Viktor Danilov has killed more people than he cared to remember, in more ways than he cared to describe, and while he doesn’t take any pleasure from murder, he doesn’t take any pain either. For Danilov, death is just a way of life.
Deserted by his good-for-nothing parents at an early age, two losers who’d had more love for the bottle than they’d had for him, he grew up hard on the back streets of Moscow, running with a street gang of other luckless urchins, fighting to survive. It was here that he recognised a self-truth that was to change his life – killing came easy to him. No spark of remorse, no twinge of guilt, no sick feeling in the pit of his stomach – he just didn’t care – and it was this ambivalence to death that helped him become a world-class assassin for the Russian mob. But when the Red Mafia expanded into the US, things turned sour for Danilov, and he’s now on the run from his former employees.
Danilov has a thin, wiry frame, his head is clean-shaven, his face is gaunt, and his eyes are like chips of Siberian ice. He has hammer and sickle tattoos, one on the back of each hand, the hammer marking the occasion of his hundredth shooting, the sickle his hundredth knife kill. The sickle came first, as he’s always favoured the close-in work. His life, which he once ruled with iron-fisted precision, has suddenly spun out of control, and he finds himself backed into a corner, which makes him more dangerous than ever. A word of advice – if you’re unlucky enough to see him coming your way, don’t cross the street, cross the state line.
Rebecca Finch is a high-powered defence attorney. A hotshot. A real go-getter. She’s at her best when she’s representing the dregs of society, and she’s happy to pull out all the stops to keep them on the streets. She’s a master of the holy trinity that was pounded into her at law school – procrastinate, obfuscate, and discredit – and she’s dedicated the whole of her adult life to her career.
Rebecca’s an attractive woman somewhere in her early thirties, with a slim, athletic build. When it comes to clothes, she’s a power dresser, favouring a black business suit with a crisp white blouse underneath. She ties her blond hair back in a neat ponytail, and has a pair of designer glasses perched on her freckled nose. The freckles make her look young and innocent. Truth is, she’s anything but.
Outside of work, she’s a loner – her home is a practical nunnery. Men are an unwelcome distraction from the case files she brings back from the office, and she can’t even remember her neighbour’s names. Her parents live on the other side of the country, and she hasn’t seen them in years. Her only real relationship is with her sister, Anabeth, who’s a one-woman cheerleading team for her legal endeavours. Rebecca Finch is all about the law. If you ever cross the line, and find yourself in need of legal representation, then be smart – give her a call.
Bud Carson is a cop from the old school – a shoot first, ask questions later kind of guy. The sort of detective that gets things done, and doesn’t worry about the ramifications of his actions until after the event. Actually, scratch that, a guy like Carson never wastes time worrying about the fallout. His kind gets results in the war on crime, because his kind knows that it is a war, and in a war, you don’t take any prisoners. But times are getting hard for cops like Carson. An ever-growing list of rules and regulations doesn’t sit well with him, and he’s starting to feel like he’s drowning in a sea of red tape. His whole career has been dedicated to capturing criminals, only for the so-called justice system to set them free.
He’s pushing sixty, with closely cropped salt and pepper hair that favours the salt, a weathered face with a slew of broken veins in his cheeks, and a steely blue gaze that grabs your attention and refuses to let go. His build is stocky, like that of a prize-fighter, but it’s hard to tell if he’s in good shape, as he swaddles himself in a knee-length blue coat that’s definitely seen better days.
He started out back in DC, but transferred to Los Angles after his first marriage fell apart. His wife said he was married to the department first, and her a distant second. A few years later he remarried, but wife number two didn’t last long either. You won’t hear him bleat about it though, as he’s got no time for ‘new age crap’ or men that are in touch with their feminine sides. Bud Carson wouldn’t cry if you crushed his nuts in a vice.
Bobby Ashton was born with a silver spoon up his ass. He’s the son of a successful Hollywood movie producer, who spends his time counting down the days until he inherits the family fortune. Bobby doesn’t actually do anything meaningful himself, and he’s got no plans to start anytime soon. Instead, he swaggers around with his film star good looks – high cheekbones, blue eyes, and long blond hair – annoying everyone in his path. If you ever met him, you’d soon realise that he was a royal pain in the ass. He’s elevated being arrogant to an art form, and he’ll piss you off in a way that only the super rich and super arrogant can ever hope to achieve.
But Bobby’s life has just got complicated, as he’s recently discovered that lengthy afternoon champagne binges and high-powered sports cars don’t mix. Having been charged with the vehicular manslaughter of a young child, Bobby’s about to have his big day in court, where he’ll be judged by twelve of his peers. And I used the word ‘peers’ in its widest possible sense – as far as I’m aware, none of the jurors have a multi millionaire for a father. Can Bobby buy his way out of this one? Only time will tell.