Warren Murphy: Blood Lust

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Warren Murphy Blood Lust
  • Название:
    Blood Lust
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    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
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    Английский
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Blood Lust: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Remo surrenders to a sex goddess armed to seduce and destroy the Destroyer. "Arms Race To The Finish Line" Normally Remo didn't care how evil enemies were armed. The Destroyer could take on everything from brass knuckles to H-bombs. But now he faced a foe equipped with arms that even he couldn't overcome. For the many arms of the goddess Kali were attached to the most fabulous body in the universe of love. And with Chiun trapped in the spirit world, Remo's flesh turned weak as his iron will melted down in the arms of a female who had the fate of the world in her many fiendish hands.

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Destroyer 85: Blood Lust

By Warren Murphy apir

Chapter 1

Allison Baynes was very, very worried about little Kimberly. "It's not drugs, is it?" Norma Quinlan asked, her froglike voice cracking. She winced. Her heart skipped a beat. But inside, she couldn't wait to tell Beverly and Kathleen. She might even start speaking with Ida MacDonough again, just to see the look on her stuck-up face when she told Ida that poor Kimberly Baynes had become a drug addict. She tonged a sugar cube into her tea.

"No, it's not drugs," Allison Baynes said in a hushed and age-quavered voice. Her eyes went to the window, as if the neighbors were listening. In a way, they were. Through Norma Quinlan, the gossip queen of Aurora, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. "I almost wish it were. If it were only drugs, I could send her to Betty Ford."

"Do they take them that young?" asked Norma, deciding that a second sugar cube was called for. She would need her energy for all the phone calls she would be making later.

"Perhaps not," Mrs. Baynes said worriedly. Her plump face wore a motherly frown. She balanced her china saucer in one age-spotted hand. The other held the fine china cup suspended a micro-inch over the saucer, as if both would shatter if they met. She raised the cup to her unlipsticked mouth thoughtfully, frowned, and sipped. The cup returned to its hovering position, and Allison Baynes resumed speaking.

"She's only thirteen, you know."

"That young? Why, I saw her only the other day. She looked like a high-school girl in that . . . dress."

"She's wearing lipstick now too."

"I guess she's at the age, then. You know, they become more sophisticated at a much younger age than we did," said Norma Quinlan in a proper voice, shoving into the furthest recess of her mind the half-buried memory of the day she let Harvey Bluestein grope her at the drive-m. That, after all, had been the sixties. The late sixties. People did those things then.

"It is true, isn't it?" Mrs. Baynes said ruefully, looking at the coppery liquid steaming in her cup. Her hair was a silveryblue halo that might have been spun by a platinum spider. She sighed.

Norma Quinlan reached for a raisin scone, knowing that the moment of truth was almost at hand. The sigh was her clue. They always sighed before unburdening themselves. And she was such an attentive listener.

"She's been gaining weight, you know."

"The dress I saw the other day was a positive tent," Norma said quickly between nibbles of the scone, which was dry. "But her face was so thin. And so pretty. She's very pretty."

"Like a little doll," agreed Allison Baynes with grandmotherly pride. "You know, she adjusted very well. After the unpleasantness."

"Unpleasantness?" asked Norma, masking her interest with an innocent tone. She knew very well about the unpleasantness, but wanted to hear it directly. In case new details slipped out. They often did.

"You know that Kimmo's parents died tragically several years ago."

"I've heard that," Norma said vaguely. "Somewhere."

"Her mother was found strangled in Paris. It was perfectly horrible. They never found the killer."

Norma nodded attentively. She knew that.

"A.H., my son, met a similar fate. They found him dead in his Rocky Mountain vacation home, his tongue sticking out of his mouth. Just like my daughter-in-law."

"No!" said Norma, who knew that too.

Mrs. Baynes contemplated the steam rising from her cup with oracular intentness. "What I'm about to tell you is strictly between the two of us."

"Absolutely," Norma said sincerely, deciding right then and there that she would call Ida, after all.

"They found them both with identical yellow scarves around their necks."

"My God!"

"It's true, I sold A.H.'s place, you know. Wouldn't even step into it."

"Places like that are often haunted," Norma said sagely.

"True."

"Did they ever find the killers?"

Mrs. Baynes sipped delicately. "Never. I think they stopped looking. You see, before they died, A.H. and Evelyn-that was my daughter-in-law's name, Evelyn-joined one of those horrid . . . cults."

"I didn't know that," Norma said, spilling tea on her lap. This was better than she could have imagined. She could hardly wait to get to that phone.

"What kind of a cult?" she asked, her voice steady.

"I was never clear on that," Mrs. Baynes confessed. "And frankly, I have no interest in knowing. Looking back, it seems all so unbelievable. Like something that would happen to common people back East. After all, A.H. was the president of Just Folks Airlines."

"Too bad they went bankrupt like that," Norma said sympathetically. "Their fares were so reasonable."

"I had to sell the company, you know. And the new owners simply ran it into the ground."

Norma nodded. She neglected to mention that Mrs. Baynes had attempted to run the company for a year. Her freefares-for-senior-citizens offer had put Just Folks into receivership. She was forced to sell her stock. A year later, Just Folks was just a memory.

"So you think they were victims of this cult?"

"They had to be. I think they hypnotized A.H. into joining. He was a graduate of the Cambridge Business School, you know."

Norma made a mental note of that.

"After the funeral," Mrs. Baynes continued, "Kimberly came to stay with me. She was very unstable at first. Forever chanting childish nonsense. I guess she picked that up from the horrid cult environment. But Kimmo came out of it after only a week."

"A week!" Norma clucked. "Imagine that. Children are so resilient. It's really a blessing."

Mrs. Baynes nodded. "A blessing. She hasn't spoken of her mother or father since the funeral. Not even about Joshua."

Norma's teacup quivered in her hand. "Joshua?"

"Her brother. She had an older brother. I buried him with A.H. and Evelyn."

"Not strangled?"

"No."

Relief washed over Norma Quinlan's face.

"He was blown up," Allison Baynes said matter-of-factly, sipping her tea.

"Blown . . . up?" Norma was aghast.

"The cult had a van. Joshua was riding in it with some others. It exploded somehow. The police told me it might have been the work of a rival cult."

"You poor dear! What you've been through! And now this business with Kimberly," Norma said solicitously, steering Mrs. Baynes back to the topic at hand.

"I told you that she's been gaining weight."

"The onset of puberty will do that with some girls."

"I first noticed her developing three years ago."

"And you say she's thirteen?"

Allison Baynes nodded. "At ten."

"I read an article in Ladies' Home Journal once that said some girls start developing as early as nine. Or was it eight?"

"My Kimmo blossomed into a tiny woman almost overnight. One day she was playing with dolls, the next she was in a training bra and putting on makeup."

"They grow up so fast. My Calvin enters college next month. Law school. Tulane. I wouldn't let him go to an eastern college."

Mrs. Baynes let the veiled dismissal of Cambridge Business College go by without comment.

"I didn't think much of it at the time," she said reflectively, "but I noticed the statue grew overnight as well."

"Statue?"

Allison Baynes stared into her tea for a thoughtful interval, watching the concentric ripples created by the subtle tremor in her aging hands. Abruptly, she replaced the cup in the saucer and the saucer on the coffee table.

"I shouldn't do this but . . ." She stood up decisively. "Let me show you something."

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