set out on a large board. The top of the fuselage had been cut away to reveal the inside of the cabin. It was clear that the model was being used as an aid to thought rather than any kind of scientific measurement. Around it were tags and arrows leading to the seats. His name and Griswald’s were attached to the two facing seats at the rear of the model. The labels for Maas, Lahmer and Bloch were beside the plane, as were the ones for the three women on the plane – Elsa Meinertzhagen, Courtney Moore and Noala Shimon. Three other labels were named Male: A, Male: B and Male: C. There were also red markers which apparently indicated baggage that had been identified as belonging to one or other of the victims. Ollins told him that most of the bags had been incinerated, but here and there were clues that enabled identification.
    ‘Have you got the name for males A, B and C?’
    ‘A and B have been identified as Roger Clemence and James Gleeson. Mr Gleeson had served the UN in Iraq and was subsequently attached to various observer missions run by the Security Council. Clemence was a lawyer from New Zealand who worked in Africa – Sierra Leone, Rwanda.’
    ‘What about C?’
    ‘We’ve got no further with him. He’s a complete mystery.’ Ollins went over to a coffee pot, gestured to Harland who shook his head, and poured himself a cup. ‘Why don’t you take that chair, Mr Harland, and talk me through the people that you saw at Washington National Airport last Tuesday afternoon – the people who boarded the plane with you? Did you bring your notes?’
    ‘I’m sorry, I stupidly left them at the hospital.’
    ‘That really is a pity,’ said Ollins curtly.
    ‘I can get them later,’ said Harland. ‘I’ll fax—’
    Ollins put his hand up. ‘Could you wait a second?’ He leant back and tapped on the window of the adjacent room with a key. ‘You people need to hear this.’ Four men came in. Each nodded to Harland and found a perch. They had all brought notepads with them.
    Harland was puzzled by the FBI’s behaviour. If the Safety Board was satisfied that the accident was not the result of sabotage, why was Ollins working under the assumption that it was? Ollins nodded and Harland took them through what he could remember of the meeting at the airport and the minibus ride to the plane. He could now definitely say that Bloch and Lahmer and one of the women were in a huddle inside the terminal and that outside another woman was smoking with Philippe Maas. A third woman, with dark hair cut in a bob, was talking to two men that he didn’t recognise. He could not be sure until he saw some photographs. Standing apart from all these was a man in his early thirties – good-looking, obviously fit and with a standoffish manner.
    ‘That’s C,’ Ollins cut in. ‘The woman with the dark hair

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