Three Envelopes: New Excerpt

Three Envelopes by Nir Hezroni
Three Envelopes by Nir Hezroni
Three Envelopes by Nir Hezroni delves into the twisted mind of a rogue agent in the Israeli intelligence agency and his mysterious plot for revenge (available April 11, 2017).

Agent 10483 carried out his missions perfectly. Too perfectly. So perfectly that he needed to be stopped. . .

When Avner, a top agent in The Organization receives a notebook, written by the mysterious and psychopathic 10483, ten years after his supposed death, he realizes that something has gone terribly wrong.

The notebook not only reveals the truth about 10483's missions, which include some of history's most notorious unsolved crimes, but it also reveals that 10483 might still be alive and desperate for vengeance against the Organization.

As Avner reads the long-lost notebook, questions abound. Was 10483 a psychopath who outwitted his handlers for years or was he merely a tool, manipulated by his superiors to carry out some of the most monstrous mass killings in history? Why was he the only agent to receive three envelopes that carried the names of targets on a special hit list? And was he responsible for a basement of horrors where he locked up innocent victims and staged their deaths as art installations? Or was he himself merely the victim of a brilliant scientist who found a way, through cutting-edge technology, to manipulate his brain?

Offering a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the technology of high-level intelligence operations, Nir Hezroni's dark thriller is a chilling exploration of the mind of a master killer.

December 3rd 2016

It was 11 in the evening, and an old Land Rover headed down a dirt road under the light of the moon, leaving a whitish cloud of dust in its wake. The nearby town was fast asleep, and apart from the chirping of a variety of insects, the only sound that could be heard was the crunching of gravel under the Land Rover’s wheels and the quiet hum of its engine.

The Jeep passed through an open steel gate and continued on for a few dozen meters before coming to a stop outside a small house, then the engine went silent. The dust cloud momentarily enveloped the vehicle, and then drifted back down to the ground. The car’s lights went out and the driver’s door opened. An elderly man, his hair white and short, stepped out of the Jeep and turned toward the house, striding briskly.

The door to the house opened, and in the dim light the silhouette of a second elderly man was visible. He welcomed his guest with a warm embrace.

“Amiram. It’s been a while since we last met.”

“A long while, Avner. And I know I’m not supposed to be here. Thanks for agreeing to see me on such short notice.”

Avner poured two cups of Turkish coffee and the two men sat at a round kitchen table. The light from a naked fluorescent bulb on the ceiling cast their shadows on the kitchen wall. Avner sipped his coffee. He waited for his visitor to begin the conversation.

Amiram paused for a moment, then placed a thick manila envelope on the table. From it, he removed a large lined notebook, swollen with extra pages that had been stuck inside.

“I don’t know what to do with it.”

“Where did you get it from?”

“It arrived by messenger from the Aharoni-Shamir law firm. I checked them out. He went to see them ten years ago, in 2006, gave them the notebook in a manila envelope bearing my name and address, and paid them $15,000 in cash to hold it for ten years and send it to me today. They haven’t seen him since.”

“And they’re positive it’s him?”

“I showed them a picture, and two employees identified him.”

“And what if you’d moved in the meantime? Then no one would have found you. It’s not like we’re listed in the telephone directory.”

Amiram sighed. “He left them with detailed instructions in case they weren’t able to find me. They had the names and addresses of Shaul Adler, Ronen Agami, Michael Azran, and Motti Keidar, with instructions to approach them one after the other; and if none of the four authorized the handover, the instructions were to deliver it to the Israeli ambassador in London in person; and if he refused to meet—then to the foreign minister’s bureau in Jerusalem; and if the minister wouldn’t take personal delivery of the package, then to hand deliver three copies to the Yedioth Ahronoth, Haaretz, and The Jerusalem Post newspapers.”

“Suits him.”

“He’s a psychopath,” Amiram said in a deep voice. “Read the first few pages about how as a child he was convinced someone wanted to murder his family. And that’s just the beginning. It gets a lot worse.”

The two men sat in silence for a moment. Amiram lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. “It’s a bombshell,” he said. “It ties us to the mass murder in Canada in 2006. It explains disappearances that the operators division has been investigating until now. He outlines work methods he invented. It’s a fucking record of everything he did since he was ten—plain and simple. Everything’s documented. I’m retiring in two years and he comes back now to haunt me from the grave.”

Avner blew on his coffee, sending a small cloud of steam skyward, took another sip, and remained quiet. Amiram took one last puff from his cigarette and stubbed it out in the ashtray on the table. The only sound was from the insects outside.

After a long moment of silence, Avner glanced over at the kitchen window and then fixed his gaze on the notebook on the table. “Go home, Amiram,” he said. “This notebook doesn’t exist. This meeting never took place. Move to a different house. Your grandson could be the one to open the next package, and it’ll blow up in his face.”

Amiram nodded. He stood up from the table and left the house without looking back.

Thick and heavy black clouds filled the night sky and the moon peeked down from between them. Tomorrow would bring rain.

Avner looked again at the notebook on the table. The sound of the Land Rover’s engine faded in the distance and then the house went quiet. Avner stood and picked up the ashtray. He emptied its contents into the trashcan, washed it under the tap in the kitchen and placed it on the windowsill. He dried his hands on a small kitchen towel, returned to the table, sat down in front of the notebook again, and sipped his coffee. He was tempted momentarily to burn the notebook and wash the ashes down the drain in the kitchen sink.

Instead, he picked up the notebook and started reading.


Copyright © 2017 Nir Hezroni.

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Nir Hezroni (1968) was born in Jerusalem. After studying physics in high school and completing several years of military service in intelligence, Hezroni retired to study economics and business management. He then proceeded to build a career in high tech. Three Envelopes is his first thriller.

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